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.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Herbs in Malay traditional medicine

Despite the establishment of modern medicine, traditional medicine is still one of the most famous healing methods that are sought by many Malay people.

Traditional Malay medicines have been greatly influenced since ancient times by traders from Indonesia, India, Middle East and China.

Before the advent of Islam in the Malay States, Malay traditional medicine was largely influenced by the beliefs and practice existing then, which included chanting and the use of supernatural powers.

Basically, traditional healers use various methods of curing or treating patients who suffer from various illnesses. Medicinal plants are one of the bases in traditional medicine.

Out of 12000 species of vascular plants, 10% or approximately 1200 species are reported to have medicinal properties.

There are many species of medicinal plants used in traditional medicine. This includes:
*Erigeron linifolius (Kembang pagi) – for treating itchiness and peeling of skin.
*Tagetes spp. (bunga tahi ayam) – to clear giddiness
*Illicium tenuifolium (Kacip fatimah _ reducing discharge deu to leucorrhoea

Other common plants used known as Mas cotek, serapat angin and telinga beruk. Different parts of the plant are used traditional to that various kinds of ailment. The fruit are chewed to relive headache, toothache and cold. Powdered root and leaves of the plant has been applied externally to wounds and sores.

Certain popular plants can boost vitality and prevent ageing, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension are mengkudu (Morinda citrifolia), petai (Parkia speciosa), pegaga (Centella asiatica) and tongkat ali or long jack.

In traditional medicine, interest in spices such as cumin, fennel seeds, pepper and trimetric is gaining momentum and some products and process have been patented and commercialized.
Herbs in Malay traditional medicine
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