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Chirurg. 2002 Apr;73(4):387-92.

[Wound management with coconut oil in Indonesian folk medicine].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Klinik für Allgemein- und Gefässchirurgie, Klinikum der Johann-Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60596 Frankfurt am Main.


The medical plants which are used to treat wounds and injuries by the ethnic group of Ngada on Flores, an Eastern Indonesian island, will be presented. Additionally, the coconut oil used to treat wounds and to conserve medicinal plants will be analysed biochemically. The people of Ngada use the following plants for wound treatment: seeds of the betel nut (Areca catechu L.), fruits of papaya (Carica papaya L.), leaves of the Indian Hydrocotyle (Centelle asiatica L.), the rhizome of turmeric (Curcuma domestica Val. and Curcumara xanthorrhiza Roxb.), leaves of betel (Piper betel L.). Coconut oil is particularly useful because of its biochemical structure: unlike olive oil and animal fatty tissue, it consists of short-chained and saturated fatty acids. These qualities in coconut oil prevent it from becoming oxidized and rancid, thus making it suitable for the preservation of medicinal plants and for wound treatment.

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