Family • Rutaceae - Micromelum compressum (Blanco) Merr. - LIME BERRY - Ying mao xiao yun mu

Other vernacular names

INDONESIA: Sesi, Ki mangkok, Mentanen.
MALAYSIA: Chememar, Cherek, Kematu.
THAILAND: Samui, Saam sok, Sabaek.
VIETNAM: Cam n[us]i, Kim s[uw][ow]ng.

Scientific names

Micromelum ceylanicum Wight.
Micromelum compressum (Blanco) Merr.
Micromelum glabrescens Benth.
Micromelum hirsutum F.-Vill.
Micromelum minutum (G. Forst.) Wight & Arn.
Micromelum molle Turez.
Micromelum pubescens Blume
Micromelum tephocarpus Turez.
Andromeda japonica Blanco
Bergera compressa Blanco
Bergera inodora Blanco
Bergera koenigil Blanco
Limonia minuta Forst. f.

Common names

Amian (Ting.) Luyong-luyong (Kuy.)
Ayu-ayu (Sul.) Makabañgon (Bik.)
Basar-basar (Ilk.) Malalupai (Pamp.)
Bialong (Sub.) Maligang (Sub.)
Binting-dalaga (Tag.) Panias-panias (C. Bis.)
Buntog (Bik.) Parinlas (Tag.)
Buriñgot (Bik.) Patukod-lañgit (Tag.)
Gindoen (Bag.) Piris (Tag.)
Hagasin (S. L. Bis.) Pulet (Ibn.)
Karinbubod (Ilk.) Tabas (P. Bis.)
Kalambahin (Tag.) Taboat-kobing (Bag.)
Kiting-kiting (Tag.) Tulibas (Tag.)
Kulai-manok (Tag.) Lime berry (Engl.)
Lamlamuyot (Ilk.) Ying mao xiao yun mu (Chin.)
Lañgin (Tag.)


Piris is a small tree with hairy branches and leaves. Leaves are 20 to 40 centimeters in length, with 9 to 12 leaflets on each side of the hairy rachis. Leaflets are variable in shape and size, ovate to broadly lanceolate, the terminal ones being longest and up to 15 centimeters in length. Flowers are fragrant, greenish yellow or white, borne in considerable numbers on compound inflorescences. Fruit is yellow when ripe, ovoid-oblong, and less than 1 centimeter in length.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Coumarins from Malaysian Micromelum minutum. / Rahmani M, Susidarti RA, Ismail HB, Sukari MA, Hin TY, Lian GE, Ali AM, Kulip J, Waterman PG. / Phytochemistry. 2003 Oct;64(4):873-7.

(2) Chemical constituents of Micromelum minutum. Isolation and structural elucidation of new coumarins / Ito C, Otsuka T, Ruangrungsi N, Furukawa H. / Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2000 Mar;48(3):334-8.


(4) 8-Methoxycapnolactone and stigmasterol From Micromelum minutum / Ratna Asmah Susidarti et al /Majalah Farmasi Indonesia, 18(2), 105 – 109, 2007

(5) Cytotoxic activity of coumarins from Micromelum minutum / Ratna Asmah Susidarti, Mawardi Rahmani, Hazar B.M. Ismail, M. Aspollah Sukari, Taufiq-Yap Yun Hin, Gwendoline Ee Cheng Lian, Abdul Manaf Ali / Pharmaceutical Biology, February 2009, Vol. 47, No. 2 , Pages 182-185

(6) Cytotoxic effect of 2′, 3′-epoxy isocapnolactone and 8- hydroxyisocapnolactone-2’3′-diol isolated from Micromelum minutum (G.Forst.) Wight and Arn. in human T-lymphocyte leukemia CEM-SS cells / B. K. Tan, N. B. Alitheen*, S. K. Yeap, A. M. Ali and R. Mawardi / African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 8 (18), pp. 4632-4641, 15 September, 2009

(7) C-7 oxygenated coumarins from the fruits of Micromelum minutum / Ratsami Lekphrom, Somdej Kanokmedhakul, Veerapol Kukongviriyapan, Kwanjai Kanokmedhakul / Archives of Pharmacal Research, April 2011, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 527-531

– Throughout the Philippines, in most islands and provinces, in thickets and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes.
– Also occurs in India to southern China through Malaya to tropical Australia and Polynesia.

– Constituent studies yielded coumarins.
– Leaves yielded coumarin, 80methoxycapnolactone and stigmasterol.
– Fractionation of crude petroleum ether and chloroform extracts isolated five new coumarins 3″,4″-dihydrocapnolactone, 2′,3′-epoxyisocapnolactone, 8-hydroxyisocapnolactone-29,39-diol, 8-hydroxy-3″,4″-dihydrocapnolactone-29,39-diol and 8,4″-dihydroxy-3″,4″-dihydrocapnolactone-29,39-diol, and two triterpenes.
– Fruits yielded new 7-oxygenated coumarin, 7-demethylmurralonginol isovalerate, and a new natural product, murralonginol, together with seven known 7-oxygenated coumarins, murralonginol isovalerate, murralongin, micromelin, scopoletin, microminutin, murrangatin, and minumicrolin.

Considered febrifuge, analgesic, stomachic, carminative.

Parts used
Roots, shoots, leaves.

– In the Philippines, young shoots are heated with oil and used for infantile convulsions.
– Leaves and roots are used as febrifuge.
– Decoction or infusion of roots used for diarrhea in children; also, as carminative.
– Roots also used for toothaches.
– Plant used for stomachache and headache.
– In Sabah and Sarawak, leaves of M. minutum are traditionally used in the treatment of giddiness and fever; poultice of boiled roots are used for ague.

Wood: Used for handles of bolos and making furniture.

Study Findings
• Coumarins: Chemical investigation of Micromelum minutum collected from Sepilok, Sabah, Malaysia yielded four new coumarins: 3″,4″-dihydrocapnolactone 1, 2′,3′-epoxyisocapnolactone 2, 8-hydroxyisocapnolactone-2′,3′-diol 3 and 8-hydroxy-3″,4″-dihydrocapnolactone-2′,3′-diol 4.
• Coumarins: Acetone extract of stems yielded six coumarins, micromarin-A ,B,C,F,G,H along with six known coumarins.
• Cancer Prevention and Carcinogenesis Potentials: Study evaluated the effect of dietary Micromelum minutum leaves common eaten among Southern Thai people. The susceptibility of biological systems to chemical carcinogenesis is partly controlled by the balance between phase I enzyme and phase II enzymes systems, and the protective effect of vegetables and chemical compounds maybe the result of modulation of carcinogen metabolism, especially the induction of phase II detoxification enzymes. Study results show M. minutum leaves possess phase II enzyme inducing property, as well as a reducing phase I activities in rat liver. The vegetable’s cancer preventing potential also carries concerns on the potential to activate chemical carcinogenesis.
• Cytotoxicity / Coumarins: Crude petroleum ether and chloroform extracts of M. minutum showed strong cytotoxic activity against a T-lymphoblastic leukemia cell line. Fractionation isolated five new coumarins and two triterpenes. Some of the compounds showed strong activity against T. lymphoblastic leukemia (CEM-SS), promyelocytic leukemia (HL60), cervical cancer (HeLa) and liver cancer (HepG2) cell lines.
• Cytotoxicity / Coumarins: Leaves yielded two bioactive compounds, 2′,3′-Epoxyisocapnolactone and 8-hydroxyisocapnolactone-2′,3′-diol. Study showed both compounds to induce apoptosis. Furthermore, 8- hydroxyisocapnolactone-2′,3′-diol also exhibited earlier induction time and better cytotoxicity compared to 2′,3′-epoxyisocap- nolactone. Results show both to have potential as anticancer agent.
• Fruits / C-7 Oxygenated Coumarins / Anti-Cancer: Fruits yielded new 7-oxygenated coumarin, 7-demethylmurralonginol isovalerate, and a new natural product, murralonginol (2), together with seven known 7-oxygenated coumarins, murralonginol isovalerate, murralongin, micromelin, scopoletin, microminutin, murrangatin, and minumicrolin (9). Among these isolates, compounds 2 and 4–9 exhibited cytotoxicity against cholangiocarcinoma cell line, KKU-100.
• Fruits / Coumarins / Anti-Cancer: A carbon tetrachloride fraction of Micromelum minutum was found active against most test fungal test organisms. The VLC fractions showed marked inhibition against the six fungi tested; fraction D showed 62 to 88% inhibition at 500 µg/ml dose.
• Mahanine / Apoptosis Induction: Mahanine, a naturally occurring carbazole alkaloid in some Asian vegetables. Study investigated the effect of mahanine on the activation of the apoptotic pathway in human leukemia U937 cells. Mahanine-induced apoptosis involved the activation of caspases, release of cytochrome c in cytosol, loss of mitochondrial membrane permeability, and decreased levels of cellular ATP.