Mahkota Dewa, Papua’s Original Medicinal Plant
Mahkota Dewa or God’s Crown (Phaleria macrocarpa) is a dense evergreen tree, indigenous to Indonesia. It is found in tropical areas of New Guinea up to 1,200 m (3,900 ft) above sea level.
by Sarah R. Megumi (free translation from Greeners.co)
In addition to areca nut and matoa, there is a native plant of Papua that is no less well-known as the crown of the god. Named Latin Phaleria macrocarpa (Scheff) Boerl, this plant belongs to the Thymelaeaceae family. The crown of the deity can be found in the yard as an ornamental plant or in the garden as a shade plant.
As shrubs, these plants thrive at an altitude of 10 to 1,200 meters above sea level (Altaf et al., 2013; Soeksmanto et al., 2007). The tree will grow well if planted in loose soil and high in organic matter.
This plant is also known as God’s Crown, simalakama, makutadewa, makuto rajo, makuto queen, and makuto mewo (Nur et al., 2014). The crown of the god is a complete tree because it has stems, leaves, flowers and fruit. Its height ranges from 118 meters with brown stems and white-tipped wood. The productive age of this plant is around 10-20 years (Altaf et al., 2013).
Morphologically the crown of the god has a round stem, rough surface, brown, woody, gummy, and sympathetic branching or divided into two. This plant has a single leaf that is located facing each other. The stems are short, lanceolate or jorong with pointed tips, and flat edges. The reinforcement of the stem is pinned with a smooth, dark green surface, and is 7-10 centimeters long and 3-5 centimeters wide.
Gods crown flowers come out all year or do not know the season, but most appear in the rainy season. The location of the flowers spread on the stem or armpit of the leaf. Shaped like a tube that is small, white, and fragrant.
While the fruit has a round structure with a diameter of 3 to 5 centimeters. Its surface is slippery, grooved, and when young it is green and red after cooking. Its size also varies, from the size of a ping pong ball to a red apple.
The flesh of the crown of the god is white, fibrous and runny. The seeds are round, hard, and brown. While the roots are patterned brownish yellow. The crown of the deity can be developed vegetatively and generatively (Kurniasih, 2010).
The fruit and seeds have a variety of biological roles that are utilized in extract form such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant (Alara et al., 2016). Chemically, the genus or phaleria genus in general has antimicrobial activity.
Mahkota Dewa is usually used to treat various diseases ranging from colds, rheumatism, lungs, cirrhosis of the liver to cancer. In addition, the crown of the deity is considered capable of reducing excess oil levels on the face. You do this by consuming the fruit of the crown of the god extracted into tea.
In the Scientific Journal of Biodiversity, the Center for Biotechnology Research, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (2007) states that in the skin of the crown of the god contained compounds of alkaloids, saponins, and flavonoids. The seeds are considered poisonous so they are only used as an external medicine to cure skin diseases. The stems of the gummy crown of the god plant are used to restore bone cancer. Therefore only the roots and flowers are rarely used as medicine (Harmanto, 2002).
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