Tropical Leaves

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KACIP FATIMAH
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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

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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