Melochia corchorifolia L.


Melochia concatenata L.

Vernacular Names:


Lemak Ketam, Lemak Kepiting, Limah Ketam, Bayam Rusa, Bunga Padang, Pulut- pulut

English Crab’s Eggs, Wire Bush, Chocolate-weed

General Information


This pan tropic weed is common in the wastelands. In Peninsular Malaysia, it is apparently found throughout open places.[1]

Plant Part Used

Leaf, root, sap.[1]

Chemical Constituents

A phytochemical study of leaves of Melochia corchorifolia has shown the presence of triterpenes: friedelin, friedelinol and β-amyrin; flavonol glycosides: hibifolin, triflin and melocorin; aliphatic compounds; flavonoids: vitexin and robunin; β-D-sitosterol and its stearate; β-D-glucoside and alkaloids.[2]

Adouetine and a new cyclopeptide alkaloid, melofoline, have been isolated from Melochia corchorifolia. The latter was characterized from its mass spectrum and hydrolysis products.[3]

A cyclopeptide alkaloid, franganine, and a new pseudooxindole alkaloid, melochirorine, have been isolated from Melochia corchorfolia. The latter compound was characterized from its spectral data and by acetylation product.[4] 

Nutritional content

The proximate analysis of the dried powdered leaves showed the following composition (dry weight content %):

High crude protein content (23.31 ± 2.27%), crude lipid value (13.33 ± 2.89%), low available carbohydrate value (30.03 ± 2.83%), high dietary fibre content (23.33 ±2.89%) and high ash content (10.00 ± 0.10%). The fresh leaves have high moisture content (620.16 ± 6.11 % wet weight) with low energy value (275.66 ± 23.20kcal/100g). 

Macro- and microelements play a vital role in human nutrition as they are dietary essential. Mineral analysis showed that the leaves contain a high level of potassium (7.250 ±37.5mg/100g DW), followed by calcium (750.37 ± 0.58mg/100g DW), magnesium (108.33 ± 5.77mg/100g DW) and then phosphorus (101.89 ± 0.08mg/100g DW). Sodium content (94.00 ± 1.15 mg/100g DW) is the lowest among the macroelements determined. Other mineral compositions in mg/100g DW are: Cu (33.50±2.55), Fe (19.91±3.01), Mn (9.68±0.59) and Zn (6.73±0.62).[5]

Traditional Use:

The leaves are used to poultice ulcers, abdominal swelling and chest pains. A simple decoction of the leaves is used to stop vomiting and as a mixture for treating urinary disorders. A decoction of the roots and leaves is swallowed to treat dysentery.[1] 

The sap is applied to heal wounds poisoned by Antiaris. The plant is also used to relieve gastralgia and headaches.[1]

Pre-Clinical Data


No documentation


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Use in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



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Case Reports

No documentation

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  1) Botanical Info


  1. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur. 2002. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. 2002; 2:134.
  2. Bosch, C.H. Melochia corchorifolia L. [Internet] Record from Protabase, 2004. accessed on 31 May 2007.
  3. Bhakuni, R.S., Shukla, Y.N. & Thakur, R.S. Cyclopeptide alkaloids from Melochia corchorifolia. Phytochemistry 1987; 26(1):324-325. Abstract.
  4. Bhakuni, R.S., Shukla, Y.N. & Thakur, R.S. Melochicorine, a pseudooxindole alkaloid from Melochia corchorifolia. Phytochemistry. 1991; 30 (9): 3159-3160. Abstract.
  5. Umar, K.J. et al. Nutritional Content of Melochia corchorifolia (Linn.) Leaves. Int. J. Biol. Chem. 2007; 1 (4): 250-255.