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Plant Part Used

Leaves, shoots, roots (1)

Active Constituents

tannins, flavonoids (2) , (3)

Introduction

M. malabathricum can be found in northern parts of Peninsular Malaysia although in the more southern regions, M. polyanthum is the dominant species. However, the locals regard both to be the same plant. (4) There can be many variations to the morphology of the M. malabathricum as it is a pioneer species, with the differences in the structure being characteristic of a particular place. (5) The stems are generally square and bristly, the leaves are narrow and tapered, and the flowers are reddish to magenta. (6) The fruits and young leaves are edible, with the flesh of the berry being red and astringent while the shoots are sour. (7)

The plant is a common shrub which can be found in previously cleared land and waste places. (8) Its pioneering characteristic is due to its ability to grow in areas of poor nutrient soil. In addition, it grows in areas with acid soil containing high levels of aluminium. (9) The plant is also able to accumulate large amounts of the aluminium in the leaves and roots. (10) , (11) In Malaysia, various parts of the plant are used for diarrhoea, anti-infection, scar prevention, and post-partum recovery. (12) , (13) , (14) Black, pink and red dyes can be obtained from the fruits, leaves and roots of this plant respectively. (15)

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

Information is not available.

Most Common Dosage

Information is not available.

Standardization

No standard marker reported.

Toxicities & Precautions

General

Information is not available.

Side Effects

Information is not available.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

Since safety in pregnancy or lactating women has not been established, avoid taking this herb in those conditions.

Age Limitations

Safety in young people and the elderly has not been established.

Pharmacology

Extracts of the plant were reported to have anti-aggregation properties. (16) However, there is no clinical or scientific data to substantiate this claim and it is not known whether this activity applies to animals or humans.

No other pharmacological activities were reported on Melastoma malabathricum in animals or humans. However, current reports have indicated antiviral (HSV-1, Poliovirus) and cytotoxic (against murine cell lines) activities for the methanolic extract. (17)

Reported Uses:

Uses reported in folk medicine, but not supported by clinical data:
The leaves can be used to stop the bleeding from a cut or wound, through the application of chewed up leaves onto the wound or by finely chopping the leaves up and squeezing the juice onto the wound or through the application of the paste produced by pounding the leaves. (18) The leaves can also be used as a tonic. (19) Powdered leaves are used as an astringent for dysentry. (20) , (21) Liquid obtained from boiling the leaves and shoots, either on their own or with mangosteen bark or fruit husks, can be used to stop diarrhoea. (22) , (23)

The liquid can also relieve a toothache if the shoots are used and the liquid is used as a mouthwash or to treat leucorrhea if mixed with a little vinegar; the rhizome of Zingiber officinale (ginger) and Zingiber cassumunar (bonglai) (24) , (25) or the bonglai replaced with Oroxylum indicum (26) or the vinegar substituted by sugar. (27) In other cases, the shoots can be ingested against puerperal infections. (28)

Mouthwash to relieve a toothache can also be compounded from roots. (29) , (30) In children, this liquid can be applied to lessen the soreness due to thrush. (31) The root can be given to post-partum women to aid healing and womb strengthening (32) , (33) , (34) or to alleviate rheumatism, arthritis and tenderness in the legs. (35)

Powdered roots and leaves can be applied to wounds and pox scars to aid the healing process (36) , (37) or to relieve the discomfort of haemorrhoids. (38) , (39) Paste made from these parts can also be used for these indications. (40)

Read More

  1) Botanical Info

  2) Safety

References

  1. Anonymous. Melastoma malabathricum L., in Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Herbal Medicine Research Centre. Institute for Medical Research. Kuala Lumpur. 2002;2:131-132.
  2. Yoshida T, Nakata F, Hosotani K, Nitta A, Okudat T. Dimeric Hydrolysable Tannins from Melastoma Malabathricum. Phytochemistry. 1992;31(8):2829-2833.
  3. Lohézic-Le Dévéhat F, Bakhtiar A, Bézivin C, Amoros M, Boustie J. Antiviral and Cytotoxic Activities of Some Indonesian Plants. Fitoterapia. 2002;73(5):400-405.
  4. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  5. Meyer K. Revision of the Southeast Asian genus Melastoma (Melastomataceae). Blumea. 2001;46(2):351-398.
  6. Henderson MR. In Malayan Wild Flowers Dicotyledons. The Malayan Nature Society. Kuala Lumpur. 1959:141.
  7. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  8. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  9. Osaki M, Watanabe T, Ishizawa T, et al. Nutritional Characteristics in Leaves of Native Plants Grown in Acid Sulfate, Peat, Sandy Podzolic and Saline Soils Distributed in Peninsular Thailand. Plant and Soil. 1998;201(2):175-182.
  10. Osaki M, Watanabe T, Ishizawa T, et al. Nutritional Characteristics in Leaves of Native Plants Grown in Acid Sulfate, Peat, Sandy Podzolic and Saline Soils Distributed in Peninsular Thailand. Plant and Soil. 1998;201(2):175-182.
  11. Watanabe T, Osaki M, Tadano T. Al Uptake Kinetics in Roots of Melastoma malabathricum L. – an Al Accumulator Plant. Plant and Soil. 2001;231(2):283-291
  12. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  13. Anonymous. Melastoma malabathricum L., in Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Herbal Medicine Research Centre. Institute for Medical Research. Kuala Lumpur. 2002;2:131-132.
  14. Jaganath IB, Ng LT, eds. Melastoma malabathricum, in Herbs: The Green Pharmacy of Malaysia, Vinpress. Kuala Lumpur. 2000:58-59.
  15. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  16. Jaganath IB, Ng LT, eds. Melastoma malabathricum, in Herbs: The Green Pharmacy of Malaysia, Vinpress. Kuala Lumpur. 2000:58-59.
  17. Lohézic-Le Dévéhat F, Bakhtiar A, Bézivin C, Amoros M, Boustie J. Antiviral and Cytotoxic Activities of Some Indonesian Plants. Fitoterapia. 2002;73(5):400-405.
  18. Ahmad F, Hamid RA, Raji H. Medicinal Plants Used by Bajau Community in Sabah, in Trends in Traditional Medicine Research: Proceedings of the International Conference on the Use of Traditional Medicine and Other Natural Products in Health Care, ed. Chan Kit Lam et al, The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Universiti Sains Malaysia. Penang. 1993:494.
  19. Anonymous. Melastoma malabathricum L., in Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Herbal Medicine Research Centre. Institute for Medical Research. Kuala Lumpur. 2002;2:131-132.
  20. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  21. Jaganath IB, Ng LT, eds. Melastoma malabathricum, in Herbs: The Green Pharmacy of Malaysia, Vinpress. Kuala Lumpur. 2000:58-59.
  22. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  23. Anonymous. Melastoma malabathricum L., in Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Herbal Medicine Research Centre. Institute for Medical Research. Kuala Lumpur. 2002;2:131-132.
  24. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  25. Jaganath IB, Ng LT, eds. Melastoma malabathricum, in Herbs: The Green Pharmacy of Malaysia, Vinpress. Kuala Lumpur. 2000:58-59.
  26. Anonymous. Melastoma malabathricum L., in Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Herbal Medicine Research Centre. Institute for Medical Research. Kuala Lumpur. 2002;2:131-132.
  27. Jaganath IB, Ng LT, eds. Melastoma malabathricum, in Herbs: The Green Pharmacy of Malaysia, Vinpress. Kuala Lumpur. 2000:58-59.
  28. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  29. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  30. Jaganath IB, Ng LT, eds. Melastoma malabathricum, in Herbs: The Green Pharmacy of Malaysia, Vinpress. Kuala Lumpur. 2000:58-59.
  31. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  32. Anonymous. Melastoma malabathricum L., in Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Herbal Medicine Research Centre. Institute for Medical Research. Kuala Lumpur. 2002;2:131-132.
  33. Jaganath IB, Ng LT, eds. Melastoma malabathricum, in Herbs: The Green Pharmacy of Malaysia, Vinpress. Kuala Lumpur. 2000:58-59.
  34. Ahmad F, Hamid RA, Raji H. Medicinal Plants Used by Bajau Community in Sabah, in Trends in Traditional Medicine Research: Proceedings of the International Conference on the Use of Traditional Medicine and Other Natural Products in Health Care, ed. Chan Kit Lam et al, The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Universiti Sains Malaysia. Penang. 1993:494.
  35. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  36. Burkill IH. M. malabathricum in A Dictionary of Economic Products of Malay Peninsular. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia. 1966:1463-1465.
  37. Anonymous. Melastoma malabathricum L., in Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Herbal Medicine Research Centre. Institute for Medical Research. Kuala Lumpur. 2002;2:131-132.
  38. Anonymous. Melastoma malabathricum L., in Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Herbal Medicine Research Centre. Institute for Medical Research. Kuala Lumpur. 2002;2:131-132.
  39. Anonymous. Melastoma malabathricum L., in Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Herbal Medicine Research Centre. Institute for Medical Research. Kuala Lumpur. 2002;2:131-132.
  40. Jaganath IB, Ng LT, eds. Melastoma malabathricum, in Herbs: The Green Pharmacy of Malaysia, Vinpress. Kuala Lumpur. 2000:58-59.