Herbs & Plants

Headache tree

Botanical Name:Premna integrifolia Blanco
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Premna
Species: P. serratifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Other scientific names:Premna nauseosa Blanco,Premna latifolia Roxb.  ,Premna leucostoma Naves ,Premna mucronata Schaue,Premna timoriana Hallier ,Premna serratifolia L.

Common names  : Agrau (Ilk.),Areu (Sbl.0),Alagau-gubat (Tag.), Malamulauin (Tag.),Ananghit (Tag.),Mulauin-aso (Tag.), Anghit (Tag.) Headache tree (Engl.), Angsuan (Bik.), Ansuan (Bik.)

Local Names :Alagaw-dagat, Alagaw-baybay, Alagaw

Sanskrit : Angnimantha,Marathi: Arani,Tagalog: Alagaw

Habitat :Indigenous to East Africa, India, Bangladesh, coasts/islands of the Indian ocean, Japan, China, Taiwan, coasts of Southeast Asia (including the Philippines), Papua New Guinea, Australia, Polynesia and Melanesia.  Coastal environment / Coastal thickets

Description :
A shrub or small tree reaching a height of 10 meters; slightly hairy to smooth. Leaves are elliptic-ovate to oblong-ovate, 6 to 10 cm long, 3 to 6 cm wide, pointed at the tip and pointed or rounded at the base. The flowers are small, greenish or greenish white, numerous, borne on terminal inflorescences (cymes), and up to 5 cm long and 6 cm wide. Calyx is green, equally 4-toothed and 1 to 1.5 cm long. Corolla is 4 mm long and hairy inside. Stamens are white. Fruid is rounded, fleshy, dark purple, 4 to 5 mm long.

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Trunk :  Usually bent, much-branched

Leaves :  Opposite; Ovate, margin entire (reports of serration in some literatures), firm, glossy rich green

Fruit :  Drupe; Small, clustered at the terminal ends of the branch, rounded, green to deep purple to nearly black

Fruiting season :  Immature fruits seen on October

Traits :  Drought tolerant; Evergreen; Salt spray tolerant; Large shrub or Small tree; Tolerant of infertile soil; Wind hardy

Edible Uses:Leaves are eaten as vegetable.


*Stem bark contains three alkaloids: premnine, ganiarine, ganikarine.
*Premnine and ganiarine have sympathomimetic actions.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used:Leaves, bark.

Properties and Constituents:
* Leaves have a rank odor when crushed.
* Used as cardiotonic, antibiotic, anticoagulant, stomachic, carminative, hepatoprotective, galactagogue, laxative.

Various parts of the plant are used in traditional and in Indian Ayurvedic medicine:

*Leaves sometimes used as a “nganga” component, substitute for Piper betle with seeds of Areca catechu.
*Leaves used for variety of stomach ailments.
*Leaves are Lactating women eat the leaves for breastmilk production;
*Root bark used for fevers, liver complaints, rheumatism, neuralgia.
*In Myanmar, roots and stem bark used as laxative, carminative and stomachic. Decoction of whole plant used for fevers, rheumatism and neuralgia. source
*In Ayurveda, roots are incorporated in many formulations.

• Antibacterial: The alcoholic extract of the root bark showed good antibacterial activity against gram-positive organisms in a preliminary screening.
• Immunomodulatory Activity: The roots of both plants of C. phlomidis and Premna integrifolia are incorporated in many valued Ayurvedic formulations. In a study evaluating the roots for immunomodulatory potential, both roots showed immunoprophylactic effect with C phlomidis showing higher response to specific immune activity. In no specific immune activity, both roots showed equal response.
• The effect of Premna integrifolia Linn. (Verbenaceae) on blood glucose in streptozotocin induced type 1 and type 2 diabetic rats.
• Hypoglycemic activity: In a study of 30 hypoglycemic plants from indigenous folk medicines, Preman integrifolia wsas one of 24 samples that showed significant blood glucose lowering activity.
• Premnazole / Anti-Inflammatory Activity: Premnazole, an isoxazole alkaloid from Premna integrifolia and Gmelina arborea exhibited signnificant anti-inflammatory activity in rats, comparable to that of phenylbutazone.
Cardiac Stimulant Activity: PS contains alkaloids and iridoid glycoside. Study suggests that the ethanol extract produced a cardiotonic effect and the aqueous extract produced a ß-adrenergic effect.
Hepatoprotective / Cytotoxic Activity: Study showed the alcoholic extract with significant hepatoprotective activity evidenced by decrease of serum enzymes, bilirubin and lipid peroxidation, comparable to drug silymarin. It also exhibited significant in-vitro cytotoxic activity. Results showed the alcoholic extract not only as an effective hepatoprotective agent, but with also significant antitumor activity.
• Antiparasitic Activity: In a study of 18 medicinal plants in New Caledonia evaluated in vitro against several parasites, Scaevola balansae and Premna serratifolia were the most active against Leishmania donovani.

Other Uses: Wood for simple implements like boat paddles; Bark used as rope or cordage  ; Firewood

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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