The Sky Fruit, a peculiar fruit with medicinal herb
I want to put politics aside for a while….
My last vacation was at Langkawi Island in December 2008. While waiting for the evening flight back to Kuala Lumpur, my wife, my two small kid(8 & 12 yrs) and I decided to stroll outside the Langkawi International Airport. We got two hours to stroll around the airport garden.
On the south side of the airport, linking to Helang Hotel, there this 30m tall, strange looking trees. There were 40-50 trees. Look like specially planted by the Airport Authority. Underneath the tree was very cooling due to the sea breeze flowing into airport vacinity. My two sons were seen horse playing a Tarzan stunt. They were holding a white knife looking pieces acting as their dagger.
Sensing hazard, I took a closer look at the pieces(see center picture) they were holding. It is an organic, very light, pod- like, hard, whitish on the inner side and dark brownish rough surface on the outside. It look like some parts from a Pod like fruit. Enthusiatically, we all stroll around underneath the trees looking for seeds or fruit like thing. I haven’t a clue. It could be the seed had flown away with the wind.
“ayah! this is reproductive by means of explosive mechanism..” said my 12 year old son(Zayed).
“yeah It look like it” I said
“what?explosion?” retort my 8 year old son(Faidz).
” macam ni….buah dia macam tuu…atas tuh(pointing at the fruit at the top)..bila dia dah ripe, dia explosionlah…..boom!..meletup macam hand grenade..berterabur lah biji dia..” said Zayed(the language show the inclination toward PPSMI).
“ohh! macam gitu, mana biji dia….betul ke ayah?” Faidz responding. Looking at me sheepishly ” betul lah….” I said.
We collected the pieces of the fruit pod and the “tempulur” but we can’t find the seed, put them in our luggage. Flew back to K.L and forgot about it.
Last sunday(March 8, 2009), I went to Jalan Pasar with my two sons. There are a lot of exotic items, toys etc especially aquarium fish, you can find in Pasar Road. In the middle of all those “nomadic” petty traders, I saw an old Chinese Apek standing by the side of his “kapcai” motorcycle with a bamboo basket on the back seat. Inside the basket were several of the familar looking fruits, and it’s called Sky Fruit or Buah Mahagony. Mahagony wood is famous for it fine quality wood that can be into a fine quality furniture. But the Apek was not selling any furniture. There were also 2 big plastic bags full of the redish coloured seeds. The seed appear like a thin flake of flower petals or wood chips covered with a thin layer of wing like wood sheet. The seed inside look like a whitish fibre like solid. The Apek were picking and counting the seeds and packed the seed into small plastic packets, 100 seeds per packet. There was also several transparent small medicine container contained some brownish capsule.
The seed is very bitter. Bitter than the famous Tongkat Ali. “tapi khasiat dia sama itu tongkat Ali…dan lagi bagus! boleh ubat cancer, sakit darah tinggi, sakit jantung, kasi cepat darah jalan, boleh buang kolesterol..” said Apek. “mana dapat ini buah?” I asked. Apek reply “dalam hutanlah, susah mau cari loh…” However Apek was reluctant to reveal the exact location of the trees. Hmm… Apek then pick a redish seed, break it into small pieces. Clip the pieces between the index finger and the tumb, slit it into his throat and flush down with a gulp of mineral water. ” arrgh..banyak pahit!” said Apek, showing a gritty face.
A packet of 100 seeds is price at RM10.00. One fruit is price at RM7.50(a fruit contains 50 seeds with 5% empty seed) and the capsule container of 50 is priced at RM10.00
In 1996, a group of American Bio-Chemical Technologist discovered that the fruit is with a very high content of Flavanoids and Saponins. Tongkat Ali is with high content of Flavanoids but with small amount of Saponins.
Flavanoids mainly helps to improve blood ciculations and clears the blood stream of blockage. It also can assist in getting rid of cholesterol and prevent accumulation of fat and cholesterol on the inner wall of the blood stream.
While Saponins is an agent to prevent the formation of cancerous cells. Thus it will reduce the risk of contacting cancer. It enhances our immunity system. It also help to reduce blood clotting.
It is believed there are ample of this trees in the Solomon Island. The people of the Solomon Island were the pioneer in discovery of this fruit as a form of herbal cure.
Hmm mm..I just bought a packet of the seed. heh eh…