Family: Myrsinaceae

Bengali/vernacular name: Biranga, Bhaibiranga.
Tribal name: Long dhama shak (Chakma), Mahaka (Khumi).

Description of the plant:
A large scandent shrub; branches long, slenders, flexible. Leaves coriaceous, 5-9 cm long, elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate, shortly and obtusely acuminate, entire. Flowers small, in lax panicled racemes, which are terminal and from the upper axils, branches 7.5-10 cm long. Fruit globose, 3-4 mm diam., black when ripe.

Using information:
Fruit is a good appetizer, alterative, carminative, stomachic, anthelmintic, alexiteric, analgesic, purgative and tonic; useful in ascites, bronchitis, jaundice, hemicrania, dyspepsia and skin diseases. It is effective against intestinal worms specially tapeworms. Roots are used as an antifertility drug. Decoction of the root is a very effective medicine against influenza and the infusion is effective against cough and diarrhoea. An infusion of the leaves is taken by Chakma of Chittagong Hill Tracts for the cure of jaundice (Yusuf et al. 2009).


Aquous extract of the fruit possesses antifertility activity; powder inhibits 62% fertility in female rats; given to male bonnet monkeys, at a rate 100 mg/day for 3 months adversely affected quantity and quality of semen; also reduced tasterone level. Root powder showed 100% antifertility activity in female albino rats at a dose of 100 mg/kg (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical constituents:
The chief active constituent of the fruits (berries) is a hydroquinone, embelin (2,5-dihydorxy-3-lauryl-p-benzoquinone), a dimmer of embelin, vilangin. They also contain embolic acid, volatile and fixed oils, colouring matter, tannin, resin and an alkaloid, christembine (Ghani, 2003).

Evergreen forests of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and Sylhet.