Family • Sterculiaceae - Kleinhovia hospita Linn. - GUEST TREE - Zhe gu ma

Scientific name

Kleinhovia serrata Blanco
Grewia meyeniana Walp.
Kleinhovia hospita Linn.

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Ke lan shu, Man tou guo, Mian tou rou.
HINDI: Bhola.
INDONESIAN: Katimaha, Katimanga, Tangkele.
MALAYSIA: Temahai.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Mato kea, Metakek, Matakara, Maroai..
THAI: Chmphu-phuang, Hatsakhun-thet, Po-farang.
VIETNAMESE: Tra d[or], C[aa]y tr[af].

Common names

Apung-apung (Sul.)
Balansi (Mang.)
Bantana (P. Bis.)
Bignon (Ilk.)
Bikong (Ilk.)
Biluan (P. Bis.)
Binong (Ilk.)
Bitanag (C. Bis., Mbo.)
Bitnong (Ilk.)
Hamitanago (Bik.)
Lapnis (C. Bis.)
Marakapas (Ilk.)
Pampas (Ilk.)
Panampat (Pamp.)
Taag (Tag.)
Tagnag (Chab.)
Tamanag (Bag., Mag.)
Tan-ag (Tag., Bik., S. L. Bis.)
Tanak (Tag.)
Tañgag (Tag.)
Toloktok (Ilk.)
Unapong (Sul.)
Guest tree (Engl.)
Zhe gu ma (Chin.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Cycloartane Triterpenoids from Kleinhovia hospita / Li-She Gan et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2009, 72 (6), pp 1102–1105 • DOI: 10.1021/np900029z

(2) Antioxidant Activity and Cytotoxicity of the Traditional Indonesian Medicine Tahongai (Kleinhovia hospita L.) Extract / Arung E T et al / Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 12/24/09

(3) Kleinhospitines A-D, new cycloartane triterpenoid alkaloids from Kleinhovia hospita. / Zhou CX, Zou L, Gan LS, Cao YL. / Org Lett. 2013 Jun 7;15(11):2734-7. doi: 10.1021/ol401066j. Epub 2013 May 24.

(4) Kleinhovia hospita / Vernacular names and Uses / Proseanet

Tan-ag is a tree growing 8 to 15 meters high. Leaves are alternate, broadly ovate, 10 to 20 centimeters long, with pointed tip and heart-shaped base, with petioles 5 to 20 centimeters long. Flowers are pink, about 8 millimeters long, borne on panicles 20 to 40 centimeters long, terminating the branches. Fruit is a thin-walled, inflated capsule about 2 centimeters long.


– Common in thickets, secondary forests, and deserted clearings at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
– Also occurs in India to tropical Africa and to Malaya.

– Yields triterpenes (beta-amyrin, bauerenol, baurenol acetate, betulin, lupeol acetate), fatty acids, flavonol (kaempferol, nicotiflorin, quercetin, rutin, vitexin), coumarin (scopoletin), steroid (beta-sitosterol).
– Leaves and bark contain cyanogenic compounds that provide lice-killing properties.
– Extracts of leaves have shown antitumour activity against mice-sarcoma.
– Scopoletin, kaempferol and quercetin have been isolated from the leaves.

– Lice-killing.
– Considered anti-tumor, antibacterial (weak), chronotropic, histaminergic, spasmolytic.

Parts utilized
Bark and leaves.

Edibility / Nutritional
– Young leaves and sprouts eaten as vegetable.

– Decoction of leaves used for scabies and itching and all forms of dermatitis.
– Used for psoriasis.
– Bark and leaves used in Malaya as hairwash to destroy lice.
– In eastern Malaysia juice of leaves used as eyewash.
– In Malaya, Indonesia and Papua, New Guinea, used to treat scabies.
– In Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, a preparation from the cambium used to treat pneumonia. Leaves used as hair-wash to get rid of lice.
– Bark is scraped, mixed with water, filtered and drunk to relieve coughs and tuberculosis.
– Crushed leaf rubbed on skin diseases and rubbed on the forehead to relieve headaches.
– Juice from young leaves, mixed in water, drunk to treat bee stings.

– Fiber: Bast fibers used for tying or rope making used for tethering livestock. The rope is durable during rainy weather.
– Fuelwood.
– Poison: In Marinduque, bark is reportedly used to poison eels.
– Repellent: Leaves are used as rice field insects repellent.
– Ornamental: Ornamental use for its pink-colored panicles.

Study Findings
• Cycloartane Triterpenoids / Hepatoprotective: Study isolated four new cycloartane triterpenoids with known gardenolic acid from K hospita. The compounds showed promising hepatoprotective effects on nitrofuratoin-induced cytotoxicity in human liver-derived Hep G2 cells.
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity: Study of leaf extracts of K hospita showed potent antioxidant activity (96% compared to vitamin C, 98 %) and moderate dose-dependent cytotoxicity on HepG2 liver cancer cells.
• Kleinhospitines / Triterpenoid Alkaloids / Hepatoprotective: Study isolated Kleinhospitines A-D, four unprecedented cycloartane triterpenoid alkaloids isolated as two mixtures of C-23 epimers. The two mixtures showed hepatoprotective activity against H2O2-induced oxidative dames on primary cultured rat hepatocytes.