Sagu

Botanical Name :Metroxylon sagu Rottb.
Family: Arecaceae
Genus: Metroxylon
Species: M. sagu
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Arecales

Scientific names:
Metroxylon sagu Rottb. ,Metroxylon rumphii Mart. Sagus inermis Roxb. Langdang (Bis.) ,Sagus spinosus Roxb.

Common names: Ambolong (Mbo.),Bagsang (Bis.),Langdang (Bis.),Lumbai (Bis.)Lumbia (C. Bis., Bag.),Lumbiag (Sul.),Sagu (Mbo., Bis.),Palma sagu (Span.),Sago palm (Engl.),Smooth sago palm (Engl.),True sago palm (Engl.),Xi mi zong (Chin.)

Habitat :Native to tropical southeastern Asia in Indonesia (western New Guinea, and the Moluccas), Papua New Guinea, Malaysia (both Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak) and possibly also the Philippines (though maybe introduced there).

Description:
It is a monocarpic palm growing to 10 m tall or more,throwing up stems in succession. Each stem in turn flowering, fruiting and dying after about 15 years. Leaves are pinnate, 6 to 9 meters long. Leaflets are linear-ensiform, up to 1.5 meters in length. Spadix is 3.5 to 4.5 meters long, the spathes quite spineless. Spikes are 10 to 12 cm long and about 1 cm in diameter. Fruits are globular, slightly depressed, with about 5 mm pericarp, spongy and succulent mesocarp, and thin endocarp. Seeds are globular, depressed, with white, bony albumen.
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Constituents
Contains 80% starch, 16% water, 2% nitrogenous substances, and very little ash.

Properties
Nutritive and easily digestible, free of any irritating properties.

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Edible Uses: Nutritive, easily digestible.

Medicinal Uses:
Folkloric
*Food used during fevers and convalescence.
*In Malaya, recommended as an excipient in making poultices for shingles.
*In Papua, New Guinea, stem sap is applied to forehead to ease headaches. Starch from plant trunk mixed with water and drunk for diarrhea and stomach pains. Starch paste appliled to burns. Leaf used to cover fresh or infected sores until they heal. Liquid starch given to new borns to treat enlarged spleen.
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Studies
• Glycemic and Insulinaemic Responses: Study investigated the effect of different forms of sago supplementation on plasma glucose and plasma insulin responses, as compared to white bread supplementation in man, during resting state. Results showed sago paste and porridge may be used for supplementation before and during exercise, and sago gell after endurance exercaise during recovery process.
• Inexpensive Lactic Acid from Sago Palm: Dulce Flores, a researcher from the University of the Philippines in Mindanao discovered a new streptococcus strain called Enterococcus faecium with the capability of converting sago starch directly into lactic acid without the costly pre-enzymatic treatment. Lactic acid is a colorless acid found in sour milk; used as a preservative in dyeing and in making adhesives and pharmaceuticals.

Others Uses:
*Poison: Fruit reportedly used as a poison in Malaya; the sap mixed with Datura by prisoners.
*Stabilizers: Sagu starch used in food production (high fructose syrup, MSG, maltodextrins, cyclodextrins); manufacture of paper coating, adhesives and biodegradable filler in bioplastics.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.stuartxchange.com/Sagu.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metroxylon_sagu
http://www.wpro.who.int/NR/rdonlyres/1EA13AB9-91B2-4E42-BCC5-9CDADE00D91A/0/Part2_MedicinalPlantsinPNG.pdf

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