5 Wild Plants for Traditional Medicine in West Papua

Meta Description: West Papua Is A Fertile Land Where Various Medicinal Plants Can Grow. Papuans Use Red Fruit, Sampare, And Sambiloto Leaves As Traditional Medicine.

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The soil of West Papua is so rich and fertile that enormous plants can grow well. No doubt, the tropical rainforest in this region becomes the heaven of herbs and medicinal plants. The local people collect the wild plants and use them as traditional medicine.

The research indicates that more than 90 species in Manokwari Regency are identified as medicinal plants. Locals use the wild plants for medicine simply by boiling or heating the plants. They commonly use a certain part of the plants, such as fruits, roots, leaves, seeds, or stems. 

Then, they use medicinal plants to heal various diseases and injuries. For instance, they use plants to cure fever, dermatological conditions, painful illnesses, or gastrointestinal disorders. Sometimes, they also use wild plants to treat burns and wounds.

Even the health sectors in Papua have been developed, locals still prefer using traditional curing rather than accessing modern medical facilities. Listed below are several wild plants usually used for traditional medicine in West Papua.

  • Sampare Leaves


The scientific name of this plant is Glochidion sp. This plant grows well in West Papua. Papuan ancestors have used these leaves to heal Malaria and fever. Until now, the locals have used the leaves of this plant as traditional medicine. 

Sampare leaves are rich in flavonoid, saponin, alkaloid, quinone, and tannin. The locals take advantage of this plant by boiling the leaves. In order to cure malaria, they use young Sampare leaves, wash them cleanly, and boil them. This boiled water is drunk twice a day until the malaria sufferer is recovered.

Furthermore, Sampare Leaves can be found easily in Biak regency. These plants are shrubs. The height is about 2 or 3 meters. It has elongated-oval leaves. The color of the young leaves is green brownish; but, the old leaves are dark green.

  • Betel Nuts


Betel Nuts are also known as Pinang Muda. Local Papuans believe that this fruit offers various benefits for their health. No doubt, the tradition of eating Betel Nuts is considered a sign of love. Locals usually eat this fruit as their traditional candy, made of Betel Nuts, Areca, and Lime.

Locals in West Papua consume Betel Nuts when they gather with other family members. Apart from consuming this fruit as a sweet dessert, they believe that it offers many advantages. Betel Nuts can resolve itching caused by fungi. It also can increase stamina.

  • Mahkota Dewa


The scientific name of this plant is Phaleria macrocarp. This plant originally grows in Papua. People believe that this plant can be used for treating various diseases. Mahkota Dewa contains antioxidants, including saponin, alkaloid, flavonoid, tannin, and polyphenol.

Locals use the fruit to overcome menstrual pain. Besides, it can be a natural diabetes remedy as well. It helps to lower the blood sugar level. However, you should not eat raw fruit since it can have serious side effects.

The trees of Mahkota Dewa are not tall. The height is less than 3 meters. The size of the fruit is small, and it has red in color. Mahkota Dewa must be dried first before it is consumed. The drying process can reduce the water on the fruit to be stored for a long time.

  • Sambiloto Leaves


The number of deaths in West Papua, which Malaria causes, is very high. Thus, Papuans try to use Sambiloto to cure this disease. Sambiloto or Andrographis paniculata contains lactones and flavonoids. These substances are effective in increasing body immunity.

The Locals boil the Sambiloto leaves and drink the boiled water. Since the taste of the leaves is bitter, the locals usually add some honey. 

  • Red Fruit


The scientific name of Buah Merah or Red Fruit is Pandanus conoideus. The Red Fruit originated from Papua is often called miracle fruit. It is because this fruit contains enormous nutrition, such as calcium, Thiamin, Niacin, Riboflavin, and Vitamin C. 

This fruit also contains fatty acids and antioxidants. No doubt, this fruit offers a lot of benefits for health. Local people in West Papua not only consume Red Fruit as food. But, they also use this fruit as traditional medicine. They believe that consuming red fruit can improve = stamina and boost immunity.

Papuans consume this fruit by boiling or roasting it. Sometimes, they use the Red Fruit seeds as the seasonings. The red fruit oil extract can be used as natural coloring. The research states that red fruit can prevent cancer and diabetes.

Even though the health development in West Papua has been increased recently, it is still essential to learn about traditional curing by using wild plants. Medicinal plants are the natural resources that have to be preserved. 

Using traditional medicine is considered safer for our health. The medicinal plants contain natural substances which are suitable for the body. It does not have any side effects when it is consumed properly. To sum up, it can be better than chemical medicines.