Aratiles is a fast growing tree, 5 to 10 meters high,
with spreading branches. Leaves are hairy, sticky, alternate,
distichous, oblong-ovate to broadly oblong-lanceolate, 8 to 13
centimeters long, with toothed margins, pointed apex and inequilateral
base, one side rounded and the other acute. Flowers are about 2 centimeters
in diameter, white, extra-axillary, solitary or in pairs. Sepals
are 5, green, reflexed, lanceolate, about 1 centimeter long. Petals are
white, obovate, 1 centimeter long, deciduous and spreading. Fruit is a berry, rounded,
about 1.5 centimeter in diameter, red on ripening, smooth, fleshy, sweet
and many seeded.
- Naturalized, widely distributed, growing in and about towns.
- Introduced from tropical America.
- Also reported in Thailand and Java.
Bark, leaves and flowers.
Antispasmodic and emollient.
- The ripe fruit is very popular among Filipino children.
- Flowers are antispasmodic. Decoction of flowers for abdominal
- Decoction used as emollient.
- Flowers used as antiseptic and to treat spasms.
- Also used to relieve colds and headaches.
- In the Antiles, used as antispasmodic.
- In Martinique, bark decoction is mucilaginous and used as emollient.
- Bark used for making rope.
- Wood is compact, fine-grained, moderately strong and light in weight
- Fast growing tree that makes for a favorable shade tree.
• Antibacterial Activity:
The study concluded that M. calabura possesses a potential antibacterial
property that is comparable to the standard antibiotics used. The study
also suggests the presence of a more potent polar antibacterial compound. (1)
• Antistaphylococcal Activity Study isolated fractions from the methanol extract of MC with anti-staphylococcal activity.
• Flavanone Constituents: The study isolated a flavanone as well as 24 known compounds, which were mainly
flavanones and flavones.
• Antinociceptive / Anti-inflammatory
/ Antipyretic: The study concludes that M. calabura leaves possessed
antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activities, justifying
the Peruvian folkloric medicinal use. (3)
• Cytotoxic Flavonoids / Anticancer: Study isolated 12 new flavonoids were isolated (7 flavans, 3 flavones, two biflavans).
Most of the isolates demonstrated cytotoxic activity and some exhibited
selective activities when evaluated with a number of human cancer cell
• Cytotoxic / Leaves and Stems : Study of leaves and stems of Muntingia calabura yielded cytotoxic flavonoids: chrysin, 2',4'-dihydroxychalcone and galangin 3, 7-dimethyl ether. The compounds were active against one or more panels of human and murine cell lines. (5)
• Cardioprotective: Pretreatment with M calabura leaf extract efficiently protected the myocardium against isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction. It brought about a significant decrease in cardiac marker enzyme activities probably due reduction in extent of myocardial damage and restriction of leakage of enzymes from the myocardium. (6)
• Antinociceptive / Opioid Receptor Connect: Aqueous extract of Muntingia calibura showed significant antinociceptive activity against chemically and thermally induced noxious stimuli. The bioactive compounds responsible for the activity work partly through the opioid receptor system. (7)
• Antioxidant: Study showed high levels of antioxidant activity in the fruit extracts. There was a correlation between antioxidant activity and phenolic flavonoid contents. (8)
• Anticancer / Antiproliferative / Antoxidant: Study showed M. calabura leaves possess potential antiproliferative and antioxidant activities that could be attributed to high content of phenolic compounds.
• Hypotensive Effect: Study evaluated the cardiovascular effect of a methanol extract from the leaf of MC. A fractionated water-soluble extract elicited both a transient and delayed hypotensive effect via production of NO (nitric oxide). Activation of NO/sGC/cGMP signaling pathway may mediate the MC-induced hypotension. (11)
• Antinociceptive / Leaves / Mechanisms: Study on a methanol extract of leaves showed antinociceptive activity involving activation of peripheral and central mechanisms, and partly, via modulation of opioid receptors and NO/cGMP pathway. (12)