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Melastoma malabathricum


Melastoma normale, Melastoma royenii Blume, Melastoma ellipticum Naud., Melastoma affine D. Don, M. candidum D. Don, M. cavaleriei H. Léveillé & Vaniot, M. esquirolii H. Léveillé, M. malabathricum subsp. normale (D. Don) K. Meyer, M. normale D. Don, M. polyanthum Blume. [1][2] [3] 

Vernacular Names:


Senduduk, Sekedudok, Sikadudok, Kendudok, Kedudok, Sedudok, Lingangadi (Murut); Gosing-gosing, Gagabang, Ngongodo, Gata-gata (Kadazandusun), Kelarit (Murut) [4] 


Indian-rhododendron, Malabar Melastome [2]


Ye Mu Dan [3]


Harendong (Sunda), Senggani, Kemanden, Kluruk [5]

Thailand Khlong Khleng [6], Khlongkhleng Khee Nok, Mang Khre, Mang Re, Re, Bre, Kadu-da, Chuk Naaree
Vietnam Mua Da Hung, Mua Se
Philippines  Malatungau, Bubtoi, Yagomyum
Palau Matakul [7]
India Shapti (Hindi); Bobuchunmei, Rongmei (Manipuri); Rindha, Palore (Marathi); Palore (Malayalam); Nekkarike (Telugu); Ankerki, Kinkerika (Kannada); Gongoi, Koroti (Oriya); Myetpyai (Konkani); Phutuki, Phutkala (Assamese) [2]
Nepals Diklak, Gabrasai (Chepang); Koilar (Danuwar); Anguri, Tun Kaphal (Gurung); Angeri, Kali Angeri, Thulo Chulesi (Nepali); Chulesi (Satar); Lemlang (Tamang) [8]
Sri Lanka 

Bowitiya, Mahabowitiya, Katakaloowa

General Information


Melastoma malabathricum is a shrub commonly encountered along the road side throughout the tropical belt. It branches freely and they are clothed with short acute pale scales. The leaves are lanceolate acute narrowed at the base. Both surfaces are strigose. There are 3-5 nerves. The leaves measures from between 5-7.5cm long and 2.5-3cm wide with short petioles of 0.25cm long. The corymbs have few flowers. The bracts are large, broad, ovate truncate, with scaly backs. The calyx tube is cylindrical about 1cm long with linear-acuminate scales. Lobes are ovate and acute and are shorter than the tube. The petals are 2.5cm long, rosy mauve in colour. The fruits are urceolate, globular, measures 0.6 cm through dehiscing transversely.

Plant Part Used

The leaves and roots of the plant is used in various forms as medicine. [4][13] 

Chemical Constituents

Tannins - Malabathrins B, C and D, nobotanins B, G and H (dimers), nobotanin J (trimer) [9]

naringenin, kaempferol and kaempferol-3-O-d-glucoside, kaempferol-3-O-(2″,6″-di-O-p-trans-coumaroyl)glucoside and kaempferol-3-O-d-glucoside [10]

α.-amyrin, betulinic acid, quercetin and quercitrin [11]

Three pentacyclic triterpenoids, namely ursolic acid, 2±-hydroxyursolic acid and asiatic acid along with ²-sitosterol 3-O-²-D-glucopyranoside, glycerol 1,2-dilinolenyl-3-O-²-Dgalactopyranoside and glycerol 1,2-dilinolenyl-3-O-(4,6-di-O-isopropylidene)-²-Dgalactopyranoside ellagic acid and six flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol, kaempferol 3-O-±-Lrhamnopyranoside, kaempferol 3-O-²-Dglucopyranoside, kaempferol 3-O-²-Dgalactopyranoside and kaempferol 3-O-(2”,6”-di-O-E-p-coumaroyl)-²-D-galactopyranoside. [12]

α -amyrin, patriscabratine, auranamide, quercetin, quercitrin and kaempferol-3-O-(2”,6”-di-O-p-trans-coumaroyl)glucoside.

Amino acids – glycine, leucine, valine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, methionine, tyrosine, isoleucine, hydroxyproline [13]

b-sitosterol, melastomic acid 

Traditional Used:

The leaves and flowers are remedies for cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery. [14] In Sabah, the Kadazan Dusun make tea of the flower to treat stomachache. [15] 

The leaf is considered antiseptic and is used to clean wounds and cuts. It is applied over smallpox to prevent the development of pox marks. [13] Decoction of the roots is a mouthwash for relieving toothache, the bark is also used for the same condition. [15] The leaves are used to treat allergic reaction to catterpillers by applying the pounded leaves over the lesions. It is also used to treat keloid and acne. The Kadazan Dusun however, made use of the purple flowers to reduce scars from wounds. The root decoction is a remedy for measles. [15] In Fiji the people chews the leaves to relieve oral thrush. [17] 

The leaves of M. malabathricum is believed to rejuvenate women immediately after delivery. In this case a special bath is prepared by boiling the leaves of Morinda citrifolia, Cymbopogon nardus, Pandanus amaryllifolia and Citrus hystrix together with the leaves of M. malabathricum. The juice of mature leaves are considered to have the ability to heal internal injuries and is given to women after delivery for the same purpose. To treat leucorrhoea a decoction of the leaves together with ginger, sugar and ZIngiber cassumunar is given. Amongst the community in Sabah the roots are given to women after delivery as an aid to healing and strengthening the womb. [4]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activity 

A battery of tests to determine the antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activities of aqueous extracts of the leaves of M. malabathircum was performed on animal models. It was found that the aqueous extracts does exhibit significant antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties in a dose dependent manner. [18] 

Another study using ethanol extract of the leaves produced better antinociceptive result again in a dose dependent manner. It also significantly increased the response latency period to thermal stimuli. It appeared to the investigators that naloxane blocked both these effects suggesting that the ethanolic extracts of the leaves of M. malabathricum may act both peripherally and centrally. [19] 

Out of Eleven Malaysian medicinal plant species examined for their anti-inflammatory activities using the tetradecanoylphorbol acetate (TPA)-induced ear oedema test, M. malabathricum, leaf extract exhibited strong inhibition (more than 90 percent) in the TPA model at a dose of 2 mg per ear. [20] 

Antimicrobial and cytotoxicity activity 

Indonesian investigators subjected the methanolic extracts of M. malabathricum Linn to evaluate its antiviral (HSV-1 and Poliovirus) and cytotoxic activities on murine and human cancer lines (3LL, L1210, K562, U251, DU145, MCF-7). They found that amongst the other 9 plants studies M. malabathricum showed significant antiviral and cytotoxic activities. [21] 

Naringenin and kaempferol-3-O-(2″,6″-di-O-p-trans-coumaroyl)glucoside, flavonoids isolated from the flowers of M. malabathricum showed active inhibition of cell proliferation of MCF7 with IC50 values of 0.28μM and 1.3μM, respectively. [22] 

Methanol extract of M. malabathricum leaves was shown to inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and six clinical isolates of Methicilin Resistant Stapyhlococcus aureus (MRSA 1-6). The results of the molecular and proteomic analyses the methanol extract of M. malabathricum leaves possibly inhibits MRSA growth through inhibition of DNA synthesis, peptidoglycan production, and nuclease production. [23]

Anti-oxidant activity 

Naringenin, kaempferol, kaempferol-3-O-d-glucoside, kaempferol-3-O-(2″,6″-di-O-p-trans-coumaroyl) glucoside, isolated from the ethylacetate and methanol extracts of M. malabathricum flowers and ethyl acetate and methanol extracts were found to be active as radical-scavengers with IC50 values of 0.52mm, 81.5μm, 1.07mm, 35.8μM, 7.21μg/mL and 6.59μg/mL, respectively. [22] 

Antiplatelet activating factor activity:

Petacyclic triterpenes and natural flavonoid isolated from M. malabathricum Linn. i.e. α.-amyrin, betulinic acid, quercetin and quercitrin showed inhibiting activities on the platelet activating factor (PAF) PAF receptor binding. [24] 

Gastroprotective activity:

The gastro-protective effects of the aqueous leaf extract of M. malabathricum was investigated against ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injuries in rats. It was found that amongst the rats that received aqueous extracts of leaves of M. malabathricum Linn there were reduced mucosal damage caused by ingestion of ethanol at an effective dose of 500mg/kg. [25] 


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

The presence of anti PAF in extracts of M. malabathricum warrants some caution for patients on anticoagulant therapy. [24]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1) Botanical Info

  2) Malaysian Herbal Plants


  1. M. D. Dassanayake, R.F. Francis. A revised handbook to the flora of Ceylon Vol 6. London: Taylor & Francis; 1988.159–160. 
  2. Flowers of India. Flowers by Botanical Names. Available from: [Accessed on 26th October 2009].
  3. Flora of China. Available from: [Accessed on 28th October 2009].
  4. Sandakan Rainforest Park. Medicinal Plants. Available from: [Accessed on 26th October 2009].
  5. R. Jonathan. A dictionary of the Sunda language of Java. Batavia: Lange & Co; 1862.143.
  6. C. Wongsatit. Medicinal Plants in the Khok Pho District, Pattani Province (Thailand). Thai Journal of Phytopharmacy. Dec 2005;12(2): 23–45.
  7. S.J. Lewis, G.M. Edwin. New Palauan-English dictionary Micronesia. Pali: Language Text; 1990. 140.
  8. M. Sanjay. Plants and people of Nepa. Portland: Timber Press; 2002. 313.
  9. T. Yoshida, F. Nakata, K. Hostani, A. Nitta, T. Okuda. Dimeric hydrolysable tannins from Melastoma malabathricum. Phytochemistry.1992;31(8): 2829-2833.
  10. S. Deny, M. S. Hasnah, A. Farediah, M.A. Rasadah, A. Norio and K. Mariko. Antioxidant and cytotoxic flavonoids from the flowers of Melastoma malabathricum L. Food Chemistry. 2007; 103(3): 710-716.
  11. M.P. Mazura ‌, D. Susanti ‌and M.A. Rasadah. Anti-inflammatory Action of Components from Melastoma malabathricum. Pharmaceutical Biology. 2007; 45(5): 372-375.
  12. K.C. Wong. Some Natural Products from Melastoma malabathricum L. Kimia USM June 2004;3(1): 22 – 23.
  13. C. P. Khare. Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary. Verlag Berlin: Springer; 2007. 403.
  14. L.M. Perry. Medicinal Plants of east and southeast Asia. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University; 1980. 258.
  15. B.A. Fasihuddin and I. Ghazally. Medicinal Plants Used by Kadazandusun Communities Around Crocker Range. ASEAN Review of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation (ARBEC). Available from: [Accessed on 28th October 2009].
  16. I.H. Burkill IH. A Dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula Vol 2. Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives; 1966.1463.
  17. P. Susan Parkinson. Food and nutrition in Fiji: a historical review Vol 2. Suva: University of South Pacific; 1991. 638.
  18. Z.A. Zakaria, M.N.R.N. Raden, K.G. Hanan, G.Z.D. Abdul, M.R. Sulaiman, D.G. Rathna, J.A.S. Mat, M.N. Somchit, C.A. Fatimah. Antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties of Melastoma malabathricum leaves aqueous extract in experimental animals. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. Dec2006;84(12):1291-1299.
  19. M.R. Sulaiman, M.N. Somchit, D.A. Israf, Z. Ahmad, S. Moin. Antinociceptive effect of Melastoma malabathricum ethanolic extract in mice. Fitoterapia. Dec2004;75(7-8):667-672.
  20. M.M. Nik, M.A. Rasadah, S. Khozirah. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of some Malaysian medicinal plants using the mouse ear oedema assay. Journal of Tropical Forest Products (Malaysia). June2000. 6(1).106-112.
  21. D.F. Lohézic-Le, A. Bakhtiar, C. Bézivin, M. Amoros, J. Boustie. Antiviral and cytotoxic activities of some Indonesian plants. Fitoterapia. Aug2002;73(5):400-405.
  22. S. Deny, M.S. Hasnah, A. Farediah, M.A. Rasadah, A. Norio and K. Mariko. Antioxidant and cytotoxic flavonoids from the flowers of Melastoma malabathricum L. Food Chemistry.2007;103(3): 710-716.
  23. M. Zulaikah, I. Nazlina, A. Ismail. Penindasan Terpilih Gen-Gen Staphylococcus aureus Rintang Metisilin yang dirawat dengan Ekstrak Metanol Melastoma malabathricum. Sains Malaysiana. 2008); 37 (1): 107-113.
  24. M.P. Mazura ‌, D. Susanti ‌and M.A. Rasadah.. Anti-inflammatory Action of Components from Melastoma malabathricum. Pharmaceutical Biology; 2007; 45(5): 372-375.
  25. H. Fouad, A.A. Mahmood, M.N. Suzita, I. Salmah, M.A. Hapipah Gastroprotective Effects of Melastoma malabathricum Aqueous Leaf Extract against Ethanol-Induced Gastric Ulcer in Rats. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 2008; 4(4): 438 – 441.

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