Family • Rubiaceae - Canthium horridum Blume - Zhu du le

Scientific names

Canthium horridum Blume
Canthium hebecladum  Blanco
Canthium parviflorum Bartl.
Canthium pauciflorum Blanco
Plectronia horrida (Blume) Benth & Hook. f.

Common names

Anonot-ti-babui (Pang.)
Barsik (Ilk.)
Dayap-dayap (Bik.)
Kuliak-daga (Tag.)
Mimisam (Ilk.)
Suliak-daga (Tag.)
Zhu du mu (Chin.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) GC-MS Analysis of Essential Oils from the Leaves of Canthium horridum / Chen Guang-ying, Luo Xiao-xue et al / DOI: CNKI:SUN:HBDD.0.2007-05-011

(2) Chemical constituents and antimicrobial activities of Canthium horridum / Yang B, Chen G et al / Nat Prod Commun. 2010 Jun;5(6):913-4.

(3) Study on determination of total polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity of the leaves from Canthium horridum Bl. / SONG Xin-ming, CHEN Guang-ying,YIN Wen-qing,WANG An-wei, ZHANG Yong-qiang, XIE Dong-xia / Science and Technology of Food Industry, 2009-06

Kuliak-daga is a shrub or a small tree growing up to 2 to 5 meters. Branches are somewhat hairy and armed with sharp, slender axillary spines 5 to 10 millimeters in length. Leaves are ovate to elliptic-ovate, 1 to 2.5 centimeters long, short-petioled, and pointed at both ends. Flowers are greenish-yellow or nearly white, about 6 millimeters long, borne singly in the axils of the leaves. Fruit is red, fleshy, ovoid, about 7 millimeters long.


– Found in dry thickets at low altitudes in Pangasinan, Zambales, Bulacan, Rizal, Camarines, and Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon.
– Also occurs in Burma to Malaya.


Parts used
Leaves and bark.

• Phytochemical study showed the roots to predominantly consist of triterpenes, alkaloids, anthraquinones, steroids, organic acid, phenols and carbohydrates.
• Study of essential oils from CH showed the main components to be 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid bis(2-methylpropyl) ester(36.08%),bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate(13.82%),n-hexadecanoic acid(8.32%),(Z,Z,Z)-9,12,15octadecatrien-1-ol(9.61%) among others.

· In Java, confections are made from the acid fruit.
· In the Philippines, boiled leaves and bark used to hasten menstruation.
· In Malaya, plant is used for wounds and fevers.
· In Indo-China, bark and young twigs used for dysentery.
· Decoction also used after childbirth.
• In China, leaves are mashed and used externally for snakebites and plaster from mashed leaves used for foot pains.
• Boiled fruits used to treat foot wounds.

Study Findings
• Anti-Bacterial: Study isolated compounds found for the first time, Carulignan, lupeol, b-sitosterol, among many others. The chloroform fraction showed anti-bacterial activities.
• Phytochemicals / Antibacterial: Study of the chemical composition of the roots of C horridum yielded triterpene, alkaloid, anthraquinone, steroid, organic acid, phenol, carbohydrates among others. The chloroform fraction was shown to have antibacterial properties.
• Constituents / Antimicrobial: Study of CH stems yielded ten compounds: syringaresinol, scoparone, scopoletin, 3′-methoxy-4′-hydroxy-trans-cinnamaldehyde, sinapic aldehyde, syringic acid, mannitol, vanillic acid 4-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, beta-daucosterol and beta-sitosterol. Siringic acid had the highest activity against Bacillus subtilis; syringaresinol showed good activity against E coli, B subtilis and S aureus.
• Phenolics / Antioxidant: Study of leaves showed the polyphenol content of 0.4879%. Results show the leaves had strong antioxidant activity, with an IC50 value of 0.35mg/mL.