Malatungau is a spreading shrub growing to a height of 2 meters. Twigs and flower stalks are rough with small, triangular, upward pointing scales. Leaves are broadly lanceolate, 7 to 12 centimeters long, slightly rough and hairy on both surfaces. Flowers are 4 to 7 centimeters across, clustered, and mauve purple. Calyx is closely set with short, chaffy, silky or silvery scales. Fruit is ovoid, about 6 millimeters wide and pulpy within.
- In thickets and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes in Zambales, Nueva Viscaya, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Bataan, and Cavite Provinces in Luzon; in Mindoro; in Sibuyan; and in Negros.
- Domesticated in Baguio as an ornamental.
- Also occurs in India to Indo-China and through Malaya to New Guinea, Australia, and Madagascar.
- Study reports the extraction of three classes of compounds: triterpenoids, glycolipids and flavonoids from the leaves and flowers.
- Study of ethyl acetate extract yielded naringenin, kaempferol and kaempferol-3-O-d-glucoside.
- Study of leaves with white petals yielded flavonoids quercetin 1 and quercitrin 2.
-Phytochemical analysis of various parts have yielded flavonoids, flavan-3-ols, triterpenes, tannins, anthocyanins, saponins, steroids, glycosides, and phenolics.
- n-Hexane extract yielded α-amyrin, patriscabatrine and auranamide, ethyl acetate extract gave quercetin and quercitrin, and methanol extract gave quercitrin and kaempferol-3-O-(2",6"-di-O-p-trans-coumaroyl)glucoside.
- GC-MS analysis of leaf for bioactive components yielded (+)3,4-dehydroproline amide (69.44%), mefloquine (17.36%) and 2-(3,5- diphenyl-pyrazol-1-yl)benzothiazole (3.47%). (31)
- GC-MS analysis of methanol crude leaf extracts
yielded 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, pyrogallol, phytol, palmitic acid methyl ester, palmitic acid, 8,11-octadecanoic and methyl ester, phytol, stearic and methyl ester, trans-squalene, tocopherol, and α -tocopherol-ß-D-mannoside. (see study below) (45)
Qualitative phytochemical analysis of leaves and stem bark extracts yielded reducing sugars, tannins, phenol, flavonoid, and saponins. (47)
- Phytochemical analysis of leaves yielded tanniins, alkaloids, saponins, phenols and terpenoid, with an absence of alkaloids. GC-MS analysis yielded 10 bioactive compounds. Main volatile compounds were squalene (25%), hexadecanoic acid, ethyl ester (18.95%), linolenic acid ethyl ester (17.35%0 and phytol (11.89%). (see study below) (56)
- Seeds are thinly coated with red flesh which stain the mouth when eaten.
- Considered astringent, sedative, digestive, anti-flatulent.
- Studies have shown analgesic, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, anti-diarrheal, cytotoxic, antioxidant properties.
Leaves, roots, flowers, young shoots.
- Fruit flesh is rather sweet, slightly astringent.
- Seeds are thinly coated with red flesh, staining the mouth when they are eaten.
- In Java, sour leaves, when young, eaten with other foods.
- In Southeast Asian folklore medicine, leaves, shoots, bark, seeds, and roots are used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, cuts and wounds, toothache, stomachache. (8)
- Leaves are chewed up, pounded, and applied as poultice to cuts or wounds; also, squeezed to apply the juice to stop bleeding.
- Young leaves are eaten to treat diarrhea; premature leaves are consumed raw to cure dysentery.
- Roots are used as mouthwash to relieve toothache or to treat epilepsy.
- Shoots are ingested to treat puerperal infections, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Decoction of leaves and young shoots given for diarrhea, alone or with mangosteen bark or fruit husks.
- Boiled young shoots, alone or with extract of mangosteen husks are mixed with sambong leaves for same purpose.
- As a bath, for flatulence, acidity, and tenderness of the legs.
- Shoots taken internally for puerperal infections.
- Juice from roots applied to lessen the soreness associated with thrush in children.
- Powdered leaves used as astringent for dysentery.
- Juice of leaves and roots used as a digestive aid.
- Flowers used as a nervous sedative and for hemorrhoidal bleeding.
- Leaves and flowers used as astringent in leucorrhea and chronic diarrhea.
- In India, flowers are used in the treatment of cancer.
- In Tahiti, plant used for diarrhea and dysentery; decoction of the bark as gargle.
- Decoction of roots and leaves, or roots alone, given to women after childbirth.
- Powdered leaves and roots sprinkled over wounds; also sprinkled over healing pustules of smallpox to prevent scarring.
- Handful of leaves, boiled with vinegar, ginger and "bonglai," given as decoction for leucorrhea.
- In traditional Chinese medicine, seeds used in the "poh chi" pills to treat diarrhea.
- In Sri Lanka, decoction of young shoots with leaves taken for indigestion. (49)
• Antinociceptive: Study of ethanolic extract of M malabathricum demonstrated strong dose-dependent antinociceptive effect. Naloxone, a nonselective opioid receptor antagonist blocked the antinociceptive effect suggesting MM may act both at peripheral and central levels. (1)
• Gastroprotective / Anti-Ulcer: Study of the aqueous leaf extract of M malabathricum against ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injuries in rats showed significant and dose-dependent inhibition of ethanol-induced gastric ulcers. (2)
• Antidiarrheal / Leaves / Non-Toxicity: Study of the water extract of M malabathricum on diarrhea models in Swiss mice showed significant reduction of fecal output and protection from castor oil-induced diarrhea. No mortality or toxicity signs were observed at doses up to 2000 mg/kg dose. (3)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study results suggest that the natural flavonoid and pentacyclic triterpenes from M. malabathricum possess selective antagonistic activity toward platelet activating factor (PAF) and may be a potential candidate as an anti-inflammatory compound. (4)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity: Study of flower extracts and isolated compounds showed radical scavenging activity. Naringenin and kaempferol-3-O-(2",6"-di-O-p-trans-coumaroyl)glucoside showed inhibition of cell proliferation of MCF7 cell line. (5)
• Antimicrobial / Leaves: In a study of ethnomedicinal uses of 40 medicinal plants and antimicrobial activity against S aureus, B licheniformis, B brevis, B subtilis, P aeruginosa, E coli among others, M malabathricum (leaf) was one of 14 plants that showed outstanding antimicrobial activity. (6)
• Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory: Leaf extracts yielded n-hexane extract yielded a-amyrin, patriscabatrine and auranamide, quercetin and quercitrin, and kaempferol-3-O-(2",6"-di-O-p-trans-coumaroyl)glucoside. Quercetin, quercitrin, and kaempferol-3-O-(2",6"-di-O-p-trans-coumaroyl)glucoside showed strong activities with FTP radical scavenging assay. α-Amyrin and kaempferol showed the strongest activity in the anti-inflammatory assay.
• In vitro Anticoagulant Activity / Leaves: An aqueous leaf extract was observed to possess potent anticoagulant property, affecting the intrinsic pathway of coagulation cascade by causing clotting factor/s deficiency. (10)
• Antibacterial / Antioxidative / Cytotoxicity: Study evaluated a methanol extract of leaves and fractions of Melastoma malabathricum for antibacterial activity, and antioxidative and cytotoxic effects. Results showed antibacterial activity against all test bacterial pathogens. Further testing showed cytotoxicity and antioxidative effects. (11)
• Increased Thrombocyte / Platelet Count: Study investigated the effect of a methanolic extract of M. malabathricum in thrombocyte counts in mice. Results showed a significant rise in thrombocytes/platelets in vivo with an increment of 51.64% compared to baseline count, and suggests a potential remedy in treating thrombocytopenic conditions. (12)
• Anthocyanins / Colorants: Anthocyanins are water soluble plant pigments commonly found in various fruits and vegetables. Study showed the potential use of H. sabdariffa, M. malabathricum and I batatas as natural coloring agents to replace synthetic colorants used in the food and beverage industries. (13)
• Antiulcer / Leaf Extract: An ethanol leaf extract exhibited significant and dose-dependent antiulcer activity in both ethanol-induced and indomethacin-induced ulcer models. (14) Study of methanol extract of leaves in various rat models showed antiulcer activity, which could be attributed to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. (33) Study evaluated the mechanisms of gastroprotective activity of a chloroform extract of leaves using in vitro and in vivo assays. MM extract demonstrated significant (p<0.05) gastroprotection with EC50 values of 297.7 mg/kg. In pylorus ligation assay, MM significantly (p<0.05) reduced total and free acidity and volume. Results suggest CEMM exert gastroprotective effects in animals with ethanol-induced gastric ulcers via antioxidant and anti-secretory effects. (34)
• Antibacterial / Antioxidant / Immunomodulatory / Toxicity Evaluation: Study of ethanol and aqueous extracts showed abilities to scavenge DPPH and ABTS free radicals. The MM extract was shown to be safe at high dose with no oral toxicity. Also, the extract showed high activity against S. aureus and S. agalactiae. Immunomodulatory activity was evidenced by increased percentage of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). (16)
• Wound Healing Activity: Study evaluated the wound healing activity of M. malabathricum on Sprague Dawley rats. An aqueous extract of leaves showed the highest concentration of flavonoids and also the presence of tannins which improved the wound healing activity for the excised wound. (17)
• Hepatoprotective Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanol extract of leaves for hepatoprotective activity in rat models. The methanol extract showed significant hepatoprotective activity against both inducers (paracetamol and carbon tetrachloride), attributed possibly to phytochemical constituents. (18)
• Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study of a chloroform extract of leaves of Melastoma malabathricum showed significant antinociceptive, mediated via peripheral and central mechanisms, and anti-inflammatory activity. (19) Study of an aqueous extract of leaves exhibited significant (p<0.05) antinociceptive (abdominal constriction, hot-plate, and formalin tests), anti-inflammatory carrageenan-induced paw edema) and antipyretic (brewer's yeast-induced pyrexia) activities in a dose-dependent manner. (30)
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant / Paracetamol Induced Toxicity / Leaves: Study determined the hepatoprotective activity of methanol extract of leaves against paracetamol-induced liver toxicity. Results showed significant (p<0.05) and high antioxidant activity. In hepatotoxicity study, the ME showed significant hepatoprotective effect against paracetamol-induc3ed hepatotoxic model. Phytochemical analysis yielded flavonoids as its major constituents. (21)
• Acute Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study in mice evaluated a water extract of M. malabathricum leaves for acute toxicity with doses of 62.5, 125, 250, 500, 1000, and 2000 mg/kg. The water extract of leaves showed neither mortality or any signs of general weakness up to 2000 mg/kg dose indicating safety for consumption up to 2000 mg/kg dose. (22)
• Antibacterial / Cytotoxicity / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antibacterial, antioxidative, and cytotoxic effects of fractions of M. malabathricum leaves. ML5 effectively inhibited all test bacterial pathogens. Among the leaf fractions (ML1-ML6), ML5 showed the highest cytotoxicity concentration (CC50) at 0.75 mg mL-1, activity related to the presence of flavonoid constituents with antioxidant properties. The antioxidant compounds from the ML5 fractions exert effects by enhancement of CC50 level. (23)
• Anticancer / Dalton Ascites Lymphoma / Leaves: Study evaluated the antitumor activity of ethanol extract of leaves of MM on DAL model in Swiss albino mice. Results showed significant antitumor activity with decrease in tumor volume and cell viability, with an increased of HB near to normal levels. (24)
• Anticoagulant Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated the bioactive components responsible for the anticoagulant activity of M. malabathricum hot water crude leaf extract. Cinnamic acid and cinnamic acid derivative from subfraction B showed anticoagulant activity. The active anticoagulant prolonged blood clotting time by causing factor/s deficiency in the intrinsic blood coagulation pathway. (25)
• Flower Pigment Analysis: Anthocyanin is a pigment permitted for use as food colorant and considered a potential replacement for synthetic dyes. Study analyzed color pigment anthocyanin detected in the flower. Results showed the highest concentration of M. malabathricum anthocyanin is obtained at the flowering development stage. (26)
• Effect on Fibroblast Proliferation / Wound Healing Potential: Study evaluated the wound healing potential of MM by assessing and comparing rates of fibroblast proliferation. Methanol extracts showed gradual dose-response inhibitory effect with all concentrations. There was time- and dose-dependent proliferative effect of M. malabathricum aqueous extract on fibroblasts while its methanol extract had a toxic effect on the cells. (27)
• Potential as Bio-Accumulator for Uranium and Thorium: Uranium and Thorium are naturally occurring radionuclides. Study explored the potential of MM as bio-accumulator of uranium and thorium from soils of tin mining, industrial, and residential/commercial areas. Results showed a potential for MM to be used as bio-accumulator of uranium, especially in areas of elevated concentration. (28)
• Antioxidative / Bioactive Flavonoids: Study reported on the separation of bioactive flavonoids from MM. The solvent extracts showed considerable variation in antioxidant activities. Results showed MM as a potential natural antioxidant remedy, comparable to commercially available antioxidants. (29)
• Effect on Platelet Count / Potential Thrombocytopenia Treatment: Study evaluated the effect of a methanolic extract of M. malabathricum in thrombocytopenic mice. Results showed MM could be a potential remedy in treating thrombocytopenic condition. (32)
• Anti-Viral / Non-Cytotoxic: Study found M. malabathricum methanol extract to be non-cytotoxic to kidney and fibroblast cell lines. MMME was found capable of inhibiting 'HSV-1 and measles virus during early stages of viral replication. (35)
• Anthelmintic: Study of MM extracts on egg hatch (EH), larva development (LDA) and adult motility assay (AMA) against Haemonchus contortus showed anthelmintic activity in vitro. All extracts induced significantly (p<0.05) higher anthelmintic activity (AHA and LDA) compared to control negative. (36)
• Apoptosis Effects on HepG2 Cells: Study evaluated the cytotoxicity effect of M. malabathricum extracts on HepG2 cells. Results showed MM significantly induced apoptosis on HepG2 cells and suggest a potential as anticancer agent. (37)
• Male Fertility Enhancement: An ethanol extract of MM was evaluated for fertility enhancement in male albino rats. Hormonal assays showed increase levels of LH and testosterone, with decreased levels of FASH and estrogen. There was increased number of female impregnation, increased number of implantation and number of viable fetuses. Results showed enhanced sperm concentration, motility and testosterone which can produce positive effects on male fertility. (39)
• Addition of Fruit Extract as Colorant and Antioxidant to Jackfruit Straw Jam: Jackfruit straw is rich in fiber and can be processed into jam, albeit, weak in color. Study showed the addition of "senduduk" fruit extract improved the color and antioxidant activity of the jam—the more senduduk extract added, the stronger the color and higher the antioxidant activity. (40)
• Anti-Diarrheal / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-diarrheal effects of an ethanol extract of leaves in rats using castor oil-induced models. Results showed the extract exhibited significant and dose-dependent anti-diarrheal activity, with 93.67% diarrheal inhibition at 400 mg/kg. (41)
• Phytoremediation Potential / Hyperaccumulator of Aluminum: Study evaluated the metal tolerance levels of M. malabathricum plantlets on tissue culture medium containing aluminum (Al), copper (Cu), and cobalt (Co). The order of survival rate for the plantlets was Al > Cu > Co. (42) Study investigated the characteristics of Al uptake and accumulation in the roots of MM, an Al-accumulating plant. Study showed that Al complexes with oxalate in the roots of MM. Oxalate which occurs at high concentrations is a ligand for Al accumulation in both root and shoot tissue. (43)
• Platelet Activating Factor Inhibition / Anti-Inflammatory: In vitro study showed quercetin, quercitrin, α- amyrin and betulinic acid showed inhibition of PAF (platelet activating factor) receptor binding with IC50 values of 33.0, 45.4, 20.0 and 22.2 µM, respectively. IC50s were comparable to Cedrol (12.1µM), a known PAF receptor antgonist. Results suggest natural flavonoids and pentacyclic triterpenes from M. malabathricum possess selective antagonistic activity towards PAF and is a potential as a natural anti-inflammatory compound. (44)
• Antibacterial / Leaves: Study of methanol extract of leaves exhibited antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. Extracts did not exhibited antifungal activity. (see constituents above) (45)
• Cytotoxicity / Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines: Study evaluated the cytotoxic activity of various solvent extracts of Melastoma malabathricum leaves, stems, and flowers against human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) in vitro. The methanol extract of leaves showed significant anticancer activity against MCF-7 cell lines with IC50 value of 7.14 µg/ml while methanol and chloroform flower extracts exhibited moderate activity with IC50 of 33.63 µg/ml and 45.76 µg/ml, respectively. (46)
• Anthelmintic / Synergism of M. malabathricum Leaves and N. sativa Seeds: Study evaluated M. malabathricum leaf and Nigella sativa seed extracts for in vitro anthelmintic activity against earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae species. Albendazole was used as standard. Melastoma malabathricum leaves extract have been reported to possess tannins, polyphenols, saponins, glycosides, terpenoids, and steroids that favor the anthelmintic effect. Tannins is the polyphenolic compound with anthelmintic effect that binds to free proteins or glycoproteins inside the host GI tract that causes death of the parasites. When the two plants were combined, better anthelmintic activity was observed. (48)
/ Leaves: Study evaluated the antinociceptive activity of methanol extract of leaves of M. malabathricum in rats using various models of nociception viz., in vivo acetic acid-induced abdominal constriction, formalin induced paw licking, and hot plate tests. Results showed significant (p<0.05) antinociceptive activity in all chemical- and thermal-induced nociception models. Study concluded M. malabathricum exerted non-opioid antinociceptive activity at central and peripheral levels partly via inhibition of vanilloid receptors and glutamatergic system, and activation of the NO-mediated/cGMP-independent pathway. (49)
• Wound Healing Activity / Antibacterial: Study evaluated a methanol extract of M. malabathricum ointment formulation for wound healing activity in incision and excision wound models in rats. The ME showed significant wound healing effect in both wound models in measures of wound contracting ability, closure time, tensile strength, and regeneration of tissues at the wound site, comparable to standard drug, nitrofurazone. The ME inhibited clinical wound isolates of S. aureus and P. aeruginosa with MICs ranging from 2.0 to 8.0 mg/ml. (50)
• Induction of Secondary Necrosis in Human Cancer Cell Lines: Study investigated the cytotoxic effects of MM in both human breast and lung cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and A549 and defined the mode of cell death. MTT assay showed the MM extract had an IC50 of >400 g/ml on both cell lines. The MM extract induced secondary necrosis on MCF-7 and A549 cells 24 hours post treatment. (51)
• Antimicrobial Infusions / Flower and Fruit Extracts: Study evaluated the inhibitory activities of various concentrations of crude extracts of M. malabathricum flowers and fruits against a variety of microorganisms. Both crude extracts showed strong inhibitory activities against Gram-positive bacteria, more than Gram-negative species, with MIC range of 12.5 to 100.o mg/ml. (52)
• Antiproliferative / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antiproliferative and antioxidant activities of various extracts of leaves of Melastoma malabathricum using various in vitro assays against various cancer cell lines. The methanol extract exhibited antiproliferative activities against more cell lines, including MCF-7, HeLa, Caov-3, HL-60, CEM-SS and MDA-MB-231. The aqueous and methanol extracts produced high antioxidant activity in superoxide scavenging assay and the methanol extract showed high activity in DPPH radical scavenging assay. Activities were attributed to high phenolic contents. (53)
• In Vivo Irritation Study / Cream Formulation: Previous study of M. malabathricum has shown antiviral activity against Herpes simples virus type 1 (HSV-1). This study evaluated the safety and biocompatibility of a cream formulation by topically applying the cream onto the back of ICR mice skin. Treatment was found to accelerate wound contraction with less scar formation. The skin formulation did not cause any skin irritation or adverse effect to ICR mice within seven days of exposure. (54)
• Antidiabetic / Antihyperlipidemic / Leaves: Study evaluated an ethanol leaf extract of M. malabathricum for antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic effect in alloxan induced diabetic Wistar albino rats. Results showed significant reductions of blood glucose (p<0.05), lipid parameters (TC, LDL-C), serum enzymes, and significantly increased HDL-C. Extracts also caused a significant increase in serum insulin (p<0.05) in diabetic rats. (55)
• Antibacterial / Antibiofilm: From disc diffusion study, all test concentrations of an ethanolic extract exhibited zones of inhibition against Pseudomonas aeruginosa ranging from 9 to 11 mm. The ethanolic extract also inhibited formation of P. aeruginosa biofilm. (see constituents above) (56) Study of M. malabathricum stem bark acetone extract showed excellent bactericidal and antibacterial activities against Streptococcus mutans. Mode of action was attributed to disruption of S. mutans membrane structure. The extract significantly inhibited biofilm and adherence activities of S. mutans in a dose-dependent manner (p<0.05). (58)
• Insecticidal / Rice Weevils: Sitophilus oryzae: Rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae is one of the major pests of stored commodities. Study showed a 1% and 4% leaf extraction and 2% stem extraction of M. malabathricum showed good results against S. oryzae. (57)