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The Corroboree


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Blog Entries posted by -bijanto-

  1. -bijanto-
    There is no common English name for this leaf, though it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as "betel leaf" or "wild betel leaf". They are sold in bunches, still on the stems, at Asian shops where they are called by their Thai name, cha plu, or the Vietnamese name, bo la lot. Though of the same family (Piperaceae) as the betel leaf, karuk is a finer, tender leaf, brighter green and with distinct veins. It is more delicate in flavour than betel leaf though still slightly pungent, and is eaten raw in Thai cuisine, especially as a leafy wrapping for snacks and appetisers called miang.
    Sixteen compounds were isolated from the fresh roots of Piper sarmentosum. Seven of these have been isolated from the fruits and leaves of this plant: the aromatic alkene (1), 1-allyl-2-methoxy-4,5-methylenedioxybenzene (4), beta-sitosterol, pyrrole amide (6), sarmentine (10), sarmentosine (13) and pellitorine (14). (+)-Sesamin (2), horsfieldin (3), two pyrrolidine amides 11 and 12, guineensine (15) and brachystamide B (16).
    K. Heyne in his book 'De Nuttige Planten van Indonesie" describes the use of karuk leaves to cure asthma, i.e. by rubbing crushed leaves around the neck. The most important active compound in this respect is the pyrrole amide, which acts by promoting expectoration. Chinese Medicinal Herb of Taiwan also mentioned Piper sarmentosum as a medicinal plant with warming, anti-swelling and anaesthetic properties.
    In Indonesia, a decoction of the boiled leaves has been known to be effective in treating malaria, asthma, coughs, flu, rheumatism, pleurisy and lumbago. The root is a remedy for toothache and may be made into a wash for fungoid dermatitis on the feet. The leaves are also reported to contain antioxidant property.
    In Laos it is used in salad. In Malaysia (where they are called daun kadok) the leaves are shredded for ulam (a mixture of fresh herbs). In one of the top hotels in Kuala Lumpur, the chef used the leaves in a recipe which was not traditional: a cross-culture creation midway between a fish terrine and the local Nonya otak-otak, a highly spiced fish paste. It was formed in a triangular mould lined with daun kadok leaves, turned out on a serving dish, then cut in elegant triangular slices.
    Otak-otak is usually pressed between coconut leaves or strips of banana leaves and grilled over coals, often at roadside stalls. The coconut or banana leaf wrapper is stripped away and discarded after the layer of fish is eaten. In the hotel presentation, the soft P. sarmentosum leaf, no thicker than spinach, was eaten with the fish.
    Purchasing and storing: Choose bright green, uncrushed leaves which are not faded or limp. Leaves can be kept wrapped loosely in damp paper and refrigerated for a day or two. If leaves need reviving, try soaking for 2 or 3 hours in cold water to which a spoonful of sugar has been added. This also sweetens the flavour of the leaves.
    Recipe: Leaf-Wrapped Snacks
    1 bunch karuk leaves
    200 g/7 oz shredded cooked pork, or chicken, or small shelled prawns
    90 g/3 oz/1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts
    60 g/2 oz/1/2 cup sliced shallots
    sliced chillies
    3 tablespoons sliced pickled radish (optional)
    1 tablespoon palm sugar
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    1 tablespoon tamarind pur&eacutee
    2 tablespoons fish sauce
    2 tablespoons dried shrimp floss (optional)
    1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
    Wash the leaves well and soak in cold, lightly sugared water for a couple of hours. Pat leaves dry. Prepare the fillings and arrange around a platter, with the leaves. Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Each person puts their choice of fillings on a leaf, wraps it and dips the leaf in the sauce before eating.
    Note: For special occasions, the leaf snacks may be presented already wrapped, and luxury ingredients such as crab meat included in the filling. The leaf parcel is secured with a cocktail stick.
    Other Languages:
    Indonesia: karuk, sirih tanah
    Chinese : jia ju, xi ye qing wei teng, qing ju
    Laos: phak i leut
    Malaysia: daun kadok
    Thailand: cha plu
    Vietnam: bo la lot

    Chemical constituents of the roots of Piper sarmentosum
    Chemical constituents and bioactivity of Piper sarmentosum
    Natural antioxidants: Piper sarmentosum and Morinda elliptica
    Neuromuscular blocking activity of methanolic extract of Piper sarmentosum leaves in the rat phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm preparation
    Adulticidal activity against Stegomyia aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) of three Piper spp.
    Hypoglycemic effect of the water extract of Piper sarmentosum in rats.
  2. -bijanto-
    These are the narrow-leaved khat (Catha edulis) plants growing on my land. They spent most of their life inside container until May 2006 when I transplanted them to the ground. They have survived dry season from May to November without receiving supplementary watering. As a result they have dropped off most of their leaves, yet still look okay so far. Now as the rainy season is coming I hope they'll flourish again.

  3. -bijanto-
    Some pics of my Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) plant. It's climbing up a neem tree which provides some shade (vanilla is a shade lover). It's starting to flower now, after being planted from cutting for about 2 years. In its native habitat, pollination is done by particular type of insect which is not present here in my area, thus pollination must be done manually.

  4. -bijanto-
    Heres my jiaogulan plants as of 22 November 2006. I received the seeds from Horizon Herbs and they germinated easily after soaking overnight. They are planted on the ground and currently receiving full sun. I think I'll add some shade cloth to reduce the light intensity.

  5. -bijanto-
    I collected some betelnut fruits from the nearby trees and dehusked them just to show the inner appearance of a betelnut. The seeds or the nuts are very hard to slice, so you should better make use of a mortar and pestle made of stone, or a grinder.

  6. -bijanto-
    Elaeocarpus is a genus of tropical and subtropical evergreen trees and shrubs. The approximately 350 species are distributed from Madagascar in the west through India, Southern China, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Australia and Pacific Islands (Fiji, Solomon). Around 70% of the Ganitri trees are found in Indonesia. However, 15%-20% of the commercially grown plants are found growing in Nepal and Uttar Pradesh, India."
    Elaeocarpus ganitrus is commonly called Rudraksha Tree in India, also called Ganitri Tree or Jenitri Tree in Indonesia. Its English name is Utrasum Bead Tree. This plant produces seeds known as Rudraksha, Ganitri or Jenitri. The seeds have been traditionally considered sacred in Hinduism as they are believed to be the tears of the shiva. In Sanskrit, rudra means shiva and aksh means eye. The dried seeds are used used as rosary beads and necklaces for meditation purposes.

    The above picture shows the fruits of Elaeocarpus ganitrus. They were harvested from scattered trees in my town. In Indonesia, Ganitri tree flowers between August to September and fruits between September to November. Inside each fruit there is one seed that look like this:

    Rudraksha beads have been used for thousands of years as an aid to self empowerment and the self enlightment. Hindus believe that rudraksha beads have healing properties and that they affect the human body when worn. Other sources also mention that Rudraksha beads are dielectrical as they store electrical energy and also possess electromagnetic properties changing with the variation in the number of faces on the beads. These faces are called "mukhis", ie clefts on the surface of the beads. The number of mukhis on the surface of a rudraksha bead helps in determining its quality. According to the number of mukhis the rudrakasha bead ranges from single face to a several faced bead. Asian yogis and monks found that merely wearing the rudraksha beads gave them astonishingly tremendous amount of tranquility, concentration that helped them meditate for a long period of time with spectacular control over their mind.
  7. -bijanto-
    My Banisteriopsis caapi. Received as rooted cutting from planthelper in January 2005. The roots had grown far out from the bottom of the pot so I cut them back and it was just okay, no sign of stress.
    Here is the plant as of now (October 2006):

    And here's how it looked in February 2005:

  8. -bijanto-
    This morning I checked my plant for the sign of underside small tubes or darts at the leaf vein axils, and found that almost all the leaves on my plant do not have this unique characteristic. Only about 3 leaves have developed such thing.
    Here are the pics of four leaves I took. The first 3 leaves do have the "V-tube" characteristic, whereas the other leaves look just like the pict at the bottom right corner.

  9. -bijanto-
    This Hawaiian baby woodrose (Argyreia nervosa) is a friendly gift from DC when I was in Melbourne in November 2005. Germinated easily from seeds, It's now climbing along a metal post next to my kratom tree, and growing upward, twining the kratom branches and twigs, creating a harmony. On the background you can see the kratom leaves. I was wondering why this plant is called "baby".

  10. -bijanto-
    This Tabernanthe iboga is of the long pod variety. I received 11 seeds from Brian in April 2006. About 3 seeds germinated and currently I have two young plants. These are placed in small pots under the shade of a bush.

  11. -bijanto-
    I have planted this miracle fruit in pot since 2001 and it's been growing so slowly. I started fruiting in about 3 years from seed. It loves acidic soil and will fruit under full sun or half.
    I made an interesting experiment in the office where I work. I gave one fruit to one of my colleagues and asked them to eat it, then I prepared a sour mix of very thick lemon juice and a couple spoons of apple cider vinegar.
    It was soooo amusing when I saw their face after they tasted the sour mix. They didn't understand how I did it and it took me quite some time to explain them about the plant while the other co-workers came and join the 'listener group'.