Mesua ferrea L.,

DeFilipps, Robert A. & Krupnick, Gary A., 2018, The medicinal plants of Myanmar, PhytoKeys 102, pp. 1-341: 39

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Mesua ferrea L.


Mesua ferrea L. 


Myanmar: guntgaw, gau-gau, maiting (My) (Kachin), kaw-ta-nook (Kayin), ar ganui (Mon), jai-nool (Mon), kam kan (Mai) (Shan). English: Ceylon ironwood, cobra’s saffron, Indian rose-chestnut, ironwood tree.


Tropical Asia, India. Found throughout Myanmar, but especially in Tanintharyi Division, growing naturally in tropical evergreen forests up to altitudes of 1065 m; also grown in gardens for ornamental purposes.


Whole plant: Flowers, stamens, seeds, roots, bark and oils are made into preparations to support digestion, improve complexion, cure blood disorders, reduce edema, neutralize poisoning, and alleviate heart and bladder pains. Leaf: Used to treat snakebites. Bark, Root: Used in tonics taken for strength. Flower: Used as an astringent. A mixture of the flowers with butter and sugar is taken for burning sensations in the body and for hemorrhoids. Flowers are used in medicines that neutralize toxins for cases of poisoning and for venomous bites and stings; dried, they are used in treatments for coughs, stomach problems, and excessive perspiration and phlegm. The anthers are used in remedies for fevers and excessive menstrual bleeding. A mixture of crushed anthers and rock sugar rolled with top oil (liquid that rises to top when slow-cooking substances, such as butter, etc.) is used to treat hemorrhoids and cracked skin on the soles of the feet. Ground together with thanakha ( Hesperethusa crenulata  ) they form a paste used topically on boils and other skin conditions. Seed: Their oil is used as an ointment to treat inflammation of joints and as a remedy for scabies, eczema, and other skin problems, including infected sores.


The medicinal uses of this species in India are discussed in Jain and DeFilipps (1991). Perry (1980) discusses the medicinal uses of this species on the Malay Peninsula and in Indonesia.


Nordal (1963), Agricultural Corporation (1980), Perry (1980), Ministry of Health (2001).