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Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don: A Natural Source for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

I.K. Gujral Punjab Technical University, Kapurthala, Punjab 144603, India
Kota College of Pharmacy, Kota Rajasthan 325003, India
Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto 4200-319, Portugal
Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S), University of Porto, Porto 4200-135, Portugal
Central Ayurveda Research Institute for Drug Development, CCRAS, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, Bidhannagar, Kolkata, West Bengal 700091, India
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(6), 149;
Submission received: 24 April 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 25 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Phytochemicals on Crop Protection and Biotechnology)


Myrica esculenta (Myricaceae) is a popular medicinal plant most commonly found in the sub-tropical Himalayas. It is widely used in folk medicine to treat several ailments such as asthma, cough, chronic bronchitis, ulcers, inflammation, anemia, fever, diarrhea, and ear, nose, and throat disorders. Due to its multidimensional pharmacological and therapeutic effects, it is well recognized in the ayurvedic pharmacopeia. However, the recent upsurge in M. esculenta use and demand has led to illicit harvesting by the horticultural trade and habitat loss, pushing the plant to the brink of extinction. Thus, the present review aims to provide updated information on M. esculenta botany, ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry, pharmacological effects, toxicity, and conservation methods, as well as also highlight prospective for future research. Particular emphasis is also given to its antioxidant potential in health promotion. In-depth literature was probed by searching several sources via online databases, texts, websites, and thesis. About 57 compounds were isolated and identified from M. esculenta, and the available reports on physicochemical parameters, nutritional and high-performance thin-layer chromatography analysis of bioactive plant parts are portrayed in a comparative manner. Friendly holistic conservation approaches offered by plant biotechnology applications, such as micropropagation, germplasm preservation, synthetic seed production, and hairy root technologies are also discussed. Nonetheless, further studies are needed to propose the mechanistic role of crude extracts and other bioactives, and even to explore the structure–function relationship of active components.

1. Introduction

Genus Myrica is a large group comprising more than 97 species in the Myricaceae family. This family contains woody plants native to the subtropical and temperate zones of the earth [1]. Plant species of this genus are distributed in China, Taiwan, Japan, Western Highland of Cameroon, North America, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Nepal, and India [2,3,4,5]. Specifically, Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex. D. Don named ‘Hairy Bayberry’ and widely known as Kaiphal or Kataphala in the Indian subcontinent, is broadly used in Ayurveda (traditional Indian system of medicine) [6,7,8]. But this plant also has other synonyms, such as Myrica sapida Wall. and Myrica farqhariana Wall. [5,9,10]. Myrica plants grow well in nitrogen-depleted soils, mixed forests, agricultural and marginal lands [1,11]. Morella esculenta (Buch.-Ham. ex. D. Don) I.M. Turner is the newly accepted name for Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex.D. Don, and the later name is treated as a basionym of Morella esculenta. Taxonomical classification of Myrica esculenta is Kingdom: Plantae; Phylum: Tracheophyta; Class: Magnoliopsida; Order: Fagales; Family: Myricaceae; Genus: Morella [12].
M. esculenta is known for its edible fruits and other by-products. Indeed, its fruits have been a potential income generating source for the local tribes of the Meghalaya and sub-Himalayan region [13,14]. It is likewise known by a variety of names, such as “Katphal” in Sanskrit, “Kaiphal” in Urdu, “Nagatenga” in Assam, ‘Soh-phi’ in Khasi and ‘Box myrtle’ in English [1,15,16,17]. All the parts of the M. esculenta plant have huge nutritional and therapeutic importance. Fruits are used for syrups, jams, pickles, and preparation for refreshing drinks [14]. Traditionally, its bark, roots, and leaves are used for the treatment of various ailments and disorders [3,5]. Besides its traditional uses, bark is also used for making paper and ropes [18]. In addition, M. esculenta fruits and roots are used as an active botanical ingredient in numerous ayurvedic formulations (Table 1).
More recently, its numerous ethnomedicinal uses led researchers to explore M. esculenta phytochemistry further. For instance, tannins extracted from its bark are used as a dyeing agent [6]. Indeed, the presence of distinct bioactive compounds, such as alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, tannins, terpenoids, saponins, and volatile oils [8,21], has been increasingly reported as related to its pharmacological effects. For example, crude extracts and isolated compounds from M. esculenta exhibit both in vivo and in vitro pharmacological activities. Local tribes use the tree for timber, fuel, fodder, wood, likewise as used for tanning and getting yellow colored dye [22,23,24,25]. In spite of being a useful tree, the cultivation of the plant is incredibly restricted, and most of the traditional and commercial uses of M. esculenta rely solely on collections from the wild sources by endemic people [26]. Thus, wild sources of the species are underneath impending danger of extinction due to the increase in urbanization, overharvesting, negligence of sustainable use, and over-exploitation of forests and wastelands for industrial uses [27]. Due to the over-exploitation of the natural habitat, limited geographical prevalence and the unresolved problems inherent in seed vitality and germination, alternative propagation and conservation approaches are desperately needed to avoid the possible extinction of this vital species [8]. This species is fundamentally the same as M. rubra, which is ordinarily found in China and Japan. However, M. esculenta contains fruits smaller than about 4–5 mm compared to the M. rubra fruits (12–15 mm) [28]. Although information on phenolic content and antioxidant activity of the fruit extract, juice, jam and marc of M. rubra [19,20,29,30,31,32] is available, this information is lacking for M. esculenta. Previous reviews have suggested that myricetin is obtained mainly by members of the Myricaceae family [33,34] and is a key ingredient in many foods, besides to be used as a food additive due to its antioxidant activity and ability to protect lipids from oxidative damage [35]. It is one of the key ingredients of various foods and beverages. The compound has a wide range of potentialities that include strong antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory effects, and can protect a wide variety of cells from in-vitro and in vivo lesions [36]. It was first isolated in the late eighteenth century from the bark of Myrica nagi Thunb. (Myricaceae), harvested in India, as light-yellow crystals [37].
In this sense, this review investigates the relevant information on botanical description, ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry, antioxidant activity, pharmacological activity and toxicity, along with conservation of M. esculenta. Its critical aspects as a natural source of antioxidant compounds for health promotion and disease prevention are also raised.

2. Research Methodology

The research methodology adopted for the selection of articles for this review is stipulated as flow chart in Figure 1.

3. Botanical Description

3.1. Habitat

M. esculenta is a small, evergreen, dioecious tree [7]. It is native to Republic of India and usually available in the mountain ranges from Ravi eastward to Assam, as well as Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram in Khasi, Jaintia, Kamarupan and the Lushai hills (Figure 2) at an elevation of 900–2100 m [26,38,39,40,41,42,43]. This species is additionally found in Nepal [44,45], China [6], Vietnam [46], Sri Lanka [47], Sylhet (Bangladesh), Pakistan and Japan, Asian country islands, Himalayas [48,49,50] and the hills of Burma [3,5].

3.2. Morphologicaland Microscopical Characteristics

Morphological characterization of M. esculenta plant and its parts (Figure 3a–d) describes that it is a small moderate sized evergreen woody tree with a height of 3–15 m. Its leaves are lanceolate, obovate, with diameter 9 × 3 cm, and lower surface shows light green; upper surface dark green in appearance [39,41].
Transverse sections of the leaf showed that the upper and lower epidermis consist of single-layered polygonal cells that cover the mucilaginous cuticle; vein islet and vein termination were 9–11 and 13–15, respectively [21,51]. Transverse sections of matured stem bark revealed multi-layered cork, made of rectangular, tangentially elongated, thin-walled cells, whereas the secondary cortex contained rectangular-polygonal parenchymatous cells with oval shaped starch grains [38,39,52,53,54].

4. Ethnomedicinal Uses

M. esculenta, a conventional ayurvedic plant, is used by different native population groups in multiple ways because of the various therapeutic uses of its bark, roots, fruits, leaves and flowers (Table 2) [20,49,55,56].
Apart from these ethnomedicinal uses, various fruit industries in Himalaya used its fruits for making syrup, jam, and squash [70]. The Khasi tribe of Meghalaya uses its bark as fish poison while the extracted tannin from its bark is use as a tanning and dyeing agent [71]. Local peoples in Arunachal Pradesh use this tree for timber and fuel [22].

5. Physiochemical and Nutritional Analysis

Numerous physiochemical and nutritional parameters of M. esculenta have been studied, as shown in Table 3 and Table 4 [22,72,73,74].

6. Phytochemistry

Phytochemical screening performed on leaves, stem bark, bark, fruits and fine branches of M. esculenta revealed several active phytoconstituents such as tannins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, terpenes, glycosides, steroids, volatile oils, and amino acids [8,21]. These phytoconstituents have shown a wide variety of pharmacological effects. HPTLC profiles of various extracts from different M. esculenta plant parts are presented in Table 5. The mobile phase used to develop the HPTLC chromatogram for n-hexane, ethyl acetate and ethanol extracts of stem bark and fine branches were toluene: ethyl acetate (5:5 v/v), toluene: ethyl acetate (7:3 v/v) and toluene: ethyl acetate: formic acid (5:5:0.5 v/v) [8] respectively, while for leaves, ethyl acetate, methanol and aqueous extracts of leaves toluene: ethyl acetate (7:3) was used [21].

6.1. Tannins and Phenolic Acids

M. esculenta bark present gallic acid; epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate; epigallocatechin-(4β→8)-epigallocatechin3-O-gallate;3-O-galloyl-epigallocatechin-(4β→8)-epigalloc-atechin3-O-gallate along with the hydrolyzable tannin castalagin [6,75]. Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography analysis of fruit extract showed the presence of catechin;gallic acid; chlorogenic acid and ρ-coumaric acids [76]. Ethyl-β-D-glucopyranoside; 3-hydroxybenzaldehyde; isovanillin; 4-(hydroxymethyl)-phenol; 4-methoxybenzoic acid have been identified in leaves [77]. LC-MS analysis of fruit extract also indicated the presence of bioactive compounds, such as gallic acid and ferulic acids [78].

6.2. Flavonoids

Myricetin was also reported in leaves, fruits, and stem bark [8,46,56], whereas quercetin was found only in leaves [79].
Two flavonoid glycosides flavone 4′-hydroxy-3′,5,5′-trimethoxy-7-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl(1→4) -α-L-rhamnopyranoside and flavone 3′,4′-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-7-O-α-L-rhamnopyranoside were found in the leaves [79], while myricetin-3-O-(2″-Ogalloyl)-α-L-rhamnopyranoside and myricetin 3-O-(2″-O-galloyl)-α-L-rhamnopyranoside were revealed in bark [78]. Myricetin 3-O-rhamnoside (myricitrin) was accounted in both M. esculenta bark, and leaves [46,77,79,80].

6.3. Terpenes


Myresculoside (4-hydroxy-1,8-cineole 4-O-β-dapiofuranosyl (1→6)-β-D-glucopyranoside) were reported in the leaves of M. esculenta [46].

6.4. Triterpenoids

Numerous triterpenoids such as lupeol; Oleanolic acid;trihydroxytaraxaranoic acid; dihydroxytaraxerane; dihydroxytaraxaranoic acid; tetrahydroxytaraxenoic aci; 3-epi-ursonic acid; arjunolic acid were reported in bark and leaves of M. esculenta [46,75,81,82].

6.5. Volatile Compounds

The volatile compounds identified in leaves [83] were nerolidol; α-pinene; α-selinene; β-caryophyllene; β-selinen; α-caryophyllene; α-cadinol; linalool; whereas in bark were n-hexadecanol; eudesmol acetate and n-octadecanol [82].

6.6. Proanthocyanidins

M. esculenta bark revealed the presence of proanthocyanidins, such as proanthocyanidin acetate; proanthocyanidin methyl-ether and prodelhinidin [84,85].

6.7. Diarylheptanoids

M. esculenta bark, leaves and root exhibited the presence of diaylheptanoids. Myricanol and myricnone were reported in bark [6,84,86] and leaves, whereas 13-oxomyricanolwas reported in root [86], 5-O-β-D-glucopyranosylmyricanol was accounted in leaves [45], and 16-bromomyricanol was identified in bark [86].

6.8. Steroids

β-rosasterol; daucosterol; β-sitosterol-β-D-glucopyranoside were identified in leaves [77,80] where as taraxerol, stigmasterol were found in bark [74,80,87]. β-sitosterol was identified in both M. esculenta leaves [77,80] and bark [81,88]. Other miscellaneous compounds, such as amino acids; 1-ethyl-4-methylcyclohexane, myo-inositol, methyl-d-lyxofuranoside, 2-furancarboxyaldehyde, 2,5-furandionedihydro-3-methylene, furfural, oxirane were also reported in M. esculenta fruits [73,78].
The structures of some important bioactive phytoconstituents reported in M. esculenta plant are presented in Figure 4.

7. Pharmacological Profile

Extracts from M. esculenta possess a broad spectrum of pharmacological activities. Previous research revealed that phenolic compounds are highly active antioxidants, and such antioxidant-rich botanicals offer promising potential in the management of degenerative ailments. Phenolic compounds are secondary metabolites synthesized in plants in response to environmental stresses such as attacks from pathogens and insects, UV radiation, and injuries [5,6,7]. These phytochemicals have the ability to eliminate hydroxyl radicals [89], superoxide anion radicals [90], lipid peroxyl radicals [91] and even to chelate metals, besides to play a vital role in the stability of food products, as well as in the defense mechanisms of biological systems [4,8]. These molecules also prevent oxidative losses and have cytoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and adaptogenic properties. It was found that relatively high amounts of phenolic compounds are present in M. esculenta fruits than M. rubra [76]. The antioxidant activity of M. esculenta fruits and bark has been reported by using different antioxidant assays.
Previous research confirmed that presence of phenolic acids and flavonoids is responsible for its antioxidant potential [78,92,93,94,95,96,97,98]. But other pharmacological activities have been also reported, including analgesic [50,92,93], antiasthmatic [98,99,100,101,102], anticancer [78,103], antidepressant [61,104], antidiabetic [105], antidiarrheal [106], anthelmintic [106,107], antihypertensive [45], anti-inflammatory [50,94,108], antimicrobial [73,78,109,110,111], antipyretic [93], antiulcer [112], anxiolytic [61], chemopreventive [113], hepatoprotective [114], wound healing [59], and non-toxicity [105] effects. Simultaneously, several in vitro and in vivo studies on pharmacological profile of M. esculenta are under way. Scientific exploration has revealed that different types of M. esculenta extracts possess multiple bioactive attributes (Table 6).
Previous studies reported that the toxic impacts of methanolic extract of M. esculenta leaves and found no indication of lethality up to the dose of 300 mg/kg by oral route for two weeks. In any case, 2000 mg/kg of lethal impact measurements of the methanol extract were seen in Wistar rats [100]. Furthermore, intense poisonous quality examinations performed with ethyl acetate and aqueous extracts of M. nagi bark at three different intravenous dosages (100, 200 and 1000 mg/kg) demonstrated that the LD50 of the ethyl acetate and aqueous extracts in mice was 1000 mg/kg [98].

8. Conservation

Demolition of plant assets is an ordinary event. The current rate of eradication caused by mankind is about hundreds of time faster compared to the natural rate of elimination [117]. Due to training exercises in the Himalayan district, the existence of numerous therapeutically effective botanicals, including M. esculenta, are threatened with extinction. M. esculenta is exchanged and used most often as a conventional medication. Because of its numerous uses, application is on the rise through national and worldwide exchange, leading to the expansion of wild populaces. This has brought exceptional declines in population [118,119]. Due to its extreme overuse from regular natural surroundings, limited geographic predominance, and uncertain inalienable issues of seed practicality and seed germination, elective methodologies for spread and protection are urgently expected to evade the potential termination of this indispensable species [8,27]. The village forest council framework is a town-level establishment, and it has impressive potential for involving local communities in forest management for conservation [119]. Biotechnology offers new methods for enhancing biodiversity and biotechnological methodologies. For example, micropropagation systems have gotten more consideration and may assume a fundamental part in the foundation of hereditarily unvarying botanicals for the business. Hopefully, the advancement of coherent micropropagation conventions could ensure satisfactory availability of the M. esculenta plant (without forced ecological imperatives) with a consequent lessening in uncontrolled collecting weight on wild populaces [27]. Likewise, there are several highly valued traditional Indian ethnomedicinal plants having rich therapeutic potential and need immense scientific exploration and conservation strategies [120,121,122].

9. Conclusions and Future Perspectives

M. esculenta has been used for its restorative and dietary potentials, from the old-fashioned Ayurveda and Unani arrangement of solution. It is clear in this review that M. esculenta contains various phytochemicals, which are responsible for the therapeutic estimate of this plant. M. esculenta, and have been responsible for several pharmacological impacts in the treatment of different diseases, including asthma, diabetes, tumors, ulcer, tension; however, being a rich wellspring of vitamin C and polyphenolic compounds, there is a need to investigate the capacity of this plant for immunomodulatory, cardioprotective, nephroprotective, and neuroprotective movement. Although there are many analyses of chemical constituents, and the pharmacological activity has been reported for this plant, the mechanism of pharmacological action and the metabolites responsible for these activities should be studied in more detail. The population of this restorative and practical plant species is on the reverse because of excessive exploitation of woodlands and wastelands, neglect of practicable assets, poor development, and poor recovery of species in characteristic natural surroundings. Subsequently, a great opportunity has already passed to make the vital movement to expand its populace measure, efficiency, protection, and even use.

Author Contributions

All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.


Authors are thankful to A.P. Singh, Dean RIC, I. K. Gujral Punjab Technical University and members of staff in the department of RIC, I. K. Gujral Punjab Technical University for support and encouragement in this work. N. Martins would like to thank the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT-Portugal) for the Strategic project ref. UID/BIM/04293/2013 and “NORTE2020 - Northern Regional Operational Program” (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000012).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


The following abbreviations are used in this manuscript:
HPTLCHigh performance thin layer chromatography
LD50Lethal dose 50
ME-EtACEthyl acetate fraction-Myrica esculenta
ABTS2,2-azinobis (3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)
FRAPFerric reducing antioxidant power
MTTMethyl thiazolyl tetrazolium
BPBacillus pumilus
SAStaphylococcus aureus
SEStaphylococcus epidermidis
ECEscherichia coli
BSBacillus subtilis
PMProteus mirabilis
PAPseudomonas aeruginosa
CACandida albicans
ANAspergillus niger
SCSaccharomyces cerevisiae
CCl4Carbon tetrachloride
H2O2Hydrogen peroxide
ACEAngiotensin Converting Enzyme
EAEEthyl acetate extract
MEMethanolic extract
AEAqueous extract
PEPolar extract
NPENon polar extract
p.o.Per oral
TBARSThio barbituric acid reactive substances
SODSuperoxide dismutase
GVGastric volume
FAFree acidity
DLCDifferential Leukocyte Count
TLCTotal Leukocyte Count
mg/gMilligram per gram
mg/kgMilligram per kilogram
% w/wPercentage weight by weight
Gallic Acid Equivalent per gram
Quercetin equivalent per gram


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Figure 1. Flow diagram of research methodology.
Figure 1. Flow diagram of research methodology.
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Figure 2. Natural distribution of Myrica esculenta. The shaded area represents the natural habitat of M. esculenta in the India.
Figure 2. Natural distribution of Myrica esculenta. The shaded area represents the natural habitat of M. esculenta in the India.
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Figure 3. Myrica esculenta (a) Whole plant; (b) Leaf; (c) Bark; (d) Fruit.
Figure 3. Myrica esculenta (a) Whole plant; (b) Leaf; (c) Bark; (d) Fruit.
Plants 08 00149 g003aPlants 08 00149 g003b
Figure 4. Structure of some isolated bioactive compounds from different parts of M. esculenta. (1) Gallic acid, (2) Epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate, (3) i) Epigallocatechin-(4β→8)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate, ii) 3-O-galloyl-epigallocatechin-(4β→8)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate, (4) Castalagin, (5) Catechin, (6) Chlorogenic acid, (7) p-coumaric acid, (8) Ethyl-β-D-glucopyranoside, (9) 3-hydroxybenzaldehyde, (10) Isovanillin, (11) Ferulic acid, (12) Myricetin, (13) i) Flavone 4′-hydroxy-3′,5,5′-trimethoxy-7-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl(1→4)-α-L-rhamnopyranoside, ii) flavone 3′,4′-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-7-O-α-L-rhamnopyranoside, (14) Myricitrin, (15) Lupeol, (16) Oleanolic acid, (17) Trihydroxytaraxaranoic acid, (18) Dihydroxytaraxerane, (19) Dihydroxytaraxaranoic acid, (20) Tetrahydroxytaraxenoic acid, (21) 3-epi-ursonic acid, (22) Prodelphinidin dimer, (23) Myricanol, (24) Myricanone.
Figure 4. Structure of some isolated bioactive compounds from different parts of M. esculenta. (1) Gallic acid, (2) Epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate, (3) i) Epigallocatechin-(4β→8)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate, ii) 3-O-galloyl-epigallocatechin-(4β→8)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate, (4) Castalagin, (5) Catechin, (6) Chlorogenic acid, (7) p-coumaric acid, (8) Ethyl-β-D-glucopyranoside, (9) 3-hydroxybenzaldehyde, (10) Isovanillin, (11) Ferulic acid, (12) Myricetin, (13) i) Flavone 4′-hydroxy-3′,5,5′-trimethoxy-7-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl(1→4)-α-L-rhamnopyranoside, ii) flavone 3′,4′-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-7-O-α-L-rhamnopyranoside, (14) Myricitrin, (15) Lupeol, (16) Oleanolic acid, (17) Trihydroxytaraxaranoic acid, (18) Dihydroxytaraxerane, (19) Dihydroxytaraxaranoic acid, (20) Tetrahydroxytaraxenoic acid, (21) 3-epi-ursonic acid, (22) Prodelphinidin dimer, (23) Myricanol, (24) Myricanone.
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Table 1. Ayurvedic formulations of the plant with their uses and manufacturers.
Table 1. Ayurvedic formulations of the plant with their uses and manufacturers.
“Chwayanprash”Improved digestion and strength and enhanced energy Dabur, Patanjali, Nature & Nurture Healthcare[19,20]
“Katphaladi Churna”Treatment of fever, throat infection, respiratory disorders, and abdominal painVHCA Ayurveda [19,20]
“Pushyanuga Churna”Treatment for bleeding disorders and candidiasisAVN Ayurveda,Baidyanat-h[19,20]
“Katphala Taila”Treatment of joint pain VHCA Ayurveda[19,20]
“Arimedadi Taila”Helps to relieve tooth decay and breath problemIMIS Pharmaceuticals[19,20]
“Mahavisagarbha Taila”Used for vata imbalance, neuromuscular conditionsVHCA Ayurveda[19,20]
“Bala Taila”Treatment of vata disorders, respiratory infections and weaknessPatanjali[19,20]
“Khadiradi Gutika”Treatment of dental, oral, throat and tonsillar infectionsZandu[19,20]
“Maha Vatagajankusa Rasa”Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Paralysis, Cough, Cold, AsthmaDabur, Baidyanath, Shree Dhootapapeshwar[19,20]
“Brihat Phala Ghrta”Treatment of infertilitySN Pandit Ayurvedic[19,20]
Table 2. Ethomedicinal uses of M. esculenta.
Table 2. Ethomedicinal uses of M. esculenta.
Plant Part UsedUsesRegion/TribeReferences
Leaf, fruit, root, barkJaundiceMeghalaya, India[23]
LeafInflammation of vocal cordMeghalaya, India[24]
BarkAntisepticMeghalaya, India
Khasi tribe
Fruit, bark, leafFeverMeghalaya, India
Vietnam, South China
BarkAnemiaMeghalaya, India
Khasi tribe
FruitRefreshing drink “Um Soh-Phi”Meghalaya, India
Khasi tribe
BarkSoreNagaland, India
Zeliang tribe
BarkToothacheMeghalaya, India
Khasi tribe
Almora, Uttarakhand, India
BarkSprainFar-flung village, Jajarkot, Nepal[58]
Flower, bark, leafInflammation, paralysisMeghalaya, India
Khasi tribe
Vietnam, South China
Unripe fruitAnthelminticHimachal Pradesh, India[59]
FruitBronchitis, dysenteryNepalese community, Nepal[60]
BarkMental illnessOrissa, India[61]
BarkSkin disorderVietnam, South China[62]
BarkCholeraMizoram, India[63,64]
BarkCardiac debility, cardiac edemaMeghalaya, India[64]
BarkCarminativeMeghalaya, India
Khasi tribe
Mizoram, India
Bark, leafAsthma, chronic bronchitis, lung infectionMeghalaya, India
Khasi tribe
Vietnam, South China
Chaubas and Syabru, Nepal
FlowerEaracheMeghalaya, India
Khasi tribe
Almor, Uttarakhand, India
Himachal Pradesh, India
Bark, flower, leaf, fruitDiarrhea, dysentery, stomach problemMeghalaya, India
Khasi tribe
Almora, Uttarakhand, India
Chungtia village, Nagaland, India
LeafRedness of mucosaChungtia village, Nagaland, India[67]
FruitBody acheUkhimath block, Uttarakhand, India[68]
Bark, fruitHeadacheMizoram, India
Ukhimath block, Uttarakhand. India
FruitUlcerHimalaya, India[69]
Table 3. Physiochemical parameters of different parts of M. esculenta.
Table 3. Physiochemical parameters of different parts of M. esculenta.
LeavesBarkStem BarkSmall Branches
Extractive value (%w/w) [8,21,55]
Methanolic extract28.3238.5223.575.03
Ethyl acetate extract25.4621.20NRNR
Aqueous extract21.2815.718.363.52
Ash Values (%w/w) [8,21,55]
Total ash2.833.33121.0101.856
Acid insoluble ash0.521.23000.1870.320
Foreign matter (% w/w)<1%NRNilNil
Loss on drying (%w/w) 56.476.81
Total phenolics mg of GAE/g d.w.NRNR276.78 ± 5.3631.24 ± 2.57[8]
Total flavonoids mg of QE/g d.w.NRNR121.68 ± 6.8112.94 ± 1.12[8]
Table 4. Mineral analyses of M. esculenta fruits and stem bark.
Table 4. Mineral analyses of M. esculenta fruits and stem bark.
Minerals (mg/g)FruitStem BarkReference
Calcium4.63 ± 0.063.155 ± 0.18[72,73,74]
Potassium7.75 ± 0.112.939 ± 0.23[72,73,74]
Magnesium8.4 ± 0.201.061 ± 0.4[72,74]
Sodium0.81 ± 0.0130.060 ± 0.03[72,74]
Phosphorous0.24 ± 0.250.030 ± 0.01[73,74]
Manganese0.032 ± 0.0001NR[72]
Iron0.404 ± 0.00210.123 ± 0.16[72,73]
Zinc0.216 ± 0.00160.006 ± 0.001[72,73]
Copper0.004 ± 0.0002NR[72]
SulphurNR0.277 ± 0.34[73]
Table 5. HPTLC profile of various extracts of different parts of M. esculenta.
Table 5. HPTLC profile of various extracts of different parts of M. esculenta.
Extract Wavelength (nm)Rf ValueReferences
Stem BarkSmall BranchesLeaves
n-hexane2540.49, 0.69, 0.880.49, 0.78NR[8]
3660.42, 0.51, 0.59, 0.74, 0.83,0.910.42, 0.51, 0.74,0.83,0.91
Ethyl acetate2540.07, 0.12, 0.36, 0.47, 0.61, 0.67, 0.840.47, 0.670.15, 0.6, 0.8[8,21]
3660.11, 0.15, 0.18, 0.33, 0.38, 0.55, 0.49, 0.65, 0.75, 0.85, 0.900.18, 0.30, 0.49, 0.65, 0.75, 0.85, 0.900.11, 0.22, 0.38, 0.53, 0.69, 0.82, 0.93
Ethanol2540.23, 0.540.23, 0.54NR[8]
3660.54, 0.73, 0.840.25, 0.45, 0.54, 0.73, 0.84
Methanol254NRNR0.625, 0.875[21]
3660.46, 0.58, 0.81, 0.86, 0.93
Aqueous254NRNR0.1, 0.63[21]
3660.093, 0.65, 0.81
Table 6. Biological effects of M. esculenta.
Table 6. Biological effects of M. esculenta.
Part UseExtract/FractionDose Tested/Route of AdministrationAnimals/Cell LinesExperimental ModelsResultReference
LeavesMethanolic200 mg/kg, p.o.RatCarrageenan-induced rat paw edemaSignificant anti-inflammatory activity[93]
Stem BarkEssential oil10 mL per earSwiss albino miceIn vitro [ear]Significant anti-inflammatory potential[111]
LeavesME- EtAC100, 200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.Wistar ratsCarrageenan-induced rat paw edemaSignificant anti-inflammatory activity[50]
BarkEthyl acetate and aqueous100 and 200 mg/kg, p.o.Wistar albino ratsCarrageenan and histamine induced rat paw edemaSignificant anti-inflammatory potential (EAE> AE)[102]
Stem barkVolatile oil10 mLBP, SA, SE, EC, PA, CA, AN and SC---Significant antimicrobial potential[111]
Bark and fruitMethanolic and chloroform------Agar Well diffusion methodSignificant antimicrobial potential (Bark> Fruits)[109]
Fruit pulpEthanolic10 and 50 mg/mlIn vitroDisc diffusion assayDose dependent antimicrobial potential[73]
FruitMethanolic50 μL SA, SE, BS, PM, EC, SEAgar Well diffusion methodSignificant potential against Pathogens
FruitMethanolic, ethanolic and aqueous10 and 50mg/mlCandida albicans, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticusDisc diffusion assaySignificant antifungal activity[73]
Bark50% Aqueous Ethanolic12.5, 25 and 50 mg/mlEarthworms (Pheretima posthuma)---Paralysis and death at 12.5[107]
Fruit Methanol, acid methanol acetone and acidic acetone66.7, 166.5, 333, 500, 667 µg f.w./100 µL culture mediumC33A, SiHa and HeLa cell lines---Acetone and acidic acetone extracts showed anticancer potential[108]
Fruit Methanolic5mg/mlHepG2, Hela and MDA-MB-231 cellsMTT assayModerate anticancer activity[78]
BarkEthanolic2.0 mg and 4.0 mg/kgSwiss albino miceCumene hydroperoxide-mediated cutaneous oxidative stress and toxicity↑ antioxidant enzymes activity[113]
Fruit Methanolic---In vitroDPPH, ABTS and FRAP assay Significant antioxidant activity [78]
Fruit pulpMethanolic0.10 mlIn vitroDPPH, ABTS and FRAP assay Good scavenging potential[76]
FruitAqueous methanol and acetone100 µlIn vitroDPPH assayAcetone extract showed higher scavenging potential [94]
FruitMethanol, acidic methanol, acetone, and acidic-acetone---In vitroDPPH, ABTS, FRAP and Superoxide anion radicals scavenging assayMeAA showed higher antimicrobial potential and MeAM and MeA intermediate[103]
FruitFruit Juice0.2–2.0 mg/mLIn vitroDPPH, H2O2 and NO scavenging activityModerate antioxidant activity[95]
Leaves Methanolic 50,100 and 150 mg/kg, p.o. Albino wistar ratsSTZ induced diabetes Significant anti-dyslipidemic effect at 150 mg/kg and maintain blood glucose level [105]
Polyherbal formulation (Herbitars)---50 and 100 mg/kgWistar ratCCl4 induced hepatotoxicityExtract ↓TBARS, ↑SOD, CAT, GSH[114]
Bark Methanolic 300, 500 mg/kg, p.o.Albino miceOpen field test, cage-crossing test, head-dip test, rearing test, traction test, forced swimming testSignificant antidepressant activity[104]
BarkEthanolic100, 200 and 400 mg/kgRats Tail suspension testSignificant and dose dependent anxiolytic activity[61]
Forced swimming test
Leaves Methanolic 100 mMIn vitroACE inhibitory activityPotent ACE inhibition potential[45]
Bark Ethanolic 75 mg/kg, p.o.Guinea pigAcetylcholine induced bronchospasmProtection against bronchospasm and anaphylaxis [98]
Bark Ethanolic75 mg/kg, p.o.In vitroGuinea pig tracheal strip↓pD2 value of histamine and acetylcholine [98]
Stem bark Ethanolic 150 mg/kg, p.o.Guinea pigHistamine induced bronchospasm↓TLC and DLC[115]
Stem Bark Ethanolic 75 and 150 mg/kg, p.o.MiceAcetic acid induced vascular permeability and allergic pleurisy [99]
Stem bark Aqueous extract 27 & 54mg/kg p.o.Guinea pighistamine induced bronchospasmSignificant antiasthamtic potential[100]
In vitroGuinea pig tracheal chain
Bark Polar, non-polar and methanolic200 mg/kg, p.o.Rat and in vitroAcetylcholine induced bronchospasm in conscious guinea pigs; acetylcholine induced contraction on isolated guinea pig tracheal chain preparation; compound 48/80 induced mast cell degranulation using rat; and trypsin and egg albumin induced bronchospasmPE showed higher potential than NPE and ME[101]
BarkEthanolic 100 and 200 mg/kgAlbino ratPyloric ligation induced ulcer↓level of GV, FA, LPO and GSH and ↑ CAT, nitrate and MPO↓level of GV, FA, LPO and GSH and ↑ CAT, nitrate and MPO[112]
Leaves Ethanolic 250 and 500 mg/kg, p.o. Mice Castor-oil induced diarrheaSignificant antidiarrheal activity [106]
Stem barkAqueous 150 mg/kgMale miceCompound 48/80-inducedSignificantly decrease in scratching effect[116]
Fruit Methanolic 50, 100 mg/kg, p.o.MiceEddy’s hot plate method Significant analgesic activity[92]
Leaves ME-EtAC100, 200 mg/kg, p.o.MiceAcetic acid induced writhing and tail immersion assay Significant response at 200 mg/kg [50]
LeavesMethanolic 200 mg/kg, p.o.MiceAcetic acid induced writhing54.56% inhibition of writhing[93]
Fruit Methanolic 50 and 100 mg/kgMiceYeast induced pyrexia in miceSignificant antipyretic effect at 100 mg/kg[92]
Wound healing
BarkAqueous Ointment (100 mg/500mm2)Albino ratsWound excision and incisionSignificant wound healing potential[59]

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Kabra, A.; Martins, N.; Sharma, R.; Kabra, R.; Baghel, U.S. Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don: A Natural Source for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Plants 2019, 8, 149.

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Kabra A, Martins N, Sharma R, Kabra R, Baghel US. Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don: A Natural Source for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Plants. 2019; 8(6):149.

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Kabra, Atul, Natália Martins, Rohit Sharma, Ruchika Kabra, and Uttam Singh Baghel. 2019. "Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don: A Natural Source for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention" Plants 8, no. 6: 149.

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