HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Lamiaceae

Callicarpa arborea Roxb.
Mu zi zhu

Scientific names Common names
Aganon umbellata Raf.            Atimla (Tagalog)
Callicarpa arborea Roxb.            Magilig (Tag.)
Callicarpa arborea var. villosa King & Gamble            Beautyberry tree (Engl.)
Callicarpa magna Schauer             
Callicarpa tectonifolia Wall.             
Callicarpa tomentosa var. magna (Schauer) Bakh.             
Callicarpa villosissima Ridl.             
Callicarpa arborea Roxb. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINA: Mu zi zhu.
INDIA: Bonmola, Bon-mola, Dieng lakhlot, Gunmola, Gun-mola, Khoja, Machkaita, Mach-kota, Mach kotta, Machpeluka, Mach-peluka, Makhisali (Assamese), Boromala (Beng), Khimbar, Maskhanchi (Garo), Saiom, Sunga (Mani), Mukhuang (Naga), Bornoptri (Oriya), Arhi-arong
MALAYSIA: Tamgang besi.
NEPALI: Guahelo.

Gen info
- Callicarpa (beautyberry) is a genus of shrubs and small trees in the family Lamiaceae.
- The genus name Callicarpa derives from Greek words kallos (beautiful) and carpa (fruit).

• Trees ca. 8 m tall; branchlets, inflorescences, and petioles densely tomentose, hairs stellate or verticillately branched. Leaf blade elliptic, oblong-elliptic, or ovate, 13-37 X 7-13 cm, leathery, abaxially densely yellow-brown stellate tomentose, adaxially dark green and shiny, base cuneate to rounded, margin entire. Cymes 6-11 cm across; peduncle 4-angled, longer than petioles. Calyx cup-shaped, truncate or nearly so, outside densely gray stellate tomentose. Corolla purple, ca. 3 mm. Stamens much longer than corolla. (Flora of China)

• Callicarpa species are undershrubs, shrubs or trees. Stems acutely or obtusely 4 angular. Leaves decussate-opposite, simple, ternate, exstipulate, subsessile or petiolate. Inflorescence axillary, cymose, solitary, pedunculate or sessile. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, fragrant. calyx, 4 or rarely 5 toothed, pubescent, corolla infundibular or hypocrateriform, 4 or rarely 5 lobed. stamens 4, exserted, anthers oblong 2 loculed, dorsifixed, pistil 2-carpellary, ovary superior, 4 lobed, 4 loculed, 1 ovule in each locule, style short, stigma 2 lobed. Fruit is a drupe, purplish black, 2 mm diam. (2)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Himalaya, India, Laos, Malaya, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sumatera, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam. (1)
- Mixed forests on mountain slopes, 1000-200 m.

- Phytochemical screening of stem bark of C. arborea yielded triterpenoids in DCM and EtOAc extracts, and coumarins and phenolics in the EtOAc and butanol extracts, with absence of alkaloids in all extracts tested. (11)
- Antioxidant activity testing using DPPH method showed very strong activity in butanol and ethyl acetate extracts with IC50s  of 5.587 and 4.578, respectively. (11)
- Study of leaves isolated a new diterpene (3R,5S,8S,9R,10R)-3-hydroxycleroda-4(18),13(14)-dien-15,16-olide (1) along with ten known compounds (2-11). (see study below) (14)
- Proximate analysis of roots revealed moisture (18.37%), ash (17.23%), carbohydrate (43.76%), nitrogen (12.52%), crude protein (14.81%), crude fiber (19.43%), crude fat (6.93%), and total available energy (347.32%). Elemental analysis showed presence of various mineral, major elements of Na (11.93%), K (14.72%), Ca (12.41%), and Mg (9.76%); trace elements of Fe (22.82%), Cr (0.83%), Mn (1.67%), Co (1.31%), Cu (7.39%), Zn (8.68%), and Se (1.21%); and toxic heavy metals Pb (0.08%), Cd (0.06%), Hg (0.05%), and As (0.03%). (15)

- Roots considered astringent and hemostatic.
- Studies have suggest analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antioxidant, antiparasitic, neuropharmacological, sedative, anticancer, cytotoxic, antiproliferative, nutrient, wound healing, anti-ulcer, antibacterial, thrombolytic properties.

Parts used
Leaves, stem bark.


- Fruit is edible; eaten raw.

- In traditional medicine, used for jaundice, fever, headache, stomachache, skin diseases, scorpion bites. (5)
- Used for cancer, dermatitis, diabetes, gastritis, helminthiasis, and fever. (6)
- In India, leaves and bark used for treatment of rheumatism and skin diseases. Juice of fruit used to relieve fever. Paste of bark and juice used for cuts and wounds. Stem bark used for treatment of diabetes. (9) Stem bark used for fever and boils.
- In Malaysia, used for flatulence and other gastric complaints. Bark is crushed and resulting liquid is consumed for stomach pains, dysentery, and vomiting. Juice from bark is used as hemostatic for treatment of cuts. (13)
- Roots chewed to treat tongue inflammation and infection.
- Decoction of leaf and bark used for treatment of internal bleeding, stomach pains, wounds, diabetes, colic, ulcers, and diarrhea. Decoction of leaves used as wash for cutaneous diseases. Poultice of leaves used for sores.
- Agroforestry: Plants used for reforestation projects in Thailand.

- Crafts:
Wood used for making utensils.

Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves:
Study evaluated the in-vivo analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of methanolic extract of C. arborea leaves in Swiss albino mice. In acute toxicity test, no mortality was observed at highest dose of 2000 mg/kbw. Analgesic testing showed significant inhibition (p<0.005) of acetic acid induced writhing, a dose dependent increase in response time in hot plate test, and significant inhibition of pain response in both early and late phase in formalin test. Marked inflammatory activity was shown by significant (p<0.005) reduction in egg albumin induced paw edema. (3)
Antidiabetic / Antioxidant / Stem Bark: Study evaluated a hydro-alcoholic extract  (HAE) of stem bark for antidiabetic activity in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Acute oral toxicity showed safety of HAE up to a dose of 2000 mg/kbw. The HAE showed significant (p<0.05) hypoglycemic activity. Histological exam of pancreas and liver tissues confirmed the antidiabetic efficacy. The HAE also exhibited significant radical scavenging activity, which was attributed to phenolic and flavonoid contents in the HAE. (4)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated methanolic extract of leaves for antioxidant activity using three invitro methods: DPPH radical scavenging activity, ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP), and total phenolic contents by spectrophotometric method. DPPH and FRAP assays showed 9.78 mg and 12.81 mg Trolox equivalent, respectively, per gram of dried leaves. (5)
Antiparasitic / Intestinal Earthworm Model / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanol extract of stem bark for antiparasitic potential against intestinal earthworm Raillietina echinobothrida model. Results showed dose-dependent antiparasitic activity similar to albendazole. Scanning microscopy showed general shrinkage of scolex tegument, neck region, and strobila. (6)
Neuropharmacological Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated the neuropharmacological activity  of methanol extract of leaves in doses of 200 and 400 mg/kbw using hole cross and open field tests using Swiss albino mice. Diazepam 1 mg/kbw was used as reference drug. The ME showed significant dose-dependent inhibition of locomotor activity in mice in both hole cross and open field tests and suggested a sedative bioactive principle. (7)
Anticancer Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated the anticancer activity of C. arborea against
A549 cell line using MTT and clonogenic assays. Among solvent extract, a chloroform extract showed significant cytotoxicity and inhibited cell proliferation and survival against A549 cells, inducing cell death in a dose and time-dependent manner with IC50s of 52.8 and 20.4 µg/ml at 24 and 48 hr respectively. Clonogenic assay showed inhibition of cell proliferation, which increased with increase dose. The extract also alleviated levels and activities of antioxidants glutathione, glutathione S-transferase, and superoxide dismutase, while elevating lipid peroxidation level in A549 cells. Results suggest potential as a new anticancer agent. (8)
Antibacterial Activity / Stem Bark: Study of methanol extract of stem bark using disc diffusion method showed antibacterial activity against all test organisms i.e., Gram negative E. coli, P. aeruginosa, K. pneumonia, and S. typhimurium, and Gram-positive M. luteus and B. subtilis. (9)
Inhibition of Pyroptosis / Diterpenoids: Pyroptosis is a programmed-inflammatory cell death, which leads to release of inflammatory cellular contents and formation of inflammation, and which can result in serious immune diseases such as cytokine release syndrome (CRS), sepsis, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and acute organ damage like acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and acute kidney injury (AKI). A study reported ent-clerodane diterpenoids from C. arborea, which showed potent inhibitory effects against pyroptosis. This study yielded 66 ent-clerodane diterpenoids, including 52 new compounds. Screening for inhibitory activity against pyroptosis by detecting IL-1ß secretion in J771A.1 cells yielded 28 compounds with IC50 below 10.5 µM. Compound 1 was the most potent with IC50 of 0.68 µM. Compound 1 decreased attenuated LPS-induced lung injury. Results suggest potential of compound 1 as a candidate for pyroptosis-related inflammation treatment and provides pharmacologic basis for development of Callicarpa genus as herbal medicine. (10)
Wound Healing / Leaves: Study evaluated methanolic extract of C. arborea and Urtica parviflora leaves for wound healing activity on rats using excision, incision, and dead space wound models. Dose of 300 mg/kg/day and topical alcoholic formulation (5% w/w) were used. Both plants showed complete wound contraction. The ointment formulation of C. arborea showed equipotent wound healing activity as standard drug Framycetin. Histological exam of granulation tissue showed enhanced wound healing property evidenced by decrease number of macrophages and increased deposition of fibroblasts and collagen. (12)
Toxicity Towards RA-FLSs / Leaves: Study of leaves isolated a new diterpene (3R,5S,8S,9R,10R)-3-hydroxycleroda-4(18),13(14)-dien-15,16-olide (1) along with ten known compounds (2-11). At concentrations greater than 100 µM, compound 1 exhibited significant toxicity towards RA-FLS. (RA-FLS - fibroblast-like synoviocytes - contribute to joint manifestation in RA (rheumatoid arthritis), a systemic autoimmune disease). (14)
Analgesic / Antioxidant / Antimicrobial / Thrombolytic / Stem Bark: Study evaluated an ethanol extract of stem bark of C. arborea and fractions. The extract and chloroform and ethyl acetate soluble fractions at 200 mg/kbw showed significant inhibition of writhing response with 42.7, 70.3, and 32.8% inhibition, respectively. The extract and pet ether and chloroform partitionates showed significant free radical scavenging activity with IC50s of 41.53, 14.59 and 71.2 µg/ml, respectively. In disc diffusion method, the carbon tetrachloride soluble materials showed ZOI ranging from 19-22 mm at 400 µg/disc. The pet ether fraction induced significant clot lysis (30.43%) compared to negative control. (16)


December 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Callicarpa arborea - Beautyberry tree / © Phalee Biodiversity / CC_BY / Non-commercial use / click on image or link to go to source page / Image modified / India Biodiversity Portal
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Leaf of Callicarpa arborea / Naniwadekar / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikidata
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Fruits of Callicarpa arborea / Rohit Naniwadekar / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Callicarpa arborea / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Callicarpa arborea Roxb. / India Biodiversity Portal

Analgesic, anti-inflammatory activity and metabolite profiling of the methanolic extract of Callicarpa arborea Roxb. leaves / Rubaet Sharmin Ema, S M Neamul Kabir Zihad, Md Naharul Islam, Nazifa Sifat, Razina Rouf, Jamil A Shilpi, Shaikh Jamal Uddin /  J Ethnopharmacol., 2023 / PMID: 36167233 /
DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2022.115757
Antidiabetic activity of hydro-alcoholic stem bark extract of Callicarpa arborea Roxb. with antioxidant potential in diabetic rats / Julfikar Ali Junejo, Mithun Rudrapal, Lali Mohan Nainwal, Kamaruz Zaman et al / Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 2017; Vol 95: pp 84-94 / DOI: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.08.032
IN VITRO ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF CALLICARPA ARBOREA LEAVES / M C Lallianchhunga, L Inaotombi Devi, C Lalmuanthanga, C Lalchhandama, P K Subudhi, M Ayub Ali / World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 2016; 5(4): pp 209-2102 / DOI: 10.20959/wjpr20164-6061 / ISSN: 2277-7105
Beautyberry (Callicarpa arborea) as an Antiparasitic Agent Against Raillietina echinobothrida, an Intestinal Tapeworm / P B Lalthanpuii, Kholhring Lalchhandama / Pharmacognosy Journal, 2020; 12(1): pp 66-70 /
DOI: 10.5530/pj.2020.12.11
In Vivo Assessment of Neuropharmacological Activity of Methanol Leaves Extract of Callicarpa arborea (Family: Verbenaceae) In Swiss Albino Mice / Aliza, Sharmmin Sultana, Md Lokman Hossain / Scholars International Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine,  2019; 2(6): pp 85-89 /
eISSN: 2617-3891 / pISSN: 2616-8634 / DOI: 10.21276/sijtcm.2019.2.6.1
Anticancer activity of Callicarpa arborea Roxb. extracts against Type-II human lung adenocarcinoma cell line, A549 / F Nghakliana, JL Fanai, L Tochhawng, V Balachandar, Zothansiama / Journal of Environmental Biology, 2020; 41(4): pp 901-907 / DOI: 10.22438/jeb/4(SI)/MS_1916
Screening of Callicarpa arborea and Hemigraphis alternata for antibacterial activity / Sushmita Roy, J H Zomuanpuia, R L Laithangliani, P N Lalthanpuii et al / Science Vision, 2020; 20(2): pp 72-77 /
DOI: 10.33493/scivis.20.02.02
The discovery of potentially active diterpenoids to inhibit the pyroptosis from Callicarpa arborea / De-Ping Pu, Jing Lin, Xiao-Jia Pu, Qi Wang, Xing-Jie Zhang et al / Bioorganic Chemistry, 2022; Vol 128: 106022 /
DOI:   10.1016/b.bioorg.2022.106022
Phytochemical screening and antioxidant activity from stem bark Callicarpa arborea Roxb. / M Amin, Yunazar Manjang, Sanusi Ibrahim, Mai Efdi, Dr Adlis Santoni / Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2015; 7(11): pp 749-755
EVALUATION OF WOUND-HEALING ACTIVITY OF LEAVES OF URTICA PARVIFLORA ROXB AND CALLICARPA ARBOREA ROXB IN RATS / Prasanna Kumar Kar, Sutharson Lingadurai, Lila Kant Nath, Bhagabat Nanda / Pharmacologyonline, 2009; 1: pp 1095-1103
Review on Some Malaysian Traditional Medicinal Plants with Therapeutic Properties / Ali Alsarhan, Naznin Sultana, Ahed Al-Khatib, Mohammed Rafiq Abdul Kadir / Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 2014; 10: 149-159
Chemical constituents from the leaves of Callicarpa arborea Roxb. and their chemotaxonomic significance / Tao-Li Zhang, Qiao-Qi Yi, Wen-Xia Liu, Hong-Gang Wang et al / Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 2023; Volume 110: 104683 / DOI: 10.1016/j.bse.2023.104683
Proximate and Elemental Analysis of Careya arborea Roxb Plant’s Root / Nand Kumar Kashyap, Milan Hait, Gourisankar Roymahapatra, M M Vaishnav / ES Food & Agroforestry, 2022; Volume 7: pp 41-47 /
DOI: 10.30919/esfaf620
Pharmacological Evaluation of Stem Bark of Callicarpa arborea Roxb / Mahbubul Shihan, Zobaer Al Mahmud, Nazmul Qais, Mohammad Riaz / Dhaka University Journal / DOI: 10.3329/dujps.v14i1.23743
Callicarpa arborea / Ken Fern: Tropical Plants Database / Useful Tropical Plants

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you know of a plant to suggest for inclusion, please email the info: local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, scientific name (most helpful), and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT