Plants For Women's Health Used By The Orang Asli Ethnic Groups

Author

Zainon Abu Samah & Rasadah Mohd Ali, Medicinal Plants Programme, Biotechnology Division, Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), 52109 Kepong , Selangor D.E. Malaysia

Proceeding

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

Date

23/8/2005

Keyword

Orang Asli, Ethnobotany, women health

Abstract

Ethnobotanical studies have been conducted among six different Orang Asli ethnic groups in Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 285 species of useful plants have been noted. Out of that only 30 species are being used by Orang Asli’s women for their health. The plants are mainly used as treatment after childbirth, body maintenance and cosmetic purposes. The ethnobotanical data of all these species were recorded and the plant samples were collected for herbarium specimen, ex-situ conservation and laboratory testing. The collection was mainly herbaceous and small plants.  Families with the highest number used by the women for their health were Rubiaceae (4 species), Zingiberaceae, Myrsinaceae, Leguminosae (2 species in each) and Rafflesiaceae (2 species). One species each was recorded from 17 families. The wildings were planted and conserved at FRIM’s Ethnobotanic Garden. During the visits, about 500gm of fresh plants of selected species were also collected for laboratory tests at FRIM.