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KACIP FATIMAH
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Green Leaves
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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
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Kacip Fatimah found from different states of Malaysia

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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

Tropical 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

When should I take Kacip Fatimah ?

Kacip Fatimah can be taken by 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

How does Kacip Fatimah helps women with post menopause ?

Clinical studies have suggested the usefulness of KF extract 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.