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Bunga Pakma

Plant Part Used

Perianth lobar or the fresh or dried flower bud. (1)

Active Constituents

No information is available.

Introduction

Rafflesia hasseltii is a family of Rafflesiaeae. The plant has no apparent differentiation of leaves, stems or root and does not contain chlorophyll. They are true parasites; they receive all nourishment from fine root hairs embedded in the host vine. It grows exclusively from a woody vine called Tetrastigma. The vegetative bodies of this species begins development inside their plant host's stem or roots. The plant body is almost entirely within the host plant.

The rafflesia can be seen only when it is ready to reproduce (it is in the form of a lump or a structure resembling cabbage). The unique thing about the rafflesia family is that they produce the largest flower of any angiosperma.(up to 3-4 feet) (2) , (3) , (4) and weighs up to 36 pounds. (5) The flower is very large, very thick and fleshy but does not last very long (less than 4-7 days). (6) The flowers have a strong smell of rotting flesh. The flower is radially symmetrical and inside it there is a spike disk, to which either stigma or stamens are attached, depending on the sex of the plant. Its sepals are very large with no petals and numerous stamen, without stalk arranged around a fleshy column, the top of which form the stigma. The fleshy flower releases a strong aroma which smells like rotting flesh. The flower can be male or female, but on observation it was found that the male flower released this aroma more than the female flower. (7) , (8) The smell can be noticed within a few feet of the flower. Scientists believe that the aroma lures the insects from hundreds of feet away.

While it is blooming, carrion flies and other insect pollinators visit and shuttle the pollen from male to female flowers. The flower and fruit are the only parts of the plant outside the tissue of the host plant. The fruit produced by Rafflesia is round and about 15cm in diameter, filled with smooth flesh and thousands of tiny hard coated seeds. The flesh attracts squirrels and tree shrews which are thought to be the main distributors of the seeds. The plant is found in the jungle of Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and the Philippines. (9) It grows only on the roots and stems of two species of vines belonging to the grape family; Tetrastigma leucostaphylum and T. diepenhostii. (10)

In peninsular Malaysia, flower buds are sold as traditional medicines. These buds are seen as a sign of fertility, and are given to help mothers recover after birth.

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

There is no dosage range available with Rafflesia hasseltii Suringar. It is used in the form of dried cut material.

Most Common Dosage

There is no dosage range available with Rafflesia hasseltii Suringar. It is used in the form of dried cut material.

Standardization

No standard marker reported.

Toxicities & Precautions

General

No information is available.

Side Effects

No information is available.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

No report on safety use in children, pregnancy or elderly.

Age Limitations

Safety in young people and the elderly has not been established.

Pharmacology

To date, there is no known pharmacological study done to confirm rafflesia’s activity.

Reported Uses:

Use only described in folk medicine, not supported by experimental or clinical data.
The flower is used as an astringent and as an aphrodisiac for women. It is also reported to be used for medication after birth (purifies uterus), after menstruation and to expedite delivery. (11)

Water extract of this forest cabbage is used for treating haemoroid and dysentery. The fresh flower buds are pounded, mixed with henna leaves (Lawsonia inermis L.) and shaped into small balls and is used in reducing body weight. The perianth lobar tea is used by women after birth. It is also used for other diseases by mixing with other medicinal plants in a certain proportion. (12)

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  1)  Safety

References

  1. Saleh AN, Saleh N, Sur RH. A traditional Medicinal Plant Found In penisular Malaysia. Medicinal Products From tropical Rain Forests. Proceedings of the Conference May 13-15. Publisher: Forest Research Institute Malaysia. Kepong, 52109 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 1991
  2. Milius S. The Science of Big, Weird Flowers. Science News. Sep1999;156:172-174.
  3. Raising a stink. Current Science. Jan2001;86(9):1,2
  4. Heywood VH, ed. Flowering Plants of the world. New York: Oxford University Press; 1993.
  5. What a stinker. National Geographic World. Mar2000;295:3.
  6. Bloom KA. Sumatra's forest floor erupts with the biggest flowers on the earth. International Wildlife. Mar92;22(2):18.
  7. Singapore Zoological Gardens. 2000. Plants of the rainforest: Rafflesia. Apr2003. http://www.szgdocent.org/ff/f-praff.htm
  8. Nais J. Rafflesis of the world. Sabah Parks. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. 2001.
  9. Milius S. The Science of Big, Weird Flowers. Science News. Sep1999;156:172-174.
  10. Malaysian Herbal Monograph. Volume 1. Published by the Malaysian Monograph Committee. Kuala Lumpur. 1999.
  11. Malaysian Herbal Monograph. Volume 1. Published by the Malaysian Monograph Committee. Kuala Lumpur. 1999.
  12. Saleh AN, Saleh N, Sur RH. A traditional Medicinal Plant Found In penisular Malaysia. Medicinal Products From tropical Rain Forests. Proceedings of the Conference May 13-15. Publisher: Forest Research Institute Malaysia. Kepong, 52109 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 1991

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