TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Papua provincial government has made every effort to expand the crops of red fruit tree, found very effective for curing various diseases.
Papua and West Papua provinces are known to have abundant biodiversity which include a lot of medicinal plants that can be developed for the local peoples welfare.
Among the medicinal plants growing in the regions are Rhododendron Macgregoriae which is effective in fighting bacteria, Myrmecodia Aureospinosa that can cure cancer and other diseases, and Pandanus Conoideus which is popularly known as Red Fruit.
The Red Fruit grows well in all Papua regions, especially in the Jayawijaya mountain area of Wamena and Tolikara, Jayapura, Manokwari, and Nabire, in addition to Timika, and Ayamaru in Sorong.
Hence, the Food Crops and Horticulture Department in Papua Province has set up a land area of 546 hectares for the development of red fruit in numerous districts.
Food Crops and Horticulture Department Chief Semuel Siriwa remarked in the provincial city of Jayapura on Thursday that in addition to preparing the land, the department has also provided 11 units of red fruit processing machines.
"The red fruit processing machines will be distributed to the red fruit development centers in the districts of Jayapura, Wamena, Tolikara, Puncak Jaya, Yahukimo, Timika, and Nabire," Siriwa remarked.
From the production sector, he expressed hope that there would be a cross-sector cooperation of relevant Regional Working Wnits (SKPD) in the province.
According to him, all production sectors require the cooperation of the Department of Industry, Department of Transportation and Trade and the Department of Cooperatives in terms of promotion.
Siriwa explained that the development of red fruit is expected to increase the income of people who manage these commodities.
"In addition, red fruit is also one of the commodities whose planting is encouraged by the governor of Papua," he said, adding that red fruit will have a great potential if it is developed in Papua like that of coffee or cocoa.
The red fruit is traditionally prepared by splitting it, wrapping it in leaves, and then cooking it in an earthen oven to produce juice, which is used as skin and eye medicine, and for worm treatment.
Based on the analysis conducted by Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB), Red Fruit actually contains high degrees of carotenoids and tocopherol, which is rich in Vitamin E supplements.
There are over 600 known carotenoids divided into two classes, xanthophyll which contains oxygen, and carotenes which are purely hydrocarbons and contain no oxygen.
People consuming diets rich in Carotenoids from natural foods such as fruits and vegetables are healthier and have lower mortality from a number of chronic illnesses.
The total amount of Carotenoids in a fresh Red Fruit is 34,000 ppm, and in its Red Fruit extract it is 8,600 ppm. The total amount of Tocopherol in a fresh Red Fruit is 133,000 ppm, while in its Red Fruit extract it is 17,000 ppm.
Beside Carotenoids and Tocopherol, Red Fruit extract also contains overfull fatty acids, such as Lauric, Palmitate, Stearate Acids, and non-full fatty acids, such as Palmitoleat, Oleat, Linoleate Acids, Omega-3, etc.
From the high compound ingredients of antioxidants as well as fatty acids within the Red Fruit, it was rationally understood that its extract is used as an alternative food supplement to enhance physical endurance.
The endurance is caused by the chemical ingredients from the oil of the Red Fruit such as Beta-carotene, Tocopherol, an active compound of fully fatty acids and non-fatty acids.
The antioxidants contained in the Red Fruit extract will neutralize the free radicals which is believed to cause diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cancer, leukemia, HIV-AIDS, etc.
Red Fruit is also useful for healthy people to help step up their stamina and body endurance.
Besides containing antioxidants and antiviral compounds in high doses, Red Fruit also contains fairly complete essential vitamins and minerals.
Red Fruit is known as the traditional medicine of Papua, which has been empirically proven as an alternative medicine to cure diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS, tumors and hypertension.
Besides Red Fruit, Papua is also rich in "ant nest" medicine that has been used by the public for several years in Asia and Europe.
Since early 2005, ant nest from Papua has been introduced to the public and to date a lot of people are still busily discussing its effectiveness to cure various diseases ranging from the mild ones such as headaches, rheumatism, nosebleeds, and ulcers, apart from gout and hemorrhoids, to severe diseases such as tumors, cancer, liver, and lung tuberculosis, in addition to kidney disorders, prostate, and coronary heart disease.
In addition, these anthill plants can enhance and accelerate the production of breast milk and restore the health of women after childbirth, increase stamina and be used as an aphrodisiac (increases sexual desire). Some even say that the content of flavonoids may control the development of herpes and HIV-AIDS.