Scientific name - Gnetum gnemon
Inhabitant to Southeast Asia and the western Pacific Ocean islands, Gnetum gnemon is a species of gnemon L. – Buko from the family of Gnetaceae. Also known as Padi or paddy oats, this small to medium sized tree grows upto 15-20 m tall, features big size leaves that is 8–20 cm long and 3–10 cm broad. The leaves are bronze colored and turn glossy dark green when matured. The fruit-like strobilus consists of a large nut-like seed that is 2–4 cm long with little skin. Having said that, the seed alone weighs just about 3.8 g and the fleshy strobili weights 5.5gms, strobili that are red in color are eaten by birds, mammals and reptiles.
Common names of Gnetum gnemon:
Known by several other indigenous names such as buko, joint fir, two leaf and Spanish joint fir, in Indonesia they are identified as belinjo/melingo, with regards to other regions they are identified as Gnemon (Malay), Peesae (Thai), Sikau/sukau (Fiji) and Tulip (Papua New Guinea).
Widely used in Indonesian cuisine, the seeds of Melinjo are highly nutritious, rich in antioxidants and can increase stamina.
During the early days, Gnetum plants were mixed with other ingredients in order to treat dog bites. It is also said that the plants can help with various other diseases especially anemia. Adding some parts of plant to your regular diet is said to set free some health benefits. Protein content present in the plant is said to eliminate free radicals that causes various diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol, narrowing of blood vessels, premature aging, etc
A distinguishing feature with regards to health benefits of Gnetum gnemon is that the antioxidant activity in Gnetum Africanum is equivalent to the antioxidant activity of vitamin C.