Family • Lauraceae - Litsea glutinosa (Lour.) C. B. Rob. - INDIAN LAUREL - Chan gao mu jiang zi

Scientific names

Sebifera glutinosa Lour.
Tetranthera laurifolia Jacq.
Litsea chinensis Lam.
Litsea littoralis F.-Vill.
Teranthera littoralis  Blume
Sebifera balongai  Blanco
Litsea tersa  Merr.
Litsea sebifera Pers.
Litsea glutinosa (Lour.) C. B. Rob.

Other vernacular names

FRENCH: avocat marron, bois d’oiseau
HINDI: Maidalakdi, Ranamba, Maida lakadee.
SANSKRIT: Medasaka.
TAMIL: Muchaippeyetti, Uralli, Elumburukki.
TELUGU: Kanugu nalike, Meda, Nara-nalike.

Common names

Balanganan (P. Bis.) Porikit (Tag.)
Balongai (Tag.) Pungo (Tagb.)
Batikuling (Tag.) Puso-puso (Ibn., Tag., Pamp., P. Bis.)
Butus (Tag.) Sab-lot (Ibn., Ilk.)
Dalauen-negro (Ibn.) Sapuan (Ig.)
Dungul (Ibn.) Siblot (Ibn.)
Ingas (Tag.) Tagutugan (Bik.)
Lauat (Bik.) Tayapok (Mbo.)
Lormangog (P. Bis.) Tilam (TYag.)
Mapipi (Bik.) Tubhus (Iv.)
Marang (Tag.) Indian laurel (Engl.)
Olos-olos (Pang.) Pond spice (Engl.)
Parasablut (Ilk.) Chan gao mu jiang zi (Chin.)

Puso-puso is a small tree reaching a height of 10 to 15 meters. Younger parts are usually more or less softly hairy. Leaves are elliptical to oblong-elliptical, 9 to 20 centimeters long, broadly pointed at the base and tapering to a fine, pointed tip. Flowers are small and yellowish, crowded in umbels in the axis of the upper leaves. Fruits are rounded, about 8 millimeters in diameter.


– In secondary forests at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
– Also occurs in India to southern China, through Malaya to tropical Australia.


• Seeds contain a slightly aromatic, tallowlike oil (49%); 85% of which is laurostearin; the rest, olein.
• Study yielded volatile oil constituents from the leaf and fruit, 83 and 33, respectively. The major constituent from the leaf was phytol (22.42%), caryophyllene (21.48%), thujopsene (12.17%) and B-myrcene (5%); from the oil, lauric acid (44.84%), 3-octen-5-yne, 2,7-dimethyl (28.72%), α-cubebene (6.84%) and caryophyllene (5.04%). Phytol, the main component of the leaf is totally absent from the fruit; and lauric acid, found in the fruit oil, is absent from the leaf oil.
• Study isolated a water-soluble arabinoxylan (d-xylose and l-arabinose) from the mucilaginous bark.
• Study extracted mucilage polysaccharides from the leaves, 12.0%.
• Study yielded a new abscisic derivative, litseaglutinan A and a new arylnaphthalene-type lignan, together with nine known lignans.
• Study of butanol extract of leaves and twigs yielded two new aporphine alkaloids, namely litseglutine A and B, along with two known aporphine alkaloids, boldine and laurolitsine.
• Study of methanol extract from the heartwood yielded four new butenolides, (3R,4S,5S)-2-hexadecyl-3-hydroxy-4-methylbutanolide, litsealactone C, and litsealactone D, litsealactone G, and a new benzoic acid derivative named eusmoside C.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) AROMATIC PLANTS OF BANGLADESH : ESSENTIAL OILS OF LEAVES AND FRUITS OF LITSEA GLUTINOSA (LOUR.) C.B. ROBINSON / Jasim Uddin Chowdhury, MD et al / Bangladesh J. Bot. 37(1): 81-83, 2008 (June)

(2) Free Radical Scavenging Activity Screening of Medicinal Plants from Tripura, Northeast India / Rajendra Kshirsagar and Shakti Upadhyay / Natural Product Radiance • Vol 8 (2), 2009, pp 117-122

(3) Two New Aporphine Alkaloids from Litsea glutinosa / Jing-Hua Yang et al / Helvetica Chimica Acta •
Volume 88 Issue 9, Pages 2523 – 2526 / DOI 10.1002/hlca.200590188

(4) Study of antioxdant, antiinflammatory and wound healing activity of extracts of Litsea glutinosa / P Devi, R Meera / P.Devi et al, /J. Pharm. Sci. & Res. Vol.2(2), 2010, 155-163

(5) Larvicidal Activity of Some Indigenous Plants Against Brine Shrimp and Iv Instar Larvae of Culex Quinquefasciatis / Sunita Bhatnagar / Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Division, Regional Plant Resource Centre, Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar- 751 015.

(6) Ethnomedicinal practices of Kol tribes in Similipal Biosphere Reserve, Orissa, India / S D Rout and H N Thatoi / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 379-87. 2009.

(7) Structural studies of an arabinoxylan isolated from Litsea glutinosa (Lauraceae) / HMTB Herath, N Savitri Kumar and KM Swarna Wimalasiri / Carbohydrate Research, Volume 198, Issue 2, 1 May 1990, Pages 343-351 / doi:10.1016/0008-6215(90)84304-D

(8) EVALUATION OF ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF LITSEA GLUTINOSA / Poornima V Hosamath / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Applications ISSN 0976-2639., Vol 2, Issue 1, 2011, pp 105-114

(9) In Vitro Glucose Entrapment and Alpha- Glucosidase Inhibition of Mucilaginous Substances from Selected Thai Medicinal Plants / Chanida PALANUVEJ, Sanya HOKPUTSA et al / Sci Pharm. 2009; 77; 837–849.

(10) Litseaglutinan A and Lignans from Litsea glutinosa / Jian-Yu Pan, Si Zhang, Jun Wu et al / Helvetica Chimica Acta, Vol 93, Issue 5, pages 951–957, May 2010 / DOI: 10.1002/hlca.200900328

(11) Sablot (Litsea glutinosa) Lour. Rob.: Bringing it Back to the Landscape / Alfredo R. Rabena / Philiippine Association of Institutions for Research, Inc., Vol 1 No 1, 2007

(12) Butanolides from Methanolic Extract of Litsea glutinosa / Nisha Agrawal, Deepika Pareek, Sonal Dobhal, Mahesh C. Sharma, Yogesh C. Joshi, Mahabeer P. Dobhal / Chemistry & Biodiversity, Volume 10, Issue 3, pages 394–400, March 2013 / DOI: 10.1002/cbdv.201100300


(14) In vitro antioxidant and antinociceptive potentialities of methanolic extract of Litsea glutinosa / NN Rumzhum, MM Rahman, AA Sharukh, SA Chowdhury, MN Pervin / Bangladesh Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research > Vol 47, No 4 (2012)

(15) Indian Laurel / Common names / Flowers of India

(16) Medicinal Properties of Litsea glutinosa Lour. and L. monopetala Pers. / B. Rath / e-planet 2 (2):94-95, Dec 2004


(18) Evaluation of binding property of mucilage from Litsea glutinosa wall / Sunil K. Mishra, A. Kumar, and A. Talukdar / Pharmacognosy Research, 2010 Sept-Oct; 2(5): 289-292


• Leaves are mucilaginous and considered antispasmodic, emollient and wound healing.
• Roots considered emmenagogue.

Parts used 
Roots, bark, leaves, seeds


– In Jolo, decoction of roots used as emmenagogue.
– In the Visayas, poultice of roots and leaves used for sprains and bruises.
– Decoction of bark used for intestinal catarrh.
– In Singapore, seeds are pounded and applied to boils.
– Poultice of freshly grounded bark used for wounds and bruises.
– In the Dutch Indies, leaves used as poultices.
– In Bangladesh, leaves are used for diarrhea and dysentery, for excessive semen flow in young boys, poultices for wounds and bruises. Also, used for insomnia and neurosis. Oil from berries used for rheumatism.
• Bark used to relieve pain, arouse sexual power. Also used as astringent. Mashed fresh bark applied to wounds and bruises; or, dried bark is powdered and made into a paste. Paste also applied as plaster on broken limbs. Leaves used as emmenagogue. Roots used in rheumatism.
Bark used for diarrhea, dysentery, rheumatic gouty joints, sprains and bruises.
• In India the bark is used as demulcent and as mild astringent in diarrhea and dysentery. Also, the paste of bark applied to wounds to facilitate wound healing.
• In Mauritius, in a concoction for intestinal parasitism, 3 leaves of LG is combined with 3 leaves of Psidium guajava and 6 pieces of Phymatodes scolopendria rhizomes. For dysentery, the combination of P scolkopendria and L glutinosa. source
• In India, leaves are used for nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Decoction of bark applied to sores, scabies and to aches and pains. Juice of crushed leaves applied to sore eyes. Bark preparations also used for pain and arousing sexual capability.
• Leaves and mucilage from the bark used in gum for poultices.
• In Western Ghats, aromatic oil from seeds used for treatment of rheumatic pain.

– Soap Making: Seed oil used by the Chinese in making of white soap.
– Wood: Used for light construction; firewood and charcoal.

Study Findings
• Antibacterial: In a study of the antibacterial activity of some Indian medicinal plants, LG showed highest activity against S aureus and lowest with P aeruginosa.
• Hypotensive: Study showed the essential oil to reduce blood pressure when given intravenously to rats. Effect was attributed to ligustilide, a main component.
• Antioxidant: In a study of ethyl acetate and methanol leaf extracts showed antioxidant activity.
• Phytochemicals: Study of extract of leaves and twigs yielded two new aporphine alkaloids: litseglutine A and B, with two known aporphine alkaloids, boldine and laurolitsine.
• Antioxidant / Wound Healing / Anti-Inflammatory: Phytochemical screening yielded flavone glycosides, reducing sugars, aminoacids and tannins. Results showed the extracts have significant antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and wound healing activity and supports the traditional use of the plant for some painful and inflammatory conditions.
• Larvicidal / Mosquito Control: In a study, Litsea glutinosa delayed the molting of larvae into pupae resulting in the abnormal development of mosquitoes at later stage The results suggest a significant potential in vector control.
• Antimicrobial / Phytochemicals: Various dried extracts yielded alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, and phenolic acids. The bark extracts showed antibacterial and antifungal activities against Staph aureus, P aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, E coli, A fumigatus and C albicans.
• Leaf Oil Composition: Steam distilled fresh leaves produced an oil in 0.15% yield. The essential oil yielded 78 compounds, 95.18% were terpenoids. The major components were (E)-b-ocimene, b-caryophyllene, and bicyclogermacrene.
• Glutin / Flavon Glycoside: Study yielded a new 2′-oxygenated flavone glycoside, glutin, along with four known compounds.
• Analgesic: Study of an ethanol extract of the bark of L. glutinosa showed a significant increase in pain threshold.
• Antinociceptive: A leaf extract was evaluated for antinociceptive activity by abdominal writhing and tail flick methods using mice. Results showed dose-dependent inhibition of nociception induced ay acetic acid. Tail flick method showed significant results compared to acetyl salicylic acid.
• Antioxidant / Antinociceptive: A methanolic leaf extract study in Swiss albino mice exhibited pronounced antioxidant property compared to ascorbic acid as standard and dose-dependent analgesic effect.
• Antibacterial / Stem Bark and Leaf: Various extracts of stem bark and leaf were screened for antibacterial activity. The ethanol extract exhibited significant antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus indicating a potentially potent drug for treatment of diarrhea and dysentery. Potent activity against K. pneumoniae suggests a suitable drug for respiratory disorders.
• Leaf and Fruit Oils: α-pinene, β-pinene, sabinene, camphene, limonene , (E)-ocimene, eugenol , n- hexadecanoic acid, oleic acid were observed as the nine versatile common compounds present in both the oils. Study suggests L. glutinosa may be utilized as a source for isolation of natural phytol and lauric acid.
• Antibacterial / Leaves and Bark: Both ethanolic and water soluble extracts of leaves and bark showed activity against E. coli, E. intermedium, Salmonella sp., S. aureus and S. epidermis. Bark yielded stigmasterol and -sitosterol.
• Binding Property of Mucilage: Study showed concentration ranging from 6% to 8% of L. glutinosa mucilage may be considered a better option as a blinding agent for tablets compared to 10% starch.