Pacific walnut proven benefits uses

pacific walnut

The scientific name of the pacific walnut is Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr. & Rolfe.

Scientific names Common names
Comeurya cumingiana Baill. Dao (Tag.)
Dracontomelon brachyphyllum Ridl. Paldao (Tag.)
Dracontomelon cumingianum (Baill.) Baill. Argus pheasant tree (Engl.)
Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr. & Rolfe New Guinea walnut (Engl.)
Dracontomelon edule (Blanco) Skeels Pacific walnut (Engl.)
Dracontomelon lamiyo (Blanco) Merr.
Dracontomelon laxum K.Schum.
Dracontomelon mangiferum (Blume) Blume
Dracontomelon puberulum Miq.
Dracontomelon sylvestre Blume
Dracontomelon dao and D. edule as synonyms.
Dracontomelon edule Merr is a synonym of Dracontomelon dao (Blancio) Merr. & Rolfew
Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr. & Rolfe is an accepted name


Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ren mian zi. J’n mien tz.
DUTCH: Drakeboom.
FRENCH: Dracontomelon.
GERMAN: Drachenapfel.
INDONEIA: Basuong, Dahu.
MALAYSIA: Sěngkoewang.
THAI: Goh sang guan, Ka-kho, Phra chao ha phra ong, Sa gua, Saen taa lom, Ta goh, Tagoo, Sang kuan.
VIETNAMESE: Chi sau, S[aa]u.

– In the Philippines, the municipality of Dao, Capiz and barangay of Dau in Mabalacat, Pampanga are named after the dao tree.

– Revered and called “Five Buddhas” in Thailand and in Laos because of the intricate pattern of approximate five-fold symmetry on the seed surface and its rhombic protrusions that reminds of the primitive Buddha image.


Pacific walnut is a large tree, growing 30 meters or taller, with the trunk 1 meter or more in diameter. Leaves are alternate and pinnately compound. Leaflets are smooth, oblong, 5 to 7 pairs, up to 15 centimeters long and 4 centimeters wide, pointed at the apex, and abruptly tapered at the base. Flowers are small, white, and fragrant, hanging in lax panicles. Fruit is globose, green turning yellow when ripe with oval markings on the upper side of the fruit, about 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter.


– Previously common and widely distributed in forests throughout many parts of the world.

– Native to Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanman, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Thailand.

– Occasionally planted as a shade tree or roadside ornamental.

– Now becoming rare.


– Essential oil from the skin of stems yielded 13 compounds. The major constituents were n-Hexadecanoic acid(46.13%);Octadecanoic acid(15.44%),(E)-9-Octadecenoic acid(13.73%),and(Z,Z)-9,12-Octadecadienoic acid(7.79%). (see study)


– Fruit is considered cooling, antidote, depurative.

– Studies have shown antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Parts used

Fruits, seeds, bark.


– Fruits are edible, fresh or stewed in honey.

– Kernels mixed with tea imparts a fragrant and mucilaginous sweet taste.

– Flowers and leaves cooked and eaten as vegetable; used as food flavoring. (7)

Folkloric traditional benefits and uses of pacific walnut

– In China, fruits used to cool and relieve itchiness; cure internal ulceration, and as antidote for poisoning.

– Bark used for dysentery.

– Fruits used to soothe sore throat and inflammation of the skin

– Indonesians drink a decoction of bark to expel the membrane enveloping the fetus in the womb.

Other uses

– Toys: Seeds used by children as toys.

– Fuel: Tree used as firewood.

– Wood: Wood can be used for veneers, furniture, plywood, interior trim and light frames.

– Superstition: Holding a seed in the right hand on odd days and the left hand on even days will precipitate childbirth.

Scientific studies on pacific walnut

Antibacterial / Antifungal:

Crude and methanol extracts and fractions of leaves, stem, and root barks exhibited a good level of broad spectrum antibacterial activity. Only the leaf fraction showed antifungal activity.

Antibacterial / Anti-Escherichia coli Activity:

Study evaluated various extracts of D. dao leaves for anti-Escherichia coli activities. An EtOAc fraction exhibited the strongest anti-bacterial activity.

Black Teeth / Antibacterial Effect:

Study evaluated the tooth-blackening procedure among Kammu women in Laos and Vietnam and its possible antimicrobial effects. Three plants commonly used were: Dracontomelon dao nuts, Cratoxylum formosum wood or Croton cascarilloides wood. Extracts of soot of the DD nuts inhibited the growth of salivary mutans streptococcus in in vitro experiments.



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