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:
(1) 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. (2) 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.
• Cytotoxic / Anticancer: (1) Plant anticancer agents, XLVIII.
New cytotoxic flavonoids from Muntingia calabura roots:
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
lines. (2) Study of leaves and stems of Muntingia calabura leaves and stems 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.
• Cardioprotective / Anticancer: 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.
• 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.
• Antioxidant: Study showed high levels of antioxidant activity in the fruit extracts. There was a correlation betweent antioxidant activity and phenolic flavonoid contents.
• 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