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Micromelum pubescens


Micromelum minutum, Micromelum integerrimum [1] [5]

Vernacular Names:


Cemamar, Cemumar, Semeru

Sri Lanka

Wal-karapincha (Singhalese); Kakaipalai (Tamil) [2] [3] [4]

General Information


Micromelum pubescens is a member of the Rutaceae family. It is a small tree with shoots very finely and densely pubescent. The leaves are imparipinnate, measuring 20-25 cm long with rachis pubescent. There are 9-15 leaflets, alternate or sub-opposite, shortly petiolated, very oblique at base. The leaflets are ovate-lanceolate, attenuated, obtuse, irregularly finely crenate and wavy, with very numerous, rather conspicuous gland, glabrous above, nearly so or slightly pubescent beneath. The flowers are very short stalked, arranged in terminal and axillary, spreading, pubescent, dichotomous, corymbose cymes, bracts small, opposite at the bifurcations. The calyx lobes are broad, triangular, pubescent. The petals are oblong-linear, spreading, pubescent. The ovary is oblong, very hairy and the style is rather long as well as very thick. The stigma capitates and the berry easures 5mm long, oblong-ovoid in shape, pointed, rough with glands, glabrous and yellow in colour.[3]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, bark, roots [1] [2]

Chemical Constituents

1,2-seco-dihydromicromelin; 2',3'-epoxyisocapnolactone; 3",4"-dihydrocapnolactone; 5(6)-gluten-3-one; 5(6)-gluten-3alpha-ol; 6-methoxymicrominutinin; 6-(2,3-hydroxy-3-methylbutil)-7-methoxycoumarin; 8-hydroxyisocapnolactone-2',3'-diol; 8-hydroxy-3",4"-dihydrocapnolactone-2',3'-diol; 8,4''-dihydroxy-3'',4''-dihydrocapnolactone-2',3'-diol; acetyldihydromicromelin A; angelical; dihydromicromelin A and B; imperatorin; limettin; mahanine; micromarin-A,B,C,F,G,H; micromelumin; micromelin; microminutinin; micropubescin; minumicrolin; murralongin; murrangatin; osthol; phebalosin; scopoletin;[1] [2] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Traditional Used:

The plant is a remedy for phthisis and chest diseases. The root is chewed in betel quids for coughs. [1]

The leaves are eaten raw as “ulam” and is supposedly good for leucorrhoea. It is given to women after birth to help rejuvenate her. It also forms part of the ingredient in the preparation of water for bathing both mother and infant after delivery. The leaves when taken raw as ulam it is considered as an aphrodisiac. [2] [4]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antibacterial activity

Study isolated a bioactive carbazole alkaloid mahanine from the leaves of M. minutum. Amongst the activities that this compound expressed is antimicrobial activity against Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus.[8]

Cytotoxic activity

Mahanine is a carbazole alkaloid that could be isolated from the edible part of M. minutum. It has been found to have the ability to induce apoptosis in human myeloid cancer cells (HL-60). In the dose of 10microg there is complete inhibition of cell proliferation and the induction of apoptosis in a time dependent manner.The characterized changes in the nuclear morphology includes DNA fragmentation, activation of capase like activities, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage, release of cytochrome C into cytosol and stimulation of reactive oxygen species generation. These results suggest that mahanine down regulate cell survival factors by activation of caspase-3 through mitochondrial dependent pathway, and disrupts cell cycle progression.[6] [7]


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

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


    1. C.P. Khare Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary Springer-Verlag Berlin 2007 pg. 413
    2. Muhamad Zakaria & Mustafa Ali Mohd. Traditional Malay Medicinal Plants Institut Terjemahan Negara Malaysia Berhad, Kuala Lumpuur 2010 pg. 104
    3. Henry Trimen, Arthur Hugh Garfit Alston, Joseph Dalton Hooker A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon Pt. 1 Dulau & Co., London 1893  pg. 218-219
    4. Noraida Arifin Penyembuhan Semula Jadi dengan Herba PTS Litera Utama Kuala Lumpur 2005 pg. 47
    5. Amal Bhusan Chaudhuri Forest Plants of Eastern India Ashish Publishing House New Delhi 1993 pg. 156
    6. Roy MK, Thalang VN, Trakoontivakorn G, Nakahara K. Mechanism of mahanine-induced apoptosis in human leukemia cells (HL-60). Biochem Pharmacol. 2004 Jan 1;67(1):41-51.
    7. Roy MK, Thalang VN, Trakoontivakorn G, Nakahara K. Mahanine, a carbazole alkaloid from Micromelum minutum, inhibits cell growth and  induces apoptosis in U937 cells through a mitochondrial dependent pathway. Br J Pharmacol. 2005 May;145(2):145-55.
    8. Nakahara K, Trakoontivakorn G, Alzoreky NS, Ono H, Onishi-Kameyama M, Yoshida M. Antimutagenicity of some edible Thai plants, and a bioactive carbazole alkaloid, mahanine, isolated from Micromelum minutum. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Aug 14;50(17):4796-802.
    9. Mawardi Rahmani, Yun Hin Taufiq-Yap, Hazar B.M. Ismail, Aspollah Sukari and Peter G. Waterman New coumarin and dihydrocinnamic acid derivatives from two malaysian populations of Micromelum minutum Phytochemistry 1994 Volume 37(2): 561-564
    10. Sanjib Das, Robindra H. Baruah, Ram P. Sharma, Jogendra N. Barua, Palaniappan Kulanthaivela and Werner Herza 7-methoxycoumarins from Micromelum minutum Phytochemistry 1984 Volume 23(10): 2317-2321
    11. Ito C, Otsuka T, Ruangrungsi N, Furukawa H. Chemical constituents of Micromelum minutum. Isolation and structural elucidation of new coumarins.  Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2000 Mar;48(3):334-8.
    12. Rahmani M, Susidarti RA, Ismail HB, Sukari MA, Hin TY, Lian GE, Ali AM, Kulip J, Waterman PG. Coumarins from Malaysian Micromelum minutum. Phytochemistry. 2003 Oct;64(4):873-7.

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