It is already common knowledge that the land of Indonesia is very rich in flora and fauna. Especially areas that have very large rainforests, such as Papua Island. The land of Papua has very diverse endemic flora and fauna. For example, Bintangur Papua is an endemic plant with millions of benefits.
Aside from Papua, you can also find bintangur at Kalimantan Island and Sumatra Island, especially Batam and Bangka Belitung. However, people did know the plant by a different name. Some people know it as aci, mentangor, and betur. But, they all know that this plant is an efficacious medicinal plant.
The Overview of Bintangur
For those of you who still do not know, the Latin name of bintangur is Calophyllum. Literally, the word “calo” comes from the word “kalos” which means “beautiful”. While the word “phyllum” comes from the word “phullon” which means “leaf”. So, calophyllum means beautiful leaf.
At least, there are 190 types of species belonging to this genus group. The distribution centers of this plant are mostly in Kalimantan. However, the highest level of endemism of the plant is in Papua and Papua New Guinea. Around 75% of them, you cannot find in other places.
Then, aside from Kalimantan and Papua, where can the bintangur plant be found? You can also find this plant in the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra Island, Papua Island, Madagascar, Center America, and South America.
The Benefits of Bintangur
Since ancient times, local people have known bintangur as a medicinal plant. They use bintangur to cure various types of diseases. Then, what are the benefits of bintangur Papua? This plant is known as a drug to cure malaria. This is because one of the bintangur species has antimalarial compounds.
You can find these compounds in Calophyllum Peekelii, an endemic plant from Papua. Because based on phytochemical studies, this plant contains benzofuran, chronic acid, xanthone, and also phenylcumarin, as active compounds. This makes it able to cure malaria disease.
In addition, several other bintangur species also have the benefits in curing various other types of diseases. It turned out that the bintangur tree actually has anticancer substances. These compounds are in the species Calophyllum Tetrapterum. Then, there is also bintangur that can cure HIV.
Because of its many benefits, it is no wonder that researchers are starting to pay a lot of attention to this type of tree. In particular, on the tree’s bark, where the contents of these compounds originate.
Aside from being a medicine, people also use bintangur as an ingredient for biodiesel for a vehicle. Then, the locals also take advantage of bintangur sap to anesthetize fish or poison rats. They also eat bintangur fruit, even though it is quite sour.
The Habitat of Bintangur
Basically, bintangur can grow well in the dipterocarp moist forest area. Aside from that, it also can grow in peat swamp forest, hill forest, and also riparian swamp. From there, you can conclude that this plant can grow well in areas with good drainage.
However, some species can also grow in drier areas, except in chalky areas. Its main habitat is in the lowland tropical rainforest. That is why you can find it in many rainforests in Indonesia. Especially the forest in Papua, Kalimantan, and some areas in Sumatra.
Because of that, many people consider this plant as an endemic plant from Indonesia. This is right because, in fact, the highest endemism of this plant is indeed in Indonesia. To be precise, in the land of Papua, you can find several endemic bintangur species that do not grow anywhere else.
It is the reason why people call it bintangur Papua because you cannot find it anywhere else besides the land of Papua.