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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 258434, 48 pages
Review Article

Melastoma malabathricum (L.) Smith Ethnomedicinal Uses, Chemical Constituents, and Pharmacological Properties: A Review

1Departments of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam Campus, Selangor, 42300 Bandar Puncak Alam, Malaysia
2Faculty of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Kampus Kota, Jalan Sultan Mahmud, 20400 Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
3Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, 43400 UPM Serdang, Malaysia
4Halal Products Research Institute, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, 43400 UPM Serdang, Malaysia

Received 26 July 2011; Accepted 4 September 2011

Academic Editor: Angelo Antonio Izzo

Copyright © 2012 S. Mohd. Joffry et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Melastoma malabathricum L. (Melastomataceae) is one of the 22 species found in the Southeast Asian region, including Malaysia. Considered as native to tropical and temperate Asia and the Pacific Islands, this commonly found small shrub has gained herbal status in the Malay folklore belief as well as the Indian, Chinese, and Indonesian folk medicines. Ethnopharmacologically, the leaves, shoots, barks, seeds, and roots of M. malabathricum have been used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, cuts and wounds, toothache, and stomachache. Scientific findings also revealed the wide pharmacological actions of various parts of M. malabthricum, such as antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, antidiarrheal, cytotoxic, and antioxidant activities. Various types of phytochemical constituents have also been isolated and identifed from different parts of M. malabathricum. Thus, the aim of the present review is to present comprehensive information on ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemical constituents, and pharmacological activities of M. malabathricum.