Julius Kulip, Takashi Kamada and Charles SV
The medicinal herbs, Smilax bracteata C. Presl. (Smilacaceae) or commonly known as Tongkung in North Borneo Island was used traditionally for treatment of ailments in various Dusun villages in Sabah, Malaysia. One aromatic compound seselin (1) and two steroids β-sitosterol (2) as well as stigmasti-4-ene-3-one (3) were isolated and identified as major secondary metabolites from this plant. Their chemical structures were elucidated using 1H, 13C and 2D NMR. These chemical compounds have shown to possess variety of biological activities such as anticancer, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Therefore, the ailments of local native Dusun people in Sabah, Malaysia were treated due to the presence of these compounds in S. bracteata.