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Muntingia calabura


No documentation

Vernacular Names:


Japanese cherry, Kerukup siam, Ceri Malaysia, Buah Ceri

English Jamaica cherry, Panama berry, Jamaica cherry, Strawberry tree

Cerri, Talok


Tarkop farang


Datiles, Cereza, Manzanita ; Ratiles, Latires, Cereza or Seresa


Cay trung ca


Chinese cherry, Japanese cherry


Jam fruit

French Bois de soil, Bois

Calabura, Pau de seda


Capolin, Capulin blanco, Majagua, Niguito, Calabura, Uvilla, Guacima cereza, Memiso


Strawberry tree


Capulin ; Palman, Bersilana, Jonote and Puan

Central America





Chitato, Majaguito; Chirriador, Acuruco, Tapabotija and Nigua


Majaguillo; Majagua, Mahaujo, Guácimo hembra, Cedrillo, Niguo, Niguito


Bolina yamanaza; Bolina, Iumanasa, Yumanaza, Guinda yunanasa, or Mullacahuayo


Calabura; Pau de seda




Cedrillo majagua


Capulina, Chapuli


Bois d' orme; Bois de soie marron

Dominican Republic

Memiso or Memizo

Guadeloupe Bois ramier or Bois de soie [2] [3] [4] [5]

General Information


Muntingia calabura Linn is a member of the Muntinginaceae family. It is a tree that could reach up to 5 m high. Branches spreads horizontally making it an ideal shade tree. Leaves are alternately placed, shortly petioled, oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, unequal and sub-cordate at the base, nerved, deep green and pubescent above, tomentose with viscid hairs beneath. Stipules twice the length of the petiole, setaceous. Peduncles supra-axillary, 2 – 3 together, 2.5 – 5 cm long, terete, viscose-villous, one-flowered. Flowers are white. Bracteas 3 – 4, at the base of the peduncles, setaceo=subulate. Calyx 5 – 7 partite nearly to the base; divisions lanceolate, attenuated at the apex, externally villoso-pubescent, internally concave, deciduous. Petals of the same number as the calycine lobes, spreading, slightly clawed at the base, roundish, undulated at the margin. Filaments numerous, erect: anthers yellow didymous. Ovary globose, lobulated, encircled at the base with a hairy ring: stigma sessile. Berry, green turning red when ripe; about 1 cm diameter. [7]

Plant Part Used

Roots, leaves and flowers [4] [5] [6]

Chemical Constituents

(-)-3'-methoxy-2',4',beta-trihydroxydihydrochalcone; (2R,3R)-7-methoxy-3,5,8-trihydroxyflavone;  (2S)-5-hydroxy-7-methoxyflavone;  (2R,3R)-(-)-3,5-dihydroxy-6,7-dimethoxyflavone;  (2S)-7,8,3’,4’,5-pentamethoxyflavan;

(2S)-5’-hydroxy-7,8,3’,4;-tetramethoxyflavan; (2 S)-(-)-5'-hydroxy-7,3',4'-trimethoxyflavanone; (2 S)-5'-hydroxy-7,3',4'-trimethoxyflavanone; 2,3-dihydro-4,3’,4’,5’-tetramethoxydihydrochalcone; 2,3-dihydroxy-4,3’,4’,5,-tetramethoxydiohydrochalcone; 2’,4’-dihydroxychalcone;  2',4'-dihydroxy-3'-methoxydihydrochalcone; 2',4'-dihydroxychalcone; 2',4'-dihydroxy-3'-methoxychalcone; 4'-hydroxy-7-methoxyflavanone; 4,2’,4’-trihydroxychalcone; 4,2’,4’-trihydroxy-3’-methoxydihydrochalcone; 5,7-dihydroxy-3-methoxyflavone; 5,7-dihydroxy-6-methoxyflavone; 5,4’-dihydroxy-3,7-dimethoxyflavone; 7-hydroxyisoflavone; 7,3’,4’-trimethoxyisoflavone; methyl gallate; muntingone. [8] [9] [10] [17]

Traditional Used:

Gastointestinal Diseases

Tea prepared from the flowers of M. calabura is used to provide relieve of stomachache due to indigestion. [3] In the Philippines it is considered an antidyspeptic and antispasmodic. The leaves on the other hand as antidiarrhoeal properties. [4] [5] [6]

Gynaecological Uses

The roots of M. calabura is considered an abortifacient and is used by the traditional midwives as a remedy for amennorrhoea and irregular mensturation. [3] [4]

Neuropsychological disorders

Tea prepared from flowers of M. calabura has traquilizing effects and it is used to calm hysteria and to relieve convulsions and clonic spasm. [3] [4]

Other uses

The flowers are considered a general tonic. It is used to treat headaches and cold and toothaches. [4] [5] [6]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antiplatelet aggregation activity

Seven isolates from the leaves of M. calabura Linn were found to exhibit significant anti-platelet aggregation activity in vitro. These isolates includes the following: 2,3-dihydroxy-4,3',4',5'-tetramethoxydihydrochalcone, 5,7-dihydroxy-3-methoxyflavone, 5,7-dihydroxy-6-methoxyflavone, 5,4'-dihydroxy-3,7-dimethoxyflavone, (2S)-7,8,3',4',5'-pentamethoxyflavan, (2S)-5'-hydroxy-7,8,3',4'-tetramethoxyflavan, and methyl gallate. They are basically flavonoids. [10]

Hypotensive activity

Shih CD studied the hypotensive activity of the leaves of M. calabura Linn. In two sets of experiments done first on the crude methanol extract and then the n-butanol soluble fractions from the methanol leaf extract. It was found that these extracts elicited both transient and delayed hypotensive activity and bradycardiac actions in spontaneous hypertensive rats. These actions could be mediated via NO generated by eNOS and iNOS. The activation of sGC/cGMP/PKG signaling pathway may participate in this biphasic cardiovascular effects. [11] [12]

Antinociceptive activity

Zakaria et al studied the antinococeptive activity of the aqueous extract of the leaves of M. calabura Linn extensively. Their initial study demonstrated the involvement of L-arginine/NO/cGMP pathway in the aqueous leaf extract of M. calabura. Subsequently, they found that the bioactive compound(s) responsible for this activity was heat stable and worked partly via the opiod receptor system. They then found that the aqueous extract acted via modulation of the muscarinic, a1-adrenergic, b-adrenergic, dopaminergic and GABAergic recpetors while the chloroform extract acted via modulation of the a1-adrenergic, a2-adrenergic, b-adrenergic and GABAergic receptors. [13] [14] [15]

Protective effects against iso-proterenol-induced myocardial infarction activity

The aqueous extracts of the leaves of M. calabura showed protective effects on isoproterenol induced myocardial infarction in Wistar rats. Pretreatment with the extract was able to keep the biomarker enzymes of myocardial infarction at bay. [16]

Cytotoxic activity

Four isolates from the leaves of M. calabura showed cytotoxic activity against P-388 and/or HT-29 cell lines in vitro. These flavonoids included the following: 2 S)-5'-hydroxy-7,3',4'-trimethoxyflavanone, 4'-hydroxy-7-methoxyflavanone, 2',4'-dihydroxychalcone, and 2',4'-dihydroxy-3'-methoxychalcone. [17]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

The decoction of the roots should not be given to women confirmed to be pregnant less it may induce abortion.

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

The presence of significant hypotensive activity in the leaves of M. calabura, those on anti-hypertensive drugs should be cautious when taking this for whatever purpose. There is also the possibility of potentiation of effects of anti-coagulants due to its anti-platelet aggregating property.

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1)  Botanical Info


  1. George Bradley McFarland, Thai-English dictionary, Stanford University Press, California, 1944. pg351
  2. Firewood crops: shrub and tree species for energy production : report of an ad hoc panel of the Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation, Board on Science and Technology for International Development, Commission on International Relations. National Academies, Washington, 1980. pg58
  3. Hean Chooi Ong, Buah: khasiat makanan & ubatan, Utusan Publications, Kuala Lumpur, 2004. Pg72-73
  4. Jules Janick, Robert E. Paull, The encyclopedia of fruit & nuts, CABI, Oxfordshire, 2008. pg346-347
  5. Jamaica Cherry, New Crop Resourch Online. [access on 19/10/2010]
  6. Research Information Series on Ecosystem. [access on 19/10/2010]
  7. James Macfadyen The Flora of Jamaica: A Description of the plants of that island. Volume 1 Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longmans, Edinburgh 1837 pg.112
  8. Kaneda N, Pezzuto JM, Soejarto DD, Kinghorn AD, Farnsworth NR, Santisuk T, Tuchinda P, Udchachon J, Reutrakul V. Plant anticancer agents, XLVIII. New cytotoxic flavonoids from Muntingia calabura roots. J Nat Prod. 1991 Jan-Feb;54(1):196-206.
  9. Su BN, Jung Park E, Vigo JS, Graham JG, Cabieses F, Fong HH, Pezzuto JM, Kinghorn AD. Activity-guided isolation of the chemical constituents of Muntingia calabura using a quinone reductase induction assay. Phytochemistry. 2003 Jun;63(3):335-41.
  10. Chen JJ, Lee HH, Shih CD, Liao CH, Chen IS, Chou TH. New dihydrochalcones and anti-platelet aggregation constituents from the leaves of Muntingia calabura. Planta Med. 2007 Jun;73(6):572-7.
  11. Shih CD, Chen JJ, Lee HH. Activation of nitric oxide signaling pathway mediates hypotensive effect of Muntingia calabura L. (Tiliaceae) leaf extract. Am J Chin Med. 2006;34(5):857-72.
  12. Shih CD. Activation of nitric oxide/cGMP/PKG signaling cascade mediates antihypertensive effects of Muntingia calabura in anesthetized spontaneously hypertensive rats. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(6):1045-58.
  13. Zakaria ZA, Sulaiman MR, Jais AM, Somchit MN, Jayaraman KV, Balakhrisnan G, Abdullah FC. The antinociceptive activity of Muntingia calabura aqueous extract and the involvement of L-arginine/nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway in its observed activity in mice. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2006 Aug;20(4):365-72.
  14. Zakaria ZA, Mustapha S, Sulaiman MR, Mat Jais AM, Somchit MN, Abdullah FC. The antinociceptive action of aqueous extract from Muntingia calabura leaves: the role of opioid receptors. Med Princ Pract. 2007;16(2):130-6.
  15. Zakaria ZA, Hassan MH, Nurul Aqmar MN, Abd Ghani M, Mohd Zaid SN, Sulaiman MR, Hanan Kumar G, Fatimah CA. Effects of various nonopioid receptor antagonists on the antinociceptive activity of Muntingia calabura extracts in mice. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2007 Oct;29(8):515-20.
  16. Nivethetha M, Jayasri J, Brindha P. Effects of Muntingia calabura L. on isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction. Singapore Med J. 2009 Mar;50(3):300-2.
  17. Chen JJ, Lee HH, Duh CY, Chen IS. Cytotoxic chalcones and flavonoids from the leaves of Muntingia calabura. Planta Med. 2005 Oct;71(10):970-3.

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