Botany, Uses, Chemistry and Pharmacology of Ficus microcarpa: A Short Review

Systematic Reviews in Pharmacy,2017,8,1,103-111.
Published:March 2017
Type:Review Article

Botany, Uses, Chemistry and Pharmacology of Ficus microcarpa: A Short Review

Eric Wei Chiang Chan1*, Joseph Tangah2, Tomomi Inoue3, Mami Kainuma4, Karin Baba4, Nozomi Oshiro4, Mio Kezuka4, Norimi Kimura4

1Faculty of Applied Sciences, UCSI University, Cheras 56000, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA.

2Forest Research Centre, Sabah Forestry Department, Sandakan 90009, Sabah, MALAYSIA.

3Centre for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem Studies, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Onogawa, Tsukuba 305-0053, JAPAN.

4Secretariat, International Society for Mangrove Ecosystems, c/o Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0129, JAPAN.


In this short review on Ficus microcarpa L. f., the first for the species, current information of the botany, uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology is presented and discussed. A common tree in coastal areas of the West Pacific region, F. microcarpa is characterised by its curtain of dangling aerial roots and small pink fruits. Considered sacred with spiritual significance, the species is an important food sources for birds and mammals, and a popular shade and ornamental plant. Used as traditional folk medicine to treat various diseases and disorders, F. microcarpa is rich in triterpenoids, phenylpropanoids, flavonoids and phenolic acids. The aerial roots are most studied, and yielded the highest number of compounds (86), notably, triterpenoids (56), phenylpropanoids (13) and phenolic acids (12). Pharmacological properties of F. microcarpa include antioxidant, antibacterial, anticancer, anti-diabetic, anti-diarrhoeal, anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, hepatoprotective and hypolipidemic activities.