Scientific name: Malestoma malabathricum L.
Bahasa Indonesia: Harendong
Bahasa Batak : Sanduduk
Malestoma malabathricum L., also known as Indian-rhododendron or Singapore Rhododendron, is a flowering plant in the family Melastomataceae. It is a small tree or shrub that can reach up to 5 meters in height and is native to Southeast Asia, India, and Australia.
The leaves of Malestoma malabathricum L. are dark green, glossy, and elliptical in shape, with a length of 7-15 cm and a width of 3-8 cm. The plant produces pink to purple flowers, which are about 2-3 cm in diameter and have four or five petals.
Malestoma malabathricum L. is known for its medicinal properties and is used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, including fever, inflammation, and diarrhea. The plant contains several bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, tannins, and phenolic acids, which are believed to contribute to its medicinal properties.
Malestoma malabathricum L. is also used in landscaping and horticulture due to its attractive foliage and flowers. However, it should be noted that the plant can become invasive in some areas and may pose a threat to native flora.
Malestoma malabathricum L. is a medicinal plant that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various ailments. Here are some of the health benefits associated with this plant:
- Anti-inflammatory properties: The plant contains several compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Antioxidant activity: Malestoma malabathricum L. is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect cells from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Anti-diabetic effects: Some studies have suggested that the plant may have anti-diabetic effects, which may help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Antimicrobial activity: The plant has been found to have antimicrobial activity against a range of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, which may make it useful in the treatment of infections.
- Wound healing properties: Malestoma malabathricum L. has been traditionally used to promote wound healing, and some studies have suggested that it may have beneficial effects on skin health.
To use Malestoma malabathricum L., the leaves and bark can be boiled in water to make a tea or decoction. The tea can be consumed orally or applied topically to the skin. The plant can also be taken in the form of supplements or extracts, but it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal supplements.
A fun fact about Malestoma malabathricum L. is that its fruit is edible and is used in some Southeast Asian cuisines. The fruit is a small, red, round berry that is sweet and slightly tart in taste. In Malaysia, the fruit is called “buah gelam” and is used to make a popular local drink called “Air Gelam,” which is believed to have cooling properties and is consumed to relieve thirst and heatiness. The leaves of the plant are also used to flavor dishes in some Southeast Asian cuisines.