Arni / Arani / Agnimantha Powder – Premna integrefolia (Serratifolia)

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Arani or Agnimantha Powder

Latin – Premna integrefolia (Serratifolia)

Other Names : Malbau, False Elder, Headache Tree


It is a small Perrenial Anual Tree. Grows upto 10m in height in warm , Tropical & Sub-Tropical Climates

The Following information was collected from the Kew Garden resources

Species information

  • Scientific name:Premna serratifolia L.
  • Common name(s): malbau (Malay language), headache tree
  • Synonym(s):Premna integrifolia
  • Conservation status: Rated by IUCN as of Least Concern (LC).
  • Habitat: Open vegetation along coasts and rivers.
  • Key uses: Edible leaves; leaves, roots and bark used in traditional medicine; used for hedges and as a street tree.
  • Known hazards: None known.


About this species

Premna serratifolia was named by the Swedish botanist and ‘father of taxonomy’ Carl Linnaeus in 1771, in the publication Mantissa Plantarum Altera. The leaves of the type specimen (the specimen used by Linnaeus for his description) are somewhat serrated, and hence explain the choice of the specific epithet serratifolia for a species that generally has smooth-edged leaves. There are about 50 species in the genus Premna. This particular species is also encountered in the literature as Premna integrifolia.


Premna serratifolia is widely distributed along the coasts and islands of tropical and subtropical Asia, Africa, Australia and the Pacific.



In Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia, the young leaves are boiled and eaten as a vegetable. In various parts of Indonesia, an infusion of the leaves and roots is used against fevers and shortness of breath; women also eat the leaves in order to promote breast-milk production. In Indo-China, the leaves and roots are used in traditional medicine as a diuretic, stomachic and febrifuge. On Guam, in the Pacific Ocean, a Tea made from the boiled bark is used to treat neuralgia. Premna serratifolia is one of several herbal ingredients of “Dasamula” (or “Dashamula”) used in the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine.

Premna serratifolia contains alkaloids, iridoid glycosides and several diterpenoids. Recent laboratory research has been undertaken into the possible cardiac stimulant activity of bark and wood extracts.

Premna serratifolia can be propagated easily from cuttings, and hence it is used for hedges and as a street tree.




* Information gathered from the Kew Gardens website

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