Brucea javanica (L.) Merr. - syn.Brucea amarissima (Lour.) Desv. ex Gomes; Rhus javanica L. - Simaroubaceae
Java brucea, kosam seed, Macassar kernels
Evergreen shrub or small tree, up to 3m high, native to Southeast Asia (India to Papua New Guinea) and northern Australia; leaves imparipinnate, leaflets 5-11, oval-lanceolate, serrate, densely pubescent, especially the underside; flowers minute, purple, in numerous small cymes or clusters collected into axillary panicles; fruit ovoid, black when ripe; seeds yellow-white, ovoid, thinly membranous, with copious oil, terribly bitter.
The kernels are used internally to treat amoebic dysentery and haemorrhoids, externally for warts and corns (not suitable for pregnant woman and young children).
[Medicinal plants in China: a selection of 150 commonly used species., World Health Organization., 1989, 58-59]
„A microdilution technique for the assessment of in vitro activity against Entamoeba histolytica was devised and validated with metronidazole. The test was used to detect the antiamoebic activities of plant extracts prepared from the traditional remedies Brucea javanica fruits and Simarouba amara stems. The activity was associated with quassinoid-containing fractions. The 50% inhibitory concentrations for some quassinoids against amoebae were determined by using the microdilution method. These concentrations ranged from 0.019 micrograms.ml-1 for bruceantin, the most active quassinoid, to greater than 5 micrograms.ml-1 for glaucarubol, the least active compound tested.“
[Use of microdilution to assess in vitro antiamoebic activities of Brucea javanica fruits, Simarouba amara stem, and a number of quassinoids., Wright, C.W., O'Neill, M.J., Phillipson, J.D., Warhurst, D.C., Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, Vol.32(11), 1988, 1725-1729]
„Brucea javanica has demonstrated a variety of antitumoral, antimalarial, and anti- inflammatory properties. As a Chinese herbal medicine, Brucea javanica is mainly used in the treatment of lung and gastrointestinal cancers. Pharmacological research has identified the main antitumor components are tetracyclic triterpene quassinoids… Traditionally, Brucea javanica has been used to treat amebic dysentery… Clinical research indicates that infusion of Brucea javanica can be used to treat vulvar condylomata, with numerous advantages, including a rapid onset of action, convenience, low toxicity, and minimal irritation of the mucosal skin. “
[Chemical components, pharmacological properties, and nanoparticulate delivery systems of Brucea javanica., Chen, M., Chen, R., Wang, S., Tan, W., Hu, Y., Peng, X., Wang, Y., International journal of nanomedicine, Vol.8, 2013, 85]
Flora Malesiana, vol.6(2), p.210, fig.12 a-d (1962) [R.van Crevel]