Sappanwood (secang) has long been known in Indonesia. In Aceh it is known as seupeueng, in Minangkabau it is called lacang, in Java and Sunda (West Java) it is called secang. Characteristically, the plant can grow at 1000 meter over sea surface.
This plant is a wild plant. People grow them in the yard serving as a fence. The shrub can grow as high as 10 meters. It came from Southeast Asia and it is found easily in Indonesia. It tastes rather sour but fresh. The local people usually add cardamom and red ginger to make it a drink. The drink will make the body feel warm. But there is another benefit that can be given by the plant.
According to Bani Adlina Shabrina, Raisatun Nisa Sugiyanto, and Prisnu Tirtanirmala, students of Faculty of Pharmacy UGM, Sappanwood (Caesalpinia sappan L) can be made non-genotoxic antiosteoporosis agent in post-menstrual women. Their research on the local wisdom of Indonesia can be made a solution to overcome osteoporosis.
"It is obviously safe for the DNA. The result of the research made us proud as we came second place in the LIPI Scientific Competition 2013,” said Bani Adlina Shabrina in Fortakgama, Tuesday (3/12).
According to Bani Adlina, high calcium milk to overcome osteoporosis has the potential for hypertension, while hormon replacement therapy can cause cervical cancer. "Secang contains flavonoid that can serve as antiosteoporosis agent, so it is safe to be consumed,” he said.
Although it is still an in vivo research using mice for testing, Bani Shabrina hoped the plant can be produced massively as antiosteoporosis drug. "Our research paper was selected among five best papers that are presented in the scientific competition in Jakarta from 14-15 November,” she said.