Update: 2014-10-26 07:14 PM +0630


Myanmar Medicinal Plant Database (MMPD)


A compilation by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), U Pe Than,  B.Sc. (Univ. of Rangoon), M.Pharm. (Univ. of Nottingham, U.K.), and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL) . Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL  Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR :  http://www.tuninst.net , http://www.softguide.net.mm , www.romabama.blogspot.com

index.htm | Top

UKT 141226:Because of its large size, the original MMPD is now split up into the following.

Inset: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaefructus 121226

Over 200 species of plants are listed in this DB.
Since the aim of this collection is to present the medicinal plants according to the Burmese-Myanmar (Bur-Myan) names, the Akshara index should have precedence over all other indexes. However, because of unreliability of the Bur-Myan names, we have to start with the Family name index, and a short description of the plant is entered into the Akshara index. Thus, the Akshara index is subordinate to the Family name index. If you cannot find a plant in the Akshara index, you should check with the Family name index. The same is true for Scientific (Genus-Species) name index which is the least complete.
Please remember that systematic Botany is rapidly advancing, and TIL has a hard time updating its classification of individual plants in families. TIL is relying heavily for Wikispecies (Wikipedia), and GRIN for updating.

Contents of this page

1.1. MMPD Akshara index 
Caution -- The names (botanical names, transcribed Burmese names, and local English names). All Bur-Myan authors are not very careful about their spellings. Moreover, a Burmese name may be spelled differently by different authors. However, I have relied solely on spellings given by MLC (Myanmar Language Commission). Bur-Myan names in Romabama are given as {...}. MLC transcriptions are given as /|...|/.


1.2. MMPD Genus-Species Alphabetical index
     -- MMPD-alph-indx.htm
CAUTION: A plant is named by Family/Genus/Species. However, it can have its family and/or genus changed, and  names given by LSeikShin may no longer be current.

Basic aksharas:
{ka.} {hka.} {ga.} {Ga.} {nga.}
{sa.} {hsa.} {za.} {Za.} {a.}
{Ta.} {Hta.} {a.} {a.} {Na.}
{ta.}  {hta.}  {da}  {Da.} {na.}
{pa.} {hpa.} {ba.} {Ba.} {ma.}
{ya.} {ra.}    {la.}  {wa.} {a.}
------ {ha.}   {La.} {a.}    ------


{ya.ping.}, {ra.ric}, {wa.hsw:}, {ha.hto:}  
{ka.} {hka.} {ga.} {Ga.} {nga.}
{sa.} {hsa.} {za.} {Za.} {a.}
{Ta.} {Hta.} {a.} {a.} {Na.}
{ta.}  {hta.} {da.}  {Da.} {na.}
{pa.} {hpa.} {ba.} {Ba.} {ma.}
{ya.} {ra.}   {la.}   {wa.} {a.}
------ {ha.}  {La.}  {a.}    ------

UKT note: The "Common names" given by Chklist are transcripted names, whereas the Bur-Myan names in Romabama are transliterated and transcribed from Bur-Myan akshara {mrn-ma ak~hka.ra}. Since the ink-on-paper version of Chklist was available to me only for a short time, I have been using Chklist by going online http://persoon.si.edu/myanmar/index.cfm (hyperlink check: 121215). 
-- (online) Database of Checklist Names
   [the most useful DB of Checklist -- UKT121215]
-- (online) Database of Common Names
   [the so-called "common names" are unintelligible even for a Bur-Myan like me.]
-- (online) Names of Uncertain Status (Checklist Appendix 2)
-- (online) Plant Distribution by State and Division

Note: Family names given by different authors or groups do differ from one another. See the downloaded (070426) Concordance of Angiosperm Family Names by James L. Reveal, in TIL library. Or go online: http://www.plantsystematics.org/reveal/pbio/usda/usdaa.html (hyperlink checked: 121216)
The best pix according to families are available online on:
Gnther's  Homepage, http://www.guenther-blaich.de/index.htm#START ; www.guenther-blaich.de/pflseite.php?par=Peuce...
http://www.guenther-blaich.de/index.htm (hyperlink check: 121216)

3. A List of Burmese Medicinal Plants 1. -- uhm-indx.htm
- by U Hla Maw, B.Sc., Research Officer, Pharmaceuticals Section, Applied Chemistry,  Research Department, Union of Burma Applied Research Institute, 1959.

4. Library index - not included in the internet version.
Collected papers in the library of MMPDB
CD versions of MMPDB contains a permanent library of resources which is excluded from the internet version to protect the copyrights of the authors. The contents of the permanent library:
5.1. Cited References being updated and reviewed: temporarily taken out of the library.
Updating by UKT in Canada, and staff in Myanmar (with most of the printed matter) : started on 070214:
Burmese Indigenous Medicinal Plants (indx-DMB)
by Daw Mya Bwin and U Sein Gwan, Pharmacology Research Division, Department of Medical Research, Ministry of Health, Rangoon, 1973.
Burmese Medicinal Plants ( indx-LSR.htm) (in Burmese-Myanmar)
- by {l-ya seik-pyo:r: kau-po-r:rhing:} (LSR)(Agricultural Corporation)
  Set in HTML by U Kyaw Tun (UKT), and staff of TIL for staff and students of TIL. Not for sale.
  UKT: Two versions of the same reference were available to me:
  - Published in 1978, pp. 503 (with UKT in Canada)
  - Published in 1980, with coloured illustrations, pp. 503 (with staff in Myanmar)
What is Ayrveda? by UKT: Based on downloaded article from Wikipedia.

5.  Terms from primarily from Wikipedia (dated)
A and B C D E F G
H and I J K L M
N and O P Q R S
T and U V W X Y Z
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG)

6. Medical terms from AHTD and other sources
A and B C D E F G
H and I J K L M
N and O P Q R S
T and U V W X Y Z

7. Myanmar Indigenous-medical terms
by (MLC - Myanmar Language  Commission) in
(Bur-Myan to Bur-Myan), 'Myanmar English Dictionary', etc. 
{ka.} {hka.} {ga.} {nga.}
{sa.} {hsa.} {za.} {a.}
{ta.} {hta.} {da.} {na.}
{pa.} {hpa.} {ba.} {ma.}
{ya.} {ra.} {la.} {wa.} {tha.}
{ha.} {a.}

8. References
References used in this compilation.

9. Notes - by U Kyaw Tun
Burmese-Myanmar adjectives : prefixes & suffixes
Doggie's Tale - copy-paste
Myanmar cuisine {nga:pi.} and {to.sa.ra}

Contents of this page


-- by UKT

Burmese Indigenous Medicinal Plants -- by Daw Mya Bwin and U Sein Gwan, (MB-SG), Pharmacology Research Division, Department of Medical Research, Ministry of Health, Rangoon, 1973.

A Checklist of the Trees, Shrubs, Herbs, and Climbers of Myanmar (Chklist) -- by W. J. Kress, R. A. DeFillipps, Ellen Farr, and Daw Yin Yin Kyi, (Revised from the original works by J.H. Lace, R. Rodgers, H.G. Hundley, and U Chit Ko Ko, on the "List of Trees, Shrubs, Herbs and Principal Climbers, etc. Recorded from Burma"), Department of Systematic Biology - Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, 2003, pp 590. Online: http://persoon.si.edu/myanmar/index.cfm

Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (APweb). Version 7, May 2006 [and more or less continuously updated since].
- Stevens, P. F. (2001 onwards)  http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/,
UKT note: it is best to access this reference online, and to get the required effect I have left the original links intact.

Essential Oils in the 1980's -- by C. K. Atal, Director, Regional Research Laboratory, Jammu, India, (unidentified publication),   page 182-196, on a seminar "Essential Oils from India"

Families of flowering plants (Watson & Dallwitz)
- Watson and Dallwitz (1992 onwards) Static information

FAO Sources
- Famine Foods -- Purdue University,
  Center for the Center for New Crops & Plant Products,
- Trees commonly cultivated in Southeast Asia, (FAO), Illustrated Field guide, by Michael Jensen, 2nd Ed.,
  FAO, RAP Publication 1999/13,

Guenther, E., and Althausen, D., The Essential Oils, Vol. 2, The Constituents of  Essential Oils, (Guenther), D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., New York, Toronto, London, 1949.

Himalayan Medicine
DP Agrawal, www.indianscience.org/essays/20-%20E--Himalayan%20Medicine%20System%20fine12.pdf

Medicinal Plants of India and Pakistan (Dastur)
by Dastur, J.F., Medicinal Plants of India and Pakistan, Third Indian edition, 1970, D.B. Taraporevala Sons & Co., Private Ltd., Treasure House of Books, 210, Dr.D.Naoroji Rd., Bombay 1

Merck Index, 13th ed., Merck & Co., Inc., 2001

{na-na-na.ya. a-ha-ra. sw-soan-kyam:} (in Burmese) by U San Hla, Rangoon, 1960, pp over 1026 (the rest of the pages of the original book was damaged)

Sorting Cymbopogon names - Internet download 060413
Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND)

Natural Preservatives -- by Anthony C. Dweck, www.dweckdata.com/Lectures/Preservatech.pdf

Pictorial Herbal Dictionary (in Burmese/Myanmar) by Shin Nagathein, vols. 1 to 4, Kyawwinsw Press (and other presses), Rangoon, 1976 (and following years). (citing volume and page)

Potent Myanmar Medicinal Plants for Malaria and Other Ailments (in Burmese-Myanmar), Ministry of Science and Technology, 2003, pp.270

The Universal Burmese-English-Pali Dictionary (UHS-Dict) - U Hoke Sein, First edition, 1980, pp1064 .

USDA-NRCS-data (United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Services) -- http://plants.usda.gov/ (UKT: Instead of going on line, see downloaded (2006-Apr) USDA-NRCS-data in TIL library.)

The following are NOT in the library for this version of the DataBase: these had been part of the library for previous versions:

A List of Burmese Medicinal Plants 1 (UHM) -- by U Hla Maw, B.Sc., Research Officer, Pharmaceuticals Section, Applied Chemistry,  Research Department, Union of Burma Applied Research Institute, 1959. (citing page number)

Note. In case of discrepancy in Myanmar names between Nagathein and another source, I have taken the Myanmar name given by Nagathein. However, there are cases where the spelling given by Nagathein has been superceded by the spelling given in MMDict.

Contents of this page

U Pe Than, B. Sc., M. Pharm.

U Pe Than, B.Sc. (Univ. of Rangoon, Burma), M.Pharm. (University of Nottingham, U.K.) had served as demonstrator in Chemistry in University of Rangoon, and as research officer and director of research in the Central Research Organization, Yangon, Myanmar). His research activity was mainly concerned with the medicinal plants of Myanmar. He had also received extensive training at Central Research Institute, Lucknow, India.

Contents of this page

U Kyaw Tun

B.Sc. (Honours in Chemistry) (University of Rangoon), M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.)

U Kyaw Tun joined the Department of Chemistry, University of Rangoon, as an assistant lecturer in 1955. He was assigned as lecturer to the first year science students at the Yankin College. His duties were further extended the following year as lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry to the third year science students (those taking Chemistry) at the main campus. He was assigned to revise laboratory instructions on qualitative inorganic analysis, and his work was in use up to the the mid-1960s, when the medium of instruction was gradually changed from English to Burmese. He had served for 33 years in various universities and colleges throughout Myanmar: Rangoon University, Rangoon Institute of Technology, Mandalay University, Bassein College (now Bassein Univversity), Workers College and Taunggyi College (now Taunggyi University). His last posting from which he retired was Associate Professor and Head of Department of Chemistry, Taunggyi Degree College.

He had undergone training for an academic year in 1975 in Advanced Research Techniques at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

To help in his study of languages, he had taken several on-line courses in linguistics, phonetics and writing systems.

Though trained as a scientist and engineer, U Kyaw Tun has a keen interest in the culture, history, religion and mythology of various peoples of the world. His knowledge of several languages: Myanmar, English, French, Pali, Swedish and German has helped him in his cultural studies. He has an extensive knowledge of Hindu astrology, specializing the Ashtakavarga system.

U Kyaw Tun was a part-time columnist writing for the Working Peoples Daily (English) in Myanmar and was a member on the editorial board of the North Renfrew Times in Canada. He has given several public lectures in Canada on Buddhism particularly to scientists and engineers, and to non-Buddhists.

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UKT notes

One of the reasons, if not the main reason, why I have taken an interest in this work is to help me in transcription of Bur-Myan into the Eng-Latin script a process generally known as Romanization. I became fascinated with romanization since I was in my early teens (I am now an old man of 78), when I first attempted to write Bur-Myan on my father's English typewriter. Only in the late 1990s I became aware of the fact that, to be able to come up with a reliable method of transcription, I would have to start with a transliteration of the Bur-Myan words. Since the names of the plants are quite varied orthographically, I figured that they would give me a good opportunity to test my method of transliteration which I have called "Romabama". And in the process, I have come to know more and more about the nature of the Myanmar akshara, the English vowel system, and the ASCII characters on which the computer platforms are based. The following notes are meant not only for the reader of this work, but for myself to guide me through my work.

For identification of the plants, plant names in Skt-Dev (Sanskrit-Devanagari) & Hindi-Dev scripts, and other scripts have to be included. Similarly, for the pronunciation of Bur-Myan plant names, IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) have to be included. And because of this necessity, MMPD solely relies on Arial Unicode MS font which could be downloaded readily from the Internet. Since this is no longer so, the MMPD CDs are now supplied with Arial Unicode MS font, and the reader is strongly advised to load it on the computer in use.

Contents of this page

Burmese-Myanmar adjectives
prefixes & suffixes

-- UKT 121215

Burmese-Myanmar adjectives that are derived from nouns do not undergo a change in spelling. The adjectives appear as affixes in compound words. These affixes are placed either in front of the noun (prefix) or after the noun (suffix). However, since we do not generally use white spaces to separate the words, the reader is left to figure out which part of the compound word is the noun and which the adjective. Sometimes the task is simple. For example, since the affixes {hpru} 'white', {nak} 'black', and {ni} 'red' give the colours, the intrinsic properties of a plant, they are used as suffixes. However, if the adjective describes an extrinsic property such as the place of origin <India> and <China>, or, the places where it is grown <dry land>  {koan:} or <marsh> {r} , they are used as prefixes. If you want to use them as suffixes, you have to place them within parentheses.  U Tun Tint, (retd.) MLC, concurred with my view.

Since parentheses are not really of Bur-Myan origin, use of these should be discouraged.

Go back to UKT-notes

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Burmese-Myanmar cuisine
{nga:pi.} and {to.sa.ra}

The simplest dish in every Bur-Myan meal is known as {nga:pi.r-kyo} or "fish-paste sauce". It is prepared from semi-liquid fish-paste {nga:pi.r} and grounded roasted hot chili. The smell of preparing {nga:pi.r-kyo} never fails to water the mouth of every true ethnic Burmese. Burmese usually eat with five fingers, and every child is taught the proper way to use the tips of his or her right-hand fingers -- the food must never soil the areas beyond the first digits.

The person would eat steaming boiled rice out of a dinner plate. A small portion, a morsel, would be set aside; a half-spoonful of {nga:pi.r-kyo} spread over it, and some fresh, simple-boiled, pickled, green leaf, stem, sprout of almost every plant  (sometimes a bit toxic making the person sleepy) will be "buried" in the lump of rice and eaten. The plant material is known as {to.sa.ra} literally meaning "a bit to touch" which could be rightly called "vege-mate".

It is probably due to the habit of eating the tender shoots of plants, normally considered to be poisonous in the West, that give the average Myanmar villager the ability to withstand many vegetable poisons, and also to acquire immunity against many diseases. During the First Anglo-Burmese War of the early 19th century the British were amazed to find that the soldiers under the Burmese general Bandoola, could crossed over from the west of the country, through the thick tropical rain-forests in a matter of days, to come and give battle to them in Yangon. These very same tropical rain-forests were quite deadly to the British and American troops, and also to Indians and the Japanese troops during the Second World War. (I still have to get the supporting evidence on the facts mentioned.)

The vege-mate may taste sour {hkyi}, astringent (raw-unripe-taste) {hpn}, or bitter {hka:} -- but not  sweet {hkyo} or creamy {hsaim.}. Bitter vege-mate is preferred by older persons while the young preferred the sour.

Note: Burmese-Myanmar recognised 7 (or 6) kinds of taste:
1.  {hkyo} - sweet;
2.  {hkyi} - sour; 
3.  {ngn} - salty;
4.    {hpn} - acrid or astringent or tart (raw-unripe-taste of most the rind of immature fruits);
5.  {sup} - pepper-hot;
6.  {hka:} - bitter
7.  {hsaim.} - creamy ({hseim.}. It is sometimes included in {hkyo} reducing the count to 6)

I always had difficulty in translating the taste {hpn}, until I came across the taste of {hkn i:}, the fruit of Carissa carandas in Wikkpedia:
"The fruit are edible but tart , with strawberry or apple-like flavour."
-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carissa 121215 .

MLC describes this taste as:
{hpn} /|hpan|/ - adj. acrid or astringent (taste) -- MEDict303

Another fruit with {hpn}-taste as well as a slight bitterness {hka:} is the {hpn hka: i:}. The mature green fruit is also a favorite vegemate that goes well with {nga:pi.r-kyo}.
{hpn-hka:} /|hpan ga:|/ - n. myrobalan tree; chebulic myrobalan. Terminalia chebula -- MEDict303 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminalia_chebula 121215
Go back hpn-b

It is probably because of this custom of eating plant materials with every meal, country folks rarely suffer from deficiency of vitamins and minerals.

Go back to notes-b

Contents of this page

Doggie's Tale

Mnemonic The Doggie Tale: 
Little doggie cringe in fear -- ŋ (velar),
  Seeing Ella's flapping ears -- ɲ (palatal)
  And, the Shepard's hanging rear -- ɳ (retroflex).
Doggie so sad he can't get it out
  What's that Kasha क्ष when there's a Kha ख ?
  And when there's Jana ज्ञ what I am to do with Jha झ?

Note to digitizer: you can copy and paste the following:
Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
Ḍ ḍ Ḥ ḥ Ḷ ḷ Ḹ ḹ Ṁ ṁ Ṃ ṃ Ṅ ṅ Ṇ ṇ Ṛ ṛ Ṝ ṝ Ś ś Ṣ ṣ Ṭ ṭ ɕ ʂ
Instead of Skt-Dev ः {wic~sa.} use "colon" :
Root sign √
Skt-Deva : श ś [ɕ] /ʃ/; ष ṣ [ʂ] /s/; स s [s] /θ/;
Undertie in Dev transcription: ‿ U203F
IPA symbols: ə ɪ ʌ ʊ ʧ ʤ θ ŋ ɲ ɳ ɹ

Go back Dog-tale-note-b

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Phonemes <sh> <s> & <th>
The question of palatal <c> in English

- UKT, 121216

Does English has a palatal <c>? We are told that English does not have it. Is it really so? Now that when I came to study phonetics, I was at a loss to explain words like <success>. First, and foremost, the so-called "double c" is a mis-representation, because the word <success> is a disyllable, and the first <c> is the coda of the first syllable, and the second <c> is the onset of the second syllable. The word <success> is /sək'ses/ -- DJPD16-515. There are other words like <success>. See English Palatal Stop, Antimoon Forum, 080116 posted by Joe Tun (that's me) -- http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t9649.htm (hyperlink check: 121216).

 My argument is this: since the /k/ of velar POA is next to /c/ of the palatal POA, they can easily be mistaken, and <success> is really /səc'ses/. I got this idea from the Bur-Myan spelling of words like {ɪc~sa}. So be assured that Bur-Myan {sa.} is /ca/ and its killed consonant {c} is /c/. I have shown the Skt-Dev & IAST representation after the Romabama: {sa.} च ca for /ca/, & {c} च् c for /c/. I have been asked why did not change to {ca.}? I simply cannot change it, because it would play havoc with the ordinary way (or what a man on the street would do) of transcription in use in Myanmarpr. So I need to come up with a new glyph for {sa.} /s/. I do not think, it would be advisable unless it be initiated by MLC, and so I opted for the next best thing -- to come up with a new Romabama representation: {Sa.} ष ṣa for /sa/ & {S} ष् ṣ for /s/. Now, I can transcribe English <kiss> with {kiS}.

Now let us not forget that {Sa.} ष is the dental fricative sibilant (hissing) /s/ and NOT the usual palatal-stop {sa.} च . Because of this my next proposal could be accepted -- to modify {Sa.} with the medial former {ha.} to give {Sha.}.

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End of TIL file