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Introduction - Herba

 

kaya herba bm intro

Tropical Rain Forest in Peninsular Malaysia is one of the most complex ecosystems in the world. It is also a natural heritage of God's creation, very unique and has existed over millions of years. It is rich in various plants and wildlife, including 2,500 species including trees, 200 species of mammals, 600 species of birds, 110 species of snakes and thousands of insects. Herbs are very unique and invaluable treasure. Among the herbs that can be found in the forests around the state of Johor are:

No Local Name Scientific Name Family
1 Kapas Hantu Abroma augusta Linn Sterculiaceae
2 Akar Saga Abrus precatorius Leguminosae
3 Hempedu Bumi Andrographis paniculata Acanthaceae
4 Jerangau Acorus calamus L. Araceae
5 Lidah Buaya Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f Liliaceane
6 Kayu Manis Cinnamomum verum Lauraceae
7 Kunyit Curcuma domestica Loir Zingiberaceae
8 Lengkuas Alphinia galanga (L.) Willd Zingiberaceae
9 Pegaga Centella asiatica (L.) Urban Umbelliferae
10 Serai Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf. Graminae
11 Serai Wangi Cymbopogon nardus (L.) rendle Graminae
12 Tutup Bumi Elephantopus scaber L. Compositae
13 Ekor Kucing Acalypha hispida Euphorbiaceae
14 Kucing Galak Acalypha indica Euphorbiaceae
 
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Devill's Cotton

kapashantu1

Scientific name : Abroma augusta Linn.

Common name : Devill's cotton

Local name : Kapas Hantu

Family : Sterculiaceae

 

Introduction:

Abroma augusta, or Devil's Cotton, is an evergreen tree native from Asia to Australia. This tree is common in many parts of India. It is also found in Pakistan and many Asian countries.

Plant Description:

They will reach 2.5 m in height with very little spread. The leaves will reach 20cm across and are 3-5 lobed with very distinct palmate veins. The leaves and stems are covered with soft bristly hairs that are very irritating to the touch. The bark yields a jute-like fiber. The flowers are 5 cm. in diameter. The sepals are lanceolate. The petals are 5 and purple to dark red, concave, and prolonged above into a large spoon shaped lamina. The seeds are many. The flowering season is July to August

 

Plant Habit:

A half woody plant, with irritant hairs, found usually in thickets, not rare in the Peninsula Malaysia.

 

Plant Parts Used:

Roots, leaves

 

Uses In Taditional Medicine:

In Ayurveda the juice of fresh leaves is very useful in female diseases of uterus and menstruation. It regulates the menstrual flow and acts as an uterine tonic. Fresh and dried root-bark is used as uterine tonic and regulates menstrual flow. Fresh juice from root- bark is useful in congestive and neuralgic forms of dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, urinary trouble and bronchitis. Leaf is used in diabetes, rheumatic pain and sinusitis. In Bali it is used as a plaster against scabies.

Rosary Pea

akarsaga

Scientific Name : Abrus precatorius

Common Name : Rosary Pea, Jequerity, Crab's Eye, Precatory Bean, Gunja,Ratti

Local Name : Akar saga

Family : Leguminosae

 

Introduction:

Is a perennial climber that twines around trees and shrubs. It is a legume with long, pinnate-leafleted leaves. It is also known as Gunja in Sanskrit and some Indian languages and Ratti in Hindi. The plant is best known for its seeds, which are used as beads and which are toxic due to the presence of abrin. The plant is native to Indonesia and grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world where it has been introduced. It has a tendency to become weedy and invasive where it has been introduced. The seed pod curls back when it opens and reveals the seeds. The seeds are flat and truncate shaped, 1.5 to 2cm long, with attractive scarlet colour. They are highly poisonous.

 

Plant Description:

High-climbing, twining, or trailing woody vine with slender herbaceous branches. Flowers shaped like pea flowers, white to pink or reddish and small.

 

Plant Parts Used:

Seeds, Leaves and Roots

 

Uses In Traditional Medicine:

Seeds are aphrodisiac, antimicrobial, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, purgative, refrigerant and sedative. Seeds are highly poisonous. Roots are used for gonorrhea and jaundice. The oil extracted from seeds is said to promote the growth of human hair. The seeds are used as a contraceptive, to treat diabetes and chronic nephritis.

Raja Pahit

hempedubumi

Scientific name : Andrographis paniculata

Common name : Raja Pahit

Local name : Hempedu bumi

Family : Acanthaceae

 

Introduction:

his annual herb is indigenous to Southeast Asia, China and India. Because of its efficient reproductive capacity, it is considered a weed in many regions. This plant has been used for centuries in a number of cures in countries like China, India and Java. However, only recently was its actual potentialities discovered and has since captured the herbal and pharmaceutical market. It is now considered as a new promising herb for many ailments and is being tested for the treatment of many diseases including HIV,AIDs and the myriad symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders.

 

Plant Description:

Hempedu bumi is commonly found growing wildly in wastelands and grasslands. In Malaysia, hempedu bumi is normally grown in backyard gardens or pots for medicinal purposes. Although this is a very hardy plant and can survive and adapt itself in a variety of soil conditions.

 

Plant Habit:

Hempedu bumi is commonly found growing wildly in wastelands and grasslands. In Malaysia, hempedu bumi is normally grown in backyard gardens or pots for medicinal purposes. Although this is a very hardy plant and can survive and adapt itself in a variety of soil conditions.

 

Plant Parts Used:

Leaves, whole plant

 

Uses In Traditional Medicine:

This herb is given as analgesic, laxative, expectorant, digestive, stomachic and also used for treating diabetes, fever, worm infections, chronic bronchitis, leprosy, flatulence, colic, dysentery, and skin disease (eg burns, wounds, ulcers). It is also good remedy for treating snake-bite and female disorder.

Sweet Flag

jerangau

Scientific name : Acorus calamus L.

Common name : Calamus root

Local name : Jerangau

Family : Araceae

 

Introduction:

Jerangau has a very long history of medicinal use and is widely employed in modern herbal medicine as an aromatic stimulant and a mild tonic . It has been used in Asia for at least the last 2 millennia by the Chinese and Indians. In Malaysia, it is cultivated in backyard gardens of both the Malays and the Indians, where it is mainly used externally as a poultice or as a lotion.

Plant Description:

Jerangau root is a vigorous perennial herb growing up to a height of 1.0 m. It composes of many long, slender, grasslike leaves rising directly from a rhizomes. The leaves are equitantly arranged, simple, glabrous, green with an entire, linear leaf blade. The leaf venation is parallel and its insertion sheating. The leaf is aromatic. The rhizome is very fragrant, containing an aromatic volatile oil. In section, the rhizome is white in color and very fibrous.

Plant Habit:

This plant inhabits wet areas like streams and around pond and lakes.

Plant Parts Used:

Rhizomes

Uses In Traditional Medicine:

Jerangau is reported to be used for their antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antiseptic and emetic. The rhizome is used as a remedy for flatulence, colic, dyspepsia and intermittent fevers, rheumatism, nerve diseases, bowel complaints, dysentery in children, bronchial infection and athma. Calamus oil is used for preparation of aromatic cordials, liquors, flavoring beer and making perfumes.

Aloe Vera

lidahbuaya

Scientific name : Acorus calamus L.

Common name : Calamus root

Local name : Jerangau

Family : Araceae

 

Introduction:

Due to its exceptional healing properties, Aloe vera is also known as “the lily of the desert”, “the plant of immortality”, “the first aid plant”, and “the miracle plant” It is also one of the mst important crude drugs of history and is still extensively used in modern medicine.

 

Plant Description:

Aloe vera is a succulent perennial herb growing up to a height of 45-50 cm. The light green leaves are rosettely arranged and very fleshy. The leaves are lanceolate, glabrous with spinous apice, a sheathing base and a prickly margin. The veneation is absent and the leaf sheath is tubular in form, acting as a pseudostem. The flower stalk can grow up to a height of 1 m long which then terminates in an elongated cluster of down-pointed yellow to orange-red flowers.

 

Plant Habit:

This plant is native to tropical Africa and Mediterranean regions where it can be found growing wildly in dry, sunny and sandy spots. In Malaysia, it is commonly grown in home gardens .

 

Plant Parts Used:

Leaves 

Uses In Traditional Medicine:

Aloe vera is traditionally used for treatment of constipation, edema, eczema, pertussis, burns, pain, swelling, wounds, dyspepsia, coughs, asthma, nervous diseases, leukemia, lung canser, piles and colics. It is also used as and antibiotic, antiseptic, cathartic and purgative.

Ceylon Cinnamon

kayumanis

Scientific name : Cinnamomum verum

Common name : Ceylon cinnamon

Local name : Kayu manis

Family : Lauraceae

 

Introduction:

Cinnamon, indigenous to Sri Lanka, is one of the most ancient spices and is mentioned in the Bible.

 

Plant Description:

This tree when fully grown can reach up to a height of 6m and occasionally there are trees that even grow to 12m. The trunk is stout, about 30-60 cm in diameter and when matured it is covered with a thick grey bark. The branches of this tree are naturally low set and very bushy. The leaf apice is acute and its base rounded to acute The matured leaves measure about 7-10 cm long and 3-5 cm wide. The leaves are deep green in color with 3 conspicous longitudinal veins. The young leaves of the flush are reddish in color which later turns to lighter green and then finally to its deep green in color.

 

Plant Habit:

This plant is normally cultivated in Malaysia. It can be found growing semi-wildly in Sri Lanka in moist lowlands to an elevation of 2,000 feet . Cinnamon is propagated either by seeds or by cuttings.

 

Plant Parts Used:

Bark,Leaves

 

Uses In Traditional Medicine:

The plant possesses antifungal and antibacterial actions. The volatile oil has antiviral and hypotensive activity whilst the bark is used for dyspepsia, flatulence, dysentery, bronchitis and gangrene of the lungs. The bruised bark is steamed and used externally as a fomentation on boils and abscesses. The oil is a useful application for acute and chronic rheumatism. Cinnamon is also given for cramps of stomach, toothache and paralysis of the tongue and used in massive doses in the treatment of cancer. In China, the dried bark and twigs are medicinally used, especially combined with other medicinal plants to treat cancer, high blood pressure and stomach troubles.

Tumeric

kunyit

Scientific name : Curcuma domestica Loir.

Common name : Tumeric

Local name : Kunyit

Family : Zingiberaceae

 

Introduction:

Turmeric, the spice that gives the distinctive yellow color to many Malay and Indian curry dishes, has been used as dye, in folk medicine and flavoring since 600 BC. It has been recorded in the Assyrian herbal circa about 2500 years ago. The plant is considered as one of the most valuable herbs to mankind. To the traditional folk medicine of India, turmeric is considered as an excellent natural antibiotics while at the same time it is also used to strengthen digestion and help improve intestinal flora. The plant native to Southeast Asia and is currently cultivated commercially in China, India, Indochina and Indonesia.

 

Plant Description:

Tumeric is a perennial herb, growing to a height of about 1 m. The leaves are borne in a tuft, alternately arrange , light green in color. The leaves are glabrous, elliptical lanceolate in shape with an entire margin. The petioles are rather long, ending into a broad leaf sheath, which act as a pseudostem. The rhizomes are aromatic, orange-brown in color on the outside and bright orange in the inside. The tubers are elliptical in shape, fleshy, white in color and grow vertically downwards.

 

Plant Habit:

In Malaysia , tumeric is normally cultivated in home gardens. Kunyit is propagated asexually through rhizome separation. Tumeric will grow well in mild shade but produces larger and better rhizomes when grown in open and exposed to full sunlight.

 

Plant Part Used:

Rhizomes

 

Uses In Traditional Medicine:

The plant is used as an anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, antihelmintic, bactericide, fungicide, stimulant and for treating sprains, ringworms, scabies, neuralgia and rheumatism. It is also used as an insect repellent. The dried tumeric rhizome is commonly used as a condiment and to prepare a yellow color dye. In Malaysia, tumeric is used as a cosmetic during traditional ceremonies. It is an important ingredient in local cooking, eg curry. Tumeric prepared with oil is used to smoothen rough skin, and with lime, it is used to treat bruises sprains and wounds. A decoction made from tumeric is used as a cooling eye-wash. Tumeric boiled with milk and sugar is a popular remedy for colds. When mixed with sesame oil and honey, it is used as a tonic. A poultice of the rhizomes is applied to the breast for stimulating milk flow.

Lengkuas Besar

lengkuas

Scientific name : Alphinia galanga (L.) Willd.

Common name : Lengkuas besar

Local name : Lengkuas

Family : Zingiberaceae

 

Introduction:

Turmeric, the spice that gives the distinctive yellow color to many Malay and Indian curry dishes, has been used as dye, in folk medicine and flavoring since 600 BC. It has been recorded in the Assyrian herbal circa about 2500 years ago. The plant is considered as one of the most valuable herbs to mankind. To the traditional folk medicine of India, turmeric is considered as an excellent natural antibiotics while at the same time it is also used to strengthen digestion and help improve intestinal flora. The plant native to Southeast Asia and is currently cultivated commercially in China, India, Indochina and Indonesia.

 

Plant Description:

This plant is widely cultivated in tropical Asia where it is commonly used as a spice and in traditional medicine. This medicinal value of this crop was discovered and documented in India as early as 600 AD and therefore lengkuas is believed to have originated from that country. Other than its used in the Ayurvedic medicine, the Malaysian, for centuries as a medicine. Lengkuas rhizome is also the sources of the essential oil, cineol

 

Plant Habit:

Lengkuas is a perennial, erect tall herb that grows up to a height of 2-3 m. The leaves are simple, glabrous and green. The leaf blades are linear-elliptical with and entire margin. The rhizomes are creeping, thick, aromatic and robust.

 

Plant Parts Used:

Rhizomes

 

Uses In Traditional Medicine:

The rhizome of lengkuas is used for stomachic properties. An infusion of the rhizome is used for treating rheumatism, fever, impotency, bronchitis, dyspepsia and diabetes. The juice of the rhizome is given with human urine for cobra-bite poisoning. A paste prepared with a little garlic and vinegar is used as a remedy for herpes.

 

Asiatic Pennywort

pegaga

Scientific name : Centella asiatica (L.) Urban.

Common name : Asiatic Pennywort, Gotu Kola

Local name : Pegaga

Family : Umbelliferae

 

Introduction:

This plant and its preparation have been in use since ancient times especially in the Ayurvedic medical system of India and in the folk medicine of China and Madagascar. It is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the most important medicinal plant species to be conserved and cultivated. In Malaysia, although it has been used by our traditional healers in their herbal remedies, but its popularity is confined more as a traditional vegetable or an 'ulam' especially among the Malay communities rather than a medicinal plant.

 

Plant Description:

Pegaga is a small, annual, slender, creeping herb. It has long-stalked, green leaves with rounded apices which have smooth texture with palmately netted veins. At the moment there are three distinguishable pegaga subspecies namely Pegaga salad, Pegaga kerinting or nyonya and Pegaga biasa or pegaga ubi. The recommended race for commercial production at this stage is pegaga ubi.

 

Plant Habit:

Pegaga grows wildly under a wide range of conditions, some races prefer light shade, while others do well in open sunny areas. Some even grow under more harsh conditions like on stone walls. In the wild, most of these plant are found in wet or moist surrounding like swamps, along the margins of lakes, ponds and have also been seen growing in paddy fields .

 

Plant Parts Used:

Whole plant, aerial parts, roots

Lemongrass

serai

Scientific name : Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf.

Common name : Lemongrass

Local name : Serai makan

Family : Graminae

 

Introduction:

Lemongrass is a fragrant tropical grass, closely related to Citronella. It is said to be indigenous to India where it has been cultivated for its oil since 1888. The strong lemon odour of the oil contained in the leaves is responsible for its nomenclature. Due to its characteristic smell, the oil is extensively used for scenting soaps, detergents and other product. This crop is one of the chief sources of citral, whick is an important raw material for perfumery, confectionery and beverages.

 

Plant Description:

Lemongrass is a tall fragrant perennial grass, throwing out dense fascicles of leaves from a stout rhizome. It can grow up to a height of 1 m. The leaves are sessile, simple, green, linear, equintantly arranged and can grow to an average size of 40cm long x 1.0cm wide. The leaf is glabrous, venation parallel with acuminate apice and sheathing base. The leaf sheath is tubular in form and acts as a pseudostem. This plant produces flowers at a very matured stage of growth. The rhizome is stout, creeping, robust and creamish yellow in section.

 

Plant Habit:

Lemongrass grows wildly in many tropical countries of Asia, America and Africa. In Malaysia, it is normally cultivated in home gardens. Lemongrass is a very hardy crop and can adapt itself to a variety of soil and climatic conditions. However, for high oil content, it was reported that the most suitable conditions for growth are well-aerated soils with good fertiliy

 

Plant Parts Used:

Leaves, stem, root

Citronella

seraiwangi

Scientific name : Cymbopogon nardus (L.) rendle.

Common name: Citronella

Local name : Serai wangi

Family : Graminae

 

Introduction:

Citronella is a tall fragrant tropical grass, closely related to the lemongrass (Citronella citratus). Citronella, the more aromatic of the two, is normally applied externally while lemongrass is confined to internal use. The oil is often used in lotion, soaps and as an insect repellent. It is said to be native to India and Sri Lanka and was introduced only quite recently to Malaysia.

 

Plant Description:

Citronella is a tall fragrant perennial grass, throwing out dense fascicles of leaves from a stout rhizome. It can grow up to a height of 1-1.5m. The leaves are sessile , simple, green, linear, equitantly arranged and can grow to an average size of 60cm long x 2.5 cm wide. The leaf is glabrous, venation parallel with an acuminate apice and sheathing base. The leaf sheath is tubular and acts as a pseudostem.The rhizome is stout, creeping, robust and creamish yellow in section.

 

Plant Habit:

Citronella grows wildly in many tropical countries of Asia, America and Africa. In Malaysia, it is normally cultivated in home gardens. Citronella is a very hardly crop and can be adapted to a variety of soil and climatic conditions. However, it thrives on well-aerated soils with good fertility. This crops cannot withstand water-logged conditions and shade; therefore open areas are best suited for its cultivation.

 

Bahagian Yang Digunakan:

Leaves

 

Uses InTraditional Medicine:

Citronella oil is used as a rubefacient. The roots are  diuretic and  sudorific. It is a mosquito repellent and is used in perfumery and soap-making. In Malaysia, the volatile oil of Citronella is given in small doses to confort the stomach and to aid digestion. A decoction of the citronella leaves with Gendarusa and betel-pepper is being used as an after childbirth wash

Elephant's Foot

tutupbumi

Scientific name : Elephantopus scaber L.

Common name : Elephant's foot/Solomon's seal

Local name : Tutup bumi/Tapak Sulaiman

Family : Compositae

 

Introduction:

Because of its leaf form which lies flat on the ground and covers more than its share of space; the Malays equate it with the pentacle seal of Solomon by which confines the jins underground. As Solomon's seal, it is traditionally reputed to be potent for all diseases. So far, this crop has not been domesticated in Malaysia, but collected from the wild by traditional healers for preparing herbal remedies

 

Plant Description:

These are erect, stiff, perennial herbs growing up to a height of 50cm. The leaves are mostly concentrated on the lower portion of the stem and arranged in a rosette manner. The leaves are slightly serrated, covered with white hairs, variable in shape and size, oblonged or rounded near the tip and narrower to the base. The petiole are very short and hairy.

Plant Habit:

These plant can be found growing wildly on roadside, grassy fields and forest borders.This herb can be propagated easily through seeds. The seeds are collected by enclosing the flowers with a piece of paper. The seeds are minute and very light and therefore during sowing they are normally mixed with loose dampen soil and then  sprinkled on the nursery beds. Germination success is about 70-80%.

Plant Parts Used:

Whole herb, roots.

Red Hot Cat's Tail

 

ekorkucing

Scientific name : Acalypha hispida

Common name : Red hot cat's tail

Local name : Ekor kucing

Family : Euphorbiaceae

 

Introduction:

The plant originated in Oceania, but has become naturalized to multiple countries in North America, including the United States, Mexico, and Belize.

 

Plant Description:

It can grow to be six to twelve feet (1.8-3.7 meters) tall. The plant is dioecious, and therefore there are distinct male and female members of the species. The female plant bears pistillate flowers which range in color from purple to bright red, and grow in clusters along catkins. This feature is the primary reason the plant bears the nickname "red-hot cat tail".

 

Plant Habit:

The plant has become somewhat domesticated, due to the nature and color of its flowers. It can be grown from seeds as well as from cuttings.

 

Plant Parts Used:

Root,Flowers and Leaves

 

Uses In Traditional Medicine:

Leaves are used as a poultice for leprosy. A decoction of the leaves and flowers is applied as an emollient to wounds and ulcers and is given internally as a laxative and diuretic in gonorrhea. The bark appears to act as an expectorant and so to relieve asthma. The leaves are astringent and flowers employed against diarrhea.

Indian Copperleaf

 

kucinggalak

Scientific name : Acalypha indica

Common name : Indian copperleaf, India acalypha

Local name : Kucing Galak, Cika Mas

Family : Euphorbiaceae

 

Introduction:

It occurs throughout tropical Africa and South Africa, in India and Sri Lanka, as well as in Yemen and Pakistan. In West and East Africa the plant is used as a medicinal plant. In West Africa the leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. It is also browsed by cattle.This plant is held in high esteem in traditional Tamil Siddha medicine as it is believed to rejuvenate the body. Throughout the area where the plant grows, it is widely known for it's effect on domestic cats, which react very strongly to the root of the plant.

 

Plant Description:

An annual, erect herb, up to 1 m high. Leaves 2.5-7.5 cm long, ovate or rhomboid-ovate, crenate-serrate. Flowers in numerous lax, erect, elongated axillary spikes, the male minute, clustered near the summit of the spike, the females scattered, surrounded by a large

 

Plant Habit:

A herb found in fields and waste places throughout the hotter part. In Peninsular Malaysia, it occurs in the more settled part.