Kacip Fatimah – Labisia pumila

The traditional herb, Labisia pumila or better known locally as “Kacip Fatimah”, are used by Malay women much in childbirth in inducing and ease delivery and as a postpartum medication to help contract the birth channel, to delay conception and to regain body strength 2. Other claimed traditional uses of the plants include used effectively to treat dysentery, rheumatism and gonorrhoea. It is also used as antiflatulence by helping to drive away and prevent the formation of gas. It has been claimed to be used as an anti-dysmenorrhoea, helps in cleansing and avoiding painful or difficult menstruation.

The plant will also help to firm and tone the abdominal muscles. All these properties and biological activity is due to the presence of phytoestrogens that is naturally found in the plant. Not much work or scientific studies have been done on this plant. Two studies have shown that the plant exhibit oestrogenic properties. Jamal et al. (1999)2 in vitro study using human endometrial adenocarcinoma cells of the Ishikawa-Var I line showed that the ethanolic extracts of the roots of Labisia pumila var alata exhibited a weak but specific estrogenic effect on the cells, resulting in enhanced secretion of alkaline phosphatase. Husniza et al. (2000)3 shows the water extracts of the Kacip Fatimah were able to displace estradiol binding to antibodies raised against estradiol, making it similar to other estrogens such as estrone and estradiol.Thus this study is proposed to assessed the toxicological aspect of the traditional herb and evaluate the safety and efficacy of the standardised preparation of Kacip Fatimah and thereby to be used as a herbal medicine. Kacip Fatimah (KF) or Labisia pumila, a plant from the family Myrsinaceae, has been used by the indigenous people of the Malay archipelago for menstrual irregularities and post partum .


The plants are usually boiled and water soluble extract taken as a drink. Interest has recently been shown in the herbal preparation to determine its mode of action and potential pharmacological application. In the mean time commercial preparations as can drinks have been marketed without knowledge of the mode of action, potential toxicity and side effects. Because it is given to women post-partum, the possibility of it being a phytoestrogen was considered highly likely. An earlier in-vitro study using human endometrial adenocarcinoma cells of the Ishikawa-Var I line showed that the ethanolic extract of the roots of L. pumila var. alata exhibited a weak but specific estrogenic effect on the cells, resulting in enhanced secretion of alkaline phosphatase .

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Recent studies in the Institute for Medical Research, the water extracts of the KF were able to displace estradiol binding to antibodies raised against estradiol, making it similar to other estrogens such as estrone and estrio. Binding to estrogen receptors are being investigated. If they were phytoestrogens, the extract should also displace estradiol binding to the estrogen receptors. These phytoestrogens will then have certain effects on the animals depending on whether they are full estrogen agonists, or antagonists, or partial agonists like clomiphene. It is also possible that KF acts as estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) like Tamoxifen or Raloxifene which is active at certain tissues only . For example, Reloxifene being active only at the bones and lipids and not the breasts and uterus, common target tissues for estrogen action.

Summary of health benefits

  • Firming and toning of abdominal muscles.
  • The biological activities of the phytoestrogen which is naturally found in the plant assist women to achieve fuller and firmer breasts and tighten vaginal muscles.
  • Anti-dysmenorrhoea; cleansing and avoiding painful or difficult menstruation.
  • Used effectively to treat dysentery, rheumatism and women’s ailments associated with childbirth.
  • Anti-flatulence; drive away and prevent the formation of gas.
  • Administered as a post partum medication to help contract the birth channel and help the new mother to regain body strength.

Contents in every 250ml Taurine 1000mg, D-Gluconolactonet 500mg, 1,3,7 Trimethylxanthine 50mg, Lysine 50mg, Dexpanthenol 5mg, Choline Bitartrate USP 50mg, Inositol 50mg, Nicotinamide 20mg, Vitamin C 5mg, Vitamin B6 5mg, Vitamin B12 5mg.

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