Embelia ribes Burm.f., Fl. Indica 62 (1768)
Species named after the genus 'Ribes or Gooseberries', referring to the fruit.
Antidesma grossularia Raeusch.
Antidesma ribes (Burm.f.) Raeusch.
Ardisia tenuiflora Blume
Calispermum scandens Lam.
Embelia burmanni Retz.
Embelia dentata Buch.-Ham. ex Wall. [Invalid]
Embelia garciniifolia Wall. ex Ridl.
Embelia glandulifera Wight
Embelia indica J.F.Gmel.
Embelia paniculata Moon
Embelia ribes var. ribes
Embelia ribes subsp. ribes
Embelia sumatrana Miq.
Ribesiodes ribes (Burm. f.) Kuntze
Samara ribes (Burm. f.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex Kurz
Shrubs scandent. Branchlets angled, longitudinally ridged, densely tawny or rusty papillose-tomentose.
Petiole 5-10 mm, marginate to base; leaf blade elliptic, oblong, or narrowly obovate, (3.5-)5-8(-10) x
(1.5-)3-3.5 cm, papery, leathery or rarely cartilaginous, glabrous, pellucid or black punctate, base
cuneate or rounded, margin revolute, entire, apex acuminate, rarely subacute; lateral veins inconspicuous.
Inflorescences terminal, pinnately pyramidal paniculate, (6-)10-l5(-30) cm; bracts subulate or lanceolate,
1-1.5 mm, sparsely puberulent abaxially, black punctate-lineate, margin entire, sparsely glandular
puberulent, apex subulate. Flowers greenish or white, (4 or)5-merous, papery, staminate 2-2.5 mm,
pistillate 1.5-2 mm. Pedicel (2-)3-3.5 mm in staminate, 1.5-2.5 mm in pistillate, sparsely to densely
papillose puberulent. Sepals deltate, pellucid-punctate, glandular papillose adaxially and on margin,
apex acuminate. Petals free, elliptic or oblong, papery, pellucid punctate, densely glandular granulose
inside, margin entire, long glandular papillose, apex acute to obtuse. Stamens subequalling petals or
slightly exserted to 1 mm in staminate and 2/3 petal length in pistillate; anthers ovate or oblong, base
sagittate, apex rounded, connective black punctate. Ovary glabrous. Stigma capitate or 2- or 3-lobed.
Fruit red or scarlet, globose or ovoid,(2-)3-4(-5) mm in diam., smooth, wrinkled when dry, densely black
punctate. [from Flora of China]
Mixed forests, bushes, roadsides, scrub, on well-drained soils, sand, sandy loam. Up to 2000 m elevation.
The seeds or fruits are widely used as a vermifuge. An infusion of the roots is given to treat coughs
and diarrhoea in Java. In East Kalimantan, the crushed fresh bark is used to repel leeches and as a
fish poison. The young leaves, shoots and young fruits are consumed as a (cooked) vegetable or condiment.
The ripe sour-sweet fruits are also eaten as a delicacy, mostly by children. Carminative: Either prevents
formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or facilitates the expulsion of gas. Anthelmintic: Useful
against tapeworms, but not other parasites. Alexiteric: It is believed to be useful in snake bite (resists
poison), but it is not sufficient antidote to the venom. It is a common practice to put a few berries of
the plant in the milk that is given to young children as it is believed to prevent flatulence. Sushruta
describes the fruit as anthelmintic, restorative and tonic, and recommends their use along with liquorice
root, for the purpose of strengthening the body and preventing the effects of age. Vidhang fruit extract
has cestocidal activity and has activity against Ascaridia galli in infected fowl (Gallus domesticus).
Its anti-inflammatory properties are effective in treating swollen gums. The dried fruit is used in
decoctions for fevers and for chest and skin diseases. The fruit has antibacterial properties.
From Sri Lanka, India and southern China to New Guinea.
Cambodia: chou pruc.
China: Bai hua suan teng guo.
English: False Black Pepper, White-flowered Embelia.
India: Vidanga, Tandula, Krimighna, Baberang, Vayvidang.
Indonesia: Kacembang (Sundanese).
Laos: reut jeum bang.
Malaysia: Akar sulur kerang.
Thailand: som kung (peninsular).
Vietnam: th[uf]n m[ux]n, c[aa]y m[ux]n, d[aa]y ng[us]t.