Botanical Name : Cerbera manghas
Species: C. manghas
Common Names: Cerbera , Sea mango
*Madagascar – Tanguin, Samanta, Tangena
*Samoa – Leva
*Tonga – Toto
*Fiji – Vasa
*Indonesia, Malay, Sunda – Bintaro….CLICK & SEE :
*Sri Lanka /Sinhalese – Kaduru
*Japan / Ryukyuan – Mifukuragi (also applied for the Japanese common name of this species
Cerbera manghas is naturally distributed from the Seychelle Islands in the Indian Ocean eastward to French Polynesia. It occupies
coastal habitats and is often associated with mangrove forests.This tree has been introduced to Hawaii and other tropical locations as an
Cerbera manghas is a shrub or a small to medium-sized tree up to 12 metres (39 ft) tall with white latex in all parts, glabrous; bole up to 70 cm in diameter; bark thick,
rough, peeling off, with large lenticels, grey to dark brown; branches thick and succulent, with many conspicuous leaf scars. Leaves arranged spirally, clustered at the ends of branches, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 1–4.5 cm long; blade narrowly obovate, 5–30 cm × 1–8 cm, cuneate at base, shortly acuminate at apex, leathery, pinnately veined with 15–40 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence a terminal cyme up to 25 cm × 15 cm, many-flowered; peduncle 1.5–12 cm long; bracts about as long as sepals, deciduous. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous, fragrant; pedicel 0.5–3 cm long; sepals ovate or obovate, (0.5–)1–3.5 cm × c. 0.5 cm, spreading to recurved; corolla tube funnel-shaped, 1.5–5.5 cm long, widened at apex, pale green with white or pale yellow scales in the throat, hairy inside, lobes obliquely elliptical or obovate, 1.5–3 cm × 1–2 cm, spreading to recurved, white but pink at base; stamens inserted just below the top of corolla tube, included, covered by scales of corolla tube, anthers sessile; ovary superior, globose, consisting of 2 separate carpels, style long and slender, pistil head consisting of a 5-ridged basal part, a veil and a cone-shaped apex. Fruit consisting of 1 or 2 separate or basally fused, drupe-like, ellipsoid follicles 5–12 cm × 3–7 cm, rounded at both ends, dark red when mature, indehiscent, usually 1-seeded. Seed flattened orbicular, c. 2.5 cm in diameter, with small wing at apex. Seedling with hypogeal germination..CLICK & SEE :
The flowers of Cerbera manghas are pollinated by insects. The fruits, which are fibrous inside, float in water and can be distributed by sea currents; they are quite commonly washed up on shores…..…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The seeds contain glycosides derived from the cardenolides tanghinigenin and digitoxigenin, such as cerberin, neriifolin, thevetin B and 2’-O-acetyl-thevetin B. The principal cardenolides contained in the bark and roots are gentiobiosyl-thevetoside and glucosyl-thevetoside along with other thevetosides derived from tanghinigenin. The amount of cardenolides in the leaves varies according to the season. Some of the cardenolides showed antiproliferative activity against human colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and epidermoid carcinoma cell lines, as well as anti-oestrogenic activity. Cerberin acts on plain muscle preparations as a definite stimulant both with regard to tone and peristaltic movements. As such it behaves as a parasympatomimetic poison. It acts on both the rhythm and amplitude of the heart. In moderate doses cerberin has positive inotropic properties, but in high, toxic doses it produces a negative inotropic and chronotropic effect. Phytochemical investigations also revealed the presence of a series of lignans derived from olivil (cerberalignans) and monoterpenoids such as cerberidol. Ethanolic extracts of Cerbera manghas have shown selective activity against vesicular stomatis virus (VSV). Olivil, carinol and cycloolivil showed antioxidant activities.
The wood is lightweight to medium-weight, with the white to pale yellow-brown heartwood not demarcated from the sapwood; grain is straight to slightly interlocked, texture fine and uneven. The shrinkage upon seasoning is moderate, and the wood works easily. It is not durable, highly susceptible to blue-staining fungi, and resistant to preservative treatment under pressure.
Used much like digitalis.
The seeds of Cerbera manghas are used in traditional medicine in Madagascar to treat cardiac disorders. However they are very poisonous and were used until the middle of the 19th century as ordeal poison. In tropical Asia the seeds are used to treat scabies and itch, to prepare a hair tonic and as fish poison, the bark is used as a laxative and antipyretic and in the treatment of dysuria and ringworm, the flowers to treat haemorrhoids, and roots, bark and leaves to prepare a purgative.
In Sri Lanka, this wood is used for making masks particularly because it is a light wood. The wood is also used in tropical Asia for mouldings, interior trim, fruit cases, core veneer, matches, shuttering, clogs, plain furniture and carving, and also for charcoal. Cerbera manghas is planted as an ornamental and the fibrous fruits, of which the skin and soft parts have decayed, are used in flower arrangements.
Mythology:.…….Because of its deadly poisonous seeds, the genus name is derived from Cerberus, the hell dog from the Greek mythology, thus
indicating the toxicity of the seeds. In Madagascar, the seeds were used in sentence rituals to poison kings and queens.
Known Hazards: ……Poison….The leaves and the fruits contain the potent cardiac glycoside cerberin, which is extremely poisonous if ingested.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.