Thursday, April 25, 2019

Field notes from the rain forest of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia

The material presented here is the result of a collaboration between myself and the Dusun, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. It was first gathered in April 2013 and updated on a subsequent visit in March 2019.

I am impressed how native peoples have valued their plant resources as medicine. It is a lesson to us all. These notes were taken during two treks in the rain forest of peninsular Malaysia with my guide Ah Kau in April 2013. The first trek took place in April 2013 the Berembun Forest Reserve in the state of Negeri Sembilan, and began at latitude 2º 71.86' N, longitude 101º 94.06' E, approximately 5 km north-east of the village of Kampung Baru Pantai, district of Seremban. The second trek took place in the same location in March 2019.

Ah Kau is of the Temuan tribal people, and is of the last generation with much knowledge about the medicinal plants of the forest. He speaks no English, and I was told his Malay is very colloquial and mixed with his tribal language. Through Haanim Bamadhaj of the Dusun and other staff there, I asked him to point out medicinal plants to me and to tell me their names very clearly. Ah Kau has special knowledge of the medicinal uses of many plants in the rain forest around his village, especially those used for obstetric purposes.

According to his identity papers, Ah Kau was born in 1953 but at our first meeting he stated that he was born after Malaysian independence (1957). At our second meeting in 2019, he stated his age to be 75, although he seemed a little unsure. That would make his year of birth 1943-44. By his physical appearance, I would think that the first estimate is nearer to the mark. 

He has 12 children, all of whom were born at home. He helped his wife and a few others in the village to give birth. He was paid cash for his mid-wife services, including collecting forest plants and preparing them for the mother and newborn. (Ah Kau's Jungle Plants by Haanim Bamadhaj and collaborators, 2013).

During our treks through the jungle (and a substantial part of the first trek was off-piste), Ah Kau walked all the way very ably in just a pair of plastic flip flops. During the second trek, which involved a steep climb to the top of the mountain Gunung Berembun (1014 m), he left his flip flops by the trail before the ascent, and from there went bare foot until we had descended again and walked back to the point where he had left them.

Ah Kau did his best to communicate to me what he knew about the medicinal plants we encountered. I managed to photograph twenty-one medicinal plants (reportedly just a small proportion of the plants Ah Kau can recognise and use). Our conversations were subsequently clarified in interviews with Au Kau carried out by Haanim Bamadhaj. Further information has been sourced from published scientific papers.

Both Ong et al. (2011) and Azliza et al. (2012) have commented on the importance of recording traditional knowledge of medicinal plants. In their paper on ethno-medical plants used by Temuan villagers, Ong et al. write:

The natives (Orang Asli) of Peninsular Malaysia are grouped into 3 different ethnic groups; the Negritos (Semang), the Senoi and the Proto-Malays. The Temuan tribe is in the Proto-Malay ethnic group. The Temuan are a comparatively large tribe and well-known for their knowledge and usage of medicinal plants (Carey 1976; Ong 1994). The Temuan are agriculturists as well as hunters and gatherers. Thus, they make use of the biological diversity available to them for fulfilling various needs (Carey 1976; Ong 1991). As modernisation creeps towards the doorstep of the native tribes, knowledge and usage of biodiversity decreases and eventually become adulterated or lost to humanity. Thus, it is imperative that the scientific community records and publishes this knowledge.

In my field notes I wrote the names of the plants phonetically as I heard them from Ah Kau. I do not know whether he was using Malay names or the tribal names of his people. I suspect a bit of both, as some of the words he used I recognised as being Malay. In several cases I have had access to more authoritative information about spelling from Ong et al. (2011) and Azliza et al. (2012). Subsequently, Haanim's interviews Ah Kau provided correction for my own efforts.

Several inconsistencies in the vernacular names of plants have become apparent, either between Ah Kau's version as told to me and that told to Haanim, or between his version and that of published authors, or between the names reported by different authors. Some plants have more than one vernacular name. Certain names are apparently applied to more than one plant. There are local variations in naming plants. Precise pronunciation and spelling may not be not standardised. All this persuades me that vernacular names are used somewhat fluidly. On my second visit this was confirmed when I quizzed Ah Kau after he had used the same name for two slightly different plants. I understood him to explain that there were often different varieties of what are considered the same basic plant.

Some words I heard repeated over and over again. Sampu is one of them. I first assumed it was a name given to related plants. I note that in the work by Ong et al. the word is also used at the beginning of many of the plant names. However, sampu is Malay for "able to", "capable of" or "power of/to". Therefore, I now think it possible that some plant names are formed by telling us that the plant is capable of such and such a remedial effect on the body, e.g. "capable of helping the stomach". On the other hand, the word also seems to have some connotations of illness. I note from this Indonesian-German dictionary (Kalipke & Kalipke, 2001) that in Indonesia sampu is listed as a generic word for some diseases (Indonesian and Malay are very closely related languages). Moreover, in Winstedt's (1943) Malay-English dictionary demam sampu is listed as "a wasting fever, in children" (demam = fever). I note that Haanim has rendered this word sampuk.

The word ubat was frequently used by Ah Kau. Ubat means "medicine" in Malay, and I initially had the impression that Ah Kau was using the word as part of the names of plants. I subsequently realised he was telling me what the plants were used for e.g. ubat lukà, ringworm medicine.

Another word, or phrase, many times repeated, was mandi budak. This means to bathe a child, in this case Ah Kau meant the newborn. (Mandi = bathe, budak = child). Several of the plants he pointed out to me were used in the context of childbirth. The following four plants are boiled together to make a decoction for bathing both mother and child: Akar Keranting (Akar Ubi Hutan), Sampu Berecet, Sampu Gemur, Tepus merian. The child should be bathed in the liquid three times a day for the first two days after birth. In addition the mother is instructed to drink this decoction for three days as a tonic, while a small teaspoonful can be given to the child. For the child, the purpose is to protect against illness and fever while the baby is still not strong. In the following I will refer to this decoction as the mandi budak bath/tonic.

Below is a list of the medicinal plants we came across, in alphabetical order, with a photo of each and the information I have obtained about each one, directly from Ah Kau, through his subsequent interviews with Haanim, and from published reports. I note as a point of curiosity that many of the plants are low lying and herbaceous, several of which have similarly shaped oval leaves.

The plants added subsequent to my first visit have been annotated thus: (Plant added -date-.)

Akar Keranting (Akar Ubi Hutan)


Akar = root; keranting = prune; ubi = tuber; hutan = forest.

It is a creeper. It is one of the four plants used for the mandi budak bath/tonic (see foregoing notes). The root is used.




Akar Khadam (Hodgsonia capnio carpa Ridl.) / Akar Setawan


Akar = root.

The name of the plant that Ah Kau told me was clearly different from the one he told Haanim, even allowing for the language barrier (in my case). I have written in my field notes the name Akakadam. This must clearly be what Ong et al. (2011) refer to as Akar Khadam (Hodgsonia capnio carpa Ridl.). However, in her interview with Ah Kau, he used the name Akar Setawan for the same plant.
It is another creeper. Ah Kau reports that the juice from the stem is drunk to treat coughs in adults and children. According to Ong et al. (2011) a decoction of the root is taken orally for fever and paleness. Fever, of course, is often associated with respiratory infections and so also coughing. It is interesting to note that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, paleness (the colour white) is associated with lung disease.



Daun Sirih


Betel leaf:
Daun = Leaf.
Sirih = Betel.

This may well be Piper betle L. (betel), a plant of the pepper family. Azizlah et al. (2012) list two plants with the name SirihSirih Murai (Piper porphyrophyllum N.E. Brown)(Tiger betel) and Sirih Camai (a plant of the pepper family not better specified). The leaves of Ah Kau's plant look similar to those of Piperaceae such as Piper betle.

Ah Kau reports its use for migraine ("a headache that makes you want to vomit"). Instructions: Cut fine pieces and break with a pestle and mortar. Place on the forehead and wrap with a cloth. This poultice is kept on during the night.

Azizlah et al. report the use of Sirih Murai as a poultice of the leaf for "cold" and fevers; and the use of Sirih Camai as the raw leaf taken orally for hypertension.




Daun Sudu


"Spoon leaf":
Daun = Leaf.
Sudu = Spoon.

Ubat kurup = Ringworm medicine. The sap from the leaf is applied topically to treat fungal infections of the skin like ringworm.



Gaharu (Aquilaria sp.)


Trees of this genus, particularly Aquilaria malaccenisare the source of Agarwood, a resinous, highly aromatic and prized wood used for the production of incense and essential oil. The leaves of these trees have laxative properties (Wikipedia: see link for Agarwood above).

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Agarwood is used as a decoction in order to relieve pain, warm the abdomen to arrest vomiting, and to relieve asthma.
(http://www.chineseherbshealing.com/agarwood-chen-xiang/http://www.chineseherbshealing.com/agarwood-chen-xiang/)

From the above website: Its chief indications and uses are distention and pain in abdominal region, vomiting, hiccups and belching resulted from cold stomach, and dyspnea and rebellious Qi due to kidney deficiency.

This ties in with my information from Ah Kau, that a decoction of the wood (and/or bark?) from this tree is taken for abdominal/stomach disorders.



Genor Ali


Ali = Ring.

A decoction of the root is taken orally for back pain. It can be combined with Tongkat Ali. Suitable for all ages.

The leaf form and arrangement look like that of Polyalthia bullata King, which Azizla et al. (2012), give as Tongkat Ali Hitam, used as a decoction of the root taken orally for asthma, diabetes and "waist pain".



Kacip Fatimah (Labisia pumila (Blume) Fer.-Vill.)


There is quite a lot of published information about this plant, and it is even available commercially as an extract in tablet or capsule form.

Ah Kau stated that it is boiled to make a decoction, that a new mother should drink for several days after giving birth. The newborn baby can also be given a few drops. This tonic is not to be mixed with the four plants used in the mandi budak bath/tonic (see above).

On our second meeting, he did not mention this use, but instead indicated the decoction, taken orally, for chestiness / cough / breathlessness.

Azizla et al. (2012) give the following uses:
  • Decoction of the leaf and root taken orally for overall health.
  • Bathe in a decoction of the leaf for post-partum swelling.
  • Decoction of the root taken orally for post-partum swelling.
  • Bath or oral decoction of the root for post-partum health.
It is predominantly a women's herb. Norhanisah et al. (2013) report that:

Labisia pumila is traditionally used by Malay woman to maintain healthy female reproductive function and as postpartum medicine. 

Further:

Traditionally, the decoction of this plant is consumed by the indigenous women of the Malay Archipelago to facilitate child birth delivery and to improve post-partum health.


As to its physiological actions, the same authors say:

In vitro and in vivo studies indicated that Labisia pumila exerts a wide range of biological activities such as phytoestrogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-aging, anti-microbial and anti-carcinogenic activities.



The first photo above was taken in 2013, the second in 2019. At first site I thought Ah Kau must be mistaken, they look like leaves from different species of plants. But then I noticed the close spacing of the transverse veins in both photos. A search for "Labisia pumilia leaves" in Google Images confirms that the shape of the leaves may vary substantially, from broader to narrower. I suspect it depends upon the exact variety and/or age of the plant.


Kamoyang


Ah Kau gives two separate uses for this plant:

(1) A poultice of the chopped and ground leaves is put on wounds. This is wrapped for 4 days. It will sting at first. After 4 days the wound will be dry and closed.

(2) The leaf is held over a fire until hot, then placed on the back of the head and the belly of both new mother and newborn child for a few minutes. The procedure is repeated five times in immediate succession. This is said to rid the mother of excessive fluid and the baby of "cold".

As a practitioner of acupunture, the second procedure strikes me as being curiously similar to the use of the moxibustion stick in Traditional Chinese Medicine for the treatment of "cold" and "stagnation" disturbances.



Kayu Medang Kermanyan


Kayu = wood; kermanyan = incense.

I assume from this that when grown into a tree, it has aromatic wood that is used for making incense.

The word medang is often used for plants of the genus Cinnamomum (cinnamon species). This cannot be the case here, as the leaves are fundamentally different (only two longitidinal sections instead of four). However, like cinnamon (see Medang Tijo below), it is used (I understood) to treat stomach upsets. The leaves are steeped in hot water or boiled, and the water drunk.

Ah Kau made me rub a leaf between my fingers and small it: it has an almond-like, astringent aroma. (Plant added March 2019.)



Kayu Tali


I have written the name of this plant as I heard it. This would translate literally as "Wood Rope". I understood Ah Kau to say it is used for stomach aches. I also heard him use the word madu (honey). I hesitate to draw conclusions. This information needs verification. (Plant added March 2019.)



Lamak


I understood from Ah Kau that one chews a small piece of the root to soothe a sore throat. (Plant added March 2019.)



Medang Tijo = A species of Cinnamon (Cinnamomum sp.)


I have conflicting information about this plant.

Let us start with what I understood from Ah Kau. I understood that the leaves should be chopped up and put in on the skin. Here he made a series of gestures with his right hand against his left forearm, opening his fingers rapidly, as if to indicate a series of small explosions. From that, your guess is as good as mine!

At his interview with Haanim, Ah Kau told her that it is boiled to make a decoction for the treatment stomach ailments. A small glass of the decoction should be drunk three times a day.

According to Azizla et al. (2012), who identifies the plant as a plant of the genus Cinnamomum (family Lauraceae), the Temuan people make an embrocation from the root and leaves infused with coconut oil, for external use on stiff and painful muscles.

According to Ong et al. (2011) one species of cinnamon, Cinnamomum mollissimum Hk.f. (Medang Rawang), is used for fever and body heat as a decoction of the root taken orally.

Yet, according to Wiat (2006) the name Medang Tijo is given to a plant of a completely different botanical family, Elaeocarpus stipularis Bl., Bijdr. (family Elaeocarpaceae). This author informs us that "the leaves are pulped and applied externally to soothe inflamed parts", a similar use to that given by Azizla et al. for cinnamon.

Images sourced from Google Images clearly suggest that the plant shown to me by Ah Kau is Cinnamomum rather than Elaeocarpus.

Perhaps a more widely used name for cinnamon in Malaysia is Kayu Manis (literally "sweet wood"). Although one species, Cinamomum verum, is sometimes said to be "true cinnamon" (whatever that means), the cinnamon bark commonly sold as a spice comes from several species of the genus Cinnamomum.



Penyerit Petai


I am at a bit of a loss about this plant. I had rendered Ah Kau's pronunciation as "punyiget" and "panjiget" for this plant and the next, respectively. Re-reading my field notes I feel sure they must be the same word. Haanim has rendered the name for this plant "penyerit" and for the next "penyerip". Again, I suspect that in Ah Kau's mind it is the same word. I would like to clarify this.

As far as this first plant is concerned, when I google "penyerit petai", I am shown results for "Penyakit Petai", one of which is this Wikipedia page about a plant called Pokok Petai (Parkia speciosa Hassk.) Ong et al. (2011) give the native name of Parkia speciosa simply as Petai. Penyakit seems too close to my spellings to be a coincidence. From the above Wikipedia page I learn that penyakit means "diseaseand can be used with other words to specify the kind of disease or organ affected. I also learn that petai means "banana", here in the sense of being shaped like a banana. In the case of Pokok Petai, this refers to the shape of the clustered seed pods born by the tree, which contain bean-like seeds. I did not see seed pods on the plant Ah Kau showed me. It may have been the wrong time of year. But secondly, Google images of the leaves of Parkia speciosa, while superficially similar to Ah Kau's plant, on closer inspection are quite different.

I have no option then but to consider this a different plant, and to stick to Ah Kau's name, rendered by Haanim who is certainly more competent than I am to render native words in written form.

So, for Ah Kau, Penyerit Petai is used to treat childhood diseases presenting as a rash with a fever (one of the viral infectious diseases of childhood?), for which a decoction of the boiled root is used. The child must be bathed in the liquid and be given it orally for three days.

 

  

Penyerit Plasal


See the above notes on Penyerit petai for my difficulties in naming and identifying these two "penyerit/penyerip" plants. Haanim renered the name "Penyerip". However, I have decided, on an arguable balance of probabilities, to consider that Ah Kau used the same word for both plants. Therefore, I have used to "Penyerit" for both, until I can further verify this information. Additionally, I have to say that Ah Kau identified this one to Haanim simply as "Penyerit/Penyerit", with no second part to the name. Nevetherless, to me in the jungle he added the word which I have rendered as "plasal". He repeated the conjunction of the two words to me deliberately several times. So I have kept it here, to distinguish it from Penyerit Petai above.

A decoction is made of the leaves. This is taken orally to heal blisters or ulcers that are "inside".



Sampu Berecet


Part of the mandi budak bath/tonic See above). The proportions of this plant used to make the decoction are 3 leaves and one whole root.

The second photo below was taken on my second visit in 2019. I believe but am not absolutely sure that Ah Kau attributes this the same name as the first, i.e. Sampu Berecet. At this time I also understood him to say that a decoction of this applied to the skin is used for skin complaints and/or parasites.




Sampu Budak 

Ah Kau reported to Haanim that this plant is used, together with Sampu Dalek (see below) to treat high fever in an infant that causes the skin to go red. (However, see my notes below on Sampu Dalek). In the jungle Ah Kau used the expression tapus darah with regard to this plant. Tapus darah literally means "clear blood".

Instructions: Pull both whole plants out. Boil the entire plants with roots and leaves. Bathe the baby in the decoction.



Sampu Dalek

Ah Kau reported to Haanim that this plant is used, together with Sampu Budak (see above) to treat high fever in an infant that causes the skin to go red. However, in the jungle Ah Kau used the expression Sampu budak kuning for this plant. Budak kuning means "yellow child", so he may be referring to jaundice.

Instructions: Pull both whole plants out. Boil the entire plants with roots and leaves. Bathe the baby in the decoction.



Sampu Gemur


One of the plants used to make the mandi budak bath/tonic decoction (see above). I also understood Ah Kau to say, on my second visit in 2019, that a decoction of the stem of this plant may be applied to the body for pain. This latter use I have yet to verify.



The photograph below is of a plant indicated to me by Ah Kau as Sampu Gemur on my second visit in 2019. On the same visit he had already indicated to me by the same name the plant in the second photo above, which looks the same as the plant he indicated to me by that name in 2013 (first photo above). When I pointed out that the plant in the photo below has a diffirent leaf, he explained that there were different varieties of the plant known to him as Sampu Gemur.


Sampu Kayu


Kayu = Wood.

This plant has a potato-like tuber, which is made into a decoction to treat jaundice, especially in children. It is given to the child orally and also used to bathe the child, three times a day for four days.


Sampu Kilat


Kilat = flash, lightning.

The leaves and roots are boiled together to make a decoction. This is used as a bath to treat a high fever.



Sampu Malam (Phyllagathis rotundifolia (Jack.) Bl.)


Malam = night.

Ah Kau reports that it is used in infants for a fever that comes on in the evening. A decoction is used to bathe the child.

Ong et al. (2011) refer to this plant as Serau Malam. They report that the leaf is placed on the bed to treat juvenile stomach discomfort.

This website (of the Institute of Medical Research, Malaysia) gives several other vernacular names that are used in Malaysia for this for the same plant. Interestingly they include Kacip Fatimah, a name more commonly used for Labisia pumila (see above). This is further confirmation that local names are used somewhat fluidly.

The same website provides the following further information:

"Traditional Uses:

Gasrointestinal Diseases

The plant is used in the treatment of stomachache. To treat heartburn, the leaves are pounded and the paste is applied over the affected area.

Antipyretic

P. rotundifolia is a remedy for fever in children and also for malaria. [1] It is mentioned that for fever in children either a decoction of the leaves is given or the child is laid over a bed of leaves of the plant.

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

The Malays believed that the plant has similar properties of the village “tutup bumi” (Elephantopus scaber) and used them interchangeably in postpartum therapy. A decoction of the whole plant is given to women immediately after birth to hasten the process of delivery of the placenta. It is also believed that it is able to cleanse the uterus of residual blood. Roots pounded with belts are given after child-birth as tonic.[2]

Other uses

For the newborn, the paste of the leaves and roots are applied over the abdomen to provide strength to the child."

...

"P. rotundifolia formed part of a contraceptive herbal formulation used by the Temuan tribe of Peninsula Malaysia. It was found that this combination caused anovulatory estrous cycle with altered circulating hormone levels and foetal resorption in rats. Mohd. Nazrul demonstrated that this could be due in part to suppression of the production of gonadotrophins along with suppression of FSH cell activity. They found that P. rotundifolia by itself could significantly lower the FSH concentration. [4]"

...

"Caution should be exercised when taking preparations containing this plant during pregnancy. Its use as part of the ingredients in potherb given during the immediate post-partum period may be due to its oxytocic effects. [2]"

From http://www.globinmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=84732:phyllagathis-rotundifolia&catid=718:p (accessed April/May 2013 and 22/04/2019).

Their references:

1. Muhamad Zakaria & Mustafa Ali Mohamed Traditional Malay Medicinal Plants Penerbit Fajar Bakti Sdn. Bhd. Kuala Lumpur 1994
2. Rashtra Vardhana Floristic Plants of the World Sarup & Sons New Delhi 2006 pg. 657
4. Mohd. Nazrul Islam, Siti Amrah Sulaiman, Marina Y. Kapitonova, Syed Mohsin Sahil Jamallullail Effects of an Indigenous Contraceptive Herbal Formulation on Gonadotrophs of the Pituitary Gland of the Rat Malaysian ournal of Medical Sciences, 2007,  Vol14(1):23 – 27






Tepus Merian


Ah kau called this plant variously Tepus Merian (2013) and Sampu Merian (2019). It is one of the four plant's used for Ah Kau's mandi budak bath/tonic (see above).

In 2019 I also understood him to say that a decoction of the chopped stem is used either to induce labour, or to expel the afterbirth (I am unsure which of these he was indicating).

According to Ong et al. (2011) there are several medicinal plants used by the Temuan people beginning with the name Merian, and both these authors and Azizla et al. (2013) list plant names beginning with Tepus. The leaves look very similar to those of Globba patens Miq. (a member of the ginger family: Zingiberacaea), which Ong et al. refer to as Merian biasa, while in Azizla et al.'s paper it is called Tepus Pemulih. I am therefore assuming that Ah Kau's Tepus Merian is a related plant. The discrepancy in naming the same plant can probably be explained by the fact the two studies were done with informants from different villages: Kampung Jeram Kedah and Kampung Ulu Kuang respectively.

The former authors report Globba patens use as an oral decoction of the root taken post-partum (unspecified reasons) while the latter report that its raw "exudates" are applied topically to mouth ulcers. 






Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack)


Tongkat = Stick. 

Ali = Ring. I am assuming this refers to the arrangement of the branches which sprout in a ring-like organisation from the main stem.

The examples shown in the photos are small individuals. The fully grown tree is tall and may have a trunk 20 cm in diameter. The root is the part used medicinally. Ithas a bitter taste, like every other part of the plant.

I understood from Ah Kau, and that one drinks a warm decoction of the root for low back, joint, and muscle pain, and as a general tonic.

On the other hand, he reported to Haanim that a decoction of the root is taken orally in small quantities to remove phlegm.

Azlila et al. (2012) list the traditional uses of Tonkat Ali as being for muscle pain, diabetes and hypertension, for which a decoction of the root is taken orally. Girish et al. (2015) have shown that it also has considerable anti-protozoal activity.

Bhat and Karim (2010) state that:

The plant parts have been traditionally used for its antimalarial, aphrodisiac, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial and anti-pyretic activities, which have also been proved scientifically.  


The Institue of Medical Research, Malaysia, report the following information (http://www.globinmed.com, accessed 25/04/2019):

  • Tongkat Ali root is used my the indigenous people of Malaysia "to ease fever; as a medication after birth; for healing of boils, wounds, ulcers, syphilis, and bleeding gums"; and "as a super energizer, a febrifuge, a remedy for fever (malaria), mouth ulcers, intestinal worms, and as an aphrodisiac for men". Further: "It is also believed to be effective for treating hypertension, body aches, and improve vitality and as a tonic after childbirth. It is also reported that the paste of the plant is able to relieve headaches, stomachaches, pain caused by syphilis, and many other general pains."
  • The dosage range is 100-400 mg powdered root, taken orally twice daily, with the most common dosage being 300 mg twice daily.
  • "There were no toxicities reported associated with the powdered roots at the common dosage used in humans."
  • There is evidence from animal studies (rats) to support its action as in increasing the male sexual motivation and behaviour.
  • In vitro experiments have shown Tongkat Ali to have plasmocidal activity against Malaria parasites (Plasmodium facliparum).
  • In vitro experiments have shown some of the chemical constituents of Tongkat Ali to have cytotoxic (cell-killing) activity against certain kinds of tumour cells. However, some of these chemicals may not have appreciable bioavailability. For instance, less than 1% of one of them (9-methoxycanthine-6-one) was absorbed into the bloodstream when given orally to rats.
  • Other studies on individual chemical constituents of Tongkat Ali have tended to support its use against fevers, ulcers, and parasitic intestinal flatworms (schistosomes).


Attribution: Hale R. D. 2013, 2019. Field notes from the rain forest of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. https://medicinalplantsmalaysia.blogspot.com/2019/04/field-notes-from-rain-forest-of-negeri.html. (Accessed [date of access]).



Ah Kau and Robert


* References

Azliza M. A., Ong H. C., Vikineswary, S., Noorlidah A., and Haron N. W.  Ethno-medicinal Resources Used By the Temuan in Ulu Kuang Village Ethno  Med, 6(1): 17-22 (2012)

Bhat R. and Karim A. A.  Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack): A review on its ethnobotany and pharmacological importance  Fitoterapia, Volume 81, Issue 7, October 2010, Pages 669–679.

Bamadhaj H., Ah Kau, and Hale R.  Ah Kau's Jungle Plants  2013.

Girish S., Kumar S., and Animudin N.  Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia): a possible therapeutic candidate against Blastocystis sp.  Parasit Vectors. 2015; 8: 332.

Kalipke H. & Kalipke M. A.  Wöterbuch Sakai Indonesisch-Deutsch  2001, Buske Verlag

Norhanisah Abdullah, Siavash Hosseinpour Chermahini, Chua Lee Suan and Mohammad Roji Sarmidi  Labisia pumila: A Review on its Traditional, Phytochemical and Biological Uses  World Applied Sciences Journal 27 (10): 1297-1306, 2013.

Ong H. C., Chua S., and Milow P.  Ethno-medicinal Plants Used by the Temuan Villagers in Kampung Jeram Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia  Ethno Med, 5(2): 95-100 (2011).

Wiart C.  Medicinal Plants of the Asia-Pacific: Drugs for the Future?  2006, World Scientific.

Winstedt R.  Dictionary of Colloquial Malay  1943, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., London

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