Sword leaf dianella

Family • Hemerocallidaceae / Liliaceae - Dianella ensifolia (L.) DC. - UMBRELLA DRACAENA - Shan jian lan

Scientific names

Dianella ensifolia (L.) DC.
Dianella nemerosa Lam.
Dianella robusta Elm.
Dracaena ensifolia Linn.

Common names

Dianella (Engl.)
Cerulean flax-lily (Engl.)
Sword leaf dianella (Engl.)
Umbrella dracaena (Engl.)
New Zealand lilyplant (Engl.)
Shan jian (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Shan jian lan.
INDONESIAN: Jamaka, Jambaka, Labeh-labeh, Menuntil, Suliga, Tegar, Tengar, Rumput siak-siak.
JAPANESE: Kikyo-ran.
MALAYSIAN: Siak-siak, Siak-siak basya, Siak-siak jantan, Senjuang, Benjuang, Lenjuang benar.
THAI: Ya nu ton.
VIETNAMESE: Cay huong lau.

Sword leaf dianella is a perennial with stems 60 to 150 centimeters long. Leaves are linear-lanceolate, 30 to 60 centimeters long, and 2 to 4 centimeters wide. Inflorescence is 30 to 60 centimeters long. Flowers are white greenish or bluish, with the segments 6 to 8 millimeters long, and reflexed. Seeds are ovoid and bluish.

Sword leaf dianella

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Chemical constituents of Dianella ensifolia Redoute / Vitchu Lojanapiwatha, Kovit Chancharoen et al / Jour Sci Soc Thailand 8 (1982)

(2) Dianella ensifolia/ Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(3) Modification of skin discoloration by a topical treatment containing an extract of Dianella ensifolia: a potent antioxidant. / Mammone T, Muizzuddin N, Declercq L, Clio D, Corstjens H, Sente I, Van Rillaer K, Matsui M, Niki Y, Ichihashi M, Giacomoni PU, Yarosh D. / J Cosmet Dermatol. 2010 Jun;9(2):89-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2010.00491.x.

(4) Quantification of a novel natural antioxidant (UP302) in rat plasma using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. / Zhang SQ, Zhu L, Wen N, Yu M, Shen YZ, Jia Q, Li ZG, Li B. / J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2011 Dec 1;879(31):3763-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2011.10.002..

– In light forests at low altitudes in Palawan, Panay, Jolo, Bucas Grande and Mindanao.
– Also occurs in India to the Mascarene Islands, in China, Taiwan, Malaya, in tropical Australia and in Polynesia.

Sword leaf dianella4Sword leaf dianella2

– Benzenoids: Musizin (dianellidin), methyl 2,4-dihydroxt-3,5,6-trimethylbenzoate, methyl 2.4-dihydroxy-3,6-dimethylbenzoate, methyl 2,4-dihydroxy-6-methylbenzoate (methyl orsellinate), 2,4-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-3-methylacetophenone.

– Hard roots have a characteristic smell.
– Vermifuge, vulnerary, tonic.
– Studies suggest antioxidant, antiinflammatory properties.

Parts used
Rhizomes, roots, leaves.

Sword leaf dianella5Sword leaf dianella3

– Poultices of roots applied to the abdomen as vermifuge.
– Used for dysentery.
– Roots used as postpartum tonic. Also used for leucorrhea and dysuria.
– Ashes of roots and leaves are ingredients in an ointment for herpes.
– Leaves used for poulticing wounds.
– In southern Thailand, roots used for kidney diseases. Preparations from whole plant used to relieve paralysis.
– In Indonesia, roots are used for deworming.
– Dry powdered rhizomes blended with vinegar applied locally for furunculosis and abscesses, lymphangitis, tuberculous lymphadenitis, tinea and traumatic injuries.

– Skin pigmentation: An ingredient in skin cream preparations as antioxidant and to reduce hyperpigmentation. Also used in skin whitening preparations.

– Poison: Reported use of roots as rat poison.
– Fumigant: Roots used for fumigation.

Study Findings
• Chemical Constituents / Roots: Study yielded musizin (dianellidin), methyl 2,4-dihydroxt-3,5,6-trimethylbenzoate, methyl 2.4-dihydroxy-3,6-dimethylbenzoate, methyl 2,4-dihydroxy-6-methylbenzoate (methyl orsellinate), 2,4-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-3-methylacetophenone.
• Antioxidant / Skin Discoloration Modification: Skin pigmentation has been linked to free radicals, and free radical scavengers and antioxidants can slow pigmentation. D. ensifolia extracts yielded 1-(2,4-dihydrophenyl)-3-(2,4-dimethoxy-3-methylphenyl) propane (DP), which was found to inhibited free radicals DPPH. Cosmetic formula containing DP produced an increase rate of pigmentation fading compared to two pharmaceuticals containing 4% hydroquinone (HQ).
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antibacterial: Study has shown anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities.
• UP302 / Natural Antioxidant: Study isolated novel natural antioxidant, UP302, from Dianella ensifolia.
• Tyrosinase Inhibitor / UP302a and UP302b: Study reported a large-scale isolation from the whole plant of 1-(3-Methyl-2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-3-(2′,4′-dihydroxyphenyl)-propane (UP302a) and 1-(3-methyl-2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-3-(2′,5′-dihydroxyphenyl)-propane (UP302a) from the whole plant. UP302a showed more with potent tyrosinase inhibition at 57%.

Ingredient in ski care products for acne, skin lightening.