Traditional use of medicinal plants by Dayak-Iban communities in West Kalimantan Indonesia

Ernawati Sinaga1*, Imran S.L. Tobing1, Ratih V. Pravita1

 1Faculty of Biology РUniversitas Nasional

*Corresponding author:


INTRODUCTION: Plants have traditionally been used as a source of medicines in Dayak-Iban communities. However, little work has been done to properly document and promote this rich indigenous knowledge. The study aimed to document the diversity of medicinal plants and indigenous knowledge regarding medicinal plants use among the Dayak-Iban communities in Melemba Village, West Kalimantan Indonesia.

METHODS: Data was collected using semi-structured interviews, field observations and group discussion involving 41 informants, whose age ranged between 30 and 85 years. Data collected included the local names of the plants, parts used, the diseases treated, and methods of preparation.

RESULTS: A total of 68 plant species, distributed in 53 genera and 34 families, used for treatment of 16 different disease-categories were documented. The plants were mostly used for treatment of gastrointestinal problems (28%), wounds (9%) and post-partum care (9%). The leaves were the most frequently used plant part (46 species), followed by roots and rhizomes (13 species), while making of decoction was the most common method used to prepare the medications. Gastrointestinal problems have the highest value of informant consensus factor (7.3), and according to use value there were five most important medicinal plants, i.e. Arcangelisia flava Merr., Curcuma domestica Val., Eleutherine palmifolia L., Eurycoma longifolia, and Myrmecodia tuberosa.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study showed that Dayak-Iban people in West Kalimantan still used medicinal plants to meet their healthcare needs, however this indigenous knowledge and practices tends to erode in the younger generations.

Keywords: medicinal plants, Dayak-Iban, Kalimantan, Arcangelisia flava


Presented at The International Conference on Herbal and Traditional Medicine, Januari 28-30 2015, Khon Kaen, Thailand 

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