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Useful Tropical Plants

Uncaria gambir

(Hunter) Roxb.

Rubiaceae


This species is frequently confused with other related species, particularly Uncaria callophylla; Uncaria acida; and Uncaria elliptica[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
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http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
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Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. These species have been reported to have been incidentally used in gambier production[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
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Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
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Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

+ Synonyms

Nauclea gambir Hunter

Ourouparia gambir (Hunter) Baill.

Uruparia gambir (Hunter) Kuntze

Common Name: Gambier

Uncaria gambir
Illustration of the leaves and flowers
Photograph by: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen
Public domain
Uncaria gambir Uncaria gambir

General Information

Gambier is a climbing or straggling shrub, with square young stems bearing horizontal branches with recurved hooks (which are actually modified peduncles of the inflorescences) that help the plant cling on to supports[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
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Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
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Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Gambier is harvested from the wild for local use and trade, mainly as a medicine and source of tannins. It is cultivated in Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan, Moluccas). Plants which are probably truly wild have been collected in Sumatra and Borneo[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Southeast Asia - Malaysia, Indonesia.

Habitat

Secondary forests at low elevations[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitClimber
Height0.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the lowland wet tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 200 metres, but has been successfully cultivated up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 25 - 32°c, but can tolerate 20 - 36°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
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Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The plant can survive temperatures down to about 10°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 2,200 - 2,400mm, but tolerates 2,000 - 2,600mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Gambier succeeds in full sun to light shade[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It has no special soil requirements, but it is usually cultivated on soils with a rich humus layer, or containing much clay[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Requires a well-drained soil[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7, tolerating 5.5 - 8[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Planting distance is usually 2 x 3 metres or 3 x 3 metres. The seedlings are usually planted in the edge of a hole, and the hole is not filled with soil[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
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Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
No special practices are necessary except weeding during the first year. Fertilizers are usually not applied. Although gambier is a natural climber, no support is needed for cultivated plants when the crop is managed properly[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
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Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Recently a plant from Sumatra with denser foliage, called 'Uncaria payakumbuh', has been mentioned as a gambier source. The catechin content of this plant is somewhat less than that of 'true' gambier[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Edible Uses

The sap of cooked leaves and twigs is used for making syrup[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Dried plant material (gambir, gambir-katechu) is used for aromatising betel chewings[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].It is chewed with betel nut (Areca catechu), lime and the leaf of Piper betle[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Medicinal

Gambier is used as an astringent and styptic[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
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0
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Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. An infusion of the fresh leaves is given as a treatment against diarrhoea and dysentery[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. This infusion is also used as a gargle for sore throats and inflamed gums[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
It is applied externally in lotions for burns and in a paste for scurf[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
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Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. External application against sciatica and lumbago is reported from Borneo[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
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Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The maximum yield of crude gambier is 6.5% of the leaf weight. When used alone in tanning, gambier produces a rather spongy leather. However, it is very suitable for both light and heavy leathers if mixed or blended with other tanning materials such as wattle (Acacia spp.) extract or myrobalans (Terminalia spp.). Gambier is also suitable for preserving fishing nets. The tannin has algicidal properties, as well as antibacterial and antifungal activity. Antiherpetic activity has also been reported. Several indole alkaloids, some unidentified, have been extracted from leaf materials. These may have a narcotic effect. Gambier is used for 'soga batik' dyeing, but the brownish colour only develops if a diazonium salt is added.

Agroforestry Uses:

Gambier can be intercropped as a cash crop in rubber and oil palm plantations[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Other Uses

Used as a clearing agent for beer[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
], and as a remover of scale from boilers[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The resinous substance extracted from the leaves and young branches of gambier is crystallized and traded in small cubes or blocks[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. This is a rich source of tannins and can be used for preserving ropes and nets, and as a dye in the traditional batik industry and for dyeing silk black[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The leaves contain two main forms of tannin:- catechin, which is poorly soluble in cold water but readily soluble in hot water; and catechu-tannic acid, which is soluble in cold water[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Catechu-tannic acid is not desirable in gambier used for chewing with betel and can be removed. Consequently gambier is manufactured in different ways; the final product is either suitable for tanning purposes or for betel chewing[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Propagation

Seed - the very small and light seeds rapidly lose their viability and so should be sown as soon as they are ripe in a nursery seed-bed. To achieve a uniform dispersal, the seeds are often blown into seed-beds and, on slopes, the vertical walls of terraces can be used as the seed-beds[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The seed takes about 2 weeks to germinate and can usually be transplanted into the field 2 - 7 months after germination[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Cuttings.
Layering Vegetative methods of propagation usually result in an advanced first harvest. However, these plants are recorded to contain less tannin at harvest[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-12-10. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Uncaria+gambir>

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