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Sarang Semut

About Sarang Semut

Sarang Semut

Sarang Semut with its scientific name Myrmecodia Pendans is an epiphytes plant (attached to other larger plants, but not parasite) used as an ant nest. Other common names are Rumah Semut (Sumatra), Ulek-Ulek Polo (Java), Lokon, Suhendep, Nongon (Papua), Periok Hantu, Peruntak, Sembuku (Malaysia), Bay Ki Nan, Ki Nam Gai, Ki Nam Kin (Vietnam). This plant belongs to Hydnophytinae (Rubiaceae) family and comprises an ant maze inside which used as a hole to do their activities. Although the plant is unusual, but its owned medicinal values are remarkable.

Sarang Semut was first introduced in the rural of Papua located in Eastern Indonesia commonly used by local people. This plant is processed as a porridge blended and also as a drink to strengthen immune body system. In addition, it is also used as drugs for various internal ailments. It can also be found in Peninsular Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Australia as well as Solomon Island.

Technically, immune stimulant substances will help and protect the body cells in order to perform their jobs well, so the cell disruption diseases can be prevented and treated. The most often of this disease is cancer.

Sarang Semut belongs to Rubiaceae family with 5 genuses. However, only 2 of which have association with ants. They are Myrmecodia (45 species) and Hypnophytum (26 species). From those species, only Hypnophytum Formicarum, Myrmecodia Pendens and Myrmecodia Tuberosa are considered to have medicinal value. Generally, part of plant used as remedy is its hypocotyl (caudex) by drinking its boiling water (decoction).



Active Ingredients

The content of substances in Sarang Semut is supported by the activities of ants in it where a lot of beneficial substance left behind in the plant. The herbal efficacy marked with active substances such as antioxidants (vitamin C, flavonoids, tannin, poliefenol), polyphenols, and glycosides. All of these three substances help the human body to control various deadly ailments. In the ants themselves, antioxidants act as an important substance for the formation of colonies. And one of them acts as a stimulant to increase the immune system. Besides those active ingredients, Sarang Semut also contains several minerals such as tokoferol (vitamin E), magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, calium, iron, and zinc.

This condition is similar like honey produced by honey bees to protect their eggs which named Sarang Lebah. In Sarang Semut, the efficacy most likely derived from salivary glands of ants that interact with plant and some other microbes.



Health Benefits

Empirically, Sarang Semut has been proven can treat various ailments such as cancer and tumor, uric acid, coronary heart disease, hemorrhoids (ambient), tuberculosis, migraine, arthritis, and leukemia.

Besides to prevent and cure cancer, Sarang Semut also effective to help cure a variety of cardiac diseases, rheumatism, nose allergic, nosebleeds, sneezing, stroke, lung diseases, ulcers, kidney dysfunctions, and prostate. Even sore pains, accelerate woman’s breast milk and blood vessels, liver, and even restore sexual desire can also be derived from the efficacy of this plant.

Moreover, the herbal ingredients can inhibit antioxidant enzymes that can trigger uric acid and free radicals. For diabetics, this plant can also become a must-try alternative because the substance content produced by ants can neutralize the blood sugar levels.



Processing Steps

1) The mature Sarang Semut are harvested from the plants.
2) It is then wash with clean water.
3) Sarang Semut are sliced into small pieces.
4) Those small pieces are then dried under the sunlight or oven.
5) The dried small pieces of Sarang Semut are packaged and ready for consumption.



Product Characteristics

Part of Plants used : Sarang Semut
Appearance : Dried Sarang Semut
Color : Brown
Odor : Characteristic
Taste : Bitter
Packaging : Box



Characteristics of Good Quality of Dried Sarang Semut


Characteristics Characteristics Good Quality of Dried Sarang Semut
1. nest Hard
2. colour Reddish brown
3. odor Like fresh soil
4. taste Similar to tea


Cooking Method & Dosage


A. Original Taste:
The chemical compounds inside Sarang Semut give tasteless bitter.
B. Possible Mixture with Other Herbs and Ingredients:
Because of its bitter taste, it may be added or mixed with honey or sugar.
C. Cooking Method & Dosage:
The basic method of cooking Sarang Semut is simple as follows:
1. Take 3-4 pieces or 100 grams of Sarang Semut.
2. Boil and cook it in 3 liters of water for 30 minutes.
3. Remove, filter and drink the juice portion like tea consumption.

The juice (Tea) may be blended with honey or rock sugar to balance off the bitter taste of Tongkat Ali. You may reboil the Sarang Semut and juice for another consumption until the bitter taste has subsided.



Traditional & Modern Consumption

Traditionally, local people in Papua consume Sarang Semut by mix it with porridge. It is also used as a drink by boiling the dried Sarang Semut. Nowadays, Sarang Semut is being consumed as a tea powder packed in sachets or also as a drink. Besides that, it is also widely available in herbal supplement in the forms of capsules and tablets.



Safety Precaution

Pregnant women are not advised to consume.



Side Effects

There is no side effect found in the previous research.



Storage Requirement

Keep at cool and dry place protected from direct sunlight. Avoid reach of children.


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