Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Can you identify this tree?

These are pictures of a tree that is found in my parents' yard. In fact there are a few of these trees in their yard. The leaves of the tree remind me of the leaves of the guava tree except that is is larger. At night the leaves "close", that is fold inwards length wise. It can grow quite tall and has that distinctive yellow flowers found at the tip of the top branches. It is known by two names locally in Sarawak, but right now the names escape me. :-(

What makes this tree special is that the leaves can be dried and smoked over a fire for a while, to rid it off any residual moisture. Use the leaves like any tea leaves. Put about 8 - 10 leaves in a kettle or large teapot of boiling water and let is sit for a few minutes, and then drink it like you would any tea. The tea is mild and quite flavorful.

It is said that the tea has bad cholesterol lowering properties. These are anecdotal stories but my uncle swears by the efficacy of the tea. He was diagnosed with high LDL levels and started taking the tea. By his next medical check-up the doctor was surprised that his bad cholesterol level had gone down quite significantly. My uncle credits that lower LDL to the tea that he took.

I brought some of the tea leaves back with me to California. Just a gallon sized zipped bag full. I drank it 2 days ago, and that night I was quite sleepless! I drank the tea at night. I'm not sure if there is caffeine in that tea. Now I know better, just avoid tea at night, herbal or otherwise!


  1. Puteri,
    I'm a hopeless gardener. Not sure what's the name of the tree but the flower nampak cantik sangat..

  2. By the look of the leaves, is it a pokok assam?

  3. Cat, yes the flowers are pretty.

    No, it is not pokok asam. No fruit on this tree. Just the leaves can be used for tea.

  4. Will cassia alata tea rid the skin desise ? Can u help plz


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