Many plants on the Malay Peninsula, formerly identified as Litsea pipericarpa, have been found to belong to this species. The true Litsea pipericarpa is confined to Sumatra[
Actinodaphne citrata (Blume) Hayata
Aperula citriodora (Siebold & Zucc.) Blume
Aperula formosana Nakai
Benzoin citriodorum Siebold & Zucc.
Benzoin cubeba (Lour) Hatus.
Daphnidium cubeba (Lour.) Nees
Laurus cubeba Lour.
Laurus piperita Meisn.
Lindera citrata (Blume) Koidz.
Lindera citriodora (Siebold & Zucc.) Hemsl.
Lindera dielsii H.Lév.
Litsea citrata Blume
Litsea citriodora (Siebold & Zucc.) Hatus.
Litsea dielsii (H.Lév.) H.Lév.
Litsea mollifolia Chun
Litsea mollis glabrata Diels
Litsea piperita Mirb.
Malapoenna citrata (Blume) Kuntze
Malapoenna cubeba (Lour.) Kuntze
Omphalodaphne citriodora (Siebold & Zucc.) Nakai
Persea cubeba (Lour.) Spreng.
Tetranthera citrata (Blume) Nees
Tetranthera cubeba (Lour.) Meisn.
Tetranthera polyantha Wall. ex Nees
Common Name: Litsea
Litsea is a deciduous to evergreen shrub or small tree growing from 4 - 15 metres tall. The short bole is straight[
The plant is often used in traditional medicine, and is also a source of food flavourings, essential oil and timber[
]. It is cultivated commercially, particularly in China, Japan, Indo-China and Java, for its essential oil[
]. This essential oil is traded internationally[
]. The tree can be used as a pioneer species when restoring native woodland and, with its range of uses, would be a good choice when establishing a woodland garden[
E. Asia - China, Japan, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Sunny slopes, thickets, sparse forests, roadsides, watersides at elevations of 300 - 3,200 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A fast-growing tree[
Trees produced from cuttings can commence bearing fruit when just 2 - 3 years old[
All parts of the plant have a pleasant, lemon-like aroma[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required[
]. There are also forms of the plant with functioning hermaphrodite flowers[
The fragrant flowers are eaten or used as a flavouring for tea[
The fruits are eaten as a vegetable side dish, and are a common substitute for cubeb pepper (Piper cubeba)[
The fruit, bark and leaves are often used by the Karen people of N. Thailand as a curry ingredient in a dish called 'Kaeng Nuea'[
The roots are cooked as a flavouring in foods[
The roots, branchlets, leaves, and fruits are all used in traditional medicine for treating internal health problems, such as swelling and pain[
]. Research has shown the presence of several alkaloids in various parts of the plant[
Among those recently isolated and identified are laurotetanine, O-methyloblongine, oblongine, xanthoplanine and magnocararineu. Bioassay studies have indicated termicidal, antiasthmatic and antianaphylactic activities[
Recent studies have found that the essential oil may be useful in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia[
The essential oil has demonstrated antifungal properties against several pathogens including Alternaria alternata; Aspergillus niger; Candida albicans; Fusarium spp; Helminthosporium spp[
All plant parts of Litsea cubeba are applied medicinally and have antiparalytic, anticephalalgic, antihysteric, carminative, spasmolytic and diuretic properties[
The fruit is used in decoction for the treatment of vertigo, paralysis and in post-partum preparations[
Traditionally the Dayak Kenyah people of East Kalimantan use the fruits and bark as oral and topical medicine for babies as well as for adults. It is applied in cases of fever, stomach-ache, chest pain and as a tonic. It is also an antidote to treat drunkenness[
The leaves are used for treating skin diseases[
In aromatherapy, the oil is applied as a cooling agent against acne and dermatitis, and to relieve anxiety and stress[
Grown as shade tree in plantations[
]. It is planted as a wind-break in tea plantations[
A fast growing pioneer species, usually gregarious in open areas, found along the edge of tropical rain forests and the edges of both lower and upper montane forests[
]. It can be used at the early stages in reforestation projects, and would make a good choice when establishing a woodland garden[
The tree is planted as a pioneer species in northern Thailand in reforestation projects to restore native woodland - it is planted in degraded woodland and open areas in a mix with various other species that all have the ability to grow fast; produce dense, weed-suppressing crowns; and attract seed-dispersing wildlife, particularly birds and bats[
The flowers, leaves, and fruit walls are all sources of essential oils[
]. These oils are processed for citral and are also used for their fragrance and medicinal properties[
]. Citral is used for the production of ionones and formerly vitamin A and in essences for cosmetics, foodstuffs and tobacco products[
]. Because of its pleasant citrus-like smell and taste it is a modifier for lemon and lime flavours and a general freshener in fruit flavours[
The main essential oil, known as 'may-chang oil' is obtained from the fruit[
]. (Though one report says it is obtained from the flowers[
].) This oil is used in perfumery and is also the main source of citral, for which it is commercially cultivated[
]. In perfumery, may chang oil is used as an alternative for verbena oil and lemongrass oil in colognes, household sprays, soaps and air-fresheners[
The seed contains a fatty oil, from which lauric acid and capric acid are produced[
The wood is used for general furniture-making and construction[