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Litsea glutinosa (Lour.) C. B. Robinson

Synonyms:
Litsea laurifolia (Jacq.) F. M. Bailey
Sebifera glutinosa Lour.
Tetranthera laurifolia Jacq.
Litsea chinensis Lamb.
Litsea sebifera Pers.

Group: Dicot
Family: Lauraceae - Laurel family
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Tree

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Kukurchita, Rattan, Garur, Karjiuki, Phulgach, Kugach, Maida lakri, Khuz Barela, Meda, Menda (Chittagong), Kharajora (Mymensingh), Phuhuri (Noakhali), Khagar (Dinajpur), Baslap, Menda (Rema-Kalenga), Paja

Tribal Name: Moner moton gaas, Sukujja gaas (Chakma), Kom gaas (Tanchangya), Paja (Santal)

English Name: Common Tallow Laurel.

Description of the Plant:

A moderate sized tree. Leaves simple, elliptic-ovate, acute. Flowers pale yellow, in axillary pedunculate umbels.

Chemical Constituents:

Leaves and bark are rich in mucilage and contain an alkaloid, laurotetanine, which causes titanic spasm in animals. Leaves also contain amino acids, cystine, glycine, L-alanine, ß-alanine, valine, tyrosine, proline, phenylalanine and leucine. A new flavonoid - naringerin along with naringin, kaempferol-3- and 7-glucosides, quercetin and its 3-rhamnoside, pelargonidin-3-and 5-glucosides have also been isolated from leaves. Seeds yield fatty oil which is a rich source of lauric acid.

The essential oil of the fruits contains more than 40 compounds of which ß-ocimene occurs in high proportion. Other predominant ones include caryophyllene oxide and ß-caryophyllene. Two new alkaloids - sebiferine and litseferine have been isolated from trunk bark. Actinodaphnine, their N-methyl derivatives, boldine and norboldine have also been isolated from this plant (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

Mode of Uses:

  • A paste of the leaves is used to treat fungal/bacterial infections and also fractures; the thin bark is applied to cuts and wounds (Chakma).
  • A paste of the leaves is warmed and applied to the whole body for the treatment of hysteria (Tanchangya).
  • The mucilaginous bark is largely employed as a demulcent and mild astrigent in diarrhoea and dysentery.

Distribution:

Forests of Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Cox's Bazar, Sylhet, Gazipur, Madhupur and Dinajpur.

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