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The gastroprotective activity of a mixture of Melastoma malabathricum and Muntingia calabura leaves


A Malaysian study investigated the synergy between Melastoma malabathricum L. (MM) and Muntingia calabura L. (MC), two medicinal herbs that were separately reported to protect the gastric system. They reported that the methanolic extract from a mixture of the two herbs (MMMC) showed potential as an anti-ulcer treatment product.

The Universiti Putra Malaysia supported this study. The findings were published in the scientific journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • A rat model was pre-treated orally with Tween 80, ranitidine, or MMMC. The animals were then subjected to either ethanol-induced gastric ulcers or pyloric ligation assays.
  • The stomach of rats with gastric ulcers was collected and examined for observation, enzymatic, and non-enzymatic antioxidant studies. The gastric juices and tissues of the animals with pyloric ligation were examined for anti-secretory activity.
  • A 1:1 ratio of MMMC showed the best gastroprotective activity as it reduced the formation of ethanol-induced ulcer areas by the biggest margin. It also greatly reduced the volume of the gastric contents save for pH and total acidity, while raising gastric wall mucus.
  • MMMC showed high levels of antioxidant activity. It scored the highest in terms of total phenolic content (TPC) value and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) activity, and was able to scavenge free radicals.
  • UHPLC analysis of MMC showed that the herbal compound contained a number of bioactive flavonoids.

The researchers concluded that MMMC protects the gastric system by modulating the endogenous antioxidant system of local stomach tissue alongside its own anti-secretory and antioxidant capabilities. The herbal medicine could be an alternative and effective therapy for gastric ulcers.

The full text is available.

Journal Reference:

Halim SZ, Zakaria ZA, Omar MH, Mohtarrudin N, Wahab IRA, Abdullah MNH. SYNERGISTIC GASTROPROTECTIVE ACTIVITY OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF A MIXTURE OF MELASTOMA MALABATHRICUM AND MUNTINGIA CALABURA LEAVES IN RATS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1992-9.

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