Sarang Semut, The Myrmecodia Plant from Papua and West Papua

Try Ant's Nest: A Nutritious Papua Traditional Food


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West Papua has one of the highest bio-diversities in the world. Many species of living things are found here that cannot be found in other areas, and one of the plants found in the Cenderawasih land is sarang semut or the ant nest plant (Myrmecodia pendans).


Ant nest or longkong is a plant that belongs to the Rubiaceae family. These plants usually attach to host plants to survive. This plant is rich in flavonoid active compounds, tocopherols, phenolics, and important minerals, such as Calcium (Ca), Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Phosphorus (P), and Magnesium (Mg) and other compounds that are useful as antioxidants and anticancer.


Ant nest is a plant typical of Papua and West Papua, often attached to mangroves and mountains. So, the more mangroves that grow on the coast of West Papua, the wider the possibility of this ant nest growing. This plant has numerous benefits. Here are some of them for you to follow.



Some research has proven that drinking ant nest decoction, which contains antioxidants, regularly can prevent and reduce the growth of cancer as it becomes one of the well-known benefits of the plant. You can call it skin cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and even blood cancer. In addition to cancer, ant nests can also treat tumors. 


Several mechanisms of action of flavonoids in the ant nests against tumors or cancer are in the inactivation of carcinogens, anti-proliferation, inhibition of the cell cycle, induction of apoptosis and differentiation, inhibition of angiogenesis, and reversal of multi-drug resistance or a combination of these mechanisms. By consuming ant nest boiled water regularly, you can recover.



The high levels of tannins contained in this plant can function as an antibacterial, especially in the digestive organs. By drinking ant nest decoction, you can stop diarrhea in a short time. This is because the tannin content in ant nests is effective in paralyzing harmful bacteria in the digestive tract.



Ant nests contain flavonoids of 61.8 mgQe/g. These flavonoid compounds have the potential to bind and damage the RNA of SARS CoV-2, making ant nests one of the strongest candidates for COVID-19 medication. For this reason, flavonoids have the potential to be developed into prophylaxis or therapy against COVID-19 disease (Ngwa, 2020).


Fish Natural Preservatives

In the latest journal written by Yuliandri in 2019, ant nest extract can inhibit the growth of potential bacteria found in fish, namely Escherichia coli, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Listeria monocytogenes. This study is the first to explore the role of ant nests in inhibiting bacterial growth in fish. Thus, fish treated with ant nest decoction before storage had a longer shelf life and durability because bacteria were the main cause of fish spoilage.


Rheumatism Medication

The popular benefit of Papua and West Papua ant nests is that they can overcome rheumatism that often attacks the elderly. The flavonoid content in ant nests can inhibit the xanthine enzyme, so it is good for treating rheumatism.


Moreover, the content of antioxidants and tocopherol or vitamin E works very well to treat rheumatic diseases. Therefore, you do not need to be confused anymore when rheumatism attacks. Just drink the Myrmecodia plant stew and feel the benefits.


Heart Disease Medication

Additionally, ant nests can also be used to treat heart disease. The heart is one of the most important organs for human life. Once the organ is in trouble, many dangerous diseases such as hypertension, stroke, and coronary heart disease can occur.


Ant nest contains minerals, potassium, and high calcium, which can treat various symptoms of heart disease. It is enough to consume ant nest boiled water regularly twice a day.


Helping Regular Menstruation

For women, the fertility of the reproductive organs can be characterized by regular menstruation. The Papuan and West Papuan ant nests can also help overcome the problem of irregular menstruation.


In addition, other surprising benefits of ant nests can help overcome other female sex organ problems. Consuming boiled water ant nests can help you overcome vaginal discharge for women. Moreover, the Myrmecodia plant can also increase the amount of breast milk.


Overcoming Hemorrhoid

Although not deadly, hemorrhoids can be frustratingly disturbing. The worst case is that in some sufferers, this disease can trigger other diseases that are more dangerous. To overcome this, you can use the benefits of the Papuan and West Papuan ant nest as a treatment step.


The efficacy of ant nests for hemorrhoid treatment is due to their high flavonoid and tannin content. In several studies, both groups of these compounds have been proven to treat hemorrhoids.


Stamina Booster

The amount of activity often drains your stamina. Therefore, you have to eat a lot of food with high energy to replace the stamina spent. Being one of the energy sources to increase stamina is the next benefit of the ant nest. The content in it is proven to maximize calcium absorption and is able to form great energy. You will not need to drink energy drinks that contain lots of artificial sweeteners anymore. Instead, you can drink ant nest boiled water to increase stamina when doing any strenuous activities.


Those are several benefits from sarang semut or ant nest, the Myrmecodia plant from Papua and West Papua. Full of advantages, isn’t it?



Abdi, Husnul. 2019. 8 Manfaat Sarang Semut Papua untuk Kesehatan, Bisa Mengatasi Berbagai Penyakit. 

Wikipedia. Sarang Semut (Myrmecodia pendans). [Retrieved on January 2, 2021]

Yuliandri, Rahmat. Mengungkap Info Aktual Manfaat Tersembunyi Biodiversitas Endemik Sarang Semut. [Retrieved on January 2, 2021]