Family • Menispermaceae - Stephania sasakii Hyata. - Tai wan qian jin teng

Scientific names

Stephania sasakii Hyata ex Yam
Stephania merrillii Diels.

Common names

Tai wan qian jin teng (Chin.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Stephania merrillii Diels / The Plant List

(2) The alkaloids of Stephania sasakii: Structure of five new alkaloids / Jun-ichi Kunitomo, Yoshiko Murakami, Megumi Oshikata et al / Phytochemistry, Vol 19, No 12, 1980, Pp 2735-2739 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)83953-9

(3) Constitution of three new alkaloids, aknadinine (4-demethylhasubanonine), aknadicine (4-demethylnorhasubanonine), and aknadilactam (4-demethyl-16-oxohasubanonine) / B. K. Moza, B. Bhaburi and D. K. Basu / Tetrahedron, Vol 26, No 2, 1970, Pages 427-433 / doi:10.1016/S0040-4020(01)97839-1



Stephania sasakii is a vigorous, woody vine. Branches are about 1 centimeter in diameter, with 10 ridges. Smooth leaves are broadly ovate or somewhat rounded, 9 to 12 centimeters long, 8.5 to 11 centimeters wide; the apex short, mucronate, and pointed, the base rounded and peltate, on petioles as long as the leaves; the margins entire and minutely revolute. Fruiting branches are peduncle3d, 8 to 12 centimeters long, and borne in the axils of the leaves. Fruit is obovate, about 1.2 centimeters long, and 1 centimeter wide, and 4 millimeters thick.

Additional taxon info
Stephania sasakii was originally reported from Kotosho Island, southeast of Taiwan. A specimen of Stephania collected on Batan Islands, Batanes was identified as S. sasakii. It is considered to differ from its common allied species Stephania merrillii in size of the leaves, which are broader and rounder, but also in its larger fruit, and other floral characteristics of the sepals and petals.

– Originally identified in Taiwan.
– Also reported in Batan Islands, Batanes.

– Species of Stephania are of interest chemically and therapeutically.
– Stephania cepharantha Hayata in Takao, Taiwan, yielded an alkaloid, cepharantin, which was studied and used in Japan as a cure for tuberculosis.
– Studies have reported the presence of cepharantin in S. sasakii in Taiwan.
– There are no studies that confirm its presence in Philippine species of Stephania in Luzon: S. Merrillii, S. ramosii, and S. catosepala. None of these three species have the stout and tuberous roots of S. cepharantha, but the stems may contain the alkaloid, cepharantin, isolated from S. sasakii.

No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
In Japan, cepharantin alkaloid has been studies and used in the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis.

Study Findings
• Akaloids: 1980 study isolated five new alkaloids, dehydrocrebanine, 4,5-dioxodehydrocrebanine, stesakine, dehydrostesakine, bisaknadinine and four known alkaloids, lirodenine, lanuginosine, 1-tetrahydropalmatine, d-isocorydine with a few alkaloids of unknown structure.