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Tropical Leaves

LEARN MORE ABOUT KACIP FATIMAH

Foggy Forest

Where does Kacip Fatimah grow in the forest ?

Kacip Fatimah is a flowering plant in the family Primulaceae native to Malaysia and it is part of a genus of approximately 7 species and is found in Southeast Asia in the lowlands and hill forests of Malaysia at an altitude of 300 to 700m. It grows widely in the shade of the tropical forest floor. This herb plant thrives is shady and high humidity places. The plant thrives under the shade, away from direct sunlight, and grows well in moist or loamy soil. This is a relatively slow growing herb. 

 

It is a small subherbaceous perennial with creeping stems growing from 30 to 40 cm in height. The leaves are elliptical-lanceolate in shape. The upper side of the leaf is dark green and the underside is light green to reddish-purple. The whole leaf can be more than 30 cm long and 13 cm wide. The clustered white to pink flowers are 6 to 30 cm long with sepals, petals, and stamens. The flowers produce a round, bright red to purple fruit 0.5 cm in diameter when ripe. It propagates by its rhizomes, leaves and/or seeds, and when cultivated is harvested about a year after planting.

The plant is indigenous to Malaysia, but also found in Sumatra, Java and Borneo. Three varieties of Labisia pumila have been described: var. alata, var. lanceolata and var. pumila

Source credit: https://www.drugs.com/npp/kacip-fatimah.html

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Kacip Fatimah found from different states of Malaysia

Regions of Tongkat Ali in Malaysia

Components of Kacip Fatimah plant

The major components of the plant are benzoquinoid compounds contained in the root and leaves, alkenyl resorcinols, and triterpenoid compounds. Antioxidant components include ascorbic acid or vitamin C, beta carotene, anthocyanins (also responsible for color of flowers, fruits, and berries), and flavonoids. The root also has high iron content. There are numerous scientific researches on Kacip Fatimah carried out to identify the bioactive phytochemicals that contribute to the pharmacological properties. Recently, phyto-chemical studies identified flavonoid, isoflavonoid and phenolic compounds as bioactive ingredients in leaf extracts of the three varieties of Kacip Fatimah. Flavonoids mainly apigenin, kaempferol, rutin and myricetin were identified along with phenolic contents such as gallic acid, pyrogallol and caffeic acid

Source credit: https://www.drugs.com/npp/kacip-fatimah.html

Which part of Kacip Fatimah is used?

The whole plant

The leaves, roots, or whole plant is traditionally boiled and the water extraction is taken as a drink.  For capsules and powder, the leaves, branches and roots are grinded to a soluble form. Scientific studies found that the medicinal properties and biological activities of Kacip Fatimah are due to the presence of phyto-estrogen (plant estrogen) that is naturally found in this plant

Source credit: https://www.forestry.gov.my/en/tumbuhan-ubatan/item/kacip-fatimah

Wet Leaves

History of Kacip Fatimah

Kacip Fatimah has been traditionally used for centuries and is still commonly consumed by Malay women in Malaysia for many generations in childbirth in inducing and easing delivery, as a post partum medication to help the birth channel, to regain body strength, regulate the menstrual cycle and to alleviate menopausal symptoms. 

 

Other traditional uses include treating dysentery, rheumatism, and gonorrhoea. This plant will also help to firm the abdominal muscles.

A decoction of the leaves and roots is administered 1 to 2 months before childbirth to help strengthen and tone abdominal muscles and the vaginal wall and tissue and consumed to promote strength after childbirth. The herb also promotes emotional well-being, reduces fatigue, and increases libido and energy. 

The Malaysian government is providing support for research on the safety and efficacy of Kacip Fatimah because of the vast traditional usage over generations

Source credit: https://www.drugs.com/npp/kacip-fatimah.html

Now that you have a better understanding
of Kacip Fatimah, let's go into questions people often ask

What are phytoestrogens?

Phytoestrogens are compounds that naturally occur in plants. “Phyto-” is a Greek root word meaning “plant.” Estrogen is a female hormone that regulates functions in both women and men. Phytoestrogens, though plant-based, function much like animal estrogen in humans. A plant-based diet is very rich in natural phytoestrogens in healthy amounts, especially from soy. To a limited extent, phytoestrogens could serve as a type of natural hormone replacement therapy. This is especially the case with phytoestrogen supplements. Because they mimic your body’s own estrogen, phytoestrogens accomplish some of the same things. Other potential benefits of phytoestrogens include:

Relief from hot flashes

Perimenopause, which is also known as early menopause is a reproductive stage in a person’s life that usually starts in their 40s. During this time, perimenopausal women stop making many female hormones. This includes, but isn’t limited to, estrogen. This transitions into a time when a person’s periods will stop for at least 12 months. This is known as menopause. Perimenopause can bring on many uncomfortable symptoms. These include hot flashes, changes in mood, and decreased libido. These symptoms may continue after menopause. One 2014 review of studies showed that phytoestrogens greatly reduced hot flashes. Other research, have also found positive effects for hot flashes and other perimenopausal symptoms.

Osteoporosis prevention

Other studies show that phytoestrogens could help prevent bone loss in aging women. Natural estrogen is known to help maintain normal bone density. When women age, estrogen levels drop, making them more vulnerable to osteoporosis. As phytoestrogens act much like estrogen, taking them may prevent this from happening. 

Menstrual relief

Some women use phytoestrogens as natural or herbal remedies for relieving menstrual issues or irregularities. Estrogen levels can drop during certain times of the menstrual cycle, causing uncomfortable symptoms. If estrogen can be replaced (like with phytoestrogens or through a pill), these symptoms may be relieved. 

Acne treatment

Treating acne with phytoestrogens may also be possible. The idea is that estrogen counters androgens (male hormones), which can contribute to acne in women. As phytoestrogens act similarly to estrogen, they may counter androgens and relieve or prevent acne as a result. 

As with any nutrients, it’s best to get phytoestrogens naturally from plant-based foods or herbs. In recent years, synthetic estrogen has received a bad rap for negative side effects. This includes increased risks for obesity, cancer, reproductive disorders, and cardiovascular diseases. But such risks haven’t been proven while consuming plant-based phytoestrogens. One example is soy, a plant-based source of protein that also contains a group of phytoestrogens called isoflavones. Long-term clinical studies have shown that soy isn’t linked to an increased risk of breast cancer — and that it may also be helpful for people who live with it. One 2009 studyTrusted Source concluded that soy foods were found to decrease breast cancer recurrence and death. Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions surrounding phytoestrogen-containing foods, including that they could increase the risk of certain cancers.

In fact, 2020 review of studies found that phytoestrogens may actually have a protective effect for the following cancers:

  • breast cancer

  • colorectal cancer

  • endometrial cancer

While more evidence is needed, research has found the possibility of improved cardiovascular and bone health from phytoestrogens. 2019 studyTrusted Source also looked at soy isoflavone consumption in Asia, where a lower risk of both cardiovascular disease and dementia is hypothesised. One 2018 studyTrusted Source that looked at nearly 2,000 adults in the Mediterranean area found a possible link between dietary phytoestrogens and a reduced risk of hypertension. Another 2018 studyTrusted Source found that the risk of type 2 diabetes was reduced in women who took phytoestrogens.

 

Thus far, a diet rich in plant foods poses only health benefits. There are no known health risks from eating more plant foods.

Source credit: https://www.healthline.com/health/phytoestrogens

Why are phytoestrogen in Kacip Fatimah important for women?

Phytoestrogen is a plant substance that has varying degrees of estrogenic activity. These plant substances may or may not be structurally similar to gonadal estradiol 17~. There are three main groups of phytoestrogen e.g. isoflavones and lignans, coumestans, and resorcyclic acid lactones. Active isoflavones include daidzein and genistein. Phytoestrogens are metabolised to active forms after consumption so there may be wide variations in the available blood levels of any given individual. Major sources of phytoestrogens are soy and red clover. Kacip Fatimah has been shown to contain phytoestrogens. Other plants that contain phytoestrogens include soy, whole grain cereals, seeds, berries and nuts (mainly lignans). The interest on plant estrogens has increased considerably since there is controversy about the safety of hormone replacement therapy. The Women's Health Initiative, a large randomised trial evaluating the use of hormone replacement therapy, demonstrated that the use of combined estrogen/progestagen for more than 5 years is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, stroke and venous thromboembolism. As a result, phytoestrogens are becoming popular in the treatment of menopause. 

Asian countries like Japan, China and Korea have a lower incidence of breast cancer compared to western countries. This was attributed to the fact that Asian population consumed traditional diets rich in plant food especially soy product which have a higher dietary 'intake of phytoestrogens. Vegetarian and traditional Japanese diets have approximately 4.5 times the amount of phytoestrogens than the average American diet. It has been observed that the risk of breast cancer increased after immigration from Asia to United States. This may be due to dietary changes after migration. Phytoestrogens may play a significant inhibitory role during the initiation and promotional phases of cancer development. It has hormone-like compounds that exhibit ability to bind with low affinity estrogen receptors but fail to elicit a full estrogenic response. A case control study was conducted by Ingram et al to investigate the association between phytoestrogens and human breast cancer. The result showed that a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer risk was associated with women who had a high urinary excretion over 72 hours of phytoestrogens equol and enterolactone.

Why hormonal imbalance cause weight gain & low libido in women?

Hormones are the responsibility of your endocrine system, which is a vital part of your overall health. They work efficiently, but slowly, so it may be difficult to know if you have a hormonal imbalance. Hormones affect processes like your metabolism, sexual function, growth, mood, and reproduction. 

Weight gain

Weight gain is the most obvious and common sign of a hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance can happen at any age, but more commonly when a woman enters menopause between 45 and 55 years old. This is when the estrogen hormone declines, which causes a woman to stop menstruating. An estrogen decrease can cause weight gain around this same time. These extra pounds tend to accumulate in your thighs and hips. As men age, their testosterone levels decrease, resulting in an increase in body fat and decrease in muscle mass. Weight gain is troubling because excess weight in your midsection can lead to heart disease, breathing problems, and even Type 2 diabetes. Hanging on to additional weight can also increase your risk of some types of cancers.

Loss of libido 

The hormonal imbalances found in menopause, perimenopause and post menopause, also result in the decline in sexual drive or low libido in women. The main hormone culprits are lower progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen, which often happens as women age or during menopause. Even younger women can feel the effect of a hormonal imbalance as it relates to their sex life. Low libido in women is the most common sexual complaint made by women.

Other hormonal imbalance symptoms,

If you’ve gained weight without an apparent cause, get your hormone levels checked by a professional. Some other signs of a hormonal imbalance to watch out for are:

  • Fatigue

  • Depression

  • Mood swings

  • Foggy memory

  • Headaches

  • Loss of libido

  • Chronic acne

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Irregular periods

Source Credit: https://www.medicinenet.com/can_hormonal_imbalance_cause_weight_gain/article.htm

How does Kacip Fatimah helps balance hormones?

Numerous studies have reported the health benefits of Kacip Fatimah on the prevention and treatment of diseases related to estrogen deficiencies caused by imbalanced hormones. The antioxidant property of Kacip Fatimah is one of the factors that contribute to the health benefits. Kacip Fatimah possess many antioxidant properties due to the abundance of these phytochemicals and most possess beneficial properties and are consistent in their traditional uses. Protecting against many chronic diseases and delaying the aging process are some to the key role of plant antioxidants. Phenolic compound is found in most plants, and this compound is known to possess potent antioxidant activity and has anticancer, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties to a greater or lesser extent. Phytoestrogen is also a compound that is naturally found in plants. They are found in a wide range of plant-based foods. A plant-based diet is very rich in natural phytoestrogen and in healthy amounts, it can promote health benefits towards women who are lacking in estrogen hormone.

Phytoestrogen possesses wide estrogenic biological properties and is self-prescribed as safe for dietary supplement for postmenopausal women. Due to the lack of estrogen hormone, there is an increase in risk of inflammation. Various epidemiological studies have shown the risk of developing osteoporosis in an inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, haematological disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. Kacip Fatimah has been proven to have the anti-inflammatory properties from the recent research and was shown to have the ability to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Source Credit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8460362/

Effects of Kacip Fatimah on Inflammation, Osteoporosis &
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Phytoestrogen possesses wide estrogenic biological properties and is self-prescribed as safe for dietary supplement for postmenopausal women. Due to the lack of estrogen hormone, there is an increase in risk of inflammation. Various epidemiological studies have shown the risk of developing osteoporosis in an inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, haematological disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. Kacip Fatimah has been proven to have the anti-inflammatory properties from the recent research and was shown to have the ability to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women

The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disease that affects women's hormonal levels. Women with PCOS produce higher amount of male hormones called androgen compared to normal women. This hormonal imbalance causes women with PCOS to skip their menstrual periods, and it is hard for them to get pregnant. One of the main reasons for PCOS development is obesity. It has been linked to many metabolic and reproductive disorders including PCOS. PCOS is a common endocrine disorder affecting to 10% of women in their reproductive age, and it is reported that the 40%–80% of PCOS are experiencing obesity. The key characteristic to determine whether they have PCOS is the presence of two of the three symptoms of hyperandrogenism, chronic anovulation, and polycystic ovaries. However, PCOS tends to present many metabolic disorders such as weight gain, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and abdominal adiposity. 

Kacip Fatimah had shown to improve the lipid profile of PCOS by reducing the total cholesterol and triglycerides levels in PCOS rat models. There are not many researches on Kacip Fatimah extract on PCOS treatment currently. However, acip Fatimah extract can be an alternative treatment for PCOS due to its low cost and safe for human consumption. Further study is needed in the treatment of PCOS with acip Fatimah.

Source Credit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8460362/

How does Kacip Fatimah helps women with post menopause?

Clinical studies have suggested the usefulness of Kacip Fatimah in treating postmenopausal symptoms with no acute toxicity.

A study done demonstrated a positive effect of 6 months supplementation of Kacip Fatimah in reducing triglyceride values among postmenopausal women and suggested it to be a useful alternative way for maintaining cardiovascular health. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study comparing the effects of a water extract of Kacip fatimah at 280mg/day with placebo were given for 6 months in postmenopausal Malay women. There were 29 patients treated with Kacip Fatimah out of the 34 patients in the placebo group. Menopausal symptoms were assessed at baseline and at 6 months. The blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference, fasting blood sugar, lipid profile, and hormonal profile (follicle stimulating hormone/luteinising hormone/estradiol) were measured during visits every two months.

 

ANCOVA model analysis showed significantly lower triglycerides levels in LP subjects at 6 months after treatment as compared to placebo (1.4 versus 1.9 mmol/L; adj. mean difference 0.5, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.89 after adjusted for the baseline values, age, BMI, and duration of menopause placebo). Other parameters in both groups did not differ significantly. In conclusion, daily intake of Kacip Fatimah at 280 mg/day for six months was found to provide benefit in reducing the triglyceride (TG) values.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

The number of women entering menopause has increased worldwide due to the increment of life expectancy. Women now live more than one third of their life in the menopausal years. The increase in life expectancy in women will predispose them to suffer from morbidities due to the loss of ovarian function. Menopause is associated with chronic conditions such as increased cardiovascular risk, osteoporosis, declined cognitive function and other problems linked with obesity. Postmenopausal women may also experience vasomotor symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness and urinary symptoms.

The current treatment for postmenopausal symptoms and diseases related to estrogen deficiency is hormone replacement therapy. However, recent studies have changed this practice due to adverse effects as regards to hormone replacement therapy (HRT). For this reason, there is tremendous growth in the use of alternative therapies to relieve postmenopausal symptoms. Many of the women who are prescribed hormone replacement therapy stop taking it or never commence taking it due to fear of associations with malignancy, unacceptable bleeding, or its side effects. Instead, they search for alternative ways of self-managing the postmenopausal symptoms or its long term consequences, such as increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and osteoporosis. 


Kacip Fatimah has been used widely in South East Asian communities for a variety of illnesses and in food supplements. Its exclusive use by women has led to the belief that it is a phytoestrogen, a compound with similar chemical structures to estrogen and is therefore able to relieve menopausal symptoms. Number of studies supported the use of Kacip Fatimah in the prevention of osteoporosis mainly due to its phytoestrogenic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. It was also postulated that this plant have certain effect either they are full estrogen agonists or antagonist or partial agonist. Theoretically, this plant extracts act by binding to the estrogen receptors and exerting weaker estrogenic effect compared to the female hormones. Researches have shown that Labisia pumila acts as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) which is a partial antagonist. In view of the initial evidence that it is a phytoestrogen, it is postulated that this plant have a beneficial effect to the postmenopausal women in terms of its positive effects on the lipids and hormonal profile.

 

 

Source credit: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/216525/

When should I take Kacip Fatimah?

Kacip Fatimah can be taken by any adult woman, pre and post menopausal women. Studies indicate dosages of up to 600 mg/day in women appeared safe. Most commercial formulations are 250mg capsules taken twice daily. Kacip Fatimah is  best to consume after meals

When to avoid taking Kacip Fatimah?

Side effects varies in each person's body. These are common. Some may experience dizziness or headaches after consuming. While some may experience an upset stomach. It lasts for a short while and goes away. This is quite normal as Tongkat Ali & Kacip Fatimah are quite strong herbs, the herb is still new to the body and it is taking its time to adjust. It is always recommended to start with a smaller dosage for any type you are taking and slowly progress you get used to it. Also, some have reported to have their menstrual cycle disrupted for the first 2 months. This is also normal as the body is regulating back the hormones. The irregularities should wear after a couple of months. However, it is advised to avoid use during period, pregnancy and lactation due to lack of sufficient clinical data. The herb also have an estrogen-like effects; avoid use in patients with estrogen-sensitive cancers or patients being treated with hormonal supplements 

There are so many choices, which should I be taking?

Our Kacip Fatimah products come in leaves & roots, powder, tea, capsules and extract. Our large range of products is catered to serve lifestyle. If you are a busy person that doesn't want too much hassle, you may opt for the capsules or extract or tea bags.  If prefer using it for longer periods and  having the time to boil it, you can take the leaves and roots or powder. All are 100% pure Kacip Fatimah with no added ingredients. As with all other types of traditional herbs, Kacip Fatimah should always be taken after meals. Make sure to not take any of these on an empty stomach as Kacip Fatimah is strong and those with weak stomach may feel uncomfortable

What are the benefits of Kacip Fatimah for women?

Regulates hormonal imbalance

Increases women’s libido & sexual desire

Alleviate menopausal symptoms

Firms abdominal muscles post partum

Regulates menstrual cycle & supports healthy female reproductive system

Phytoestrogen compounds helps reverse & delay the ageing process by promoting skin collagen synthesis

Beneficial effects on uterine function & maintain a healthy female reproductive system

Eases pre, post delivery & helps regain body strength post delivery

Reduces vaginal discharge caused by hormonal imbalance, leucorrhea & gonorrhea

Natural replacement of HRT for post menopause with proestrogenous components

Possess anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties

Phytoestrogen compound help with anti-osteoporosis & strengthening the bone structure

For more info on How to Consume Kacip Fatimah, 

go to  USAGE

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