Banato / kamala proven benefits, uses and nutrition

Scientific names Common names
Aconceveibum trinerve Miq Apuyot (Sul.)
Croton montanus Willd Buas (Ilk.)
Croton philippensis Lam Darandang (Tag.)
Echinus philippensis  Baill Kamala (Engl.)
Euonymus hypoglaucus H.Lév.   Kamela (Engl.)
Euonymus hypoleucus H.Lév.   Panagisen (Ibn.)
Macranga stricta  (Rchb.f. & Zoll.) Mull.Arg.  Panagisian (Ibn., Klg., Neg.)
Mallotus bicarpellatus T. Kuros. Pañgaplasin (Ilk.)
Mallotus philippensis (Lam.) Muell.-Arg. Pikal (Sbl.)
Mallotus reticulatus Dunn Sala (Tag., Bis.)
Mappa stricta Rchb.f. & Zoll. Tafu (Ibn.)
Rottlera affinis  Hassk. Tagusala (P. Bis)
Rottlera aurantiaca  Hook. & Arn. Tutula (Tagb.)
Rottlera philippinensis  (Lam.) Scheff. Rottlera (Engl.)
Rottlera tinctoria  Roxb. Kamala (Engl.)
Tanarius strictus  (Rchb.f. & Zill.) Kuntz Monkey-face tree (Engl.)
Mallotus philippensis (Lam.) Müll.Arg. is an accepted name The Plant List


Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Qanbîl, Wars.
BURMESE : Hpawng-awn.
CHINESE: Cu kang chai, Xiang gui shu, Jia ma la.
CZECH: Rotlera filipinská.
DANISH: Kamala
DUTCH: Kamala.
ESTONIAN: Punamarjane kamalapuu.
FRENCH: Croton tinctorial, Rottlière des teinturiers.
GERMAN: Kamalabaum.
HINDI: Kaamalaa, Kamaalaa, Raini, Rohan, Rohini, Roolii.
ITALIAN: Kamala.
KANNADA: Kampillaka, Kunkuma damara, Kumkuma damara.
KHMER: Annadaa.
LAOTIAN: Kh’aay paax, Khiiz moon, Tangx thôôm.
MALAY : Balik angin, Galuga furu, Kapasan, Kasirau, Ki meyong, Rambai kuching.
MALAYALAM: Cenkolli, Cenkolli, Kampipala, Kapilam, Kurangumanjas, Kuruku, Pipponnakam, Ponni, Pinoo, Ponnagam, Ponnakam, Ponoo, Punna, Shenkolli, Sinduri, Tavitu, Thavatta.
MANIPUR: Ureirom laba.
MARATHI: Kapila, Kesari, Shendri.
RUSSIAN: Mallot filippinskii, Mallot kamala, Malotus filippinskii.
SANSKRIT: Kampilyaka.
SPANISH: Kamala.
TAMIL : Kamala, Kanapotta, Kapila, Kapilapodi, Kurangu manjanathi, Manjanai, Thavattai, Thirisalakkaai.
TELUGU: Kunkuma chettu.
THAI: Cha tri khao, Ma khai, Makai khat, Sa-bo-se, Thaeng thuai.
VIETNAMESE: Ba chia, Canh kiên, Rùm nao.


Kamala or Banato is a tree commonly found in thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes. It is Native to the Philippines. But also, widely distributed in India, Pakistan, Myanmar, China and Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Australia.

Chemical Constituents of kamala

– Phytochemical screening of stems yielded carbohydrates, amino acids, flavonoids, gum, oil and resins, proteins, phenolic groups, saponins, steroids, tannins and terpenoids. (see study below) (12)

– Phytochemical screening of fruits yielded carbohydrate, protein, phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, and steroids. (29)

– Early study yielded the following constituents: water, 3.4%; resinous coloring matter, 78.18%; albuminous matter, 7.34%; and ash, 3.84%.

– An ethereal extract yielded three substances: a crystalline compound rottlerin, a wax, and a resin.

– Perkin’s ethereal extract yielded a dark, brownish, resinous product which yielded six distinct substances. Five of these are: rottlerin, isorottlerin, a wax, and two resins.

– Extract of kamala from the glands and hairs yielded a resin, a wax, and the crystalline compound rottlerin.

– Kamala also contains a minute amount of essential oil, which when gently warmed emits a peculiar odor.

– The kamala resin yields the yellow rottlerin, the principle constituent, and also mallotoin and kamalin.

– Study yielded rottlerin (reddish-yellow resin), 47-80%; fixed oil, 5.83-24%; citric acid; mallotoxin; kamalin.

– The seed contains a fixed oil, camul oil and a bitter glucoside.

– Bark yields 6.5% tannin.

– Phytochemical screening of fruit yielded flavonoids, glycosides, phenolic compounds, tannins, proteins, and amino acids. (see study below) (30)

Medicinal Properties of kamala or banato

– According to Ayurveda, leaves are bitters, cooling and appetizer.

– Fruit is anthelminthic, vulnerary, detergent, maturant, carminative.

– Studies have suggested antibacterial, anticancer, anthelmintic, antifertility, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antispasmodic, astringent, contraceptive, laxative, immunomodulatory, vermifuge, and purgative and vulnerary properties.

Banato Parts used

Leaves, bark and seeds.

Folkloric traditional benefits and uses of kamala or banato

– Fungal skin infections: Pound leaves or seeds and apply on affected areas.

– The red glands of the fruit is antiherpetic and antihelmintic.

– Powder taken with milk for tapeworms, repeated as necessary.

– In India, used for bronchitis, abdominal diseases, spleen enlargement. Leaves and bark are used for poulticing cutaneous diseases and pounded seeds are applied to wounds. Fruit powder used to treat skin conditions.

– In India, bark decoction used for abdominal pain. Kernels are used as anthelmintic. Used in treatment of rheumatic diseases: Among the tribe of Chhota Nagpur, root is grounded and applied to painful articular rheumatism. In Burma, seeds are ground to a paste and applied to wounds and cuts. (18)

– Used as external application in Herpes circinnatus.

– Taken internally to remove leprous eruptions.

– Elsewhere, used for constipation, anorexia, cancers, dermatosis, cramps, dysmenorrhea.

– In Pakistan, dried seed powder mixed with half cup of curd is given three times daily for 1 to 2 days for constipation and to kill intestinal worms. (28)

– In Manipur India, bark decoction with sugar given in urinary tract stone problem. (33)

Other uses

– Dye: Powder obtained from the glands and hairs, besides its medicinal properties, was once valued as a dye; used for coloring silk and wool. Today, kamala is rarely used as a dye because of expense and competition of less expensive synthetic dyes. (18)

– Food coloring: Rottlerin and its derivatives are used for coloring foodstuffs, lemonades, lime juice, and other beverages. (18)

– Oil: Oil derived from the seeds is used in paints and varnishes, as hair-fixer, and ointment additive.

– Wood: Wood pulp used for making writing and printing paper. Wood sometimes used as timber for implements. Bark used to make rope. Wood often used as fuel wood. (18)

Scientific studies on health benefits and uses of banato or Kamala

Antifilarial Activity / Leaves:

The effect of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the leaves of Mallotus philippensis was studied on the spontaneous movements of the whole worm and nerve-muscle preparation of Setaria cervic and on the survival of microfilariae in vitro. (3)

Antimicrobial / Bark:

In an ethnopharmacological screening in Nepal, the bark from Mallotus philippensis was found to be active against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

* Anti-allergic:

Two new phloroglucinol derivatives were isolated from the fruits of Mallotus philippensis. They inhibited histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells suggesting the new phloroglucinol derivatives have anti-allergic effects. (5)

Antibacterial / Phytochemical / Stem Bark:

(1) Study showed excellent inhibition with chloroform and methanol extracts of the stem bark on testing with E coli, K pneumonia, P aeruginosa, S typhi and B subtilis,

(2) Mallotus philippinensis was one of plants in a study of 61 Indian medicinal plants that exhibited antimicrobial properties, supporting its folkloric use as antimicrobial treatment for some diseases.

Antifertility / Seeds:

Study showed when females treated with Kamala seed extract were mated with non-treated males, rate of infertile mating increased in a dose-dependent manner with reduced pregnancy rate and number of implantation sites. Data indicate, Kamala reduced levels of FSH and LH and affected various reproductive parameters of female rats. (1)

Antioxidant / Bark:

Study extracted six phenolic compounds from the bark of MP. Results showed the fractions separated possess strong antioxidant and antiradical properties. Results suggest a potential as antioxidant for food, functional foods, or nutraceuticals. (10)

Hepatoprotective / Leaves:

Study of methanol extract of leaves in carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity showed increased antioxidant enzyme activity with associated histopathological evidence of protection. (9)

Antineoplastic / Roots:

Hexane extract of roots of MP showed good anti-proliferation activity against HL-60 lines. The antineoplastic effect was believed to have been triggered by induction apoptosis through caspase-2 activation. (11)

Antibacterial / Free Radical Scavenging Activity / Leaves:

Kamala extract showed activity against Gram positive bacteria, B. subtilis and S. aureus. Leaf extract was more active than Kamala powder in scavenging free radicals. Flavanoids finger printing of leaves showed vitexin, isovitexin and rutin.


Phytochemical screening yielded carbohydrates, amino acids, flavonoids, gum, oil and resins, proteins, phenolic groups, saponins, steroids, tannins and terpenoids. Extracts showed significant activity against human pathogens such as Strep pneumonia, Proteus vulgaris, P. aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Vibrio spp and Candida albicans. (see constituents above) (12) Study evaluated various fractions for antimicrobial activity against nine human pathogens. The ethyl acetate and butanol fraction exhibited strong antibacterial (P. vulgaris, S. typhi, B. subtilis, S. pneumonia) and antifungal (A. flavus, A. niger) activities. (22)

Bioactive Root Alkaloid / Antibacterial:

Study isolated a potent bioactive alkaloid (MMH-1) from the root of M. philippensis. On antimicrobial testing, it was found to have medium activities on all six types of microorganisms. (14)

Anthelmintic / Kampillaka:

Study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of Kampillaka Churna (powder of fruit hairs). Results showed anthelmintic efficacy in 42/50 patients with Gandupada krimi (Ascaris lumbricoides). (15)

Rottlerin / Toxicity / Antihelmintic Activity:

Approximate lethal dose of rottlerin in rat was 750 mg/kg. Extract was found lethal to trematodes; the alcoholic extract most effective in vitro and in vivo. (18)

Wound Healing / Fruit:

Study evaluated the healing potential of fruit glandular hair extract in rat using incision and dead space wound models. The MPE was found safe in rats given up to 10 times of optimal dose. Results showed wound healing effects probably due to decrease in free radical generated tissue damage, promoting effects on antioxidant status and faster collagen deposition as evidenced biochemically and histologically. (19)

Study of acetone extract of fruits for wound healing activity by excision model in experimental rats showed significant reduction in wound area with a high percentage of wound healing in a 10% (w/w) extract ointment treated animals. (24)

Scolicidal Activity / Hydatid Cyst Echinococcus glanulosus / Fruit:

Study evaluated evaluated the scolicidal potential of a methanolic fruit powder extract against Echinococcus granulosus. Results showed significant solicidal activity compared with standard anti-parasitic drug Praziquantel, with almost no associated side effects. (20)

Anti-Leukemic / Root:

Study evaluated root extracts from M. philippensis on human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cell proliferation, cell cycle regulators and apoptosis. The hexane contract showed highest toxicity against p53-deficient HL-60 cells. The polyphenols were the main compounds of the hexane extract that inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis. (21)

Anti-Diabetic / Bark:

Study of hydroalcoholic bark extract showed antidiabetic activity in STZ induced diabetic rats. Results showed a significant increase in body weight and significant decrease in blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin. Effect may be due to the phenolics in the bark extract. (23)

Comparative Study on Intestinal Parasites:

In an open comparative randomized clinical study of Embelia robusta and Mallotus philippensis on 40 patients exhibiting symptoms of intestinal parasitic infection confirmed by stool tests (Ascaris, E. histolytica, Giardia lamblia and H. nana), Mallotus philippensis showed better efficacy than Embelia robusta, with a cure rate of 70% and 40% respectively. (25)


Study screened 15 plants for antituberculosis activity. Seven plants, including M. philippensis, were active against M. smegmatis in primary screening. The ethanolic extract and ethyl acetate fraction of M. philippensis exhibited significant anti-mycobacterial activity against M. tuberculosis. (26)

Mallotus B from Rottlerin / Tuberculosis:

Mallotus B is a prenylated dimeric phloroglucinol compound isolated from Mallotus philippensis, together with rottlerone, via intramolecular rearrangement of rottlerin. Mallotus B exhibited cytotoxicity for MIAPaCa-2 and HL-60 cells, and induced cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase and causes defective cell division, and induces apoptosis as evidenced by cell morphology. (27)

Antimicrobial / Fruits:

Antimicrobial testing of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of fruits showed antibacterial activity against selected gram positive and gram negative bacteria. There was strong activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, without any response against S. dysenteriae, Streptococcus sp. and Bacillus subtilis. (30)

Anticestodal / Fruits:

Study evaluated the anticestodal efficacy of M. philippinensis fruit extract in a rat cestodal (Hymenolepis diminuta) intestinal infection model. The extract at 800 mg/kg twice daily showed curative effect against mature adult worms, with dose-dependent decline in EPG (eggs per gram) count in the feces. The effect was may be attributed to the presence of phloroglucinol derivatives, chalcone derivatives and some glycosides. (31)

Anthelmintic / Vidangadi Churna:

Study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of Vidangadi churna, an Ayurvedic formulation containing Embella ribes, Hordeum vulgare, Mallotus philippinensis, Terminalia chebula. The formulation showed potent anthelmintic activity against Indian earthworm Pheretima posthuma. (32)

Antibacterial / Multidrug Resistant Bacteria:

Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of three different plant extracts viz., Mallotus philippensis, Silybum marianum, and Stachys parviflora in four different solvent extracts against 8 pathogenic MDR bacterial strains (Brucella abortus, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter sakazakii, Proteus vulgaris, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Providencia stuartii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus). The extracts of selected plants showed maximum activity against all bacterial strains. (34)


– Wild-crafted.

– Supplement formulations and seeds in the cybermarket.

Click here to find the links of all the source studies mentioned in this article.

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