Aristolochia tagala (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

1, flowering stem; 2, fruiting stem; 3, dehisced fruit (Achmad Satiri Nurhaman)

Aristolochia tagala Cham.

Protologue: Linnaea 7: 207, t. 5, f. 3 (1832).


  • Aristolochia roxburghiana Klotzsch (1859),
  • Aristolochia megalophylla K. Schumann (1889),
  • Aristolochia mindanaensis Warb. (1905).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: kalayar (Sundanese), puyan (Javanese), kunit (Sulawesi)
  • Malaysia: akar ketola hutan, akar petola hutan (Peninsular)
  • Philippines: timbangan (Tagalog), goan-goan (Bisaya), nagerus (Iloko)
  • Thailand: krachao pheemot, krachao mot (central)
  • Vietnam: phòng kỷ, dây khố rách.


From India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, through Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China (Cambodia, Vietnam), China and Thailand, to the whole of Malesia, the Solomon Islands and Australia (Queensland).


Powdered roots are used as a tonic, carminative and emmenagogue, and to treat infantile tympanites in the Philippines. In Malaysia, pounded leaves are applied to the head to treat fever. In Papua New Guinea, leaves are rubbed over a patient's head and subsequently mixed with water and given to the patient to drink. In the Moluccas, leaves ground with Curcuma are warmed and applied externally to treat swollen limbs, colics and skin diseases.


  • A climber up to 20 m long, with terete, slightly furrowed branches up to 5 mm in diameter.
  • Leaves usually ovate to ovate-oblong, 6-20(-27) cm × 4-10(-16) cm, cordate at base with rounded auricles, sparsely short-haired to subglabrous beneath, with 2 pairs of basal veins, 3-5 pairs of secondary veins and loosely reticulate or crossbar-like tertiary veins.
  • Flowers in a racemose or paniculate inflorescence, perianth 1-lipped, with faint venation, pale yellowish or greenish to purplish or dark reddish-brown.
  • Fruit subglobose, slightly pyriform or oblong, up to 4 cm long.
  • Seeds winged.

A. tagala occurs in forest and thickets, usually up to 800 m altitude, but in Thailand up to 1050 m and in New Guinea up to 1350 m.

Selected sources

  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A-H) pp. 1-1240. Vol. 2 (I- Z) pp. 1241-2444.
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1985. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products. Revised Edition. Vol. 1. Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi, India. 513 pp.
  • Dixit, O.P. & Saxena, R.C., 1990. Insecticidal action of Premna integrifolia against Callosobruchus chinensis (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). Pesticides 24(1): 29-31.
  • Doan Thi Nhu, Do Huy Bich, Pham Kim Man, Nguyen Thuong Thuc, Bui Xuan Chuong & Pham Duy Mai (Editors), 1993. Les plantes médicinales au Vietnam. Livre 2. Médicine traditionelle et pharmacopée [The medicinal plants of Vietnam. Volume 2. Traditional medicine and pharmacopoeia]. Agence de coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 189 pp.
  • Heyne, K., 1950. De nuttige planten van Indonesië [The useful plants of Indonesia]. 3rd Edition. 2 volumes. W. van Hoeve, 's Gravenhage, the Netherlands/Bandung, Indonesia. 1660 + CCXLI pp.
  • Holdsworth, D.K., 1977. Medicinal plants of Papua New Guinea. Technical Paper No 175. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 123 pp.
  • Perry, L.M., 1980. Medicinal plants of East and Southeast Asia. Attributed properties and uses. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States & London, United Kingdom. 620 pp.
  • Phuphathanaphong, L., 1987. Aristolochiaceae. In: Smitinand, T. & Larsen, K. (Editors): Flora of Thailand. Vol. 5, Part 1. The Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand. pp. 1-31.
  • Quisumbing, E., 1978. Medicinal plants of the Philippines. Katha Publishing Co., Quezon City, the Philippines. 1262 pp.

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  • R. Kiew