Thursday, November 26, 2009


Nama tempatan: Daun mangkuk, semangkuk, Daun Belangkas, Shield aralia
Nama Saintifik: Polyscias scutellaria (Burm. f.) Fosberg
Khasiat ubatan:
  • Air rebusan daun diminum untuk melawaskan air kencing dan merangsang tubuh supaya cepat berpeluh.
  • Daun matang dicampur air didih dan diminum untuk merawat bengkak buah dada.
  • Daun yang segar dimasukkan ke dalam air mendidih buat seketika, dikeluarkan dn ditampal pada perut untuk merangsang buang air kecil.
Kegunaan lain:
Daun digunakan sebagai mangkuk ataupun alas kuih.
Sumber rujukan:
Tanaman Hiasan: Khasiat Makanan dan Ubatan oleh Ong Hean Chooi (2006)


Common names: Anthurium, Flamingo Flower, Boy Flower
Scientific name: Anthurium andreanum
Genus: Anthurium
Family: Araceae


Common Names: Turk's cap, sleeping hibiscus, cardinal's hat, Max Mallow, Malvaviscus
Scientific name: Malvaviscus arboreus
Family: Malvaceae (mallow Family)


I was taking pictures of some plant with big pink flowers at a plant stall when one old Malay man (in white tee-shirt in the last picture) told me that the name of the plant was Janda Baik. According to him, this plant is commonly found in his kampung and he had an interesting tale to tell about it. He said that unmarried or single ladies would grow the Janda Baik plant in their gardens as it is believed to attract marriage luck for them. Also when the flowers in the plant begin to bloom, the lady who can get a fragrant smell coming from it would expect to be getting married soon. He told me to smell the flower but I couldn't get any smell. Sigh!!! Maybe I need to grow the plant in my garden first and wait for it to next flower. Anyway, the trader told me that the plant is usually called Janda Kaya instead of Janda Baik.

Here is more information about this plant:

Scientific name: Mussaenda phillioica Queen Sirikit
Common names: Bangkok Rose, Janda Kaya Merah Muda, Bunga Musenda Merah Muda
Family: Rubiaceae

There are many species and hybrids in Malaysia. The Light Pink Mussaenda is a hybrid named after Queen Sirikit. The plants can attain a height of 4 meters. Can be propogated by stem cuttings.
Folkloric- Plant is used for dysentery and snake bites.• Decoction of roots and leaves used for affections of the chest and lung.• Root and the while, full-grown sepals are used in jaundice.• Bark used for stomachache.• Externally, decoction of leaves used as emollient.• For influenza, scrappings of the bark of M. philippica and C. dichotoma are mixed; lemon extract is added to the juice strained and taken three times daily.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I took the pictures of the Rangoon Creeper (Quisqualis indica) or Akar Dani plant in Bahasa Melayu when I was back in my neighbourhood in Ipoh. It was so lovely and beautiful. It is also known as Burma Creeper. It also bears fruits. In Malaysia it is planted more as an ornamental plant but in the Phillipines it is used as traditional medicinal to kill worms and treat coughs, diarrhea and body pains. In India it is used to treat flatulence.

Medicinal uses:
In the Philippines, the parts of the plant are taken to rid people of parasitic worms. Some also use these to help alleviate coughs and diarrhea. The leaves are used to cure body pains by placing them on specific problematic areas of the body.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Nama tempatan (Common names): Ros Jepun, Moss-rose, Moss-rose Purslane, Time Fuul

Nama saintifik (Scientific name): Portulaca grandiflora hook.

Famili (Family): Portulacaceae

Daun tebal, berbentuk bulat memanjang. Bunga menyerupai bunga mawar. Kelopak bunga ada yang selapis atau banyak lapis berwarna merah, oren, merah jambu, putih dan kuning.

Khasiat ubatan:
Air rebusan daun dan ranting diminum untuk merawat pelbagai kecederaan, sakit kerongkong, meningkirkan darah yang bertakung, mengatasi sakit, menurunkan bengkak, dan melegakan radang.
Daun dan rantingnya yang segar dihancurkan dan ditampal pada tempat bisul, penyakit kulit, lecur dan ruam.

The leaves are thick and fleshy, arranged alternately or in small clusters. The flowers resemble roses.The flowers have five petals, variably red, orange, pink, white, and yellow.Numerous cultivars have additional petals variation of colours.
Medicinal uses:
Drinking water boiled with the leaves and stems of the plant will help treat various injuries, sore throat, blood clots, relieves pain, swellings.
The crushed leaves and stems can be applied to boils, skin conditions, burns and rashes.

Rujukan (References):

Tanaman Hiasan: Khasiat Makanan dan Ubatan oleh Ong Hean Chooi.


Common names: Lemuni, Leggundi, Lagundi, Five-leaved chaste tree, Nirgundi
Scientific name: Vitex negundo
Plant description
The Lemuni plant can grow up to five meters tall. It can be described as a cross between a shrub and a tree with a single woody stem (trunk). It has pointed leaves with five leaflets set like a hand.

Medicinal uses:
  • Relief of asthma & pharyngitis
  • Recommended relief of rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, diarrhea
  • Treatment of cough, colds, fever and flu and other bronchopulmonary disorders
  • Alleviate symptoms of chicken Pox
  • Removal of worms, and boils



I first saw this fruit at the market this morning. It was so attractive that I had to ask the trader for its name. She told me that it was called 'Chiew Choy Kor' or literally translated to mean 'luck ushering fruit'. She told me that she and her husband got the fruits from hills and that they will last a long time. I bought two bunches for my mum to put on her altar as offering to our house deities.
I am guessing that it is from the same species as the torch flower or bunga kantan as the fruit smells a lot like it. Perhaps my learned visitor could fill me in on its botanic name?


I am pictured with my mum's ZZ plant in our house in Ipoh. It has been placed near the window outside our living room and I told my mum not to move it as it is supposed to purify the air instead of giving our poisonous gases. It will be okay as long as our dog does not eat the leaves which I doubt it will as the plant has been there for ages.

Monday, November 23, 2009


The nice old lady living next to me told me that my other neighbour told her to get rid of all the ZZ plants or Eternity plants (Zamioculcas zamifolia) in her garden as she said that they were poisonous. Today the daughter-in-law of my mum's neighbour told her not to place the ZZ plant inside the house as it is supposed to give out poisonous gases.

I can remember my same neighbour wanting me to give her some shoots of the ZZ plant in my garden a couple years back as she said that they were supposed to bring good luck to the household. Now this turnaround. How the fate of this plant has changed!

Anyway I am not one to just BELIEVE if someone tells me so especially if that someone is not an expert on the subject. I have already done a post about this particular plant but am doing a more detailed one here since I wanted to findout more. I did a search in the Internet and I can tell my mum not to move the ZZ plant from its place near the window. Also my mum is not in the habit of eating the ornamental plants that she grows in her garden. As far as I know my dog, Angel, does not fancy eating the plant either. Furthermore, I believe cats and dogs have an innate sense of what greens to eat and what not to eat for their survival.

Here is information about the plant.

Scientific name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia

Common names:
ZZ plant, Eternity plant, Fat Boy, Aroid palm, Zu Zu plant, Succulent philodendron , Golden tree, Arum Fern

Family: Aroid

An evergreen plant that grows from a stout underground, succulent water-storing rhizome, attaining a height of 45-60 cm. Leaves are pinnate, 40-60 cm long, with 6-8 pairs of leaflets 7-15 cm long, smooth, shiny and dark green. Flowers are small bright yellow to brown on bronze spadix 5 cm long. ZZ is also called the Eternity Plant because it lasts an eternity.

Caution !
All parts of the plant are reported poisonous to humans and animals if ingested.

With its air-purifying quality, it is in the list of "Plants that Detoxify the Air."

Air-purifying: Research studies showed ZZ to be one of the plants most effective in counter-acting off-gassed chemicals and maintaining a balanced internal humidity.


Friday, November 20, 2009


Kee! Kee! Kee! The chillies above look like the male penis, don't they? Well, they are not a freak of nature but are from a species of chillies called Peter Pepper (scientific name capsicum annuum var. annuum ‘Peter’). The unusual plant originated from the southern states of America. Other names the plant is called include Chilli Willy, Penis Pepper and Penis Chilli. I read that the chillies are edible but people grow them more as ornamental plants. I am wondering how I can get my hands on the seeds so that I can plant them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


In Malaysia, the Frangipani is sometimes known as Graveyard Flower or Bunga kubur as it is a plant that is grown in a lot of cemeteries. There is also this local belief it is a favourite shelter of ghosts and demons. In Malay folklore, the scent of this flower has often been linked to the pontianak or vampire.

Here are some interesting facts about the Frangipani tree or the Tree of Life.

Common names: Frangipani, Plumeria, Tree of Life, Egg Flower, Bunga Kemboja, Hawaiian Lei Flower

Scientific name: Plumeria alba

The Chinese and Tibetans call this native fragrant beautiful flower, the ‘Egg Flower' because its coloration looks like a yolk being enwrapped in egg whites.Plumeria produces strongly fragrant flowers which are used in some expensive perfumes. The flowers are also important symbols in many cultures. Frangipani is known as the Tree of Life in India as a branch cut from the tree will continue to blossom and will grow into a new tree when placed in the ground. Frangipani was a favourite flower of Lord Krishna.

•After being sun-dried, the beautiful, fragrant Egg Flowers can also be made into a sweet tasting tea, which is normally called Egg Flower tea;
•Chinese, Tibetans, Koreans also use this flower in Egg Flower Soup because of its curative features.
•The tea has effects of reducing fever.
•Good for wiping out diarrhea.
•Cleaning the lungs and detoxification.
•Traditionally the milky sap is applied to fresh wounds as a disinfectant, so the tea has some anti-bacterial qualities.
•Frangipani and Jasmine, two of the world's most fragrant flowers, together with or without bath salt in a hot bath create an aromatic, delightful experience.
•Mix frangipani and Jasmine flowers with bath salt and a little coconut oil for a great spa skin rub. Watch your skin glow as the scented salt rubs off dead skin cells. Moisturizing and anti-bacterial, it is especially suited for oily skin.
•In aromatherapy, Frangipani oil assists in restoring peace & harmony.



These beautiful cacti are planted in front of the STESMA school hall and one of my visitors supplied the scientific name for it.
Common name: Spineless agave, Lion's tail, Swan's neck, foxtail, Spineless Century Plant
Scientific name: AGAVE ATTENUATA
Family: Agavaceae

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


In front of the Herb Garden
At the back of the Herb Garden
Curry leaves plant
With my student, Amin, next to the Bebuas plant
Jarak Pagar
Very hot and so had to use my shawl as headcover
Inai plant
In front of the Green House
Here are some pictures of me in the school Herb Garden. I am trying to add to the number of herbs in the garden. Sometimes the ones that we have seem to die off and then I have to find some to replace them.
Di sini ada gambar-gambar saya yang ditangkap di Taman Herba. Saya sentiasa cuba untuk menambah jenis-jenis herba dalam taman ini. Kadang-kadang ada juga pokok-pokok yang mati dan saya terpaksa mencari jenis yang sama untuk ganti.


Lemuni leaves (Daun lemuni)
Lemuni Rice (Nasi lemuni)
Membuat kerabu
Gaul ramuan kerabu
Nasi kerabu with other dishes (Nasi kerabu berlauk)
My colleagues and I try to promote the use of the herbs in our school as much as we can. Today we made nasi lemuni and kerabu from a few of the herbs that could be found in the Herb Garden. We used the lemuni leaves to make nasi lemuni. The herbs used for the kerabu include bebuas, serai, mengkudu, pegaga, daun kaduk and bunga kantan. We also added bean sprouts, long beans and grated coconut to make it tastier.
If you want the recipes, do let me know by leaving a comment.
Saya dan rakan kerja sentiasa cuba mempromosi penggunaan herba di sekolah. Hari ini kami memasak nasi lemuni dan kerabu daripada beberapa jenis herba yang terdapat dari Taman Herba. Daun lemuni digunakkan untuk memasak nasi lemuni. Herba-herba untuk kerabu termasuk daun bebusa, serai, mengkudu, pegaga, daun jkaduk dan bunga kantan. Kami juga campur taugeh, kacang panjang dan kelapa parut yang dibeli.
Kalau anda berminat untuk mendapatkan resipe, sila tinggalkan pesanan di ruang komen.