Melastoma malabathricum

Family: Melastomataceae


Family Synonyms

Common Names

Bubtoi, Malatungau, Malatungaw, Indian rhododendron, Singapore rhododendron

Local Availability

Plant is available in whole country

Worldwide Availability

In thickets and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes in Zambales, Nueva Viscaya, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Bataan, and Cavite Provinces in Luzon; in Mindoro; in Sibuyan; and in Negros.

Botanical Description 31

The plant is a spreading shrub growing to a height of 2 meters. Twigs and flower stalks are rough with small, triangular, upward pointing scales. Leaves are broadly lanceolate, 7 to 12 centimeters lon

Common Ethnobotanical Use 32

The plant is used for its astringent, sedative, digestive, anti-flatulent property. In Southeast Asian folklore medicine, leaves, shoots, bark, seeds, and roots of this plant are used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, cuts and wounds, toothache, stomachache. Leaves are chewed up, pounded, and applied as poultice to cuts or wounds; also, squeezed to apply the juice to stop bleeding.Young leaves are eaten to treat diarrhea; premature leaves are consumed raw to cure dysentery. Powdered leaves used as astringent for dysentery.Juice of leaves and roots used as a digestive aid. Decoction of leaves and young shoots given for diarrhea, alone or with mangosteen bark or fruit husks. Roots are used as mouthwash to relieve toothache or to treat epilepsy. Shoots are ingested to treat puerperal infections, high blood pressure and diabetes. Boiled young shoots, alone or with extract of mangosteen husks are mixed with sambong leaves for same purpose. As a bath, for flatulence, acidity, and tenderness of the legs. Shoots taken internally for puerperal infections.Juice from roots applied to lessen the soreness associated with thrush in children. Flowers used as a nervous sedative and for hemorrhoidal bleeding. Leaves and flowers used as astringent in leucorrhea and chronic diarrhea.

Chemical Constituents

Compound Name Compound in Plant Parts Reference
beta-sitosterolLeaf; Root4, 10, 11, 12
DaucosterolLeaf5, 4
Octadecanoic acidAerial4
Gallic-acidLeaf and Flower4, 13
QuercetinLeaf; Leaf and Flower2, 5, 3, 4
p-Hydroxybenzoic acidLeaf and Flower4, 13
(-)-EpicatecholLeaf; Leaf and Stem4, 7
(-)-Epicatechin-3-O-gallateLeaf; Leaf and Stem4, 7
Ellagic acidFlower5, 4
RutinLeaf4, 11, 14
NaringeninFlower4, 15
KaempferolFlower5, 4, 15
QuercitrinLeaf2, 3, 4
Betulinic acidLeaf3, 4
Kaempferol-3-O-beta-glucopyranoside Flower5, 4, 15
Ursolic AcidLeaf5, 4
Procyanidin B2Leaf; Leaf and Stem4, 7
alpha-AmyrinLeaf2, 3, 4
Hexacosanoic acidLeaf and Root4
Cyanidin-3-glucosideLeaf4, 8
Cyanidin 3,5-DiglucosideLeaf4, 8
KaempferinFlower5, 4
2alpha-Hydroxy ursolic acidLeaf5, 4
1,2,4,6-Tetra-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucopyranoseLeaf6, 4
Malvidin-3,5-diglucosideLeaf4, 9
CasuarininLeaf; Leaf and Stem4, 7
PedunculaginLeaf6, 4
Kaempferol-3-O-beta-D-xylopyranosideAerial4, 17, 18
AsperphenamateLeaf2, 4
Benzenamine, 4-nitro-N- (triphenylphosphoranylidene)-Leaf1
[1,2,5]-Oxadiazolo[3,4-f]cinnoline, 4,5-dihydro-9-methyl-, 3-oxideLeaf1
Dehydro nylidrin acet.Leaf1
(+)-3,4-Dehydroproline amideLeaf1
PatriscabratineLeaf2, 4
Kaempferol-3-O-(2”,6”-di-O-p-trans-coumaroyl)-beta-glucosideLeaf; Flower2, 4, 15
Asiatic acidLeaf5, 4
Kaempferol-3-O-beta-D-galactopyranosideFlower5, 4
1,4,6-Tri-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucoseLeaf6, 4
StrictininLeaf6, 4
CasuarictinLeaf6, 4
Nobotanin DLeaf6, 4
Nobotanin BLeaf6, 4
Malabathrin BLeaf6, 4
Malabathrin CLeaf6, 4
Malabathrin DLeaf6, 4
Nobotanin GLeaf6, 4
StachyurinLeaf; Leaf and Stem4, 7
Procyanidin B5Leaf; Leaf and Stem4, 7
Stenophyllanin ALeaf4, 7
Stenophyllanin BLeaf4, 7
Brevifolincarboxylic acidLeaf; Leaf and Stem4, 7
UvaolLeaf4, 11
1-Octyl decanoate A4, 16, 17
11-Methyl-1-triacontanolLeaf and Flower4, 13
Methyl-2,5,6-trihydroxynaphtalene carbonateLeaf4
Glycerol 1,2-dilinolenyl-3-O-beta-D-galactopyranosideLeaf5, 4
Pterocarinin CLeaf6, 4
Nobotanin HLeaf6, 4
Nobotanin JLeaf6, 4
Malabathrin ALeaf7, 4
Malabathrin ELeaf7, 4
Malabathrin FLeaf7, 4
Alienanin BLeaf4, 7
Melastomic acidLeaf; Root4, 10

Pharmacological Evidence

Plants Parts Extract Type Activity Reference
Chloroform Analgesic 20
N/A Antiinflammatory 20
Aqueous Antiulcerant 21
Aqueous Antimicrobial 22
Aqueous Anticoagulant 23
Ethanol Antiulcerant 24
Methanol Antiulcerant 25
Chloroform Antiulcerant 26
Methanol Antiviral 27
Methanol Antibacterial 28
Ethanol Dalton's Ascites Lymphoma 29
Aqueous Analgesic 30
Leaf; Stem; Flower
n-Hexane; Chloroform; Methanol Breast Cancer 19


  • 1 Balamurugan, K., Nishanthini, A., Lalitharani, S. and Mohan, V. (2012) GC-MS determination of bioactive components of Melastoma malabathricum L. International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Research, 4, 24-26.
  • 2 Susanti, D., Sirat, H.M., Ahmad, F. and Ali, R.M. (2008) Bioactive constituents from the leaves of Melastoma malabathricum L. Jurnal Ilmiah Farmasi 5 (1): 1, 7.
  • 3 Mazura, M., Susanti, D. and Rasadah, M. (2007) Anti-inflammatory Action of Components from Melastoma malabathricum. Pharmaceutical biology, 45, 372-375.
  • 4 Joffry, S.M., Yob, N., Rofiee, M., Affandi, M., Suhaili, Z., Othman, F., Akim, A.M., Desa, M.M. and Zakaria, Z. (2012) Melastoma malabathricum (L.) smith ethnomedicinal uses, chemical constituents, and pharmacological properties: a review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012.
  • 5 Wong, K.-C., Hag Ali, D.M. and Boey, P.-L. (2012) Chemical constituents and antibacterial activity of Melastoma malabathricum L. Natural product research, 26, 609-618.
  • 6 Yoshida, T., Nakata, F., Hosotani, K., Nitta, A. and Okudat, T. (1992) Dimeric hydrolysable tannins from Melastoma malabathricum. Phytochemistry, 31, 2829-2833.
  • 7 YOSHIDA, T., NAKATA, F., HOSOTANI, K., NITTA, A. and OKUDA, T. (1992) Tannins and Related Polyphenols of Melastomataceous Plants. V. Three New Complex Tannins from Melastoma malabathricum L. Chemical and pharmaceutical bulletin, 40, 1727-1732.
  • 8 Lowry, J. (1968) The distribution and potential taxonomic value of alkylated ellagic acids. Phytochemistry, 7, 1803-1813.
  • 9 Lowry, J. (1976) Anthocyanins of the Melastomataceae, Myrtaceae and some allied families. Phytochemistry, 15, 513-516.
  • 10 Manzoor-I-Khuda, M., Chowdhury, S., Reza, T. and Chowdhury, A. (1981) Chemical investigation on Melastoma malabathricum. Part 1: isolation of melastomic acid and beta-sitosterol from the roots. Journal of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, 5, 55-59.
  • 11 Nuresti, S. (2003) Chemical components of Melastoma malabathricum. ACGC Chem Res Commun, 16, 28.
  • 12 Ali, D.M.H., Keng, C.W. and Boey, P.L. (2010) Triterpenoids, glycolipids and flavonoids of Melastoma malabathricum: Isolation, spectrometric characterization and antibacterial activity. VDM Publishing.
  • 13 Das, K. and Kotoky, J. (1988). INDIAN CHEMICAL SOC 92 ACHARYA PRAFULLA CHANDRA RD ATTN: DR INDRAJIT KAR/EXEC SEC, CALCUTTA 700009, INDIA, Vol. 65, pp. 385-386.
  • 14 Nazlina, I., Norha, S., Noor Zarina, A. and Ahmad, I. (2008) Cytotoxicity and antiviral activity of Melastoma malabathricum extracts. Malays J Appl Biol, 37, 53-55.
  • 15 Susanti, D., Sirat, H.M., Ahmad, F., Ali, R.M., Aimi, N. and Kitajima, M. (2007) Antioxidant and cytotoxic flavonoids from the flowers of Melastoma malabathricum L. Food Chemistry, 103, 710-716.
  • 16 Dinda, B. and Saha, M. (1988). INDIAN CHEMICAL SOC 92 ACHARYA PRAFULLA CHANDRA RD ATTN: DR INDRAJIT KAR/EXEC SEC, CALCUTTA 700009, INDIA, Vol. 65, pp. 144-145.
  • 17 Dinda, B. and Saha, M. (1988) A FLAVONOL-DIGLYCOSIDE FROM MELASTOMA-MELABATHRICUM. Journal of the Indian Chemical Society, 65, 209-211.
  • 18 Mohandoss, S. and Ravindran, P. (1993) Flavonoids from Melastoma melabathricum. Fitoterapia, 64, 277-278.
  • 19 Roslen, N.A., Alewi, N.A.M., Ahamada, H. and Rasad, M.S.B.A. (2014) Cytotoxicity screening of Melastoma malabathricum extracts on human breast cancer cell lines in vitro. Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine, 4, 545-548.
  • 20 Zakaria, Z., RNS, R.M.N., Abdul Ghani, Z., Hanan Kumar, G., Sulaiman, M. and Fatimah, C. (2006) Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties of Melastoma malabathricum leaves chloroform extract in experimental animals. J Pharmacol Toxicol, 1, 337-345.
  • 21 Hussain, F., Abdulla, M.A., Noor, S.M., Ismail, S. and Ali, H.M. (2008) Gastroprotective effects of Melastoma malabathricum aqueous leaf extract against ethanol-induced gastric ulcer iin rats. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 4, 438-441.
  • 22 Thatoi, H., Panda, S., Rath, S. and Dutta, S. (2008) Antimicrobial activity and ethnomedicinal uses of some medicinal plants from Similipal Biosphere Reserve, Orissa. Asian Journal of plant sciences.
  • 23 Manicam, C., Abdullah, J.O., Tohit, E.R.M., Seman, Z., Chin, S.C. and Hamid, M. (2013) In vitro anticoagulant activities of Melastoma malabathricum Linn. aqueous leaf extract: A preliminary novel finding. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 4, 1464-1472.
  • 24 Balamurugan, K., Nishanthini, A. and Mohan, V. (2013) Antiulcer activity of Melastoma malabathricum L. leaf extracts (Melastomataceae). International Journal of Advanced Research, 1, 49-52.
  • 25 Zabidi, Z., Zainulddin, W.W., Mamat, S., Din, S.S., Kamisan, F., Yahya, F., Ismail, N., Rodzi, R., Hassan, H. and Mohtarrudin, N. (2012) Antiulcer activity of methanol extract of Melastoma malabathricum leaves in rats. Medical Principles and Practice, 21, 501-503.
  • 26 Zakaria, Z.A., Zainol, A.S.N., Sahmat, A., Salleh, N.I., Hizami, A., Mahmood, N.D., Nasir, N., Mamat, S.S., Kamisan, F.H., Mohtarrudin, N. et al. (2016) Gastroprotective activity of chloroform extract of Muntingia calabura and Melastoma malabathricum leaves. Pharmaceutical Biology, 54, 812-826.
  • 27 Dulbecco’s Minimal Essential Medium, D. CYTOTOXICITY AND ANTIVIRAL ACTIVITY OF Melastoma malabathricum EXTRACTS.
  • 28 Alwash, M.S., Ibrahim, N. and Ahmad, W.Y. (2013) Bio-guided study on Melastoma malabathricum Linn leaves and elucidation of its biological activities. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 10, 767-778.
  • 29 Balamurugan, K., Nishanthini, A. and Mohan, V. (2013) Anticancer activity of ethanol extract of Melastoma malabathricum L. Leaf against Dalton Ascites Lymphoma. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 5, 111-114.
  • 30 Zakaria, Z., Raden Mohd. Nor, R., Hanan Kumar, G., Abdul Ghani, Z., Sulaiman, M., Rathna Devi, G., Mat Jais, A., Somchit, M. and Fatimah, C. (2006) Antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties of Melastoma malabathricum leaves aqueous extract in experimental animals. Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology, 84, 1291-1299.
  • 31 Yusuf, M., Begum, J., Hoque, M. and Choudhury, J. (2009) Medicinal plants of Bangladesh-Revised and enlarged. Bangladesh Coun. Sci. Ind. Res. Lab. Chittagong, Bangladesh, 794.
  • 32 Ghani, A. (1998) Medicinal plants of Bangladesh: chemical constituents and uses. Asiatic society of Bangladesh.