Wednesday, March 24, 2010

RAIN TREE (Samanea saman Merr.)

One of my colleagues told me that the fruit of the rain tree had a very "interesting" name in the Malay language. At first I had thought it was the Golden Shower tree which I did a post on previously. However, when I showed him the fruit from the Golden Shower tree, he told me that it wasn't the one. He said the flowers were pink and continued to give me a description of the plant. I also used the name that he provided me with to find the botanic name for this particular tree. For those who wish to know, the name of the fruit is in the last picture.

Plant information:
Common names: Acacia, Rain Tree, Monkey Pod, Saman. 5 0'clock Tree, Ki Hujan
Botanic name: Samanea saman Merr.

Traditional Uses

In the Phillipines
· Acute bacillary dysentery, enteritis, diarrhea: use 15 to 30 gms dried material in decoction.
· Also for colds, sore throat, headache.
· A decoction of the inner bark or fresh cambium and leaves is used to treat diarrhea.
· Anaphylactic dermatitis, eczema, skin pruritus: use decoction of fresh material and apply as external wash.
· Latex used as gum arabic for gluing
In Venezuala,
. The rain tree is a traditional remedy for colds, diarrhea, headache, intestinal ailments and stomach ache.
· Root decoction used in hot baths for stomach cancer.
In the West Indies,
· The leaf infusion is used as a laxative and seeds chewed for sore throat.
· The alcoholic extract of leaves used for tuberculosis.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


These lavendar flowers were on sale at a stall in Brinchang, Cameron Highlands.
I saw these pots of lavendar plants sold at one of the tourist centres. I think they cost RM 12.00 per pot.
Common name: Lavendar
Botanic names: Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavandula officinalis

Medicinal use
Lavender is used extensively in herbalism and aromatherapy.

Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. These extracts are also used as fragrances for bath products.



The beautiful and bright yellow flowers seem to be showering down from the tree

The dried fruit falling on the ground. When the fruit is young, it is green.
A new tree sprouting from near the other Golden Shower Trees at the compound of the Manjung hospital.
The dried fruits which I have collected and brought back to the school libary to exhibit near the Herb Corner.

I have noticed this beautiful tree growing in Ipoh but only had the chance to take pictures of it today when I visited little Nana in the hospital. You can find quite a number of the golden shower tree planted at the compound. This beautiful tree which is Thailand's national tree has cascading racemes of fragrant, brilliant yellow flowers.

Botanic name: Cassia fistula Linnaeus
Common names: Indian laburnum, Pudding-pipe, Golden shower tree

In Ayurvedic medicine, Golden Shower Tree is known as aragvadha ("disease killer"). Its fruitpulp is used as mild laxative, against fevers, arthritis, vatavyadhi (nervous system diseases), all kinds of rakta-pitta (bleeding, such as hematemesis or hemorrhages), as well as cardiac conditions and stomach problems such as acid reflux. The root is considered a very strong purgative, and self-medication or any use without medical supervision is strongly advised against in Ayurvedic texts.


Saturday, March 20, 2010


Botanical name: Fragaria vesca (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Rosaceae
Traditional Medicinal Uses
For medicinal purposes all parts of the plants are used.
  1. In Armenian folk medicinal practice strawberry was used for better appetite, and to stabilize digestion. The leave decoction is used against menstrual bleedings, ulcer, gastritis, anemia, hypertonic and heart diseases, and atherosclerosis.
  2. In Germany the leaves are used against gallstone, neural and spleen diseases, gastritis, bronchial asthma, sleeplessness, haemorrhoids, bad mouth smell, etc.
  3. In a number of countries strawberry is used against colitis, jaundice, ulcers, rachitis and other diseases.
  4. In scientific medicine it is proven the diuretic, resolvent qualities which are effective to cure gallstone and gastritis. The plant is also proven to have antibiotic and fitocidic qualities.
  5. Strawberry is also widely used in cosmetics to get rid of pimples, spots from the face. In these cases strawberry juice is mixed with egg yolk (1 tea-spoon of juice to 1 egg yolk) and put on the face.

These are folk remedies and are no guarantee is made as to either their effectiveness, or their safety.


These are pictures of the lovely anthurium flowers (Anthurium andreanum) that I took during my visit to Cameron Highlands. It is also referred to as "Flamingo Flower" and "Boy Flower". As far as I know, there does not seem to be any medicinal uses for the anthurium. It is commonly used as an ornamental house plant in Malaysia.
Is there any one who might know of some medicinal uses for the anthurium?
Gambar-gambar bunga Anthurium (Anthurium andreanum) ditangkap semasa lawatan saya ke Cameron Highlands? Pokok ini juga diberi nama "Flamingo Flower" dan "Boy Flower". Setahu saya, tiada kegunaan perubatan untuk Anthurium. Ia digunakan sebagai tanaman hiasan di Malaysia.
Ada sesiapa yang memiliki pengetahuan tentang kegunaan perubatan untuk Anthurium?


When I first bought this plant for my mum in 2004, the trader told me that it was called mini apple tree. At that time my knowledge of plants was very minimal and hence I took his word for it as the fruit looked like small green apples.
It was later that I found out that this plant is called Indian Jujube (Ziziphus mauritiana). My elders always keep telling me that we will never stop learning until the day we cross over to the other side. Hmm ... will we stop learning then? Anyway, this post is about the Indian jujube and not about the hereafter and so let's not digress.

Here is some information about the plant:

Common names: Indian jujube, Chinese date, Indian plum, Indian cherry, Malay jujube
Scientific name: Ziziphus mauritania

Medicinal Uses:
  • The fruits are applied on cuts and ulcers; are employed in pulmonary ailments and fevers; and, mixed with salt and chili peppers, are given in indigestion and biliousness.

  • The dried ripe fruit is a mild laxative.

  • The seeds are sedative and are taken, sometimes with buttermilk, to halt nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pains in pregnancy. They check diarrhea, and are poulticed on wounds. Mixed with oil, they are rubbed on rheumatic areas.

  • The leaves are applied as poultices and are helpful in liver troubles, asthma and fever and, together with catechu, are administered when an astringent is needed, as on wounds.

  • The bitter, astringent bark decoction is taken to halt diarrhea and dysentery and relieve gingivitis. The bark paste is applied on sores.

  • The root is purgative. A root decoction is given as a febrifuge, taenicide and emmenagogue, and the powdered root is dusted on wounds. Juice of the root bark is said to alleviate gout and rheumatism. Strong doses of the bark or root may be toxic. An infusion of the flowers serves as an eye lotion.



Common names: Sanjeevani, Selaginella

Botanic name: Selaginella_bryopteris

Genus: Selaginella

Family: Selaginellaceae

Uses in Indian Traditional Medicine
Selaginella bryopteris (L.) Baker, popularly known as sanjeevani is a lythophytic plant with medicinal properties. The popular name "Sanjeevani" which translates as "One that infuses life" derives from the medicinal properties.

Traditionally the plants have been used in India :

1. as a relief from heat stroke and the burning sensation during urination;
2. for restorating menstrual irregularities to normal and applied topically to pregnant women;
3. for aiding in easy delivery;
4. for treating jaundice.
**Note that the factual basis for such treatments is still unknown.


Common name/Nama bunga: Gerbera; Gerbera daisy, African daisy
Scientific name/Nama saintifik: Gerbera jamesonii H. Bolus ex Hook. f.
Family/Famili: Asteraceae
Plant extract used in cosmetic and bath preparations showing skin moisturizing and conditioning effects.
Ekstrak pokok digunakan dalam kosmetik dan ramuan untuk mandian untuk kulit.


This school holidays, I went on a day trip to Cameron Highlands with my mum. I enjoyed looking at the lovely flowers, fruits and vegetables there. Of course, I took quite a number of photographs too and will be writing about some of the plants in blog. So please do visit!
Cuti ini saya membuat lawatan sehari ke Cameron Highlands dengan ibu kesayangan saya. Di sana saya dapat menikmati keindahan bunga-bunga, buah-buahan dan sayur-sayuran. Saya akan menulis tentang beberapa pokok dalam blog ini.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I was attracted to the beautiful pink flowers growing abundantly from this shrub which was up for sale at the Farmer's Market. The trader had provided the botanic name for it. Actually a small plant in a polybag was selling for RM10 each. The big plant in the pot costs RM380.

Versi Bahasa Melayu
Saya terpikat dengan bunga berwarna merah jambu yang tumbuh dengan banyak pada pokok renek ini yang dijual di Pasar Tani. Nama botani pokok ini telah di bekalkan oleh penjual. Satu pokok kecil yang ditanam dalam polybag berharga RM10. Pokok besar dijual dengan harga RM380.

Common names/Nama tempatan: Fringe flower, Chinese witchhazel, Loropetalum
Botanic name/Nama botani: Loropetalum chinensis var. rubrum
Family/Famili: Hamamelidaceae

Name Origin for Loropetalum or "Fringe Flower" :
Both the common name, "fringe-flower" and the Latin name, "loropetalum" derive from the appearance of loropetalum's flower, the petals (petalon, in Greek) of which resemble fringe or little straps (loron, in Greek).

Versi Bahasa Melayu: Asal usul nama Loropetalum atau "Fringe Flower"
Kedua-dua nama tempatan, "Fringe-flower" dan nama Latin, "Loropetalum" didapati daripada bentuk bunga pokok ini. Kelopok (petolon dalam bahasa Yunani) adalah seperti fringe (loron dalam bahasa Yunani).


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


My Aunt May was the one who taught me how to make this dish using coconut flower buds, from the male plant, which are small and in clusters. Actually the coconut flower buds are scalded and used as one of the ingredients for kerabu. However, they usually taste bitter. If we fry the flower buds according to how my aunt taught me, they become less bitter and tastier. There are health benefits if we eat the flower buds of the male flower. I was told that it helps to treat diabetes and to get rid of gas (angin).

This dish that I cooked above is very easy to make. You just need to fry about 3 pips of chopped garlic, add two eggs and then add the flower buds. Stir and then add salt and pepper. Finally before taking out from the wok, you add the strips of crab sticks.