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Family Rutaceae
Micromelum compressum (Blanco) Merr.

Ying mao xiao yun mu

Scientific names Common names
Bergera compressa Blanco Amian (Ting.)
Micromelum compressum Merr. Ayu-ayu (Sul.)
Accepted infraspecifics Basar-basar (Ilk.)
Micromelum compressum var. compressum Bialong (Sub.)
Micromelum compressum var. inodorum (Blanco) Binting-dalaga (Tag.)
  Buntog (Bik.)
  Buriñgot (Bik.)
  Gindoen (Bag.)
  Hagasin (S. L. Bis.)
  Karinbubod (Ilk.)
  Kalambahin (Tag.)
  Kiting-kiting (Tag.)
  Kulai-manok (Tag.)
  Lamlamuyot (Ilk.)
  Lañgin (Tag.)
  Luyong-luyong (Kuy.)
  Makabañgon (Bik.)
  Malalupai (Pamp.)
  Maligang (Sub.)
  Panias-panias (C. Bis.)
  Parinlas (Tag.)
  Patukod-lañgit (Tag.)
  Piris (Tag.)
  Pulet (Ibn.)
  Tabas (P. Bis.)
  Taboat-kobing (Bag.)
  Tulibas (Tag.)
  Lime berry (Engl.)
Many in the long list of synonyms in Quisumbing's compilation are unresolved names: (Micromelum ceylanicum Wight., Micromelum compressum (Blanco) Merr., Micromelum glabrescens Benth, Micromelum hirsutum F.-Vill., Micromelum minutum (G. Forst.) Wight & Arn., Micromelum molle Turez., Micromelum pubescens Blume, Micromelum tephocarpus Turez., Andromeda japonica Blanco, Bergera compressa Blanco, Bergera inodora Blanco, Bergera koenigil Blanco, Limonia minuta Forst. f.).
Piris is a common name shared by: Kabuyaw, Citrus hystric, Piris (Pang.) and Micromelum compressum, Piris (Tag.).
Study supports the taxonomic claim of Merrill that suggests M. compressum is not identical to M. minutum. (13)
Micromelum compressum (Blanco) Merr. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ying mao xiao yun mu.
INDONESIA: Sesi, Ki mangkok, Mentanen.
MALAYSIA: Chememar, Cherek, Kematu.
THAILAND: Samui, Saam sok, Sabaek.
VIETNAM: Cam n[us]i, Kim s[uw][ow]ng.

Gen info
- Micromellum is a genus of eight species of flowering plants in the family Rutaceae. The genus includes evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees.
- The genus was first formally described in 1825 by Carl Ludwig Blume in Bijdragen tot de Flora van Nederoandsch Inidie.

Piris is a small tree with hairy branches and leaves. Leaves are 20 to 40 centimeters in length, with 9 to 12 leaflets on each side of the hairy rachis. Leaflets are variable in shape and size, ovate to broadly lanceolate, the terminal ones being longest and up to 15 centimeters in length. Flowers are fragrant, greenish yellow or white, borne in considerable numbers on compound inflorescences. Fruit is yellow when ripe, ovoid-oblong, and less than 1 centimeter in length.

Taxonomic conflict
- Quisumbing (1978) published Micromelum minutum as a synonym of Micromelum compressum. This study supports the taxonomic claim of Merrill that suggests M. compressum is not identical to M. minutum. (13)

- Native to the Philippines and Vietnam.
- Throughout the Philippines, in most islands and provinces, in thickets and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes.

- Chemical investigation of Micromelum minutum collected from Sepilok, Sabah, Malaysia yielded four new coumarins: 3",4"-dihydrocapnolactone 1, 2',3'-epoxyisocapnolactone 2, 8-hydroxyisocapnolactone-2',3'-diol 3 and 8-hydroxy-3",4"-dihydrocapnolactone-2',3'-diol 4. (2)
- Acetone extract of stems yielded six coumarins, micromarin-A ,B,C,F,G,H along with six known coumarins. (3)
- Leaves yielded coumarin, 80methoxycapnolactone and stigmasterol. (5)
- Fractionation of crude petroleum ether and chloroform extracts isolated five new coumarins 3″,4″-dihydrocapnolactone, 2′,3′-epoxyisocapnolactone, 8-hydroxyisocapnolactone-29,39-diol, 8-hydroxy-3″,4″-dihydrocapnolactone-29,39-diol and 8,4″-dihydroxy-3″,4″-dihydrocapnolactone-29,39-diol, and two triterpenes. (See study below) (6)
- Fruits yielded new 7-oxygenated coumarin, 7-demethylmurralonginol isovalerate (1), and a new natural product, murralonginol (2), together with seven known 7-oxygenated coumarins, murralonginol isovalerate (3), murralongin (4), micromelin (5), scopoletin (6), microminutin (7), murrangatin (8), and minumicrolin (9). (See study below)
- Study of fractions from air-dried powdered leaves yielded tetramethoxyflavone (1) (83.4 mg) and a mixture of pentamethoxy flavones (2 and 3) (45.6 mg). The structures were identified as 3,5,7,40-tetramethoxyflavone (1), 3,5,7,8,40-pentamethoxyflavone (2) and 3,5,6,7,40-pentamethoxyflavone (3).   (11)
- Study isolated and identified three polymethoxyated flavones 1-3. (13)

- Considered febrifuge, analgesic, stomachic, carminative.
- Studies have suggested anticancer, antitubercular properties.

Parts used
Roots, shoots, leaves.


- In the Philippines, young shoots are heated with oil and used for infantile convulsions.
- Leaves and roots are used as febrifuge.
- Decoction or infusion of roots used for diarrhea in children; also, as carminative.
- Roots also used for toothaches.
- Plant used for stomachache and headache.
- In Sabah and Sarawak, leaves of M. minutum are traditionally used in the treatment of giddiness and fever; poultice of boiled roots are used for ague. (6)
Wood: Used for handles of bolos and making furniture.

Cancer Prevention and Carcinogenesis Potentials:
Study evaluated the effect of dietary Micromelum minutum leaves common eaten among Southern Thai people. The susceptibility of biological systems to chemical carcinogenesis is partly controlled by the balance between phase I enzyme and phase II enzymes systems, and the protective effect of vegetables and chemical compounds maybe the result of modulation of carcinogen metabolism, especially the induction of phase II detoxification enzymes. Study results show M. minutum leaves possess phase II enzyme inducing property, as well as a reducing phase I activities in rat liver. The vegetable's cancer preventing potential also carries concerns on the potential to activate chemical carcinogenesis. (4)
Cytotoxicity / Coumarins:
Crude petroleum ether and chloroform extracts of M. minutum showed strong cytotoxic activity against a T-lymphoblastic leukemia cell line. Fractionation
isolated five new coumarins and two triterpenes. Some of the compounds showed strong activity against T. lymphoblastic leukemia (CEM-SS), promyelocytic leukemia (HL60), cervical cancer (HeLa) and liver cancer (HepG2) cell lines. (6)
Cytotoxicity / Coumarins: Leaves yielded two bioactive compounds, 2',3'-Epoxyisocapnolactone and 8-hydroxyisocapnolactone-2',3'-diol. Study showed both compounds to induce apoptosis. Furthermore, 8- hydroxyisocapnolactone-2',3'-diol also exhibited earlier induction time and better cytotoxicity compared to 2',3'-epoxyisocapnolactone. Results show both to have potential as anticancer agent. (7)
Fruits / C-7 Oxygenated Coumarins / Anti-Cancer: Fruits yielded new 7-oxygenated coumarin, 7-demethylmurralonginol isovalerate (1), and a new natural product, murralonginol (2), together with seven known 7-oxygenated coumarins, murralonginol isovalerate (3), murralongin (4), micromelin (5), scopoletin (6), microminutin (7), murrangatin (8), and minumicrolin (9). Among these isolates, compounds 2 and 4–9 exhibited cytotoxicity against cholangiocarcinoma cell line, KKU-100. (8)
Fruits / Coumarins / Anti-Cancer: A carbon tetrachloride fraction of Micromelum minutum was found active against most test fungal test organisms.
The VLC fractions showed marked inhibition against the six fungi tested; fraction D showed 62 to 88% inhibition at 500 µg/ml dose. (9)
Mahanine / Apoptosis Induction: Mahanine, a naturally occurring carbazole alkaloid in some Asian vegetables. Study investigated the effect of mahanine on the activation of the apoptotic pathway in human leukemia U937 cells. Mahanine-induced apoptosis involved the activation of caspases, release of cytochrome c in cytosol, loss of mitochondrial membrane permeability, and decreased levels of cellular ATP. (10)

Antitubercular: Study evaluated leaves from nine selected Philippine plants for inhibitory activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. Of the nine samples, M. compressum showed the highest activity with 97% and 98% inhibition at 64 µg/mL and 128 µg/mL (MIC: 56 µg/mL) Study also reports on the isolation and characterization of secondary metabolites from ethyl acetate sub-extract inhibiting Mtb H37Rv at MIC 25 µg/mL, and the preliminary study on the anti-TB activity of stems (13% at 128 µg/mL) and bark (49% at 128 µg/mL). (12)
Synergistic Inhibitory Effect of Polymethoxy Flavones against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv / Leaves: Study evaluated polymethoxy flavones from leaves of M. compressum with synergistic inhibitory effect against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv, Crude DCM-MeOH extract exhibited 84% inhibition against Mtb at 128 µg/mL. Partitioning yielded three fractions (McP, McD Mc
W). Partitioning of McD yielded five fractions, with the third showed 96% inhibition against Mtb, while McP showed 92% at 128 µg/mL. Purification isolated three polymethoxy flavones mixed with McD3.3, McD3.5 and McD3.6. McD3.5 exhibited good activity with MIC of 15.98 µg/mL. Results also showed synergism of two polymethoxy flavones in enhancing inhibition of Mtb, suggesting a potential source of antitubercular constituents. (16)


Updated  March 2023 / March 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Rutaceae - Micromelum compressum - Inflorescence / / Copyright © 2011 by Leonardo L Co [ref. DOL31849] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / File:Micromelum minutum flowers and foliage.jpg / Mark Marathon / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antitubercular screening of selected Philippine plants; Isolation and characterization of secondary metabolites from the leaves of Micromelum compressum Blanco (Merr.) & a preliminary study of its stems and bark (Poster Presentation / Asia–Pacific Conference on Chemistry Education and 24th Philippine Chemistry Congress, 2009)
Coumarins from Malaysian Micromelum minutum. / Rahmani M, Susidarti RA, Ismail HB, Sukari MA, Hin TY, Lian GE, Ali AM, Kulip J, Waterman PG. / Phytochemistry. 2003 Oct;64(4):873-7.
Chemical constituents of Micromelum minutum. Isolation and structural elucidation of new coumarins /
Ito C, Otsuka T, Ruangrungsi N, Furukawa H. / Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2000 Mar;48(3):334-8.
8-Methoxycapnolactone and stigmasterol From Micromelum minutum / Ratna Asmah Susidarti et al /Majalah Farmasi Indonesia, 18(2), 105 – 109, 2007
Cytotoxic activity of coumarins from Micromelum minutum / Ratna Asmah Susidarti, Mawardi Rahmani, Hazar B.M. Ismail, M. Aspollah Sukari, Taufiq-Yap Yun Hin, Gwendoline Ee Cheng Lian, Abdul Manaf Ali / Pharmaceutical Biology, February 2009, Vol. 47, No. 2 , Pages 182-185
Cytotoxic effect of 2', 3'-epoxy isocapnolactone and 8- hydroxyisocapnolactone-2'3'-diol isolated from Micromelum minutum (G.Forst.) Wight and Arn. in human T-lymphocyte leukemia CEM-SS cells / B. K. Tan, N. B. Alitheen*, S. K. Yeap, A. M. Ali and R. Mawardi / African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 8 (18), pp. 4632-4641, 15 September, 2009
C-7 oxygenated coumarins from the fruits of Micromelum minutum / Ratsami Lekphrom, Somdej Kanokmedhakul, Veerapol Kukongviriyapan, Kwanjai Kanokmedhakul / Archives of Pharmacal Research, April 2011, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 527-531
Studies on Antimicrobial Activities of Plant Secondary Metabolites of Mikania cordata, Lawsonia inermis and Micromelum minutum / Sharmin Afroza Sultana / Thesis / Department of Microbiology, University of Chittagong
Mahanine, a carbazole alkaloid from Micromelum minutum, inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in U937 cells through a mitochondrial dependent pathway / Molay Kumar Roy, Vipaporn Na Thalang, Gassinee Trakoontivakorn & Kazuhiko Nakahara / British Journal of Pharmacology (2005) 145, 145–155
Polymethoxylated flavones from Micromelum compressum / Warren S. Vidar, Allan Patrick G. Macabeo, Matthias Knorn, Paul Kohls, Alicia M. Aguinaldo / Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 50 (2013) 48–50
Antitubercular screening of selected Philippine plants; isolation and characterization of secondary metabolities from the leaves of micromelum compressum blanco (merr.) & a preliminary study of its stems and bark. /
Justin Alfred R. Pe III, Erickson M. Paragas, Yuehong Wang, Scott G. Franzblau, Ma. Alicia M. Aguinaldo / Book of Abstracts, UST College of Science Journal, 1970-2009.
Polymethoxylated flavones from Micromelum compressum / Warren Vidar, Allan Patrick G. Macabeo, Paul Kohls, Matthias Knorn, Alicia Aguinaldo / Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 10/2013; 50:48-50 / DOI: 10.1016/j.bse.2013.03.010
Micromelum compressum / KEW: Plants of the World Online

Micromelum / Wikipedia
Isolation and structure characterization of chemical constituents from Micromelum compressum with in vitro antituberculosis activity / Warren S Vidar, Allan Patrick G Macabeo, Ma Alicia M Aguinaldo et al /
Trans Nat Acad Sci Tech Philippines, 34(1)


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