Pandan or Pandanus amaryllifolius is part of Pandanus (screwpine) genus. The plant is categorized as shrubs that have green color and could reach 1-2 meters in height, with round stems, blade-like narrow leaves that spans 60-80cm, and woody roots. The plants could occasionally grow flowers.
Pandan Leaves are quite popular in South East Asia for culinary purposes due to its strong, sweet, and grassy aroma that could bring out people’s appetite and enrich the food flavors. It is an essential ingredient in South East Asia because pandan leaves often needed to make daily and traditional foods. Pandan leaves could be used for the fragrance and color for making cakes, sweet rice, and even beverages.
Quite often, people in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and other South East Asian countries grew their own pandan leaves in their backyard or their garden as a supply for many purposes aside from culinary needs. Besides its versatility as culinary ingredient, little did people knows that Pandan Leaves are used beyond just cooking.
In some remote areas where people still believe in superstition or embrace a traditional religion, pandan leaves become part of the ritual worship of the supernatural beings and pronounce gratitude to the god.
Besides those utilization above, Pandan leaves contains various substances that is very beneficial for health. According to research conducted by Rohmawati (1995), pandan leaves contains bitter chemical compounds consists of polifenol, flavonoid, saponin and alkaloid. Those compounds could also act as anti bacteria. Those substances make Pandan Leaves have a lot of benefit for health.
Below, we are going to discuss and mention how pandan leaves can be beneficial to our health, as well as how to process pandan leaves to be used for our body.
1. Treating High Blood Pressure
First health benefit of pandan leaves is to treat high blood pressure. High blood pressure or hypertension is a disease in blood vessels that cause the pressure beyond the normal limit of 110-120 / 90mmHg. This disease can be caused by factors of food, age, lifestyle, obesity, and stress.
Various sources mentions that drinking pandan tea twice a day could lower high blood pressure. All you have to do to make this pandan tea, is to boil 2 – 3 cups of water with 3 grams of pandan leaves. Wait until it receeds to only half the amount of the water. The pandan tea could be consumed half in the morning and half in the night to lower high blood pressure. If pandan tea consumed regularly, it could also prevent other heart diseases like coronary artery disease.
2. Cleanse and Prevent Dandruff
Dandruff is excessive exfoliation on the scalp. One of the most easily visible signs of dandruff is white or grayish flakes that stick to the hair or fall to the shoulders. Dandruff is caused by the accelerated growth and death of scalp cells. This is exacerbated by oily scalp, stress, unsuitable product use, and washing the hair too often or too seldom. If you have this problem, you could utilize health benefits of pandan leaves to treat your head skin and hair.
According to VegetaFruit, pandan leaves are good for the scalp and hair. Treatment for the scalp and hair by pandan leaves are done by making some kind of pandan shampoo. First, mash ten dried leaves of pandan leaves then add enough water to make it into paste. After the paste is ready, massage the paste into your hair and if you do regularly, it will not only remove dandruff from your scalp, but also nourish your hair.
3. Preventing Hair Loss
Another health benefits of pandan leaves for our hair is to prevent hair loss. Hair loss can be caused by many factors such as psychological pressure, drug side effects, and malnutrition. There are many ways to fight hair loss, one of them by utilizing natural materials such as pandan leaves. You need to prepare 1 pandan leaves, 10 leaves of hibiscus leaves, 1 handful of false daisy leaves, 5 plum aralia leaves, 10 jasmine flowers, and 1 rose petals. All ingredients are washed and then put in a pot of aluminium. Add half a cup of coconut oil, sesame oil and hazelnut oil. Boil the mixture until it boils down and then filter it.
Apply the concoction to the hair and scalp evenly and wrap with a warm towel. Do it at night before bed. The next day just rinse with cold water and shampoo as usual. Perform this treatment regularly as much as 2-3 times a week.
4. Embellishing Dull Hair Color
Pandan leaves have yet another benefit for our hair, that is to embellish dull hair color. Various factors such as pollution cause the hair becomes dull and lose its natural luster. Restore the luster of hair by preparing 7 pieces of pandan leaves, wash and cut into small pieces. Boil the pieces of pandan leaves with 1 liter of water, until the color of the water turns green. Dab it for a night. The next day, mix the boiled water of pandan leaves with the noni juice. Shampoo your hair with the concoction and then wash the hair clean after. Do it routinely 3 times a week and see the results.
5. Pain Reliever
Pandan leaves contains laxative properties that can act as a pain reliever from headache, ear pain, chest pain, and arthritis. To use pandan leaves as pain reliever, one could drink pandan tea twice a day, in addition if drank regularly, it also have the capacity to decrease stomach spasms which could relate to inflammation and infection. Also for mothers, pandan tea could also aid in the recovery of after birth.
6. Overcoming Weak Nerves
Pandan leaves are also very beneficial for our nerves system health. Weak nerves could cause people to get occasional cramps. Weak nerves usually caused by the reduction of nerve stimulation to specific body parts that have been previously been available in full and sufficient. Pandan leaves helps to promote health and nerve system in our bodies. To do that, you just have to pick 3 pandan leaves and chop them to small pieces, boil it with 3 glasses of water. Let it gets boiled in the water until there is only about 2 glasses worth of water remaining. Strain the concoction to separate the water with the pandan residue, and drink one glass in the morning and one in the evening.
7. Anti-Cancer Herbal Solution
Pandan leaves tea could be consumed regularly twice a day to counteract the effect of toxins and inhibits the development of cancer. According to study that were conducted by Raj et al. (2014), the aqueous extract of roots and leaves of Pandanus odoratissimus posesses cytotoxic, antimiotic, antiproliferative, and apoptotic effects. The plant has the potential to be used in cancer therapy, as it has been used before for a long time traditionally.
8. Increasing Appetite
Appetite problem could happen to everyone, especially those who have problems with their smelling sensory. Our body needs nutrition and vitamins to sustain life, therefore, lack of foods to our body could also mean our body are more vulnerable to diseases.
Pandan tea could be a natural ingridients to increase appetite. Pandan tea could be drank twice a day to help promote health and increase your appetite
9. Relieving Insomnia
Insomnia could be a very hard thing to handle. Especially if this happens when you have to get up early the next day and have a bunch of activities to do. The symptom often occur when a person is anxious and has a burden of mind. If you are experiencing insomnia you can give a try to Pandan Leaves to relieve your Insomnia. Pandan leaves have been proven very beneficial here for our health. Pandan leaves contain alkaloid compounds that can provide a calming effect on the body. When experiencing insomnia, pandan leaves can help you calm down and make you easier to sleep. You only need to brew pandan leaves with hot water, then put one teaspoon of honey. Drink while still warm.
10. Curing Tinea Versicolor
Tinea Versicolor is a fungal infection characterized by white patches on the skin. This disease interferes with your appearance and causes itching of the skin. Pandan leaves can help you to treat it. First, you need to crush the pandan leaves until it becomes smooth. After that, squeeze the water, then give salt to taste. Drink once a day for three days. This method should be done regularly to speed up the process of recovery.
11. Reducing Fever
Fever is usually a sign that the body is fighting infection. Someone with fever will experience an increase in body temperature, causing discomfort. To reduce fever, you can boil the pandan leaves and drink the water. After that, your body heat will come down slowly.
Consuming pandan leaves are also useful to keep the body to always stay fit and energetic throughout the day. The trick, boil five pandan leaves with three glasses of water, remove after boiling, let stand until cool, add lemon water, then drink every two days. If this done regularly, it could boost the benefit of pandan leaves for our health.
13. Relieving Body Aches
You could also feel the health benefits of pandan leaves if you are and active person. Doing a lot of activities for a full day or doing heavy physical activity causes the body aches. Pandan leaves could be helpful to treat body aches. Ingredients needed are 5 pieces of fresh pandan leaves and 20 pieces of lemongrass leaves. Wash clean and then pounded until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of eucalyptus oil then mix well. Use the ingredients to rub and massage the affected parts of the body.
14. Overcoming Impotence
Pandan leaves could also provide health benefits for married couple, especially men. Pandan leaves are effective to treat impotence in men. Take 3 pieces of fragrant pandan leaves, wash and cut into small pieces. Boil with 4 cups of water until the water boils down to only two cups. Drink the concoction twice a day, every morning and evening each 1 cup every time drinking. Do it regularly.
15. Suppressing Anxiety
Health benefits of pandan leaves can also be implemented to treat anxiety. Someone often experience anxiety when gets into trouble or face problem. If you experience this, take two pieces of pandan leaves then wash and slice it thinly. Brew the leaves with a glass of boiling water. Once cool, strain the water and drink at once. Do it two or three times a day until you feel better.
16. Relieve Rheumatism
Rheumatism is a disease that causes pain due to muscles or joints that experience inflammation and swelling. This disease can be caused by eating foods that contain high purine such as spinach; clams; anchovies; and red meat, drink alcohol, bathing late at night, and dehydration. Age is also often the cause of rheumatic diseases.
People in the past used pandan leaves to cope with rheumatism. The steps are to take three pieces of fresh pandan leaves, wash and then cut into pieces. Brewed with half a cup of coconut oil that has been boiled and stir it until evenly distributed. Once cool, use as a liniment to massage the affected area.
17. To Cope with Diabetes
Diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin production that is useful to absorb the juice. This glucose-shaped food extract can settle on human bloodstream if not treated immediately. One of the treatment of diabetes is replacing sugar or sweetener with pandan leaves when making a drink. Pandan leaves will make your drink more fresh and taste a little savory without having to use sugar.
18. Preventing and Curing Constipation
Constipation is one type of digestive disorder. Constipation causes a person to have difficulty defecating and defecating less than three times a week. If you often have constipation or spasms on your abdomen then you can try to consume pandan leaves. Efficacy of pandan leaves can overcome your constipation only with decoction of pandan leaves tea consumed in a daily basis.
19. Clearing Up Headache
If you often have headaches maybe you can try to add pandan leaves to your drink or food. Headache pain often disrupts your daily activities. The use of pandan can be used as an alternative to chemical drugs that have harmful side effects to the body.
And there you have it, a lot of health benefits just from pandan leaves. Go get yourself some, or, if you are keen of gardening, plant yourself some pandan leaves because it could come in handy someday for you.
Also, did you know that Peranakan people (Chinese or Straits-born Chinese who are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay archipelago including British Malaya) commonly use pandan leaves as insect repellant? In fact pandan leaves could repel ants, cockroaches, and other pests. In India, Pandan leaves are considered to be holy to the gods Shiva and Ganesh. In some Indian villages the leaves are tossed into open wells to scent the drinking water. So many surprising facts and benefits of Pandan Leaves, right? You indeed have no reason to not have this holy grail in stock at home.