Traditional Malay medicine encompasses various kinds of ritual ceremonies intended to communicate with the world of spirits to determine whether the nature of an illness is physical or psychological. In such ceremonies, the aim is to summon and exorcise the spirits causing illness. A ritualist serves as a medium, and a small ensemble often provides the musical component.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Petai – Parkia speciosa

Petai – Parkia speciosa
The tree is tall buttressed, leaves bipinnate; leaflets 20-35 pairs on side stalks; flowers very small, crowded on pear shaped head, pods large, flattened and twisted, with onion smell, edible.

It is fresh local salad or ‘ulam’ is widely accepted as a kind of food in our menu served during lunch or dinner.

Petai can be eaten raw. Petai also used in sambal or as a vegetable. Fresh petai is very rich in vitamin and fiber. They are believed to have medicinal values for.

The tree of petai about forty five feet high, is grown for its seeds. These seeds have an offensive smell but the people eat them either raw or toasted. The odour of this vegetable is present in urine passed after eating.

The beans grow in clusters of several pods, with the swollen seeds clearly visible though the bright green aid. The pod, which contains about 10-18 large seeds or beans, is opened by pulling the “strings” of each side and twisting.

The seeds contain about 70% water, 11-17% carbohydrates, 9% protein, 1.8-8% fat, 1% fiber, alkaloids, calcium, cystine, iron, lectin, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur compounds, tannin, thioproline, provitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C.

The seeds are used in the treatment of diabetes, hepatalgia, hypertension, nephritis, edema, stomach and intestinal worms.

The leaves are used to treat jaundice.
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