July 17, 2014

Stories from Miri : Looking for KACIP FATIMAH?

For many years in Miri, women, young and old went around school compounds, public gardens looking for kacip fatimah.

I was really curious about it when I was still in the teaching service, how some of our school staff actually picked them and made some money.

However the interest has dwindled  now as more and more of the manufactured products have become more readily available. But I have not taken any of it yet.

According to wikipedia, Labisia pumila (kacip fatimah) is a flowering plant in the Primulaceae family native to Malaysia. It is a small woody and leafy plant that grows and can be found widely in the shade of forest floors. It is considered to be the female version of Tongkat Ali. The leaves are about 20 cm (7.9 in) long.

While the men in most parts of Malaysia are fond of taking Tongkat Ali, many women are interested in consuming kacip fatimah after child birth to regain strength. The tea is also used to enhance vitality, overcome tiredness and help tone vaginal walls after childbirth.
 A word of caution thought, as the plant contains phytoestrogens, it is not to be taken by pregnant woemn or during periods of menstruation.

Some references:
  1. Singh GD, Ganjoo M, Youssouf MS, Koul A, Sharma R, Singh S, Sangwan PL, Koul S, Ahamad DB, Johri RK. Sub-acute toxicity evaluation of an aqueous extract of Labisia pumila, a Malaysian herb. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2009 Oct;47(10):2661-5. PMID 19654032
  2. Karimi E, Jaafar HZ, Ahmad S. Phytochemical analysis and antimicrobial activities of methanolic extracts of leaf, stem and root from different varieties of Labisa pumila Benth. Molecules. 2011 May 27;16(6):4438-50. PMID 21623314
  3. Ali Z, Khan IA. Alkyl phenols and saponins from the roots of Labisia pumila (Kacip Fatimah). Phytochemistry. 2011 Nov;72(16):2075-80. PMID 21784496

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