The young leaves are eaten as ulam or traditional salad served with sambal. Decoction of the leaves is used to treat fever whereas a poultice of young leaves is used to treat rheumatism. When mixed with turmeric, the paste is gently applied on boils, sores, and wounds.
The young is sliced and eaten raw with ulam whereas the more mature rhizome is widely used in cooking as flavouring. The leaves are eaten, believed to treat stomachaches, rheumatism, and headaches. Medicinal recipes that incorporate ginger can also help alleviate menstrual cramps, flatulence, colic, dyspepsia, colds, coughs, fever, and nausea.
The young shoots is dipped in sambal as ulam. It is also commonly used as a condiment for cooking; its young leaves garnished on top due to their aromatic flavour. Its leaves and flowers are used to relieve coughs, cold, and bronchitis. Women with amenorrhea or post-childbirth, consume a decoction of its leaves to better regulate their menstrual cycle. In Vietnam specifically, the decoction is used to treat fever and malaria.
Lemon grass is a centuries-old medicinal herb used to treat fever. Its essential oil seasons food, added in perfumes, as well as used in aromatherapy. In traditional medicine, it is applied as an ointment for rheumatism, sprains, muscle aches and pains. The leaves and roots are boiled in water, drunk to treat urinary problems, stomachaches, and flatulence. The stem, with its strong fragrance, is also commonly used as a culinary herb in Southeast Asia.
Select Bibliography of Malay Medical Texts
Abdullah, H. (2017). Kitab Perubatan Melayu: Khazinat al-Insan [The Human Treasury], Haji Muhammad Ali bin Haji Muhammad Rawi. Kuala Lumpur: Akademi Jawi Malaysia.
Ahmad, A. S. (1982). Warisan Perubatan Melayu [Malay Medical Heritage]. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia.
Hussain, A. G. (2015). MSS 2999 Kitab Tib: A Modern Medical Insight into and Interpretation of a Malay Medical Manuscript. Kuala Lumpur: Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM).
Karim, A. R. A. (2006). Analisis Bahasa dalam Kitab Tib Pontianak. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
Piah, H. M. (2006). Kitab Tib: Ilmu Perubatan Melayu. Kuala Lumpur: Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia.
Piah, H. M. (2017). Kitab Tib Muzium Terengganu: Edisi dan Huraian Teks. Kuala Lumpur: FRIM.
Piah, H. M., & Zawiyah, B. (2014). Kitab Tib MSS 2515 Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia: Kajian Teks dan Suntingan. Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
Shafri, M. A. M., & Hermansyah, M. H. (2017). Kitab Perubatan Melayu: al-Rahmah fi al-Tibb wa al-Hikmah [The Book of Mercy Concerned with Medicine and Wisdom], ‘Abbas Kuta Karang Aceh Dar al-Salam. Kuala Lumpur: Akademi Jawi Malaysia.
Shafri, M. A. M. (2018). Kitab Perubatan Melayu: Rumah Ubat di Pulau Penyengat [House of Medicine at Penyengat Island], Raja Haji Ahmad ibni Raja Hasan al-Haj. Kuala Lumpur: Akademi Jawi Malaysia.a
Shafri, M. A. M. (2018). Kitab Perubatan Melayu: Tayyib al-Insan fi Tibb al-Insan [The Goodness of Man is in the Medicine of Man], Wan Ahmad ibn Wan Muhammad Zayn al-Fatani, 2nd edition, Kuala Lumpur: Akademi Jawi Malaysia.
Shafri, M. A. M. (2019). Sari Segala Ubat Tabib Diraja Kesultanan Pontianak. Kuala Lumpur: Akademi Jawi Malaysia.
Sobree, N. (2017). Bustanus Salatin, Bab Ketujuh Fasal Ketiga: Pada Menyatakan Ilmu Tashrih dan Ilmu Tibb, Nurrudin ar-Raniri. Kuala Lumpur: Baytul Hikma.
Cik Dul of Pulau Pinang. (1889). [Collection of Texts in Malay (I-III): Kitab Fa’al (here Called Kitab Obat); and Other Texts]. Or. 7650.
Muhammad, & Marhum Makota Alam of Aceh. (n.d.). [Collective Volume (Kitab Tibb) with Medical Texts in Malay: Prescriptions against Colds; and Other Texts]. Or. 1769.
Muhammad Joenoes. (1892). Kitab Tib. Or. 17.987.
Muhammad Saleh. (1840). Kitab Obat-obatan. Or. 3198.
Ronkel, P. (n.d.). Kitab Tib. Or. 5650.
Snouck Hurgronje, C. (n.d.). Kitab Tib: A Collection of Do’a, Azimat, Obat, Etc. Or. 7629.
Kitab Ilmu Perubatan. MS 47.
Kitab Tib. MS 174.