• Bharathi Tr
  • Sampath Kumara Kk
  • Prakash Hs Department of Studies in Biotechnology, University of Mysore, Manasagangotri, Mysore 570006


The present review is to avail the comprehensive information on taxonomy, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Indian Memecylon species. Memecylon is one of the complex genus of flowering plants and it is an important source of traditional medicine. Owing to complexity in morphological characters, identification of Memecylon species has become very difficult. Nomenclature status of most of the Indian Memecylon species is not clear. Phylogenetic studies report on this genus are also very few. Memecylon species reported having potential pharmacological activities. This background made us present a review on Indian Memecylon species. Information on this plant genus was searched using various electronic databases in reference to the terms Indian Memecylon species taxonomy, phylogeny, pharmacological activities and phytoconstituents along with Indian classical texts, journals, etc. There is a confusion regarding the taxonomic status of Memecylon malabaricum, M. amplexicaule, M. depressum, M. wightii. M. umbellatum and M. edule. Several chemical constituents like memecylaene, umbelactone, amyrin, sitosterol, tartaric acid, malicacid, oleanolicacid, ursolicacid and tannins, triterpenes, and flavonoids have been identified in this genus. The plant extracts of this genus have been demonstrated to have potential pharmacological activities. Some of the phytoconstituents are attributed to the pharmacological potential of this genus. Further, there is a need to validate its taxonomic status and pharmacological properties by using modern biological techniques. If future studies throw a light on these aspects, definitely it will help in developing a potential biopharmaceutical product.

Keywords: Biological activities, Taxonomy, Memecylon species, Phylogeny

Keywords: Biological activities, Taxonomy, Memecylon species, phylogeny


Download data is not yet available.


1. Jussieu AL. de. Genera plantarum, secundum ordines naturales disposita, juxta methodum in horto regio Parisiensi exaratam, anno M. DCC. LXXIV. Herissant and Barrois, Paris; 1789.
2. Murugan C, Gopalan R. Four new additions to Indian Memecylon L. (Melastomataceae) from South India. Indian J Forestry 2006;29:105-8.
3. Viswanathan MB, Manikandan U. A new species, Memecylon mundanthuraianum, of melastomataceae from India. Nord J Bot 2001;21:259–62.
4. Deshpande AU, Apte GS, Bahulikar RA, Lagu MD, Kulkarni BG, Suresh HS, et al. Genetic diversity across natural populations of three montane plant species from the western ghats, India revealed by inter-simple sequence repeats. Mol Ecol 2001;10:2397-408.
5. Prakasha HM, Krishnappa M, Krishnamurthy YL, Poornima SV. Folk medicine of NR pura taluk in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka. Indian J Traditional Knowledge 2010;9:55-60.
6. Kshirsagar RD, Singh NP. Some less known ethnomedicinal uses from Mysore and coorg districts, Karnataka state, India. J Ethnopharmacol 2001;75:231-8.
7. Reddy MV. Wildlife Biodiversity Conservation: Proceedings of the "National Seminar on Wildlife Biodiversity Conservation", 13 to 15 October 2006, a Seminar Conducted During the "bi-decennial celebrations" of Pondicherry university title endemic medicinal plants used by tribal people in Tirunelveli hills the Western Ghats; 2008.
8. Kottaimuthu R, Vasudevan N, Saravanan A. On the occurrence of Memecylon capitellatum (Memecylaceae) in India. Taprobanica 2015;7:114–7.
9. Kirtikar KR, Basu BD. Indian Medicinal plants. Vol. 2. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun; 1918.
10. Elavazhagan T, Kantha D, Arunachalam. Phytochemical and antibacterial studies of seed extracts of Memecylon edule. Int J Eng Sci Technol 2010;2:498-503.
11. Mabberley DJ. The plant book. 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press: UK; 2005. p. 449.
12. Rao TA, Bremer K, Chakraborti S. Foliar sclereids in Sri Lanka (Ceylonese) species of Memecylon (Melastomataceae). Botaniska Notiser 1980;133:397–401.
13. Stone RD. Endemism, species richness and morphological trends in Madagascan Memecylon (Melastomataceae). Plant Ecology Evolution 2012;145:145-51.
14. Gamble JS. Flora of Presidency of Madras, Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun; 1997. p. 504.
15. Hooker JD. The Flora of British India, II. L. Reeve and Co. Ltd., NR. Ashford, Kent, England; 1879. p. 564.
16. Brandis D. Indian trees: an account of trees, shrubs, woody climbers, bamboos and palms indigenous or commonly cultivated in the British India Empire. London; 1978. p. 767.
17. Ramaswamy SN, Rao RM, Govindappa DA. Flora of Shimoga District, Karnataka. Prasaranga, University of Mysore, Mysore; 2001. p. 240.
18. Saldanha CJ. Flora of Karnataka, Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi. Volume II; 1996. p. 40.
19. Vivekanandan Flora of Tamil Nadu; 1983. p. 160.
20. [Last accessed on 10 Feb 2016].
21. Neginhal SG. Forest trees of South India: Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring states like Maharashtra. Nature; 2004.
22. Pullaiah T, Ramamurthy SK. Flora of eastern ghats: Vol. 3. Hill Ranges of South East India; 2000.
23. Bhat KG. Flora of South Kanara KG. Bhat Udupi; 2014. p. 507.
24. Santapu H. The flora of Khandala on the Western Ghats of India, Rec Bot Surv India; 1953.
25. Manilal KS, Shivarajan VV. Flora of Calicut. Bishen Singh Mahendra pal singh, Dehra Dun; 1982.
26. Pradhan SG. Melastomataceae. In: flora of Maharashtra state, Dicotyledones Vol. II. eds. Singh NP, Lakshminarasimhan P, Karthikeyan S, Prasana PV. BSI, Calcutta; 2001. p. 24-9.
27. Almedia MR, Almedia SM. Flora of Maharashtra. Vol II. St. Xeviers College, Mumbai; 1998.
28. Bremer K. Melastomataceae. In: A revised handbook to the flora of Ceylon. eds. Dessanayake MD, Fosberg FR. Vol. VI. Oxford and IBH publishing Co. New Delhi; 1987. p. 157-240.
29. [Last accessed on 10 Feb 2016].
30. IUCN. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, Version 3.1. Prepared by the IUCN Species Survival Taxonomy of Memecylon (Melastomata-Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, ceae) United Kingdom; 2001. Available from: [Last accessed on 10 Feb 2016].
31. Sivu AR, Narayanan MKR, Pradeed NS, kumar SEK, Pandurangan AG. A new species of Memecylon (Melastomataceae) from the Western Ghats, India. Phytotaxa 2014;162:44-50.
32. Stone RD. The species-rich, paleotropical genus Memecylon (Melastomataceae): Molecular phylogenetics and revised the infrageneric classification of the African species. International Association for Plant Taxonomy. Taxon 2014; 63:539-61.
33. Bharathi TR, Sampath Kumara KK, Chandra Nayaka S, Prakash HS. Sequence-based detection and genotyping of Memecylon species: an endemic medicinal plants of Western Ghats. National conference on emerging trends in Ayurveda and Herbal Drug Technology; 2012.
34. Killedar SG, Harinath N. More screening of antimicrobial potential and phytoconstituents for different extracts of Memecylon umbellatum burm inflorescences. Asian J Pharm Res 2011;1:14-8.
35. Basha NS, Princely S, Gnanakani E, Kirubakaran JJ. Preliminary phytochemical screening and evaluation of the antimicrobial potential of Memecylon umbellatum burn (Melastomataceae) aerial parts. Pharmacologyonline 2011;1:174-84.
36. Murugesan S, Pannerselvam A, Tangavelou AC. Phytochemical screening and Antimicrobial activity of the leaves of Memecylon umbellatum burm. F J Appl Pharm Sci 2011;1:42-5.
37. Rajesh V, Sarthaki R, Palani R, Jayaraman P. In vitro evaluation of Memecylon umbellatum Burm. F for antihyperglycemic activity and phytochemical potential. Int J Pharmacogn Phytochem Res 2014;6:785-91.
38. Peethambar S, Puttaswamya KAR, Vinayaka K, Padukonea SBS, Achur RN. Pharmacological and gross behavioral studies on Memecylon terminale Dalz, a medicinal plant from the Western Ghats in southern India. World J Pharm Sci 2013;1:81-92.
39. Sivu AR, Pradeep NS, Rameshkumar KB, Pandurangan AG. Evaluation of phytochemical, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of Memecylon L. species from the Western Ghats. Indian J Nat Prod Resour 2013;4:363-70.
40. Lowry JB. Anthocyanins of the Melastomataceae, myrtaceae and some allied families. Phytochemistry 1976;15:513-6.
41. Agarwal SK, Rastogi RP. Umbelactone (4-Hydroxy-3-methyl-but-2-ene-4,1-olide), New constituent of Memecylon umbellatum. Phytochemistry 1978;17:1663-4.
42. Joshi H, Joshi AB, Sati H, Gururaja MP, Shetty PR, Subrahmanyam EVS, et al. Fatty acids from Memecylon umbellatum (Burm.). Asian J Res Chem 2009;2:178-80.
43. Wang X, Zhang F, Yang L, Mei Y, Long H, Zhang X, et al. Ursolic acid inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. J Biomed Biotechnol 2011. Doi:10.1155/2011/419343. [Article in Press]
44. Kunkel SD, Elmore CJ, Bongers KS, Ebert SM, Fox DK, et al. Ursolic acid increases skeletal muscle and brown fat and decreases diet-induced obesity, glucose intolerance, and fatty liver disease. PLoS One 2012;7:1-8.
45. Woyengo TA, Ramprasath VR, Jones PJH. Anticancer effects of phytosterols. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009;63:813–20.
46. Matsuda H, Li Y, Murakami T, Matsumura N, Yamahara J, Yoshikawa M. Antidiabetic principles of natural medicines III. Structure-related inhibitory activity and action mode of oleanolic acid glycosides on hypoglycemic activity. Chem Pharm Bull 1998;46:1399-403.
47. Martın R, Tavares JC, Hernandez M, Arnes M, Gutierrez VR, Nieto ML. Beneficial actions of oleanolic acid in an experimental model of multiple sclerosis: a potential therapeutic role. Biochem Pharmacol 2010;79:198–208.
48. Shukla S, Gupta S. Apigenin: a promising molecule for cancer prevention. Pharm Res 2010;27:962–78.
49. Bharathi TR, Prakash HS. UPLC-ESI-MS-based metabolite analysis of Memecylon talbotianum Brandis. and its potential bioactive paper presented in Metabolomics conference IISC Bangalore, Bangalore; 2015.
50. Liu Y, Carver JA, Calabrese AN, Pukala TL. Gallic acid interacts with α-synuclein to prevent the structural collapse necessary for its aggregation. Biochim Biophys Acta 2014;9:1481–5.
51. Levites Y, Weinreb O, Maor G, Youdim MB. Mandel S, Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate prevents N-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration. J Neurochem 2001;78:1073-82.
52. Levites Y, Mandel AS, Youdim MB. Neuroprotection and neurorescue against Abeta toxicity and PKC-dependent release of nonamyloidogenic soluble precursor protein by green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate. FASEB J 2003; 17:952-54.
53. Kakkar S, Bais S. A review on protocatechuic acid and its pharmacological potential. Pharmacology 2014;1-9. 10.1155/2014/952943. [Article in Press]
54. Balde AM, Pieters LA, Claeys M, Traore MS, Balde MA, Diallo MST, et al. Quinic acid esters from Pavetta owariensis var. owariensis (Rubiaceae). J Plant Sci 2015;3:20-3.
55. Kern SM, Bennett RN, Mellon FA, Kroon PA, Garcia-Conesa MT. Absorption of hydroxycinnamates in humans after high-bran cereal consumption. J Agric Food Chem 2003;51:6050-5.
56. Balasubashini MS, Rukkumani R, Viswanathan P, Menon VP. Ferulic acid alleviates lipid peroxidation in diabetic rats. Phytother Res 2004;18:310-4.
57. Sova M. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activeities of cinnamic acid derivatives. Mini Rev Med Chem 2012;12:749-67.
58. Bharathi TR, Jameel NM, Ghassam BJ, Sekhar S, Kumara SKK, Prakash HS. Antidiabetic effect of Memecylon talbotianum Brandis extract on streptozotocin induced diabetes in male wistar rats, Paper presented in International Symposium on Chemical Biology; 2015.
59. Ramaiah M, Rao KS, Rao BG. Antidiabetic activity of Methanolic extract of Memecylon malabaricum (Melastomataceae) leaves. Int J Phytopharm 2012;2:9-12.
60. Rekha ND, Gowda TV, Aradhya SM, Suresha RN, Jayashree K. Anti-inflammatory properties of memecylaene: a novel compound isolated from Memecylon malabaricum. Res J Pharm Biol Chem Sci 2014;5:1645-54.
61. Elavazhagan T, Arunachalam KD. Memecylon edule leaf extract mediated green synthesis of silver and gold nanoparticles. Int J Nanomed 2011;6:1265–78.
62. Murugesan S, Panneerselvam A. Evaluation of phytochemical constituents from stems of Memecylon umbellatum Brum. F. by GC-MS analysis, research and reviews. J Botanical Sci 2013;2:29-34.
63. Arunachalam KD, Annamalai SK, Hari S. One-step green synthesis and characterization of leaf extract mediated biocompatible silver and gold nanoparticles from Memecylon umbellatum. Int J Nanomed 2013;8:1307–15.
64. Srinivasan R, Natarajan D, Shivakumar MS. Antimicrobial and GC-MS analysis of Memecylon edule Leaf extracts. Int J Curr Pharm Rev Res 2014;5:1-13.
65. Amalraj T, Ignacimuthu S. Evaluation of the hypoglycemic effect of Memecylon umbellatum in normal and alloxan diabetic mice. J Ethnopharmacol 1998;62:247-50.
66. Puttaswamy R, Peethambar SK, Achur RN. Hypoglycemic activity of Memecylon umbellatum leaves methanolic extract. World J Pharm Pharm Sci 2013;6:6202-11.
67. Puratchikody A, Nagalakshmi G. Wound healing activity of Memecylon umbellatum (Burm). J Plant Sci 2007;2:179-86.
68. Joshi H, Joshi AB, Sati H, Gururaja MP, Chandrashekar K, Subrahmanyam EVS, et al. Anti-Inflammatory potential of Memecylon umbellatom roots extract. Int J Pharmacol Biol Sci 2009;3:11-5.
69. Nualkaew S, Rattanamanee K, Thongpraditchote S, Wongkrajang Y, Nahrstedt A. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic and wound healing activities of the leaves of Memecylon edule Roxb. J Ethnopharmacol 2009;121:278-81.
70. Bharathi TR, Nadafi R, Prakash HS. In vitro antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Memecylon talbotianum Brandis. Int J Phytopharm 2014;4:148-52.
71. Joshi H, Gururaja MP, Joshi AB, Disoza, UP, Singh S. Antispasmodic activity of Memecylon umbellatum roots–an in vitro study. Pharm Rev 2010;93.
72. Dhar ML, Dhar MM, Dhawan BN, Mehrotra BN, Ray C. Screening of Indian plants for biological activity: Part I. Indian J Exp Biol 1968;6:241.
73. Rumzhum NN, Mostafizur MDR, Most P, Sadia NCA. Evaluation of antioxidant, antino potentialities of methanolic extract of M. umbellatum. Res J Pharmacogn phytochem 2012;4:84-8.
74. Bharathi TR, Reza Nadafi, Hadi ghaffari. The pharmaceutical potential of solvent extracts of M. talbotianium Brandis. International Symposium on Chemical Biology-Drug Discovery. At Mysore, India; 2014.
75. Joshi H, Joshi AB, Sati H, Gururaja MP, Pokale R, Subrahmanyam EVS, et al. Hepatoprotective activity of Memecylon umbellatom Roots against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. J Res Educ 2008;14:49-54.
76. Shetty P, Souza UPD, Shama PK. Genotoxic studies of Memecylon umbellatum leaves. Int J Pharm Health Sci 2010;1:45-9.
77. Joshi H, Joshi AB, Gururaja MP, Chandrashekar KS, Prasanna KS, Subrahmanyam EVS, et al. the Nephroprotective activity of Memecylon umbellatom. Herbal Heritage 2009;1:65-9.
78. Joshi H, Gururaja MP, Satyanarayana D, Sunity S, Shastry CS. The analgesic potential of the roots of Memecylon umbellatum (Burm). Int Res J Pharm 2010;1:395-400.
79. Ramanjayalu, Anjankumar, Uwais M, Nithyananda, Gouda S, Satish S, et al. A study on in vitro anthelmintic activity of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of Memecyclon malabaricum leaves against Pheritima posthuma. Int J Pharm Chem Sci 2012;1:621-4.
80. Naidu VGM, Mahesh BU, Giddam Ak, Kuppan Babu KRD, Ding J, Babu KS, et al. the Apoptogenic activity of ethyl acetate extract of leaves of Memecylon edule on human gastric carcinoma cells via mitochondrial dependent pathway. Asian Pacific J Tropical Med 2013;6:337-45.
81. Satya S, Reeta K, Vijayarani R, Srividhya N, Gangatharan M. Antimicrobial Screening of leaves of Memecylon umbellatum. Ancient Sci Life 2003;13:120-2.
82. Mohideen S, Babu LH, Anbuselvam C, Balasubramanian MP. Antimicrobial activity of Memecylon edule roxb. and Memecylon umbellatum burm. F. Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res 2012;15:79-82.
83. Harkare BR, Suryawanshi JS, Kadam SS, Osmani RA, Bhosale RR. Phytochemical analysis and antibacterial activity of methanolic seed extract of Memecylon umbellatum burm. Int J Pharma Bio Sci 2013;3:373-8.
84. Vivek MN, Kambar Y, Kekuda PTR, Manasa M, Raghavendra HL. Antimicrobial and radical scavenging activity of Memecylon malabaricum (C. B. Clarke) Cogn. and Memecylon talboltianum Brandis. Sci Technol Arts Res J 2014;3:174-9.
85. Hullati KK, Rai VR. Antimicrobial activity of Memecylon malabaricum. Fitoterapia 2004;75:409-11.
86. Bharathi TR, Madhusudan MC, Chandranayaka S, Prakash HS. Antimicrobial Potential of Memecylon L. species from Western Ghats against clinical isolates of pathogenic bacteria. Res J Pharm Biol Chem Sci 2015;6:1280-7.
87. Jin G, Prabhakaran MP, Kai D, Annamalai SK, Arunachalam KD, Ramakrishna S. Tissue engineered plant extracts as nanofibrous wound dressing. Biomaterials 2013;34:724-34.
748 Views | 2855 Downloads
How to Cite
Tr, B., S. K. Kk, and P. Hs. “MEMECYLON SPECIES: A REVIEW OF TRADITIONAL INFORMATION AND TAXONOMIC DESCRIPTION”. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 8, no. 6, Apr. 2016, pp. 26-34,
Review Article(s)