Three UNAIR Professors Encourage Plant Exploration as Herbal Medicine

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(From the left) Prof. Sukardiman, Prof. Mangestuti, Prof. Suhartati, and Prof. Hery in Professors’ Innovation Exposition Episode IV, Thursday, October 27. (Photo: Bambang BES)

UNAIR NEWS – Professors’ Innovation Exposition UNAIR Episode IV was held on Thursday, October 27. The event held in Kahuripan Hall 300, Management Office Building Campus C UNAIR was themed “Back to Nature: Herbal Medicine as an Alternative to Health without Side Effects”. It was attended by about 150 participants from various elements.

The event moderated by Prof. Dr. Sukardiman, Apt., M.S invited three UNAIR professors as speakers, Prof. Mangestuti Agil, Apt., M.S. of Faculty of Pharmacy UNAIR , Prof. Dr. Suhartati, dr., M.S. of Faculty of Medicine (FK) UNAIR and Prof. Hery Purnobasuki., Drs., M.Si., Ph.D of Faculty of Science and Technology UNAIR.

As the first speaker, Prof. Hery talked about interaction of human and plants. As the second wealthiest country for its biodiversity after Brazil, Indonesia should use plants as an alternative to health treatment. But in reality, there are many people which do not use plants as they should be.

“Leaves like weed can be used for health if it is used properly with proper dosage, so it would not cause addiction,” said Prof. Hery. “Indonesia needs to repent (tobat) not only drugs (obat),” he aid followed with giggles from the audience.

Prof. Hery said that Ethnobotany is a source of energy and life. Furthermore, plants can be used to produce chemicals for food, defense, protection and seed distribution sector. They even have cultural values.

“Wedding ceremonies usually use necklace from jasmine flowers, funeral also use flowers. They have been part of the culture and with philosophical values,” said Prof. Hery.

Similar to Prof. Hery, Prof. Mangestuti added that Indonesia has more than 1700 herbal medicine material which is rich of antioxidant. But limited exploration made its utilization has not been maximal.

“Indonesia has 1700  herbal plants, then Japanese said that if there should not be sick people in Indonesia,” said Prof. Mangestuti.

According to Prof. Mangestuti, there are many people unconvinced by herbal medicine as body responses slower to natural medicine than the suppressive drugs, therefore the patients are often impatient.

“Response to natural medicine for health is slow if it is followed with lifestyle to control the disease, like fasting,” said Prof. Mangestuti.

Prof. Mangestuti conveyed that back to nature slogan can be done if there are supports from the government, society and scientific community through evidence-based research.

“Philosophical study on herbal medicine is complete. Of course with supports from herbal consumers,” said Prof. Mangestuti.

From clinical aspect, Prof. Suhartati stated that herbal medicine can provide therapy for the consumers, especially herbal medicine with flavonoid, a compound which prevents various diseases.

“It happens because flavonoid has reactive clusters which can improve enzymes,” she said.

Prof. Suhartati said that there are many doctors’ encouragement not to consume powder formed medicine. Therefore, the consumers of herbal or traditional medicine are affected.

“We must study first, what the powder contains, then how the quality, the dosage, all must be calculated,” said Prof. Suhartati. (*)

Author : Dilan Salsabila
Editor    : Binti Q. Masruroh

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