People who live in countries like Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia might be well aware of a plant called Pandan. It is also used as a spice across entire Southeast Asia. Apart from its unique taste and scent, Pandan leaves are cultivated for many other uses other than for food purposes. For instance, in Vietnam, cab drivers use pandan leaves air fresheners for their vehicles.
Furthermore, pandan leaves are seldom used raw for dishes. Mostly, they are consumed as a powder, paste, or turned into essential oil. For centuries science and researchers have studied the potential health benefits of pandan leaves and we are here for the same reason as well. Let’s begin.
Arthritis and Joint Pain Relief
One of the first major health benefits offered by pandan leaves is that it helps reduce arthritis and joint pain relief. Researchers have found out that pandan leaves extract tends to contain important phytochemicals that are known to relieve symptoms of arthritis. In addition to that, they might also help relieve earaches and headaches.
Heart Disease Prevention
Studies conducted to reveal the relationship between pandan leaves and heart diseases have found that pandan leaves are beneficial for the heart as well. Pandan leaves contain a huge concentration of carotenoids a type of antioxidants that help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, which is basically the narrowing of the heart arteries due to the buildup of plaque.
In Southeast Asia, pandan leaves are used in dried form as a topical treatment for sunburn, minor burns, and other skin related concerns. Although more research is needed to add weight to the findings but preliminary studies suggest that tannic acids found in pandan act as a cooling agent for minor burns.
Helps Control Blood Sugar
The consumption of pandan leaves might help people control their blood sugar. Then, again more research is needed to prove this claim but initial studies have shown that people who drink pandan tea after a meal tend to have comparatively lower blood sugar than people who do not.
Another key benefit of pandan is that it is an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants that help boost the immune system. This helps prevent harmful diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases as well.
Enhances Body Stamina
Believe it or not, pandan helps enhance the body’s stamina as well. To do that, boil pandan leaves with three glasses of water and once the boiling is done, remove the leaves and allow the remaining mixture to rest until it cools down. Then, add some lemon drops and drink it every two days. In addition to that, you can also reap the same benefit by drinking pandan leaf tea.
Treats Skin Fungal Infections
If you are someone who is suffering from skin fungal infections, you might want to use pandan leaves as a cure. It is known to effectively treat common skin fungal infections known as tinea versicolor, commonly known as panau in Malaysia. To treat this function infection, you will have to consume it by making tea mixed with a bit of salt. Drink it daily for 3 to 5 days for it to show results.
How to prepare Pandan
Back in the day, pandan leaves were hard to find but today they are easily available at almost every local superstore. Infact, pandan leaves have become quite popular across the U.S as well. Pandan leaves can be added directly to a bowl of rice or stew and allow to cook until the flavor is absorbed in the dish. Before eating, you should remove the leaves left behind.
Another way of preparing pandan leaves is by making a water infused extract. For that, you will first need to finely chop the leaves and then mix them in a food processor to blend. Allow it to sit for a while and then remove any solids by straining the mixture over a bowl and put the final product into the refrigerator to refrigerate it.
Pandan happens to be a unique and versatile plant that has been and is still used for medicinal purposes in South and Southeast Asia. Although more research is needed to discover its additional health benefits but the initial studies indeed prove that pandan leaves contain antioxidants and other compounds that are beneficial to human health. If it is not grown in your area, you can purchase it in powdered form and consume it several days of the week.