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Aleppo oak
Quercus infectoria.jpg
1873 illustration[1]
Gall on quercus boissieri, Israel.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Section: Cerris
Species: Quercus infectoria
Binomial name
Quercus infectoria
Oliv. 1801

Manjakani is the name used in Malaysia for the galls of the Quercus infectoria tree (Aleppo oak) a species of oak, that have been used for centuries in softening leather and in making black dye and ink.[4]


In Malaysia and Indonesia the galls of the Quercus Infectoria tree are known as Manjakani and in India Majuphal among many other names.


Quercus infectoria is indigenous to parts of southern Europe (Greece and the East Aegean Islands) and the Middle East (Turkey, Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan, Lebanon and Syria).[5] It also grows in South and Southwestern Asia.


The galls arise on young branches of the Quercus Infectoria tree when gall wasps[6] sting the oak tree and deposit their larvae the chemical reaction causes an abnormality in the oak tree causing hard balls to be formed. They are corrugated in appearance.


The main constituents found in the galls of Quercus infectoria are tannin (50-70%, the highest naturally occurring tannin concentration)[7] and small amounts (2-4% each) of free gallic acid and ellagic acid, which are polymerized to make tannins.[8][9][10] Other constituents are syringic acid, β-sitosterol, amentoflavone, hexamethyl ether, isocryptomerin, methyl betulate, methyl oleanate and hexagalloyl glucose.[7][11]

Tannins from the nutgalls[edit]

Tannins comprise a large group of natural products widely distributed in the plant kingdom. They have a great structural diversity, but are usually divided into two basic groups: the hydrolyzable type and the condensed type. Hydrolyzable tannins include the commonly occurring gallic and ellagic acid contained in the nut galls.

Hydrolyzable tannins are present in many different plant species but are found in particularly high concentrations in nut galls growing on Rhus semialata (Chinese and Korean gallotannins) and Quercus infectoria (Turkish and Chinese gallotannins), the seedpods of Caesalpinia spinosa (Tara tannins), and the fruits of Terminalia chebula. The gallic and ellagic acid hydrolyzable tannins react with proteins to produce typical tanning effects; medicinally, this is important to topically treat inflamed or ulcerated tissues.They also contribute to most of the astringent property of manjakani and in small insignificant doses, are great for skin whitening and killing microorganisms.

Although both types of tannin have been used to treat diseases in traditional medicine, the hydrolyzable tannins have long been considered official medicinal agents in Europe and North America. They have been included in many pharmacopoeias, in the older editions in particular, and are specifically referred to as tannic acid. These were recommended for treatment of inflammation and ulceration, including topical application for skin diseases and internal use for intestinal ulceration and diarrhea. In China, tannin-containing substances, such as galls, pomegranate rinds, and terminalia fruits, are used in several medicinal preparations.

Uses of the galls[edit]

Nowadays, gall nut extracts are widely used in pharmaceuticals, medical laboratory techniques as well as inks which use "Aleppo tannin",[12] food and feed additives, dyes, and metallurgy.


Tannin, a substance contained in the galls of the Quercus infectoria, has been used for centuries for the tanning of leather.

Medical laboratory techniques[edit]

The so-called "Aleppo tannin" is tannic acid gained from Aleppo pine galls, which displays unique chemical properties essential in the preparation of gold sols (colloids) used as markers in immunocytochemistry.[13] [14]


The wide range of pharmacological activities of this plant might support the efficacy of extract preparation of Quercus infectoria that have been widely used in Malaysia for centuries for treating a variety of health problems. The galls of Quercus infectoria have been pharmacologically documented to possess astringent, antidiabetic,[15] antitremorine, local anaesthetic,[16] antiviral,[17] antibacterial,[18] antifungal,[19] larvicidal,[20] anti-inflammatory,[21][22] antiamoebic,[23] and are used to treat skin infections, gastrointestinal disorders.

Teeth and gum remedy[edit]

Also known as majuphal in Indian traditional medicine, manjakani has been used as dental powder and in the treatment of toothache and gingivitis.[24][25]

Uterine and vaginal therapy[edit]

The galls, locally known as manjakani in Malaysia, are used in combination with other herbs as drinking remedies by women after childbirth to restore the elasticity of the uterine wall, and in many vaginal tightening products.[26] The extract of manjakani was claimed by the Malay Kelantanese to be highly beneficial for postpartum women. Hazardous effects of the extract were not reported so far. In addition, the Arabs, Persians, Indians, Malays and Chinese have traditionally used the galls after childbirth to treat vaginal discharge and related postpartum infections.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1873 illustration from The American Cyclopaedia by George Ripley & Charles A. Dana
  2. ^ Quercus infectoria Olivier Tropicos, Missouri Botanical Garden
  3. ^ Quercus infectoria G.Olivier is an accepted name . Kew Plant List
  4. ^ Kottakkal AVS (1995). The Indian Medicinal Plants. 
  5. ^ T. K. Lim 2012. Quercus infectoria. Edible Medicinal And Non-Medicinal Plants, pages 16-26
  6. ^ Muhamad Z; Mustafa AM (1994). Traditional Malay Medicinal Plants. Kuala Lumpur: Penerbit Fajar Bakti Sdn Bhd. 
  7. ^ a b Dar MS; Ikram M (1979). Studies on Quercus infectoria; isolation of syringic acid and determination of its central depressive activity. Planta Med. 
  8. ^ Ikram M; Nowshad F (1997). Constituents of Quercus infectoria. Planta Med. PubMed
  9. ^ Evans WC (1996). Pharmacopoeial and related drugs of biological origin. London: WB Saunders Co. Ltd. 
  10. ^ Wiart C; Kumar A (2001). Practical Handbook of Pharmacognosy. Malaysia: Pearson Education Malaysia Sdn Bhd. 
  11. ^ Hwang JK; Kong TW; Baek NI; Pyun YR (2000). alpha-Glycosidase inhibitory activity of hexagalloylglucose from the galls of Quercus infectoria. Planta Med. 
  12. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, Aleppo oak |accessdate=17 May 2015
  13. ^ Frank Mayer (1988). Electron Microscopy in Microbiology. 20. London: Academic Press. p. 216. ISBN 9780080860497. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  14. ^ Gareth Griffiths (1993). Fine Structure Immunocytochemistry. Berlin & Heidelberg: Springer. p. 185. ISBN 978-3-642-77097-5. 
  15. ^ Hwang JK; Kong TW; Baek NI; Pyun YR (2000). α-Glycosidase Inhibitory Activity of hexagalloylglucose from the galls of Quercus infectoria'. Planta Med. PubMed
  16. ^ Dar MS; Ikram M; Fakouhi T (1976). Pharmacology of Quercus infectoria'. J Pharm Sci. PubMedPubMed
  17. ^ Hussein G; Miyashiro H; Nakamura N; Hattori M; Kakiuchi N; Shimotohno K (2000). Inhibitory effects of Sudanese medicinal plant extracts on hepatitis C virus protease. Phytother Res. Ful Text
  18. ^ Fatima S; Farooqi AHA; Kumar R; Kumar TRS; Khanuja SPS (2001). Antibacterial activity possessed by medicinal plants used in tooth powders. J Med Aromatic Plant Sci. 
  19. ^ Digraki M; Alma MH; Ilcim A; Sen S (1999). Antibacterial and antifungal effects of various commercial plant extracts. Pharm Biol. 
  20. ^ Redwane A; Lazrek HB; Bouallam S; Markouk M; Amarouch H; Jana M (2002). Larvicidal activity of extracts from Quercus lusitania var. infectoria galls (Oliv.). J Ethnopharmacol. PubMedFull Text
  21. ^ Kaur G; Alam MS; Athar M (2007). Quercus infectoria galls possess antioxidant activity and abrogates oxidative stress-induced functional alterations in murine macrophages. Chem Biol Interact. PubMed
  22. ^ Kaur G; Hamid H; Ali A; Alam MS; Athar M (2004). Antiinflammatory evaluation of alcoholic extract of galls of Quercus infectoria'. J Ethnopharmacol. PubMedFull Text
  23. ^ Sawangjaroen; Sawangjaroen K; Poonpanang P.; et al. (2004). Effects of Piper longum fruit, Piper sarmentosum root and Quercus infectoria nut gall on caecal amoebiasis in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. PubMed
  24. ^ Kottakkal AVS. (1995). Indian Medicinal Plants. 4. Orient Longman Ltd. 
  25. ^ Bhattacharjee SK. (2001). Handbook of Medicinal Plants. India: Pointer Publishers. 
  26. ^ Muhamad Z; Mustafa AM (1994). Traditional Malay Medicinal Plants. Kuala Lumpur: Penerbit Fajar Bakti Sdn Bhd. 

External links[edit]