Mamikil is a somewhat climbing and nearly erect shrub, growing from 2 to 4 meters in height. Branches are armed with short, sharp spines. Leaves are 5 to 10 centimeters long, slightly hairy, or nearly smooth. Leaflets are oblong-ovate, 1.5 to 3.5 centimeters long, and with entire or crenate margins. Flowers are white, and borne on terminal racemes 3 to 5 centimeters long. Fruit is somewhat globular, fleshy, smooth, and 1 to 1.5 centimeters in diameter.
- In thickets at low altitudes in Ilocos Sur, Nueva Viscaya, Pangasinan, Rizal, and Batangas Provinces in Luzon; and in Samar and Mindanao.
- Also occurs in Burma to southern China and Java.
- Roots yield a bitter principle, abundant in the cortical parenchyma. The organic base was provisionally called mamikilina, and the bitter principle, harrisonine.
- Extraction of dried leaves yielded a novel tetranortriterpenoid (limonoid), perforatin, of the obacunol class.
- Study yielded eight limonoids (1–8) including three A, B and D-seco-16-nor-type ones, 5,6-dehydrodesepoxyharperforin C2 (1), harrpernoid B (2), and its C-9S epimer, harrpernoid C (3), along with six known compounds (9–14), were isolated from fruits of Harrisonia perforata.
- In the Philippines, decoction of root bark used as remedy for diarrhea and dysentery; also used against cholera.
- In the Dutch East Indies, shoots are used as a remedy for diarrhea.
- In Thailand, the wood was also recorded as medicinal.
• Antimalarial: A South Vietnam study identified 49 plants traditionally used to treat malaria. Harrisonia perforata was one of six plants with possible novel antimalarial compounds.
• Antioxidant: Parts of petroleum ether, ethyl acetate and ethanol extract showed high antioxidant activity by the DPPH free radical scavenging method.
• Acute and Subchronic Toxicity Study: Water extract from Harrisonia perforata did not cause acute and subchronic toxicities in rats.
• Antimicrobial Activity: In a Cambodian study of 27 plant species for invitro antibacterial and antifungal activities, Harrisonia perforata roots exhibited bactericidal effect against S. aureus and its roots and stems exhibited bactericidal effect against Mycobacterium smegmatis.
• Inhibitory Effect on Strep Mutans Adherence: Study showed A. paniculata, C. alata, Chinese black tea and Harrisonia perforata could inhibit adherence of S. mutans ATCC 25175.