Pandanus (pandan) or screw pine leaf is widely used in Thai desserts for its refreshing and aromatic properties, as well as a natural food colour. Pandan leaf is believed to be a restorative, deodorant indolent and phylactic, promoting a feeling of well-being and a counter to tropical latitude.
In traditional medicine, pandanus leaf is used as cardiotonic and also for rehydration, measles and other skin diseases. Pharmaceutical studies show that pandanus helps lower blood sugar, reduce blood pressure; lower pulsation, and micturate.
Pandanus is abundant in antioxidant. A compound named 4-hydroxybenzoic acid from Pandanus showed a hypoglycemic effect and increased serum insulin levels and liver glycogen content in normal rats.
Also, methanolic extracted from pandan leaf showed anti-inflammatory activity. Pandanin (a lectin) is an unglycosylated protein also presented antiviral activities against human viruses, herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) and influenza virus (H1N1) with 3 day’s EC50 of 2.94 and 15.63 μM, respectively.
Some other health benefits of pandan leaf:
- Treats leprosy, smallpox and wounds.
- Helps reduce fever.
- Relives headache and arthritis
- Treatment for ear pains
- Functions as a laxative for children
- Eases chest pains
- Helps in speeding up the recuperation of women who have just given birth and are still weak
- Reduces stomach spasms and strengthens the gum