Alternative Medicine from Edible Bitter Plants of Besut, Malaysia

Nor Asiah Awang, Abdul Manaf Ali, Nashriyah Mat

Abstract

In Besut, there were elders who believed the bitter tasted vegetables may provide medicinal benefits. However, discontinuity of their knowledge to young generations leads to its deterioration. Since there still no documentation done on the consumption of edible bitter plants of Besut, this research conducted to reveal their knowledge of consuming edible, bitter and native plants for medicinal purposes. From the field visit and conversation, a list of accessions was made, continued by analysis for frequencies it has been used and dendrogram of linkage between purposes of the studied plants as alternative medicine by using IBM SPSS Statistics 20 software and bar chart plotted by using Microsoft Excel. There were 15 native families comprised of 17 plants species consumed for treating 31 types of diseases. The highest percentage of diseases treated represented by digestion problems, 64.7 %. The species of Syzygium polyanthum (serai kayu) and Nypa fruticans (nipah) found as highest uses among all the studied plants. The value of Pearson correlation, r =0.633, showed positive correlation between the purposes of treating diabetes and digestion problems at the significant level, p =0.01. Based on the dendrogram, there was nearest linkage at the distance of 3/25 in a cluster of 3; Crateva religiosa (dala), Oroxylum indicum (beka) and Tylopilus felleus (kulat gelam) which were used for treating hypertension, diabetes and poor food appetite. Bitter taste from the plants was stimulating positive perception of people to eat them as alternative medicine. Beside the leafy vegetables, mushroom also had been consumed as healing food.

Keywords

Edible bitter plants, alternative medicine, Besut

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