Pandan leaves is a popular cooking ingredient in Southeast Asia because it has various benefits for cooking. Pandan leaves is known as a natural food coloring, natural flavoring, air freshener, insect repellent, and even as a food wrapper.
Pandan leaves have a bright green color and come from shrub plants that often live in tropical climates, this is not only useful to add the aroma of cuisine but also for pregnant women. This article will discuss the benefits of pandan leaves for pregnancy and drink recipes made from pandan leaves that are beneficial for pregnant women.
In Southeast Asia, it is very easy to find pandan leaves because this plant can grow anywhere and usually every person in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka have it in the backyard. Apart from being a supply for various culinary purposes, pandan leaves are also used for treatment.
What is pandan leaves?
Pandan leaves are derived from tropical plants (pandanus amaryllifolius) in the genus Pandanus which have green leaves and can grow up to 2 meters tall. The name pandan leaf comes from the name of the tree in Indonesia and some other Asian countries call it differently, such as pandanus fragrance (Malaysia), bai toey (Thailand), hom (Laos), and two thoms (Vietnam).
Pandan leaves are most widely used in Southeast Asian cuisine as a flavoring to make dishes have interesting scents and smell nice. Pandan leaves have a strong, sweet aroma, and can arouse people’s tastes and enrich the taste of food. Pandan leaves are often used for aroma and color for rice, pudding, chicken, drinks, and cakes.
Besides being used in cooking, pandan leaves are also often used as a traditional herbal treatment for several diseases in the Southeast Asian country. Pandan leaves can be used as a traditional medicine because they contain glycosides, alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, polyphenols, and tannins which can act as anti-bacterial properties.
Pandan leaves can cure various wounds and diseases, such as chest pain, headaches, earaches, fever relievers, reduce gum pain, refresh the breath, cure smallpox, cure coughs, reduce stomach cramps.
Is it safe to have pandan leaves during pregnancy?
Fresh pandan leaves have a rubbery nature, fibrous, and leave a bad taste in the mouth so it cannot be eaten directly. Consuming pandan leaves for pregnant women is usually used as food and drinks so it is safe for pregnancy.
The use of pandan leaves for food and drinks is very beneficial for pregnant women because it is known as a source of several lipophilic antioxidants, such as β-carotene, phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid, and vitamin E.
Antioxidant activity in pandanus leaves can reduce oxidative damage and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Pandan leaves have β-carotene compounds that have a positive impact on health, such as reducing the incidence of some types of cancer.
Β-carotene compounds that exist in fruits and vegetables with provitamin A activity as an important source of retinol for vitamin A precursors. WHO data in 2009 showed 19.1 million pregnant women had retinol levels below normal.
To get the benefits of pandan leaves as a source of vitamin A for pregnant women can be used in cooking and make it into pandan leaf tea. Pandan leaf tea is the easiest way to get the essence of health from this plant.
How to make pandan leaf tea is very easy, you have to prepare the ingredients first. The ingredients needed are a little ginger and 3 pandan leaves that have been washed clean and then tied into a knot. After all the ingredients are available, put the pandanus leaf ties in a pot of boiling water and add a little ginger.
Leave for 10 minutes until the pandan leaves soften and the water turns green. Remove pandan leaves from the water then drink tea when it is cold or you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 7 days in an airtight bottle.
Pandan leaves are very safe to use by pregnant women because they contain tannins and essential oils to relieve inflammation and to treat pain. Pandan leaves also do not carry any side effects like most chemical-based drugs.
Before using pandan leaves in pregnant women, it is advisable not to consume them in excessive amounts and in a long time. Although there are no side effects for the body, pregnant women who will consume pandanus leaves both to be added to cooking and to be made as a drink are advised to consult with your doctor first.
Health benefits of pandan leaves for pregnant women
Besides being useful to meet the needs of vitamin A in pregnant women, pandanus leaves are known to have many other benefits that can be used by pregnant women. Here are some of the benefits of pandan leaves that can be used by pregnant women during pregnancy.
1. Pandan leaves can help reduce fever
Pandan leaves can be used as a drink by boiling the leaves to help reduce fever in pregnant women. Fever in a person often occurs due to the body against infection so that the body temperature rises and causes discomfort. A person who has a fever is usually accompanied by headaches, earaches, chest pain, and arthritis.
2. Pandan leaves can reduce high blood pressure
Pregnant women who have high blood pressure can drink pandan leaf tea twice a day. High blood pressure can occur to anyone including pregnant women because this disease can be caused by various factors, such as obesity, stress, lifestyle, age, and dietary factors.
People with high blood pressure have blood pressure outside the normal range 110-120 / 90 mm Hg. Pandan leaf tea you can make by boiling 2-3 cups of water with 3 grams of pandan leaves and wait until the water is reduced by half. In addition to reducing high blood pressure, a pandan leaf tea is also able to reduce symptoms of dizziness and help prevent strokes.
3. Pandan leaves can be an herbal treatment for anti-cancer
Pandan leaf tea can also be consumed for anti-cancer herbal treatment because it has cytotoxic, antiproliferative, apoptotic, and antimitotic effects. Pandan leaf tea can counteract the toxic effects and inhibit the development of cancer if consumed regularly because they contain natural antioxidants.
4. Pandan leaves can help control blood sugar levels in pregnant women
Diabetes is very dangerous if it occurs in pregnant women because it can affect the health of the fetus. Diabetes occurs due to the lack of insulin production in the body and the high amount of glucose that settles in the human blood flow.
Pregnant women are advised to always maintain their blood sugar levels by consuming foods that are not only good for the health of pregnant women but are also low in sugar. Pandan leaf extract can act as an antidiabetic agent and as a natural antioxidant because it contains several compounds, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, alkaloid fatty acids, and essential oils.
Research published by the US National Institutes of Health also shows that pandan leaf extract can reduce postprandial blood sugar. Pregnant women can replace sugar or sweeten food with pandan leaves when making drinks because it not only makes drinks fresher but also prevents the onset of diabetes.
5. Pandan leaves can increase appetite
Pregnant women who lose their appetite can try to drink pandan leaf tea. Pandan leaf tea can improve and restore your appetite just by drinking it twice a day. Pregnant women need to have a good appetite for nutritional needs and the baby in the womb. Loss of appetite in pregnant women often results from hormonal changes that cause frequent nausea and problems with their sense of smell.
6. Pandan leaves can increase the stamina of pregnant women
Pregnant women can increase their stamina just by drinking drinks made from boiled pandan leaves and lemon water 2 times a day. Pandan leaf drink can be made by boiling five pandan leaves in 3 cups of water until it boils. You can also add lemon juice to get additional benefits.
7. Pandan leaves can cure and prevent constipation
Pregnant women often experience various digestive disorders, such as constipation. Constipation can cause pregnant women to have difficulty defecating and spasms in the stomach. Consuming pandan leaf tea can help pregnant women prevent and treat constipation by drinking it every day.
8. Pandan leaves help to overcome insomnia
Pregnant women need enough sleep so that their bodies stay fit and have good endurance. Pregnant women who suffer from insomnia can drink boiled water and pandanus leaf honey to overcome insomnia. Pandan leaves have alkaloid compounds for a calming effect on the body, helping pregnant women sleep more easily at night.
9. Pandan leaves reduce stress and anxiety
Pandan leaves decoction with boiling water can be applied to treat anxiety and stress that is often experienced by pregnant women. How to make pandan leaves water stew is by thinly slicing pandan leaves then brewing with a glass of boiling water. After the water is cold, strain the water and drink two or three times a day.
10. Pandan leaves can relieve pain
Tea made from pandan leaves can be used to relieve pain, such as chest pain, headaches, earaches, and arthritis. Pandan leaves can relieve pain because they contain laxative properties.
How to make pandan leaf tea to relieve the pain you can do by pounding 5 pandan leaves and 20 lemongrass leaves. Add 1 tablespoon of eucalyptus oil then stir until smooth before using it. Rub and massage areas of the body that are experiencing pain with the ingredients we make from pandan leaves and lemongrass leaves.
11. Pandan leaves can relieve arthritis
Pregnant women who have arthritis can try to use pandan leaves as a natural treatment. Arthritis causes pain due to swelling or inflammation of the muscles and joints. Arthritis can occur when pregnant women eat foods that contain high purines and take a bath late at night.
How to use pandan leaves for the treatment of arthritis is to cut three pieces of pandan leaves that have been washed first, then brewed with half a cup of boiled coconut oil. Stir the mixture, after a cold use as a liniment on the areas that experience arthritis.
12. Pandan leaves can prevent hair loss and dandruff
Hormonal changes during pregnancy often cause hair to fall out. In addition to hormonal changes, hair loss can occur due to the side effects of drugs, poor nutrition, and psychological pressure. Pandan leaves can be used as natural ingredients to prevent hair loss and overcome dandruff.
To prevent hair loss, apply a decoction of pandan leaves and half a cup of coconut oil, hazelnut oil, and sesame oil evenly on the scalp and hair. Pandan leaves decoction can be used routinely 2-3 times a week and then can be rinsed with water and shampoo.
13. Pandan leaves overcoming weak nerves
Weak nerves in pregnant women can cause occasional cramps which can be caused by a reduction in nerve stimulation to certain body parts. Boil 3 pieces of pandanus leaves that have been cut with 3 cups of water until there are about 2 cups of water left. Before ready to drink, strain the mixture to separate the pandan residue from the water. This drink can improve the nervous system in our body.
14. Pandan leaves can relieve headaches
Pandan leaves can be an option to relieve headaches rather than taking chemical drugs that can be bad for the body. When experiencing headaches, you can try adding pandan leaves to your food or drink.
Drinks that use pandan leaves to maintain the health of pregnant women
This recipe is made from edamame beans which is a type of beans with green skin and has good nutrition for pregnant women. Edamame nuts have many useful nutrients during pregnancy, such as folic acid, vitamin B, vitamin A, calcium, and iron. Besides being used as a nutritious snack, edamame beans can also be processed into milk.
- 500 gr peeled edamame
- 6 Pandan leaves
- Sugar or honey
- 1500 ml of water
How to make edamame milk:
- Soak edamame with water for 8-12 hours
- Blend edamame beans and water
- Boil edamame and pandan leaves for 10 minutes
- Filter edamame stew and pandan leaves until there is no pulp
- Add sugar or honey to taste and edamame milk is ready to drink
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