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Family Myrtaceae
Syzygium malaccense (L.) Merr. & Perry
Hong hua qing tao

Scientific names  Common names 
Caryophyllus malaccensis (L.) Stokes  Gubal (Buk.) 
Eugenia domestica Baill.   Makopang-kalabau (Tag.) 
Eugenia macrophylla Lam.   Makopa (Tag.) 
Eugenia malaccensis Linn.   Mangkopa (P. Bis.) 
Eugenia pseudomalaccensis Linden   Tamo (Tag.) 
Jambosa domestica  DC. Tual (Bag., Lan.) 
Jambosa malaccensis  DC. Yambu (Tag.) 
Jambosa purpurea  DC. Otaheite cashew (India)
Myrtus malaccensis  (L.) Spreng. Tersana rose apple (Engl.) 
Syzygium malaccense (Linn.) Merr. and Perry Malay apple (Engl.)
  Mountain apple (Engl.)
  Water apple (Engl.)
Syzygium malaccense (L.) Merr. & L.M.Perry is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ASSAMESE: Pani-jamuk.
BENGALI: Malaka jamrul.
BURMESE: Thabyo thabyang, Thabyo thabyay.
CHINESE: Hong hua pu tao, Ma lai pu tao, Ma liu jia pu tao, Yang pu tao, Hong hua qing tao.
FIJIAN: Kavika.
FRENCH: Jambosier rouge, Poire de Malacca, Poire Malaque, Pomme de Malaisie, Pomme de Tahiti, Pomme d'eau, Pomme Malacca.
GERMAN: Malacca-Apfel, Malakka-Apfel.
GUAM: Makupa.
HAWAIIAN: 'Obi'ai, 'Obi'a 'ai ke'oke'o, 'Obi'a 'ula.
HINDI: Malay jamun.
INDONESIAN: Jambu bol.
JAPANESE: Maree futo momo.
KHMER: Chompuh kraham.
MALAY: Darsana, Jambu bar, Jambu bol, Jambu bubul, Jambu kapal, Jambu kling, Jambu melaka, Jambu merah, Jambu tersana (Indonesia).
PALAU: Kidel.
PORTUGUESE: Jambo vermelho (Brazil), Jambeiro.
RUSSIAN: Malaiskoe iabloko, Sitsigium malakskij, Sizigium malakkskij,
SAMOAN: Nonu fi'afi'a.
SPANISH : Cajualito (Dominica Rep.), Mazana de agua (Costa Rica), Manzana de agua, Manzana malaya, Pera de agua (Venezuela), Pomagás (Venezuela), Pomalaca, Pomarosa de Malaca (Colombia), Marañon japonés ((El Salvador), Pomarrosa de Malaca, Yambo.
THAI: Chom phûu daeng, Chom phûu mamieo, Chom phûu saaraek.
VIETNAMESE: Cay dao, Cay roi, Dièu dò, Man hurong tau.

Makopa is a tree reaching a height of 10 meters. Leaves are pinkish when young. Older leaves are large, drooping, elliptic-oblong to broadly oblong-lanceolate, 15 to 30 centimeters long, 7 to 15 centimeters wide, narrowed and pointed at both ends. Flowers are large, showy, crimson, 5 to 6 centimeters in diameter, borne on the branches below the leaves, clustered on short, few-flowered racemes, 6 centimeters long or less. Fruit is shiny, oblong or pear-shaped, 5 to 7.5 centimeters long, either white splashed, striped with pink, or wholly crimson to purplish, and slightly shiny, seedless or one-seeded. Flesh is white, pithy, juicy. Although rather tasteless, some varieties have a pleasant flavor.

- Cultivated for its edible fruit.
- Nowhere naturalized.
- Also occurs in Indo-Malaya.
- Now planted in most tropical countries.

• Leaf oil largely composed of monoterpenes (30% sesquiterpenes, 9 % caryophyllene).
• Study yielded leaf fraction for essential oil yielded three compounds – ursolic acid, B-sitosterol, and sitos-4-en-3-one. (See study below) (6)
• Study of essential oil from fresh leaves yielded
showed 61.1% monoterpenes characterized mainly by (+)-α-pinene (7.3%), (−)-β-pinene (8.0%), p-cymene (13.5%), and α-terpineol (7.5%). Sesquiterpenes constituted 30.8% of the oil with (−)-β-caryophyllene (9.0%) as the major component. (18)

- Considered diuretic, emmenagogue, abortifacient, febrifuge.

Parts used
Nutrition / Culinary
- Fruit is eaten raw but may be prepared with flavoring.
- In Puerto Rico, used for making of table wines.
- In Indonesia, flowers eaten in salads. Young shoots and leaves eaten, raw or cooked.

- Not known in the Philippines for its medicinal properties.
- In the Moluccas, the astringent bark is used for making a mouthwash for thrush (dapulak).
- A root-bark decoction used for dysentery and amenorrhea.
- Malays applies the dried, powdered leaves for cracked tongues.
- Root applied to itches.
- For sore throat, the inner bark is scraped or the whole bark is decocted.
- Root-bark used as abortifacient; also for amenorrhea and dysentery.
- In Hawaii, juice of salted pounded bark used for wounds.
- In Molucca, decoction of bark used for thrush.
Malayans use powdered dried leaves for cracked tongues. Root preparations for itching.
- In Cambodia, decoction of fruit, leaves and seeds used for fever. Juice of leaves used for baths and lotions. The root is considered diuretic.
- In Brazil, used for diabetes, cough, headaches, constipation.
- In Malaysian Borneo, Malaysian Borneo, decoction of stem and bark for diarrhea.
- Timber: Wood is used for construction, bowls and boards.

Anti-Inflammatory: Flavan-3-ols isolated from some medicinal plants inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2 catalyzed prostaglandin biosynthesis: S malaccense was one of four plants tested that were traditionally used for inflammatory conditions. (2)
Antioxidant: Study of 58 underutilized Malaysian fruits of 32 different species, showed fruits from some genera, including Syzygium, had higher antioxidant capacity compared to other genera.
Leaf Oil Analysis: Study of hydrodistilled essential oil from the fresh leaves of SM grown in Nigeria showed the oil to be largely composed of monoterpenes (61.1%) characterized mainly by a-pinene, b-pinene, p-cymene and a-terpineol. The sesquiterpenes constituted 30.8% of the oil with b-caryophyllene as the major component. (4)
Essential Oils / Ichthyotoxicity: Preliminary ichthyotoxic test on all parts of SM showed the leaves fraction to be most ichthyotoxic against tilapia fish (Tilapia oreochromis). Study isolated three compounds – ursolic acid, B-sitosterol, and sitos-4-en-3-one. None of the compounds gave any significant ichthyotoxicity. (6)
Aldose Reductase Inhibition / Cataract Prevention: Cataractogenesis is a common complication in diabetes, and aldose reductase in a lens enzyme involved in its development. In a study, S malaccense was one of the best four plant extract inhibitors with a preventive effect on cataract formation. (7)
Hypoglycemic / Antidiabetic: Study of SM aqueous and alcoholic bark extracts in STZ-induced diabetic rats showed reduction of blood sugar and improvement in hyperlipidemia and liver glycogen depletion. The alcohol extract was more effective than the aqueous extract and equivalent to that of glibenclamide.
Candied Fruit Slices: Study was done to develop pomera (S. malaccense), an underutilized highly perishable fruit, into a candied fruit product. Results showed the color, taste, and texture of the candied fruit to be acceptable. (9)
Antioxidant / Leaves: A methanolic extract of fresh leaves exhibited high antioxidant activity with DPPH and hydroxyl radical scavenging assays. A strong correlation was noted with phenolic and flavonoid contents. (10)
Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic: Study evaluated the effect of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of S. malaccense on serum glucose, lipid profile and liver glycogen in normal and hyperglycemic rats. Results showed reduction of FBS and significant reversal of diabetes induced hyperlipidemia and liver glycogen depletion. (12)
Anticancer Effect: Study evaluated the antiproliferative effects of three Syzygium fruits, viz., water apple, milk apple, and malay apple against two types of cancer-origin cells: MCF-7 (hormone dependent breast cancer cell line) and MDA-MB-231 ( nonhormone-dependent breast cancer cell line. The extracts of water apple and malay apple displayed antiproliferatiion effects on MCF-7 cell lines in 72 hours. The methanol extract of S. malaccense showed a more significant effect. (14) Study showed malay apple extract showed anti-proliferation effects on MCF-7 cell lines (p<0.05) in 72 hours. A methanolic extract showed 79% cell viability of MCF7. (17)
Subacute Toxicity Testing / Hematological and Liver Tissue Effects: Study evaluated the subacute effects of extract of S. malaccense in albino rats in doses of 50, 100, 250, 500 mg/kbw for 28 days.. Results showed a tendency to affect the hematopoeitic elements and alter the structural integrity of the liver tissue if ingested at higher doses. (15)
Calcium Antagonist / Anti-Diarrheal: Study evaluated the use of the plant in hypermotility states of the gut. A hexane extract was found to dose-dependently relax the spontaneously contracting isolated rabbit jejunum. Four flavonoids isolated from the hexane extract showed dose dependent spasmolytic activity with SS2 showed the most potency. These compounds exhibiting spasmolytic and calcium antagonist activity may be responsible for the medicinal use of the plant in diarrhea. (16)
No Anti-Inflammatory Activity / Fruits: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory activities of methanol extracts of Syzygium malaccense fruits on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. The methanol extract did not show any anti-inflammatory activity. The author suggests the testing of other extracts as bioactive compounds could be extracted from different solvent systems. (19)
Antioxidant / Pulp in Ripe and Unripe State: Study of both extracts of ripe and unripe rose apple fruits showed high antioxidant activity and free radical scavenging; however, the unripe rose apple showed greater activity. (
• Anthelmintic / Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antimicrobial and anthelmintic activity of methanolic extract of leaves of Syzygium malaccense. Results showed clinically significant antibacterial and antifungal activity against clinically important Proteus bacteria and Candida albicans. The extract showed concentration dependent anthelmintic activity against earthworm Pheretima posthuma. (21)
• Anthocyanins / Antioxidant Capacity / Fruits and Leaves:
Each part of S. malaccense exhibited different chemical characteristics: the pulp was rich in soluble fibers and reducing sugars; the peel concentrated insoluble fibers, lip content, lipophilic/hydrophilic antioxidant power, and anthocyanins; seeds showed both lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant power; the leaves yielded large amounts of catechins, quercetin, carotenoids, and great antioxidant capacity. Anthocyanins found in the fruit were cyanidin-3-P-glucoside, cyanidin-3,5-O-diglucoside, and peonidn-3-O-glucoside. (22)
• Myricetin / Effect on Hyperglycemia / Leaves: Study evaluated the potential of S. malaccense as an anti-hyperglycemic agent. In an adipocyte model, the most active fraction, F2, exhibited significant insulin-like effects as evidenced by enhancement of adipogenesis, glucose uptake and adiponectin secretion. F2 activated insulin signaling pathway, adiponectin, and AMPK signaling cascades. Study suggests the myricetin isolated from the leaf extract could attenuate oxidative stress and potentially serve as adjuvant in the treatment of hyperglycemia and related symptoms. (23)

- Cultivated.
- Extracts and tinctures in the cybermarket.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D. / StuartXchange

Updated July 2018 / October 2015

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Malay Apple / Syzygium malaccense Merr. & Perry / Morton, J. 1987. Malay Apple. p. 378–38
Flavan-3-ols isolated from some medicinal plants inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2 catalysed prostaglandin biosynthesis
Quantitative analysis of antiradical phenolic constituents from fourteen edible Myrtaceae fruits / Kurt A Reynertson, Hui Yang et al /
Food Chemistry, Vol 109, Issue 4, 15 August 2008, Pages 883-890 /

Analysis of the leaf Oil of Syzygium malaccense Merr. et Perry from Nigeria / Karioti, A, Skaltsa, H, Gbolade, A A / Journal of Essential Oil Research: JEOR, Jul/Aug 2007 by Karioti, A, Skaltsa, H, Gbolade, A A
Medicinal Plants used by various Ethnic Groups in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo
/ Fasihuddin Ahmad / Faculty of Resource Science and technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)
Ichthyotoxic Properties and Essential Oils of Syzygium malaccense (Myrtaceae) / Intan S Ismail et al / Pertanika J. Sci. & Technol. 18 (1): 1-6 (2010)

Inhibition of aldose reductase by herbs extracts and natural substances and their role in prevention of cataracts / Dr Angel Guzmani and Dr Ricardo Guerrero / REV CUBANA PLANT MED 2005;10(3-4)
Antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content of Malaysian underutilized fruits / Emmy Hainida Khairui Ikram et al / Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Vol 22, Issue 5, August 2009, Pages 388-393 /
doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2009.04.001 |
/ G S H Baccus-Taylor, A Frederick, J O Akingbala / ISHS Acta Horticulturae 806: International Symposium on Underutilized Plants for Food Security, Nutrition, Income and Sustainable Development

Invitro Antioxidant Activities on Leaf Extracts of Syzygium malaccense (L.) Merr and Perry. / Savitha Rabeque, Padmavathy Sethuraman, Sundhararajan Arumugam / Ancient Science of Life, Vol 30, No 4 (2011)
Sorting Syzygium names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE
Evaluation of the Hypoglycemic, Hypolipidaemic and Hepatic Glycogen Raising Effects of Syzygium malaccense Upon Streptozotocin Induced Diabetic Rats / K. L. Bairy, A. Sharma, Adiga Shalini / Journal of Natural Remedies, Vol 5, No 1, Jan 2005
Syzygium malaccensis / Synonyms / The Plant List
Anticancer effect of underutilized fruits / *Rabeta, M. S., Chan, S., Neda, G. D., Lam, K. L. and Ong, M. T. / International Food Research Journal 20(2): 551-556 (2013)
Sub-Acute Evaluation of Extract of Syzygium malaccense in Albino Rats / Abiodun Humphrey Adebayo, Oyinlade Cecilia Ogundare and Oluwatobi Samuel Adegbite / Research Journal of Medicinal Plant, 2015, Vol 9, Issue 2, Pp 60-71 / DOI: 10.3923/rjmp.2015.60.71
Presence of calcium antagonist activity explains the use of Syzygium samarangense in diarrhoea. / Ghayur MN, Gilani AH, Khan A, Amor EC, Villaseñor IM, Choudhary MI. / Phytother Res. 2006 Jan;20(1):49-52.
Anticancer effect of underutilized fruits / *Rabeta, M. S., Chan, S., Neda, G. D., Lam, K. L. and Ong, M. T. / International Food Research Journal 20(2): 551-556 (2013)
Analysis of the leaf Oil of Syzygium malaccense Merr. et Perry from Nigeria / A. Karioti, H. Skaltsa & A. A. Gbolade / Journal of Essential Oil Research, Volume 19, Issue 4, 2007, pages 313-315 / DOI:10.1080/10412905.2007.9699290
An Investigation of Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Methanol Extract of Syzygium malaccense on Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated Raw 264.7 Macrophages / Yun Pin Ooi, Ying Pei Wong, Rhun Yian Koh, and Anna PK Ling / International Conference on Latest Trends in Food, Biological & Ecological Sciences (ICLTFBE'14) July 15-16, 2014 Phuket (Thailand) / http://dx.doi.org/10.17758/IAAST.A0714020
Antioxidant activity of pulp rose apple (Syzygium malaccensis) in unripe and ripe state / I.M. Augusta, K.O. Nascimento, M.A.P.G. Couto2 and S.V. Borges / VII Congreso Iberico de Agroingenieria y Ciencias Horticolas, Madrid, Aug 2013
A study on antimicrobial and anthelmintic activity of methanolic leaf extracts of Syzygium malaccense (L.) Merr. & Perry / Aiswarya Purushothaman, A. Sangita Sudhir, Gleena Joby, Aravind R. and Alexeyena Varghese / Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2015; 7(4): pp 838-841

Red-jambo (Syzygium malaccense): Bioactive compounds in fruits and leaves
/ Angela Giovana Batista, Juliana Kelly da Silva, Cinthia B. Betim Cazarin, Aline Camarao Telles Biasoto, Alexandra Christine Sawaya, Marcelo Alexandre Prado, Mario Roberto Marostica Júnior / WT - Food Science and Technology, (2017); 76: pp 284-291

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