Family • Verbenaceae / Lamiaceae - Gmelina elliptica Sm. - RAIS MADRE DE DIOS

Scientific names

Gmelina asiatica Linn.
Gmelina villosa Roxb.
Gmelina elliptica Sm.

Common names

Bañgana (Bag.)
Bohol (C. Bis.)
Bulbuol (P. Bis.)
Danhañgas (Mag.)
Gimelina (Tag.)
Kaluñgun (P. Bis.)
Puhang (Sul.)
Saonad (Sub.)
Talauan (P. Bis.)
Taluñgud (Sul.)
Taluñgun (Sul.)
Tantuñgun (P. Bis.)
Tuluñgun (P. Bis.)
Tuñgolnol (P. Bis.)
Rais madre de Dios (Span.)

Talungud is a thorny, scrumbling shrub or small tree, growing up to 8 meters. The leaves are elliptic or ovate, 4 to 8 cm long, 2 to 6 cm wide, blunt or slightly pointed at both ends, with minute green glands at the base, entire or coarsely toothed margins. Flowers are about 3.5 cm long, yellow, borne in terminal racemes up to 7 cm long with rather large bracts. The fruit is nearly round, less than 2 cm in width, and yellow when ripe, with a watery flesh.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Traditional Remedies for Women’s and Children’s Health Issues on Flores Island / Herbal Remedies for the First, Second and Third Trimesters of Pregnancy and Labor / J M Pfeiffer et al / Published on Proceedings of International Conference on Traditional Medicine and Medicinal Plants, 2007

(2) Chemical Investigation of Aerial Parts of Gmelina asiatica Linn by GC-MS / N J Merlin, V Parthasarathy et al / Pharmacognosy Research, 2009, Vol 1, No 3, Pp 152-156.

(3) Evaluation of antimicrobial activity of Cleome viscosa and Gmelina asiatica / Sudhakar M, Rao ChV et al / Fitoterapia. 2006 Jan;77(1):47-9. Epub 2005 Dec 1.

(4) Antiproliferative activity and induction of apoptosis in estrogen receptor-positive and negative human breast carcinoma cell lines by Gmelina asiatica roots / Madhu Katyayani Balijepalli, Satyanarayana Tandra, Pichika Mallikarjuna Rao / Phcog Res 2010;2:113-9 / doi:10.4103/0974-8490.62949

In thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes.

Study of aerial parts yielded 22 compounds from a chloroform extract, its prevailiing compound, 1,2- benzenedicarboxylic acid, diisoctyl ester (31.22%); and 12 compounds from an ethanolic extract, its major constituent, monolinoleoylglycerol trimethylsilyl ether (38.51%).

Bark and roots are demulcent and alterative.
Leaves are cathartic.

Talungud4Parts used and preparation
Leaves, fruit.


Poultices for headaches; mixed with lime, poulticed for swellings.
Leaves are cathartic.
Roasted fruit applied to foot itching caused by stagnant waters.
Infusion from fruit used as eye lotion.
Juice from the fruit or leaves used for otalgia.
Boiled leaves used for inflammed gums.
In Thailand, the bark of Uvaria spp. and Gmelina elliptica is used to treat nausea and vomitiing during pregnancy.

Study Findings
• Hypoglycemic / Anti-Diabetic: Study of the alcoholic extract of root of Gmelina asiatica showed significant dose-dependent blood glucose reduction in normal and diabetic rats. The effect was compared with the drug tolbutamide.
• Antiinflammatory: Study of the root powder in male albino rats showed the crude drug may exert anti-inflammatory activity by anti-proliferative, anti-oxidative and lysosomal membrane stabilisation.
• Antipyretic: Study showed the hexane and chloroform extract of G asiatica roots showed significant antipyretic activity with no toxic activity.
• Antimicrobial: The ethanolic extract of roots of G asiatica exhibited a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity, particularly against E coli, P vulgaris and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
• Antiproliferative / Anti-Breast Cancer: Study results suggest the efficacy of G. asiatic roots as antiproliferative agents on human breast cancer cells, supporting the hypothesis that plants containing lignans have beneficial effects on human breast cancer.