Muntingia calabura: A review of its traditional uses, chemical properties, and pharmacological observations
Abstract, Pharmaceutical Biology, 2014
Medicinal plants are sources of important therapeutic aid for alleviating human ailments. Approximately 80% of the people in the developing countries all over the world depend on the traditional medicine for their primary health-care. Interestingly, approximately 85% of traditional medicine involves the use of plant extracts. Interest in phytomedicine started in the last 20 years and with increasing awareness of the health hazards and toxicities associated with unsystematic use of synthetic drugs and antibiotics, interest in the use of plants and plant-based drugs has revived throughout the world. However, a large number of medicinal plants remain to be investigated for their possible pharmacological value. One of the plants that has recently gained a medicinal plant status is Muntingia calabura L. (Elaeocarpaceae).
Muntingia calabura is known throughout the world as “Jamaican cherry” and in Malaysia, particularly among the Malay, it is known as “kerukup siam”. Being the sole species within the genus Muntingia, it is native to southern Mexico, tropical South America, Central America, the Greater Antilles, Trinidad, and St. Vincent. It is also widely cultivated in warm areas in India and Southeast Asia such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Indeed, in Malaysia, M. calabura is commonly cultivated as roadside trees (Morton, 1987Morton JF. (1987).