The Kelor tree grows easily throughout the island both in the highlands and lowlands, thriving in the wet and dry seasons, it is well known to the Balinese people. In the villages you can find this tree in almost every Balinese family compound as it has so many benefits in protecting the family members from sickness. Other than that, of course, it makes an easy, healthy and cheap meal, especially in soups. Most Balinese also believe that kelor has a powerful energy to counter black magic attacks.
The knowledge of herbal medicine has been taught from generation to generation and the Balinese have been using kelor for centuries. The leaf contains vitamin C and potassium stimulating the immune system, and vitamin A is good for the health of the eyes. Routine consumption of the leaf can also decrease blood sugar levels.
Every part of this tree has its own specific use and may be applied for different type of complaints. A stew made from the roots is effective to sooth urine problems and sputum from coughing, and increases the appetite. It is believed to heal more serious illness such as rheumatism, epilepsy and gonorrhea. Crushed kelor root is good for babies to cure skin irritations and general skin care, while the Balinese sometimes drink this concoction for an energy boost.
The extract from the bark of the Kelor tree is an effective medicine against scorpion and snakes venom – two of the most frightening foes for Balinese farmers. Applying this prevents swelling of bite regions. In some cases the extract is effective in healing thrush, even though this remains relatively unknown. Kelor fruit contains alkaloids good for digestion while the flower is an excellent remedy for the flu and sore throats.
Despite this knowledge of the benefits of Kelor it is unfortunate that nowadays the younger generations mostly ignore this and prefer to go to doctor for modern medicines. Nature provides us with so many medicines, it’s just a matter of realizing this and adapting these remedies into our behavior.