Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Best Cut Medicine Is Free

Since very small we were taught by our parents and grandparents on how to survive anywhere. Most lessons were hands on, given impromptu and done due to necessity. We were told on what we can find in the bushes that is edible, what is not, what is dangerous and what can be helpful to be used as medicines in times of need or emergency. Such lessons were possible because we will be asked to follow our elders into the bushes or even forests to help them with some chores. My own children wont even dare venture into the bushes for fear of the dreaded leeches.
On the way we will be pointed anything relevant as the elders think necessary for us to know. There were those red berries which are sweet and nice to eat. We call them 'mata ayam' which translates literally to 'chicken's eye' or 'mata itek' (duck's eye) in some places. These are not fillling but more for keeping the young ones occupied on long walks before reaching a destination. Remember we used to walk long distances to visit relatives in the olden days when only walking tracks and not roads were available. Only the very rich can own cars and what is the use of a car when there is not even a road leading to the place? Later in life my father taught me the young shoots of 'mata ayam' is one of the best ulam around.

The 'mata ayam'

To keep us awake during long walks in the bush my mum will show us the young shoots of 'pokok asam gelugor' the fruit of which is used to make 'asam keping' necessary ingredients in some malay dishes like the 'ikan singgang' or 'masak asam pedas'. The shoots of 'asam gelugor' is very sour but nontheless edible. We will pick some and chew while walking. They will definitely keep tired child awake during long walks.

The 'gelugor' shoot

Certain less fertile areas gave rise to 'kamunting' bushes which produces edible berries all year round too. You must split the berry to eat the sweet blackish flesh inside. Again it wont be filling but at least you will forget the hunger that you might feel along a the long walk before any semblance of food can be had at your destinations. By the way people in Malaysia know more of Kamunting as the detention camp in Taiping where political opponents are detained without trial. ISA was established to detain people who are a threat to the country. Some threats.
It is the medicinal plants especially those that can be used to stop bleeding that I remember most. Being children we are always playful and grab anything that looks pretty. The triangular stemmed sedges with razor sharp stems can easily cut our fingers when they grazed our fingers the wrong way. Broken glasses can easily cut our barefoot. Split bamboo can cut our tender skin when we need to cross one thats blocking our path. Under such circumstances herbal medicines are used to stop the bleeding and close the gap and compress the cut till proper bandages are found.
'Keladi colek'

My late grandfather would immediately look for 'keladi colek' to press out the juice from the stem and apply it on the cut. Later the skin of the long stem will be made into thin strips and used as bandage. In this way bleeding is compressed and further infection is checked.

The ripe fruit is loved by birds.

Sometimes neighbours and friends can teach us a lesson or two on how to stop a cut from prolonged bleeding.
When we wre living in Kuala Krai, my son Azrin was only 6 years old. Boys of such an age are always playful. When we go to work, he and his younger brother Azuan and even younger sister Azini were left to their minder who lived next door to our rented home.One day we came home to see a patch of whitish greenish paste on his head and blood on his shirt but he wasn't crying from any pain. Our neighbours immediately came to tell us that Azrin fell while playing on a horizontal pole used by the neighbour to hang their clothes to dry. He fell head first and his head grazed the concrete edge of the floor causing a nasty gash. He told us that he had applied 'daun kapalterbang' mashed with 'kapur' (lime). I was relieved to know that the treatment worked. So now I can vouch for the efficacy of 'daun kapalterbang' as a cut medicine. 'Pokok kapalterbang' (sorry I havent found the botanical name of this shrub yet. Hopefully our budding biologist Akmal can help) grows in abundance in tropical Malaysia. A check around my house shows an abundance of it. So beside my trusted 'minyak gamat' (sea cucumber oil) from Langkawi, I can always fall for 'daun kapalterbang' as a cut medicine.

A young 'pokok kapalterbang'

Another incident that I can use to support the efficacy of this plant as a cut medicine was this trip to Gunung Stong in Dabong, Kuala Krai, Kelantan sometimes in 1996. (Gunung Stong is renowned as the highest cascading waterfall in South East Asia). I was taking a group of Italian tourists up to Camp Baha for an overnight trip. There were 10 tourists half of them were females some of whom were wearing shorts. Before the hike up I warned them of leeches and advised them to spray insecticide to prevent the leeches from picking their meal on them. I demostrated by lavishly spraying Baygon on the lower part of my body even on the exposed skin. The tourists were skeptic about using chemicals on any part of their body and prefer to go without it. It was their choice.
It was a rainy day and the leeches were really active in that weather. So from time to time we stopped to check for leeches. Everyone declared themselves clear of the pest. When we reached Baha Camp, we stopped and prepared for the night. Of course by then the leeches had had their fill and dropped off. It is that easy with leeches. Just let them have their fill and they will and drop off. They will leave a note of thank you on your body by the tell tale bleeding and itch. The anticoagulant that the leech injected into your body will ensure that your blood will not coagulate while the leech is a having its feed. The anticoagulant will ensure too that the bleeding will continue even after the sucker is long gone. Another reminder of the leeches' visit is the continuos itching that follows sometimes lasting for years especially for those with sensitive skins. A scar is sometimes discernible for life especially on fairl skinned people.

As for the Italians in the group with me, a male had a leech bite on his leg and he let me apply the readily available 'daun kapalterbang' on the bleeding spot and forgot about it till later. Another female had a bite at the crotch. Leeches seems to know where is the juicest place to find on a female. I guess it must be a male one. She of course wouldn't believe on my herbs and definitely won't let me have the pleasure of applying anything be it herbs or otherwise where the leech had the double pleasures.
We did carry a pack of first aid containing cut medicine with bandages, plasters and diarhoea tablets as essentials on such a trip. Her boy friend took the first aid and proceeded to one of the chalets where they would sleep for the night. There he applied the yellow flavine, the only cut medicine we had in the pack.
Everything was forgotten until the next when we descended the to the foot of the hill and reached Kuala Krai.. The lady with the leechbite was complaining of the nonstop bleeding where the leech had bitten her. The other male who had the herb applied on his leg then looked at his own spot of the leech bite and happily exclaimed that his bleeding had stopped a long time ago. Infact he even forgot about it. He sopke in Italian telling the other lady to have the same herbs applied. I told you the plant grows everywhere. Spotting it, I took some leaves and gave it to her. We found a public toilet and they went in to apply the herbs.

'Pokok kapalterbang' growing in abundance near my house in Pasir Mas.

Now I have ten Italian believers in the goodness of 'daun kapalterbang' as the best cut medicine which is free.
Another special plant is the 'sireh' the betel leaves (Arecapiper) whose leaf is often chewed after applying a dash of lime and sliced betelnut (areca catechu). Gambir is also added. When chewed a dark colored saliva juice will be produced. Spitting it out regularly of course will dirty up a place.
My late grand father used to blow the concoction on my eyes when I hand conjunctivities (sakit mata) and I tell you thats all that I need to have it treated.
Another use of the arecapiper is to stop nasal bleeding. An incident to relate to this was when I had a group of young french boys on my trip way back in 1996, I brought them to the waterfall in Blok Ulu Kusial Tanah Merah, Kelantan. The picture of the small fall is used in my header for this blog. The boys were about 16 and 17 years old. They were accompanied by their own male nurse by the name of Benoit. While there, many climbed up to the top of the waterfall and dived into the cool clear water from a height of about 10 ft. One of them was of poor eyesight without glasses. Of course he cant wear glasses in doing such stunts. he slipped and his head must have hit the rock as he later was bleeding from one of his nostrils. The male nurse was adamant to treat him his way by washing up and applying whatever medicine he brought along as first aid. The bleeding didnt stop.
My crew and the locals wanted the boy brought down to the village quite a few kilometers away. We had to use harsh words to bring Benoit to senses. Since we had to trek down quite a difficult track including crossing of small rivers with boulders, a temporary stretcher was constructed. Four of the biggest guys were needed to carry him as he was quite a big boy.
Upon reaching the village, one of the village elders found some betel leaves, rolled it up and carefully push it into his bleeding nose while chanting a prayer. After a few short minutes, the leaves was pulled out. Viola, the bleeding stopped. Benoit's stance now changed to respect of the locals and our ways since his way didnt work. He asked for some leaves to take it home to France.

The 'Sireh' or betel leaves.

I am wondering why are we not harvesting and extracting this wonderful medicine from these plants such as the 'daun kapalterbang' and 'sireh' which is growing in abundance in Malaysia? Akmal of the blogsite Wiseup should wiseup to this, being a student of biology himself. He could be the next millionaire of Kelantan producing cut medicine for war torn countries of the world who need medicine badly and are daily exposed to bombs and missiles both from the unfriendly enemies and the friendly armies as well.


zaitgha said...

Pak Zawi,

Very interesting posting here...i always know about the 'daun sirih' which the elderly used to stop nose bleeding because i always had that problem when i was young....

there was once when i was digging the ground in front of police barracks(my house) along Jalan Sultan Ibrahim, a tebuan tanah stung my head, it was so painful i was screaming my head off until my late mum came running and put something awfully smelly on the part which the bee was so cooling and the pain subsided and i found out she put fresh cow dung ha ha ha.....i tell you i shampooed my hair every half hour for the next 3 days after that...

this posting of yours brought back old memories of the rascal in me a long time ago ha ha ha...and thanks

Zawi said...

A hornet's sting can make you sick. Lucky thing your mum knows how to treat you. I didnt know about that too. Thanks for letting me know. Such knowledge must be passed on to as many people as possible. No need to wait to be stung before learning about it.

Anonymous said...

Hello Zawi, wow! You sure know your stuff. For a moment thought you have a degree in Bomology, or Daunlogy, ha ha.
All your pics sure revived my memories, as well some of the 'obats' you mentioned.
Why don't you start a small home business with these 'obats'...either get it into ointment or lotion form and market it? Yourself.
I personally know of their powers so to speak having had Orang Asli guides with me on my jungle excursions.
But later forgot all about it.
Here we have Native Indians marketing their traditional medicines, also herbal, passed on like in your case, from parents, grandparents.
Even have TV ads too, with pictures of Indians in their native clothing or buckskins, "heap good medicine, use Lakota"! They sure selling well too.
In your case, with your experience and vast knowledge...have a few samples tested, analysed by your country's medical labs, this have to be approved by relevant authorities, as well for marketing info, then name it, "Zawi herbal for cuts, wounds...".
Ohhh...same time keep your own recipies or concoctions to once you prove to be successful with a BMW parked in your garage, copycats will be around. Ha ha.
I will be your first customer. $6 a bottle you say? Okay, I'll take 3 bottles.
Zawi...start a home business. No need for Sdn. Bhd. and all that yet...ha ha. SL.
Pssst, what about any daun to slow aging?

Zawi said...

Checked with my Living Webster Dictionary and cant find the term Daunlogy and Bomology. Congratulations! You have just two new words in English.
You mentioned that $6.00 a bottle, which currency is that? USD, Spore, Canadian or Australian? If it is any of the mentioned currency then I am in business. Send me the money to my account by online transfer and I will ship it out to you. Please send a self addressed box complete with sufficient stamps as I am not going to charge for PP which can be messy incase your address is in Timbuctoo or any of the poles.
Thanks for the idea which may make me the next millionaire soon.

Anonymous said...

Hello Zawi, ha ha, I like your reply. Hey, there are two 'obats' if you can discover among the various leaves in the hutan, 1/ Stop hair falling, or activate new hair growth, 2/ Slow down aging or make a woman or man of 60 feel like 30....and Zawi, find that and within 6 months, you will be invited by Incik Bill Gates, Datuk Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines for dinner, and you will be flying in your new Corporate Jet 'Zawi 1', callsign, 'Zebra Alfa 1', for the invitation, in of course your Armani suit for the invitation.
This of course while waiting for your Penthouse in Trumph Tower, New York to be re-furnished.
Ahhh, not to mention maybe Salmah Hayek or Carmen Electra will be present too, ha ha.
But don't forget we have kopi oh and iced coffee at Kedai Pakcik Lintang Pukang shoot the breeze on your return.
But maybe you too busy being interviewed by CNN, BBC, CBC as well attending Hollywood galas. Lots of botak actors will be your best friends. Sophia Loren might phone you too, Ha ha.
So go get your changkul, spade, rattan basket, sapu Baygon on your legs and go chari di hutan Kelantan.
$135 US a bottle should be no problems. Tackle China market, and Incik Bill Gates will fly see you. Ha ha. SL. Pssst, send me postcard.

Zawi said...

Anonnymous (SL),
Thanks for enjoying my earlier reply. I missed the word 'coined' new English words.
I will start doing some research on the obat on how to arrest ageing. It must be something that contains high antioxidant. I have the plants in mind. Akmal the budding biologist from Rantau Panjang will be enlisted to help. That will give me some excuse to visit him more in Rantau Panjang.
As for the hair growth obat, I am not keen to work on that even though I know that can bring me immediate riches. It is not my kind to put other people out of business. People who make false hair will be angry and professionals who do hair implants especially the one who did the job on Semi Value will kill me. No I wont dare to do that sir.
Yes of course I would love to be in the comapany of those voluptios filstars when I am rich. Dont worry we will work on a new obat with tha ability to regerate new cells in our body so that people like Raquel Welch, Sophia Loren, Gina Lolobrigida and Brigdita Bardot can be brought back to their former glory. We wont forget to do something for ourselves too (if you are in the same age bracket as those that I mentioned la) Yehooo I will be rich soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zawi, hey, don't worry about competition. Dating people's daughters more risky, not to mentioned divorcees, they have marriage in mind, and you get sangkut with baggage like migrating to Bora Bora. Ha ha.
I used to potong jalan where big business is concerned. Went to the JR Ewing Dallas School of Business. Alls fair in love and war, they say. Who said that? I don't know. the formula of how to activate hair growth....of course look for some botak guys to experiment, or shave your hair off try on yourself first...if betul it works...Zawi, you'll be opening bank accounts in Zurich, Cayman Islands, ha ha.
And BMW's? Give your daughters, you now will be driving an Aston Martin DBS 9. Wa, I can already hear the 008 theme song playing now.
Make sure your recipie or secret formula you the only one who knows....employ people, BUT no partnerships, uncles, aunties, that pak cik you go minum kopi his kedai everyday, ex-girlfriends, friendly divorcees all excluded, ha ha. Just kidding.
Okay la...better chabut before I naik gila pulak, ha ha. SL.

Mat Salo said...

Pak Zawi,

Not only medicine, ya Pak, the BEST things in life are often free. Only we don't know where to look.

That's why, it's imperative that the forest be saved. There's a host of cures out there among the fauna waiting to be found. For perhaps even AIDS. But if the forest are razed for balak, then there's nothing to find is there?

Back in the mid-80s when I was a hobo without a proper job, I hooked up with a Datuk -----, an ex MP of Tumpat with a penchant for Italian cars and --not sure about the loose women part though. :) We went to visit an abandoned gold mine that somewhere near Dabong. I remember the leeches and how the Datuk's sidekick helped me apply the 'daun kaplterbang'. But yes, sometimes it's better to let 'em have their fill. I also enjoy burning 'em with the tip of my glowing Dunhills.

Very funny and witty the way you put it Pak. Eh Pak.. about the 'crotch'. Oh, never mind. ;)

Puteri said...

Aiyo, SL, you sure now how to engage Zawi in some 'get rich' scheme! Hehhe.

Yes, I am impressed by your knowledge about plants, Zawi. I have never heard of the daun kapal terbang, but we do have that fruit called buah engkabang by the Ibans in Sarawak .. engkabang means helicopter. :-)

Actually quite a lot of our drugs are based on plants. Except that the scientists have made synthetic versions of the active ingredient in the plant. Did you read how curcumin which is found in tumeric has anti cancer attributes? Scientists have been able to make synthetic versions of it.

Maybe you can come up with a minyak gamat version of daun kapal terbang. Now won't that be a money maker for you!

Hanafi Mohd Noor said...

Hi Pak Zawi,
I remember a plant - when we rub the leaf it bubbles just like soap. But I can remember the name.

Zawi said...

mat salo,
The BEST things in life are often free and we have the tendency to overlook it. You nearly overlooked one when you were making your choice while in Burma hahahahaha. Luckily your hindsight was still with you at the back of your head.
My perception of the jungle as a place of biodiversity of mega proportion is still strong. I weep at the destruction of the forest in our own country. The whole ecosystem is destroyed. I had the privileged to be stationed in Lojing in 1989. Then I could see the opening up of the second East West link from Gua Musang to Ipoh via Cameron Highlands as the catalyst to destruction of montane forest which was inaccessible to most loggers then. They came in droves to plunder the forest of their timber products. Bereft of trees, the illegal farmers had an easy time felling the small trees remaining to make way for orchards. The richer ones turn them into oil palm small holdings while the bigger players open tem up into oil palm plantations.
Later on those areas of montane forest were converted to vegetable farms and vegetable farms after massive cutting and leveling of the area.
The process takes its toll on the ecosystem. The orang asli lost their traditional land, homes, source of income and food due to no more existing forest with its rich flora and fauna. The rivers that used to be pristine turned muddy with silt.
I thought the change of the state government in 1990 would put a stop to this crazy act. Sad to say it went on unabated.
Being the watershed for the Kelantan River, water collected from Lojing goes into the Nenggiri River which is one of the major tributaries of The Kelantan River, the other two being The Lebir and Pergau. Now only the Pergau River is still clear.
Mat salo, the Datok with the songkok used to help a former MB to get married with a princess in Thailand. Were you with him on the trip?

Zawi said...

Do you know what the leaf is used for? I can find out from our elders what plant it is when we know what the plant is used for. Until I can get more info its abit sketchy ofr us to work on.

Hantu Laut said...

That a nice article on medicinal plants.I think we come from the same generation, where our elders turned to mother nature for treatment of certain ailment and collecting food from the forests. I am not well verse with medicinal plants but due to my interest in it I have a few books on the subject.

The plant, you called Pokok Kapal Terbang is also known as Pokok Jepun and Pokok German, depending which district you come from.The scientific name is 'Eupatorium odoratum'.

You are right the leaves are used to stop bleeding.The whole plant is poisonous and are dangerous, if consumed, especially for small children and women in pregnancy.

I recommend you read or buy the book 'Traditional Malay Medicinal Plants' by Muhamad bin Zakaria and Mustafa Ali Mohd.The book is in English and written in layman's terms.

Akmal said...

Pak Zawi,
Alamak, dapat assignment ke nih? Heheh.
To be frank, I don't know the scientific name. But I do know some of the use(",). My childhood is quite 'nasty' too although I am asmathic at that time. Heheh.
About the Daun Kapal Terbang, aka Eupatorium Odoratum(Got that in Wikipedia), it works very well when stopping bleedings. Learnt that by experience too(",).
DON'T YOU EVER TRY TO EAT THEM! They are POISONOUS. Well, I used to swallow once, but my mum quickly realized it and gave me Air Kelapa Muda. Do you know that it is a good as neutralizer? Lucky enough nothing bad happen to me.
Nature is a wonder by nature. They might be hazardous but they benefit us in some other way.Wonderful eh?
Good day(",)

Zawi said...

Hantu Laut,
Our elders are very knowledgeable. They dont have access to modern medicines so they have to rely on nature for eveything. The knowledge is passed down from generation to generation. We are doing the same but through books whereas they gave us via the practcal way which is much more effective and memorable.
Thanks for the botanical name.
Its poisonous? No wonder the animals dont consume it. My neighbour's goats wallup all the flowers my wife planted outside my house but never touched the pokok kapalterbang.

Zawi said...

Dapat assignment apa pula. I was inspired by your write up on nature and so I did that one.
Thanks for the effort to get me the botanical name. Hantu Laut got it too. Wah both of you knoe its poisonus but I didn't know until HL and you told me.
We should all be teaching our children how to use what is provided by nature to our advantage.
Yes kelapa muda is another useful antidote for poison. Always use it as first aid. Remember once a story about a family having food poisoning after eating fish roe(telor ikan). The father climbed the coconut tree to pluck the fruit while he himself was suffering from the poisoning too. Some of the children who managed to get the cocnut drink survived.
Another simple antidote to note is the common salt (Sodium chloride) for antidote too when suffering from poisoning. In the absence of Atropine, the antidote for some weedicide or insecticide poisoning which may not be readily available. Fullers earth is another antidote for weedicide poisoning. Drinking concentrated paraquat is beyond salvation because of its corrosive nature and it burns tissues almost instantaneouly. Thats why many estate people died when committing suicide by driniking paraquat.

Rita Ho said...

Pak Zawi ... I felt like I was watching a Discovery documentary as I read your post. Are there any such shows on Malaysian TV? Your cut medicine will make a great episode.

The "keladi colek" reminds me of the aloe vera plant that my dad often used to stop bleeding. Other than that I have not been exposed to any of the plants you mentioned. So, thank you for sharing. One has to wonder if the cure for cancer lies among the thousands species of plants not explored or known to those doing the research.

Pak Idrus said...

zawi, I have been wondering when are you going to explore these wealth of ours and write about it. So many thanks to you for this valuable posting. Its add contents to the Internet.

Well at the same time it is nostalgic to me. It bring back memories of my childhood when the 'pharmacy' were just around the house. Whenever someone is sick, I would be the one to get the 'dukun' the wise medicine man and after seeing the patient he would ask me to get those herbs at the 'pharmacy' around the house.

For generations we all survived without modern western medicine. It is time that we get back to our roots and modernized these wonderful herbs that are without side effect.

I read that Indonesia and China have universities concentrating of these aspects. When are we going to follow suit. It look like we are always behind.

So Zawi let promote this heritage of ours and made its into a first class world product in the health care sector. Have a nice day.

Zawi said...

God has created everything for us to use. All we need to do is discover them. The jungle is a treasure trove to be studied. That is why we must preserve them and use them with care and respect.
I the aloe vera is a plant rarely found in the bushes and forest that I used to roam in. I guess my dad or his dad didnt know about it too. That is why I leave it out.
I think there are documentaries made by the local TV's about medicinal plants in Malaysia as the government is pushing towards the development of our medicinal plants into an industry.
Making my story into a movie? Be my guest. You do the script and try to sell it. Who knows Steven Spielberg may found interest in it.
Make it into a movie?

Zawi said...

pak idrus,
Dont put too much hope on a lowly ex farmer like me. I wish I studied enough to be able to do that. Anyway our government has set up The Herbal Corporations under MIGHT with budget in the millions of ringgit. Lets hope all that budget will be put to good use and all mankind will benefit from it. Let us also pray that the millions of hectares of virgin jungle being home to all these wonderful plants be preserved until our scientists have discovered as much as they can. Otherwise we will be looking up to other countries for our own medicinal needs when once we found them at our own doorstep. How sad that day will be to all Malaysians.

Puteri said...


I left a comment yesterday and I don't see it here.

I would like to know more about that daun kapal terbang. Sounds interesting. Maybe some day someone will make a "minyak gamat" version of daun kapal terbang.

I haven't heard of the name before and I don't know if there is a similar plant in Sarawak. Would be interesting to find out.

Zawi said...

I am sorry for for missing your ealier comment. I will look it up and publish it too. I usually publish it from my gmail and the flood of mails coming in must have made me overlook it. Of course I will publish all comments from friends like you. From the bottom of my heart I offer you my unreserved apologies. I will respond to your inquiry of the plant in the next mail after posting your earlier comments. Meantime look at comments made by Hantu Laut and Akmal as they are relevant to the issue.

Zawi said...

Found your earlier comment and posted it from my dashboard. It found its rightful place below mat salo's comment and above Hanafi's comment. Now I have learnt my lesson - postcomments only from the Dashboard. Thank you for teaching me the lesson.
I think the plant is known by another name in Sarawak. Hantu Laut could give you the answer. Since we know it is Eupatorium odoratum, it can be easily identified. Afterall they are growing in abundance in Malaysia and I guess it does so too in Sarawak.
I think it is not that difficult to produce the plants extract via the distillation process or by merely crushing the plant and pressing the juice out. A study must be done to see how stable the juice will be under various conditions. Since these are all simple mechanical processes, production to that level is possible.
The problem is usually in the patenting, getting FDA approval and finally marketing it. Marketing will be no problem if our friend SL from who knows where is, is willing to undertake it. Being a graduate of JR Ewing School of Business Trickery, he is the best man for it.
Tumeric is one of the best preservative. Any food marinated with tumeric can last longer. Oh curcumin in it is the active ingredient that does the job. Thanks for the info. Tumeric is easy to grow and doesnt take a long gestation period. Why not just extract curcumin from tumeric? Puteri, you finance it and Akmal and me will do the production while SL can do the marketing. Let us see how good a marketing man he is.
Another round of apology for the oversight. I promise you it wont happen again the next time you post a comment.

Zawi said...

I have also released your comment on the Another reason not to smoke and immediately responded to me. Another round of apology is due to my dear Princess.
This problem never occur to me before I put the comments on moderation mode. I have to moderate it eversince that guy wanted to grind his axe on mat salo and posted his comments on all blogs known to be friendly to mat salo. It takes all kinds of people to make up this world.

NaNa said...

Pak Zawi,

Thanks so much for the info. Very educational indeed.

I think I have seen pokok kapal terbang before but never know the name until I read your posting.

I very seldom use the plants for medicinal purposes except for daun sireh, as like zaitgha, i always bled my nose when I was young. I even use it for my daughter now and it works all the time.

Zawi said...

For best result add lime and abit of water. Beware as it is said to be poisonous if taken. it must be true since evan goats shy away from it. You know goats are voracious feeder.

Puteri said...


Eating curry is good too because of the tumeric in the curry paste. But curcumin loses its anti-cancer attributes quickly when ingested. The synthetic version of curcumin is more stable and is 30 times more effective in the suppression of tumours. Very promising indeed!

Do topical creams or oils go through the same rigorous tests with the FDA? Food supplements are not, as long as they don't contain controlled drugs.

Submit your business plans and I can think about financing the project! Hehe.

SL only interested in being the first customer for elixir of youth type of concoction! Haha. Maybe we can interest him in financing our projects too, eh!

Ok, I will try to find the local name of Eupatorium Odoratum in Sarawak.

About my missing comment, no problem! :-)

Zawi said...

No curry no worry. Loves curry so much. Can prepare the best fish head curry for you using kepala ikan merah. Lots of curry used.
Well be in business then. Production: Malaysia (Malaysian Herbal Corporation)
Financing: USA (Puteri Inc)
Marketing: Where is SL from? North or South Pole? Timbuctoo?
I wouldnt know what is FDA requirement.
Hey by the way are we serious? Actually this is something not beyond me to do. Remember I have friends like Nick Habgood of Azini Capital UK to talk too. Definitely he can assist. What say you Nick?
Yeah correct, SL has been pestering me to find the elixir of youth from the jungle. Is there any left in the jungle of Sarawak?
I have found your missing comments and dutily published and responded to them. It just took a long derour to finally find Pak Zawi in Pasir Mas.

Hantu Laut said...

The specie had been re-classified as 'Chromolaena odorata' .There are many species under the family.Reportedly indigenous to South America and introduced to India an other countries just after the a 2nd World War.The species in Malaysia could be indigenous to this country.It is considered a weed as it grows and spreads easily in almost any type of soil.That's why you can find them in abundance in every forests.

Zawi said...

Hantu Laut,
Thanks for the info. You are most helpful. I may edit the blog to include the new info.

Wiz said...

I have learnt so much in one posting of yours than in my entire existence. Now I know who to ask if confronted with unidentified species(to me all pun unidentified, never really got to learn the names of palnts)and to decide if they are safe or otherwise. You make me want to explore jungle now. The farthest I would go for now is probably my front yard! It's a safari there, with uncut grass and lallangs, gosh, you'll never know what you'll find in my front yard. :o)

J.T. said...

Hi Zawi

This is a very informative post. There should be a documentary on TV for something like this.

We live in a modern world and as the years pass, we will slowly forget the traditional medicines which are chemical-free. Those tourists certainly learned quite a bit from you.

I enjoyed reading the comments go between you and anonymous (SL). You should consider his idea of marketing it.

It is a pity I cannot bring those plants over here and grow it myself. Even if I could, I may not get past the customs check point. I am too honest with my declaration of goods brought in. :D
It is better to declare than get caught with it.

Anonymous said...

Pak Zaki and Pak Hantulaut,

Interesting article you got there and to be more precise the 'kapalterbang' you mentioned is chromolaena odorata (eupatorium odoratum) is no longer in use. It is a.k.a. 'putihan' in Indonesia.

Zawi said...

We are all learning all the time. The day we die, then only we stop learning. There is so much to learn and there is only this much that we can learn within our life span so we must be selective in what to learn since trying to learn everything is impossible.
There are so many people who are willing to help us, all we need to do is ask. I will help wherever I can and will seek other's help wherever I can't help you myself. So far so many people has been helpful including Hantu Laut and Akmal who seems to be so knowledgeable.

Zawi said...

I am glad you found the posting as informative. The many contributions from others has made it even better. I guess there may have been documentaries made on such things as herbal medicines as it has been in practise for so long and has been well documented, only that we may have missed it.
If I dont take up the act of producing the herbal product as suggested by SL, I sincerely somebody else will. Its too good to miss such an opportunity.
There should be more people like you around who would declare fully as to what you carry in your baggage when you cross a border especially so when it is against the law. In that way an indigenous species will remain in the country where the plant is found. On the otherside of the coin, bringing some indigenous species to another contry may preserve the continuity of the species. More often than not, certain valuable plants became extinct because the original country where it is found do not care to preserve it themselves.
I enjoy giving useful informations to my guests when they are on a trek with me. They seems to enjoy it too. Experiential learning is the best form of educating the younger people.

Zawi said...

Thank you for the info. I guess the plant is found all over South East Asia.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...


It's very informative and educational. What am gonna do is print it out and keep it in my file.

Thank you for sharing this info with us.

tokasid said...

Salam Pak zawi:

Whoa! Sure bring back my childhood memories back in Merbok and Taiping.

Personally I knew only about daun sirih for nose bleeding and daun kapal terbang for bleeding( before gamat became a hit). And the papaya seeds, dried, for worm infestation.

My Tok(grandma) used to tell me what is for what regarding the plants in the kampong, but I was in primary school then and didn't give a hoot about it.

traditional medicine using plants were used for they are in abundance in the kampongs. The knowledge were handed down from generations with decades of experience by our forefathers.Hopefully , our academicians in USM or UPM can come up with a scientific study how these plants act and help healing of illnesses.It would be interesting to know the medical,and chemical basis. Most probably our forefathers did a lot of R&D on this matter before coming to a firm conclusion of the medicinal properties these plants had.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Pak Zawi
Can't resist to send an immediate comment after seeing the gelugor shoot. What a timely piece. Last nite, I had a humongous apetite. I ate five plates of rice and 3 ikan goreng biasa (not celup tepung). I also had sotong kuah hitam, sambal belacan and lots of ulam that looks exactly like the gelugor shoot. But my Wan said it is serai kayu which she uses in preparing nasi kerabu, and my sis-in-law who bought it from the local grocery shop calls it daun samak kelat. Are they one and the same? Will have it again for dinner tonite

trueblue said...

Pak Zawi,
Except for the sireh, I've never heard of the rest. Thanks for sharing. Very informative indeed.

Zawi said...

kak ton,
Thanx for visiting. I am happy that what I wrote is of any use to anybody especailly KLites like you where such plants may not be easily available and medical help is just a phone call away. But it will be handy when you are wandering out of KL area and knowlegde of anything useful definitely will come handy one day.

Zawi said...

Hey I dont know everything too. Now I must thank you for sharing the info that papaya seeds are good for deworming. All I know is that papain from papaya is the best meat softener. We use it to make tough meat edible by marinating it with papaya leaves.
Lots of work has been done to study and document the various herbal medicines of Malaysia. It is only that not much publicity is given to the work. Thus great works by our researchers becomes obscure. Of late the government has realized the importance of herbal medicines as an important economic income to the nation and set up the Herbal Corporation under MIGHT. Lots of mony is allocated to such an entity but how much is done is still unknown to the public.
Not many knows that the lowly daun kesom produces one of the best aromatics but extracting it in sufficient quantity is still a feat. Those who successfully master the technique will become the most sought after aromatic oil even by the best perfume producer of France.

Zawi said...

I am happy to share anything with you.

Zawi said...

a malaysian in riyadh,
Serai kayu and daun semak kelat is one and tha same thing. Nasi kerabu wont taste like nasi kerabu without it. I will always ensure that my nasi kerabu will have a complete condiment of kerabu,
- pucuk serai kayu
- daun kesom
- mentimun
- bunga kantan
- kacang panjang
all nicely sliced and mixed. Some people dont take kesom for some reasons or another.
If you have daun serai kayu, then you have the perfect recipe for nasi kerabu.