Coleus amboinicus As Medicine and its Side Effects

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – In Indonesia, almost all parts of its soil grow a variety of plants providing benefits for human medical and nutritional needs. One of them is Torbangun (Coleus amboinicus ) plant. Some people call it cumin leaf. Torbangun leaves have a slippery and thick texture and smells of oregano or mint.

This plant is widespread and has been consumed daily for treatment and food supplements for some people in Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. The plants that can live around 3-10 years, have long been used traditionally as food, animal feed additives, and as a cure for various diseases.

“Mothers in North Sumatra are obliged to consume torbangun leaves for up to 30 days. They usually cook as a soup to stimulate breast milk. According to studies, torbangun leaves are more effective than lactogogue, “explained Dr. Iwan Sahrial.

Torbangun plants have long been used by the community as traditional herbal medicine for the treatment of various diseases such as heat, cough, bronchitis, laryngitis, diarrhea and dysentery. In the torbangun plant, there is also active compounds function as medicine. Researchers from various universities in the world have found active compounds such as monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, diterpenoids and phenolics, 3 methyl 4 isopropyl phenols, squalene, cariophyline, phytol, alkaloids, glycosids, flavonoids, quinones, tannins, phenols, and terpenoids .

Seeing the potential of Torbangun plant as a medicinal ingredient, Dr. Iwan Sahrial and his colleague, Dr. Rondius Solfaine, tried to evaluate the drawback of the leaves.

“Although included in the Anti-Inflammatory Non-steroidal drugs (NSAIDs), one drawback in using materials from torbangun plants as medicinal ingredients is the side effects that can cause kidney failure and cause allergies,” he said.

The Head of PSDKU UNAIR Veterinary Medicine Program in Banyuwangi continued to explain his research added cisplatin, or a drug in cancer therapy, sarcoma and carcinoma, in torbangun plant extracts, to minimize the side effects.

Using mice as the test subject, Dr. Iwan and his team managed to inhibit the formation of kidney failure due to the addition of cisplatin to the torbangun plant extract.

“It is shown by the increase in growth factor compounds (TGF) followed by a decrease in concentrations of Alkaline phosphate, BUN and creatinine, these three compounds are parameters of kidney function tests,” he concluded.

From the test results of torbangun leaf extract, the most effective dose in preventing kidney damage is at a dose of 100 mg / kg body weight. The torbangun (Coleus amboinicus ) plant extracts were  obtained from fresh leaves extracted by 96% ethanol maceration. (*)

Author: Bastian Ragas

Editor: Nuri Hermawan 

Reference: Sahrial I, Solfaine R (2019) Coleus amboinicus extract increases transforming growth factor-1β expression in Wistar rats with cisplatin-induced nephropathy, Veterinary World, 12(8): 1346-1351. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2019.1346-1351

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