All about Guijo or red balan tree

Scientific names Common names
Anisoptera guiso (Blanco) A. DC. Guiso (Tag.)
Dipterocarpus guiso Blanco Red balan (Engl.)
Mocanera guiso Blanco                       Unresolved Red balau (Engl.)
Shorea guiso (Blco.) Blume Red selangan (Engl.)
Shorea guiso Blume is an accepted name The Plant List


Other vernacular names
FRENCH: Balau rouge.
INDONESIA: Balau merah, Membatu, Selangan batu.
KHMER: Chor chong.
MALAY: Balau, Beraja (Indonesia), Selangan Batu Merah (Sabah).
THAI: Lan ton, Saraya daeng, Saya daeng, Teng tani.

Guijo or Red balan is a large, medium-sized tree, reaching a height of 50 to 60 meters, with a trunk diameter of about 175 centimeters, with dark colored branchlets. Tree has a strongly buttressed hole at the lower portion of the trunk. Leaves are alternate, simple, entire, and ovate-oblong, 8 to 10 centimeters long, 3 to 5 centimeters wide, with a rounded base and tapering tip. Flowers are short-stalked, developing into 3 long- and 2 short-winged fruits which are expanded at the base. Petals are 9 times as long as the sepals. Stamens are in clusters of 20 to 40 in three groups, with filaments dilated at the base.



– Found primarily in forests.

– Critically endangered.

– Found in Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam.

– In the Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Tropical Forest Products, guijo was considered on of the most useful timbers of the Philippines. Today, the tree is classified as ‘Critically endangered’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2010).

Constituents of Red balan

– Species provide a hard resin, which coagulate on the trunk and main branch, then drop down.

– Plant yielded flavanol aglycones, condensed and hydrolysable tannins.

Uses of Red balan tree

• Timber: Wood used for flooring, boat building, carpentry, furniture, cooperage, musical instruments.

• Papermaking: Study showed Shorea guiso can be used in a mixture of sawdust pulp as filler in the production of printing and writing papers.

• Resin: A dammar resin, known as “huille de bios” is obtained from the tree. Commercially, it is an ingredient of inks, lacquers, oil paints, varnishes, etc, and used as glazing agent in foods.

Value of hard resin similar to liquid resin, the good quality is 2000-2500 riel/kg.

Scientific studies on benefits and uses of Red balan

Shoreic Acid / Antimicrobial:

Study of dichlormethane extract of air-dried leaves of Shorea guiso yielded shoreic acid which exhibited antibacterial activity against E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus subtilis. It also showed antifungal activity against Candida albicans, Trichophyton mentagrophytes.



Read about other interesting fruits

Acai berry        Ambarella         Avocado           Bael       Banana      Bilberry      Cocunut   

 Cantaloupe        Cashew apple      Dragon Fruit    Durian      Fig      Jack fruit   Jamun      

 Kiwi        Lychee      Malay apple     Mango        Mangosteen       Miracle fruit         Pomelo  

 Papaya     Passion fruit     Phalsa      Pineapple           Plum       Pomegranate       

Prickly pear      Quince       Rambutan           Roselle          Santol          Sapota       

Sea buckthorn       Sour Orange     Soursop           Sweet Lime         Star gooseberry 

Star Apple        Strawberry     Surinam Cherry          Sweet lime        Tamarind       Tomato 

Tree tomato      Wampi       Watermelon         Wood apple

Read about herbs and spices

Allspice          Alfalfa       Ashwagandha        Bay leaf              Black cohosh           

Black onion seeds       Black pepper       Cayenne pepper    Celery          Chives       

 Chamomile        Clove     Coffee senna    Coriander       Curry leaf         Cumin        

Eucalyptus       Fennel            Fenugreek       Garlic      Ginger         Gotu Kola       

Hibiscus         Holy basil    Jasmine     Kava Kava     Lavender     Licorice   

Long pepper    Lotus   Majoram      Marigold     Mugwort     Mustard seeds      

 Neem    Nutmeg       Oregano     Peppermint     Red  clover        Rose       Rosemary           

Sage         Sensitive plant   St.John’s wort        Tarragon        Thyme     Triphala powder        

Turmeric     Vetiver grass    Wheat grass      Wild amarnath