Anaxagorea javanica Bl

[Anaxagoras = Greek philosopher; Latin javanica = from Java]

Physical description: It is a treelet of the lowland rainforest of Malaysia, Borneo and Java. The bark is slightly fissured and yellowish. Leaves: simple, alternate and exstipulate. The petiole is 5 mm-1 cm long, transversally fissured and channeled above. The blade is leathery, 7cm-18cm x 4cm-6cm, and oblong-lanceolate. The apex of the blade is acute or slightly acuminate and the base is tapering. The margin is slightly recurved and wavy. The blade shows 6-10 pairs of secondary nerves.

Synonymy: Anaxagorea scortechinii King.

Common name: Champoon (Thai).

Fig. 3. Anaxagorea javanica Bl.

The flowers are fragrant, grouped by 1-4, terminal and opposite the leaves. The calyx comprises of 2-3 sepals which are valvate. The corolla consists of 6 petals which are valvate and arranged in 2 distinct whorls. The outer petals are elliptic with a broad base, greenish outside and white inside. The inner petals are white with narrow claw and rhomboid blade. The gynecium consists of 8-9 angled distinct carpels. The stigmas are conical with U-shaped opening at the apex. The fruits are bunches of 4-8, light-green, club-shaped, succulent and dehiscent 5 cm long ripe carpels radiating from the thalamus. Each carpel contains a pair of glossy and pure black, tear-shaped, and 5 mm long seeds (Fig. 3).

Use: A decoction of the root of Anaxagorea javanica Bl. is drunk by Malays to aid recovery from childbirth.

Pharmaceutical interest: Bioassay-guided fractionation of a methanolic extract of heartwood of Anaxagorea luzonensis resulted in the isolation of a nonsteroidal phytoestrogens: 8-isopentenylnaringenin (Kitaoka M etal., 1998). 8-Isopentenylnaringenin injected into ovariectomized rats (30 mg/Kg/day) completely suppresses bone and uterine changes as effectively as 17-p-estradiol (Masaaki M et a/., 1998). The pharmacological potential of Anaxagorea javanica Bl. is unknown.

8 Isopentenylnaringenin


8 Isopentenylnaringenin

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