Family • Araceae - Amorphophallus campanulatus Blume. - CORPSE FLOWER - Chou mo yu

Scientific names

Amorphophallus campanulatus Blume.
Amorphophallus campanulatus Decne.
Amorphophallus campanulatus Roxb.
Amorphophallus decurrens Kunth
Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson
Amorphophallus rex Prain
Arum campanulatum Roxb., nom. illeg.
Arum decurrens Blanco
You bang mo yu (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Xie bn yu, Nan xing tou, Nan yu, Ji zhao yu.
FRENCH: Gouniah d’Annam.
INDIA: Surana, Suran.
POLISH: Dziwadlo.
VIETNAMESE: Nua chuong.

Common names

Anto (Bis.)
Apon (Tag.)
Apong-apong (Tag.)
Bagang (Ibn.)
Bagong (Bik., Sul.)
Oroi (Bis.)
Pamangkilon (Bis.)
Pungapung (Tag.)
Tigi-nga-magmanto (Ilk.)
Tokod-banua (Pamp.)
Corpse flower (Engl.)
Elephant foot yam (Engl.)
Leopard palm (Engl.)
Stanley’s washtub (Engl.)
Chou mo yu (Chin.)


Pungapung is a perennial, stemless herb. Corm is depressed-globose, up to 30 centimeters in diameter, flowering before leafing every year from the previous year’s corm. Stem-like structure, which bears the lamina, is merely the petiole, 1 meter or more high, radically developed from the corm. Leaves are usually solitary, the blades up to 1 meter in diameter, trisected, the segments dichotomous, the ultimate ones pinnately divided into oblong to oblong-obovate, acuminate lobes. Spathe is sessile, broadly campanulate, dull-purplish, the margins somewhat spreading or recurved, waved and crenulate, up to 30 centimeters in diameter. Spadix (a spike of flowers contained in the spathe) is hardly longer than the spathe, the appendage ovoid, variously sulcate or depressed, up to 15 centimeters long, are malodorous when flowering.


– Common in most or all, provinces of Luzon and in Mindoro, in thickets and secondary forests, along roads, trails, etc., at low and medium altitudes in settled areas.
– Occurs in India through Malaya to Polynesia.


• Corm analysis: 74% moisture; 0.73% ash; 5.1% protein; 18% carbohydrate, 0.61% crude fiber, giving 1,000 calories per kilo. In food value, comparable to kalabasa, superior to sinkamas.
• Yields amblyone, a tritepenoid with antibacterial and cytotoxic activities.
• Phytochemical screening of various tuber extracts yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, coumarins, steroids, saponins.
• Tubers yielded an active diastatic enzyme- amylase, betulinic acid, B-sitosterol, stigmasterol, B-sitosterol palmitate, lupeol, triacontane, amino acids, carbohydrates, saponin, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and carotene.
• Study evaluated methanol (ME) and 70% hydroalcoholic (AE) extracts of tubers for flavonoidal and total phenolic content. Flavonoidal content was 46.33 mg/g (ME) and 36.88 mg/g (AC). Total phenolic content were 12.67 mg/g (ME) and 6.25 mg/g (AE).

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities of amblyone isolated from Amorphophallus campanulatus / Alam Khan, Moizur Rahman, MS Islam / 2008. vol 40. issue 1.pp 41-44

(2) Analgesic activity of Amorphophallus campanulatus tuber / J A Shilpi et al / Fitoterapia
Volume 76, Issues 3-4, June 2005, Pages 367-369 / doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2005.03.024


/ Surendhra Kumar Singh, N Rajasekar et al / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 3, Issue 2, 2011

(5) Antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities of 3,5- diacetyltambulin isolated from Amorphophallus campanulatus Blume ex. Decne / Khan A, Rahman M, Islam MS / DARU Vol. 16, No. 4 2008 / DARU Vol. 16, No. 4 2008

(6) Immunomodulatory Activity of the Methanol Extract of Amorphophallus campanulatus (Araceae) Tuber / A S Tripathi, V Chitra, N W Sheikh et al / Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research October 2010; 9 (5): 451-454

(7) PHYTO CHEMICAL AND ANTHELMINTIC EVALUATION OF CORM OF AMORPHOPHALLUS CAMPANULATUS / R Ramalingam, K Hima Bindu et al / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences V1(2)2010

(8) Effects of Petroleum Ether Extract of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius Tuber on Central Nervous System in Mice / S S Das, Malini Sen, Y N Dey et al / Indian J Pharm Sci. 2009 Nov–Dec; 71(6): 651–655.
doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.59547

(9) Sorting Amorphophallus names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.


(11) Hepatoprotective activity of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius tubers against paracetamol-induced liver damage in rats / Pramod J Hurkadale*, Pournima A Shelar, Siddhalingesh G Palled, Yuvaraj D Mandavkar, Ajay S Khedkar / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2012)S238-S242

(12) Cytotoxic Activity of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius Tuber Extract in vitro / J. Angayarkanni, K M Ramkumar, T Poornima and U Priyadarshini / American-Eurasian J. Agric. & Environ. Sci., 2(4): 395-398, 2007.

(13) Protective effect of Amorphophallus campanulatus (Roxb.) Blume. tuber against thioacetamide induced oxidative stress in rats / Puthuparampil Nazarudeen Ansil, Anand Nitha, Santhibhavan Prabhakaran Prabha, Pallara Janardhanan Wills, Vahab Jazaira, Mukalel Sankunni Latha* / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine (2011)870-877 / doi:10.1016/S1995-7645(11)60211-3

(14) Effects of the petroleum ether extract of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius on experimentally induced convulsion in mice / Shankhajit De, Yadu Nandan Dey, Sudesh Gaidhani, Sarada Ota / International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases, 2012, Vol 2, No 2, pp 132-134. / DOI: 10.4103/2231-0738.95971

(15) A phytopharmacological review on an important medicinal plant – Amorphophallus paeoniifolius / Yadu Nandan Dey, Sarada Ota, […], and Manish Wanjari / Ayu. 2012. Jan-Mar, 33(1): 27-32

(16) Cytotoxic and apoptotic activities of Amorphophallus campanulatus (Roxb.) Bl. tuber extracts against human colon carcinoma cell line HCT-15 / P.N. Ansil, P.J. Wills, R. Varun, M.S. Latha / Saudi Journal of Biological / DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2014.01.004

(17) Chemopreventive effect of Amorphophallus campanulatus (Roxb.) blume tuber against aberrant crypt foci and cell proliferation in 1, 2-dimethylhydrazine induced colon carcinogenesis. / Ansil PN, Prabha SP, Nitha A, Latha MS / Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention : APJCP 14:9 2013 pg 5331-9

(18) Synergistic depressant activity of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius in Swiss albino mice / Yadu Nandan Dey, Shankhajit De, Ajoy Kumar Ghosh, Sudesh Gaidhani, Suman Kumari, Mahvish Jamal /. Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics, 2011, Volume 2, Issue 2, Page 121-123

(19) Invitro Quantification of Flavonoids and Phenolic content of – Suran / H.N.Nataraj*, R.L.N.Murthy and Dr.S. Ramachandra Setty / Int.J. ChemTech Res.2009,1(4)


Spathe prior to malodorous flowering stage.

– Corms are caustic, stomachic and tonic.
– Corms considered acrid, astringent, thermogenic, irritant, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, anti-hemorrhoidal, haemostatic, expectorant, car
– Raphide crystals on the corm, petiole and leaves produce irritation upon contact with the skin.
– Tubers are considered appetizer, antibacterial, antifungal, anodyne, aphrodisiac, antiinflammatory, antihemorrhoidal, cytotoxic, emmenagogue, hemostatic, expectorant, carminative, digestive, stomachic, anthelmintic, liver tonic, rejuvenating and tonic.

Parts utilized
Corm, roots, leaves.

• Leaves and roots.
• Rhizomes preferably cooked, acrid when raw. May cause perioral burning and itching.
• Petioles of young unexpanded leaves are edible when thoroughly cooked.
• In time of scarcity, corms are sometimes eaten. Corms provides about 1,000 calories per kilo; comparable in food value to kalabasa, superior to singkamas.
• In India, corms used in curries and pickles.


• Poultices of corm are antirheumatic. Also used for hemorrhoids.
• Plants used for cough.
• Roots are used for boils and hemorrhoids.
• Tubers are also used for hemorrhoids.
• In India, corm is considered stomachic and tonic; used in piles and given as restorative in dyspepsia and debility. Tuberous roots are used for treatment of piles, abdominal pains, tumors, spleen enlargement, asthma and rheumatism. Also, corms used as restorative in dyspepsia, debility, etc. Roots used for boils and ophthalmia; also as an emmenagogue. Petioles used in scorpion bites and dysmenorrhea. Tubers also used for post delivery problems, migraine, and neck swelling.
• In Ayurveda, traditionally used in arthralgia, elephantiasis, tumors, inflammations, hemorrhoids, hemorrhages, vomiting, cough, bronchitis, asthma, dyspepsia, colic, constipation, hepato-splenopathies, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, seminal weakness, fatigue and general debility.
• In Unani medicine, given as vegetable in sluggish liver.
• Corms applied externally to relive the pain of rheumatic swellings. When fresh, acts as acrid stimulant and expectorant.

• Feed: Leaves and corms are common feed for hogs.

Study Findings
• Antibacterial / Cytotoxic / Amblyone: Amblyone, a triterpenoid isolated from A campanulatus showed to have good antibacterial activity and moderate cytotoxic activity.
• Antibacterial / 3,5-diacetylambulin: 3,5-diacetylambulin, a flavonoid isolated from A. campanulatus showed antibacterial activities against 4 gram positive and 6 gram-negative bacterial.
• Hepatoprotective / CCl4-Induced Damage / Antioxidant: Study on ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Amorphophallus campanulatus showed antioxidant activity. Results showed potent hepatoprotective action against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic damage. The possible mechanism of antioxidant activity may be due to the free radical scavenging potential from the flavonoids in the extracts.
• Hepatoprotective / Acetaminophen-Induced Damage Study of dried tuber on acetaminophen-induced hepatic injury in albino rats showed increase in levels of superoxide dismutase (DOS), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) suggesting hepatoprotective and antioxidant properties.
• Analgesic: Study in mice was done on a methanol extract of A campanulatus tuber for in-vivo analgesic activity using a tail flick and acetic acid induced writhing methods. Results showed significant dose-dependent analgesic activity. Effect might be due to plant phytoconstituents which inhibit cyclooxygenase enzyme or through an effect on central opioid receptors (µ-receptors).
• Immunomodulatory: Study of a methanol extract of AC tuber on immunological function in mice exhibited immunomodulatory activity by causing a decrease in charcoal clearance, spleen index and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response.
• Phytochemicals / Anthelmintic: Corms yielded steroids, alkaloids, tannins, glycosides, carbohydrates, phenols, flavonoids, saponins, starch and proteins. Results showed the corm chloroform and methanol extracts and crude tannins showed good anthelmintic activity close to the standard drug albendazole.
• CNS Depressant Activity / Tuber: Study showed a dose-dependent decrease in CNS activity with sedation and decrease in locomotor activity of the experimenting animal.
• Antioxidant: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of a methanolic and aqueous extract of tubers for free radical scavenging property on DPPH, NO, and reducing power assays. Results showed the aqueous extract with more antioxidant activity compared to the methanolic extract.
• Hepatoprotective in Paracetamol-Induced Liver Damage: Study of methanol and aqueous extracts of tubers in paracetamol-induced liver damage in rats showed hepatoprotective activity. There was significant reduction of hepatic enzyme values, almost comparable to silymarin. The hepatoprotective activity was confirmed by histopathologic examination of control and treated animals.
• Cytotoxicity / Anticancer Potential: Study evaluated the cytotoxic property of different solvents of A. paeoniifolius tuber using Allium cepa root tip cells and HEp-2 cell line invitro models. Results exhibited cytotoxic activity, predominant in the petroleum ether and ethanolic extracts with dose-dependent antiproliferative activity on HEp2 cells.
• Antioxidant Against Thioacetamide-Induced Oxidative Stress: Study evaluated the protective effect of extracts against thioacetamide-induced oxidative stress in rats. Silymarin was used as control. Results showed a methanolic extract to have higher antioxidant and radical scavenging activity than an n-hexane extract, attributed to higher phenolic and flavonoid content. There was histopathological support for the dose-dependent effects.
• Anticonvulsant: Study evaluated petroleum ether extracts of A. paeoniifolius for anticonvulsant activity. Diazepam was used as standard drug. Results showed dose-dependent activity regarding onset of convulsion.
• Cytotoxic / Apoptotic / Tubers / Human Colon Carcinoma Cell Line: Study evaluated dose-dependent cytotoxic and apoptosis inducing effects of sub fractions of methanolic extract of tubers on colon cancer cell line, HCT-15. Among the subfractions, the chloroform fraction showed potent cytotoxic and apoptotic activity. Results suggest the fractions dose-dependently suppress proliferation of HCT-15 cells by inducing apoptosis.
• Antioxidant / Protective Against H2)2 Induced Oxidative Damage: Study evaluated tuber extracts against H2O2 induced oxidative damage in human erythrocytes and leucocytes. Results showed benefits of the tuber extracts in preventing H2O2 oxidative human RBC damage and improving RBC membrane permanence. The methanol extract was more effective than others.
• Chemopreventive / Tuber / Induced Colon Carcinogenesis: Study evaluated a tuber methanolic extract on aberrant crypt foci (ACF) formation, colonic cell proliferation, lipid peroxidation damage and antioxidant status in a long term preclinical model of DMH-induced colon carcinogenesis in rats. Results showed significant chemopreventive effect.
• Synergistic Depressant Activity with Diazepam: Study of a petroleum ether extract was found to have CNS depressant activity. A significant synergistic effect of the PE extract with diazepam was found, with little synergistic effect with phenobarbitone. PE extract components may bind with the α subunit and facilitate the GABA mediated Cl- channel opening causing cell hyperpolarization and CNS depressant action.
• Gastro-Protective: Study evaluated the gastroprotective activity of a methanolic extract of corms against pylorus ligation induced gastrotoxicity in albino rats. Results showed significant dose dependent reduction in the elevated gastric parameters with significant restoration of protective GSH levels and suppression of LPO levels in tissues. Lansoprazole was used as standard. The activity may be due to the polyphenolic compounds known to possess anti-ulcer activity.

Capsules, supplements in the cybermarket.