Traditional Knowledge and Botanical Description of Edible Bitter Plants from Besut, Terengganu, Malaysia
Most elders in Malaysia prefer to consume ulam as side dishes with rice. The bitter taste of ulam attracts people to give good perception in certain plants and use them for alternative medicine or supplement. Most of them believe, bitter plants have good potential in medicinal aspect and contribute great benefits for human. They also believe, by eating bitter vegetables they may improve their health condition. Our objectives are to figure out the right scientific name and their botanical description of the bitter plant species consumed by the locals. Secondly, we investigate the traditional knowledge and method uses by the locals in consuming the bitter plants. To achieve this, we conducted a survey by interviewed 50 respondents for traditional knowledge on wild edible bitter plants commonly used by villagers based on purposive sampling. After plants identification in the field, botanical descriptions were documented and herbarium specimens were prepared. The keys and iconographies from experts had been referred and details were most helpful. From our research, we identified 17 species from 15 families of the edible bitter plants as alternative medicine by villagers. The botanical description of 17 species were successfully made as an important source for better reference related to edible bitter plants in Besut. Traditional knowledge of elders had been revealed, where it will be useful for research and development of sustainable natural product of edible bitter plants in future.