The tree is called Cassia Alata. It is also known as Senna alata, Herpetica alata, Cassia bracteata, and Cassia herpetica.
In Sarawak the tree is known by two names. My mother calls it the Sulok tree. The other name escapes me. There are a few Cassia Alata trees in my parents yard.
My mother would cut up a few branches of the tree and put them out to dry. When the leaves are dry she will put them over a fire to dry it even further and also to give the leaves that smoked flavour. Then the leaves are removed from the branches and stored away for boiling into a tea.
I like the flavour of the Sulok tea. It has a pleasant mild flavour. I don't know about it being a laxative but I know for sure that it works very well as a diuretic!
People in Sarawak believe that drinking Sulok tea will help lower your blood cholesterol. My uncle who has very high blood cholesterol says that his cholesterol level went down after consistently drinking the tea for a month.
I brought a small bag of the Sulok tea leaves back to California. Two days ago I boiled a kettle of the tea. I had forgotten to take my hydrochlorothiazide medication on Sunday and on Monday I took my medication as usual and drank several cups of Sulok tea. Oh boy, did the two combined made me go to the toilet often! Got rid of all the water retention in my body!
According to an article I read, cassia alata has blood sugar lowering properties. That is excellent news indeed because I am concerned about my blood sugar. It is a bit on the high side and I did suffer from gestational diabetes. My father is a diabetic and with that family history, for me it is a matter of when not if where diabetes is concerned.
Now I wished I had brought more of the leaves for my tea! The reason I brought a small amount was that I was afraid that the customs people would confiscate my tea leaves if they found I was carrying a bag of it! :-)
Some people have successfully grown the cassia alata here in the US. I might want to get the seeds and try planting it. There are companies selling the seeds and even young plants here in the U.S. It is a fast growing tree and if I plant it in a big pot I might be able to protect it from the cold during the winter months. Doug has been meaning to build a greenhouse for a long time but he has not got around to doing it. In fact he has the stuff needed to build the greenhouse already!
Who knows I might want to market the tea leaves like any herbal tea! Hey Zawi, here's another business possibility for us!!