Gingers In Malay Traditional Medicine For Women Health Care

Author

* Halijah Ibrahim & Hassan, R., Shafie, H., Johari, J., Muda, M.A. & * Ong, H.C. * Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Proceeding

1st International Conference & Exhibition on Women's Health & Asian Traditional (WHAT) Medicine

Date

23/8/2005

Keyword

gingers, traditional malay medicine, women health care, post-partum medicine, post-natal care , alternative cures

Abstract

Of the 1,200 medicinal plant species reported for Peninsular Malaysia, approximately 35 species are from the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). The use of applied ethnobotany and documentation of ethnic knowledge and their practices is considered a possible way to ensure the sustainable utilization of Malaysia’s rich biodiversity. The present investigation focuses on the gingers used in Malay traditional medicine for women health care. For this study a total of 287 families from 102 villages representing 29 districts of 5 states covering the East Coast, West Coast and South West region of Peninsular Malaysia were carefully selected and an ethnobotanical survey was conducted. Results showed that of the 35 medicinal gingers recorded for Peninsular Malaysia, less than 20 species are being used for women health care. Most of the medicinal gingers are cultivated species with few wild or semi-wild types. Many medicinal gingers are reported to be carminative and these are utilized as treatment for women-related ailments or healthcare such as post-partum medicine, post-natal care or as alternative cures for inflammation, aching joints, hypertension, flatulence, skin infections etc. The results of the study also bring to light the interesting variations in utilization of the same species among the Malay communities from the different states in Peninsular Malaysia. Details of utilization and preparations of these medicines will be presented.