Lately, herbal plants have often been in the spotlight in the world of health. Especially after the 2019 research on plants and pirated wood which was carried out by three students from Indonesia who won gold medals at the World Invention Creativity Olympics in South Korea. The results of this study indicate that the root of the plant contains various important compounds. For example, such as phenolics, flavonoids, saponins, and tannins.
Ingredients in Bajakah Roots
Quoting Hasna, Sehkhaemi, and Aviciena in their journal entitled Review: Bajakah Wood Roots and Their Health Benefits, Bajakah wood (spatholobus littoralis hassk) is one of the popular plants used as traditional medicine. This one plant is most often used as a traditional medicine by the people of the interior of Kalimantan. Basically, the root of the Bajakah is well known among the Dayak people in the interior of the island of Borneo, as a medicine to increase stamina and cure a number of diseases.
A number of ingredients present in the wood of Bajakah are primary and secondary metabolites. Primary metabolites themselves are the result of essential compounds from organisms that are formed due to reactions and vital pathways for survival. Primary metabolites produce products such as glycolysis, the tricarboxviic acid (TCA) cycle or the shikimate pathway.
Meanwhile, secondary metabolites are the results of compounds that are non-essential, but useful for vegetative growth. Secondary metabolites play a role in adaptive terms, such as symbiosis, defense, transportation, and protecting plants from pathogens. The greater the content of secondary metabolites, the higher the potential to become traditional medicine.
Bajakah wood itself has phenolic compounds, flavonoids, tannins and saponins in it. This fact was obtained from a qualitative test of the pirates conducted by Ansari. The average phenolic content in the extract of Bajakah stems reaches 12.33 mg GAE/g. Other studies also state that the bark and stems of Bajakah wood contain alkaloids and terpenoids.
Benefits of Bajakah Wood
With the various ingredients mentioned earlier, the benefits of the root of the Bajakah plant are:
1. As Antibacterial
The first benefit of Bajakah wood is as an antibacterial, namely a substance produced by an organism and has the ability to inhibit the growth or kill other microorganisms. This is evident from the innovative hand sanitizer product made from the root of the Bajakah as an effort to prevent Covid-19. As a result, the root of Bajakah is proven to contain antibacterial properties.
2. Increase Body Immunity
Dr. Danang Ardiyanto as a doctor, practitioner and researcher at the HortusMed Wellness Center B2P2TOOT and Management Center for the Association of Medical Herbal Disciplines (PDHMI) explained that the content of saponins or active glycoside chemicals can help adjust the body's immune system distributed by cells to increase antibody substances. In short, Bajakah wood has immunostimulant benefits.
3. Helping Cancer Treatment
The content of flavonoids in the root of the Bajakah plant also has an anticancer function. Research by Maulina et al. related to phytochemical screening and bioactivity of Bajakah root extract showed bioactivity as anticancer with LC50 fluids of 1.76 ppm and 2.66 ppm. This is tested through the Brain Shrimp Lethality Test (BSLT) which is often used in the early stages.
Even though the test is simple, the accuracy it has is high enough that it is increasingly believed that the root of Bajakah has potential as an anticancer agent that inhibits the growth of cancer cells, such as leukemia, breast cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer, sarcoma, neuroblastoma, glioma, and other types of cancer.
4. Helps counteract free radicals
Flavonoids not only have anticancer functions, but also have antioxidant functions or free radical scavengers. Flavonoids as a group of bioactive compounds found in many plants have properties similar to antioxidants. Flavonoids are a group of secondary metabolites that are most commonly found in plant tissues. In addition to flavonoids, saponin compounds also function as antioxidants.
5. Helps Wound Healing (Ant-Inflammatory Effects)
Saponins as one of the ingredients in Bajakah wood not only function as antioxidants, but also as anti-inflammatory. Guclu and Mazza explained that the positive effects can inhibit dental caries, analgesic, antifungal, cytotoxic, and anti-inflammatory.