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Plants from the forest have been used as healing agents since time immemorial. Of the 350,000 species of higher plants in the world, about 35,000 (up to 70,000) are used worldwide for medicinal purposes (Lewington). The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that about 80% of the total population in developing countries use plants as source of medicines.

Tropical forests represent nature's main storehouse of natural resources and raw materials for modern medicine. Plants alone offer a host of compounds which have anti-bacterial, anti-malarial, anti-fungal and many other therapeutic properties.In Sabah there are at least 1,300 species of medicinal plants (Kulip, 2004).


Some Medicinal Plants in Kebun Cina Forest Reserve

Sandakan Rainforest Park (Kebun Cina Forest Reserve) contains about 500 species of flowering plants and more than 66 species of ferns and ferns allies. It is estimated that at least 70 species of plants with medicinal value are present in this park. Most of the medicinal plants are herbs, while others are shrubs and trees.


Nepenthes gracilis
Blechnum orientale
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa
(Fluid in pitcher used to treat skin disease)
(Sap to treat fever)
(Fruit used to treat stomach-ache)
Alstonia angustiloba
Dillenia excelsa
Stenochalena palustris
(Sap used to treat malaria)
(Sap used to treat high BP)
(Leaves taken to treat high BP)
Homolanthus populneus
Curculigo latifolia
Smilax officinalis
(Sap used to treat skin disease)
(Sap used to treat skin disease)
(Sap used to treat high BP)
Costus speciosus
Passiflora foetida
(Sap used to treat asthma)
( Fruit used to treat insomnia)
Macaranga gigentea
Asplenium nidus
(Sap used to treat lip fungus)
(Sap used as antidote)
Eurycoma longifolia
(Root is aphrodisiac and anti-malarial)

Melastoma malabathricum


Local Name: Senduduk (Malay) Lingangadi (Murut); Gosing-gosing, Gagabang, Ngongodo, Gata-gata (Kadazandusun)

BOTANICAL DISCRIPTION: An erect shrub or small tree about 1 m tall but may grow up to 3m tall. Leaves elliptic 4-11cm long and 1.3- 4cm wide, 5-7 nerved, leaf stalks 5-12 mm long. Inflorescences 2-7 flowered, pedicels 10-12 mm long. Berries 10-15 mm long, 5-celled. This showy shrub is commonly found in open areas and the seeds are dispersed by birds.
HABITAT: Open land from sea level to about 900 m above sea level.
TRADITIONAL MEDICINAL USES: The leaves are used to treat diarrhea and dysentery (1). It also can be used to cure cuts and wounds. The whole plants used to reduce high blood preasure (2). Mouthwash used to relieve a toothache can also be made from roots. The root can be given to women after child birth to aid healing and womb strengthening or to alleviate rheumatism, arthritis and tenderness in the legs(3).
OTHER USES: The young leaves are eaten raw or cooked and taste sour. The pulp around the seeds is also edible. The seeds are used to produce a black dye, and the roots a pink dye. In some places, the leaves are used to feed silkworms. This plant is also cultivated as an ornamental shrub.
CHEMICAL CONTENT: Tannins and flavonoids.


The information provided above is based on the poster(s) displayed at Kebun Cina Gallery.

Click the following link(s) to view the poster(s).



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