Sure, there are many plants out there, but we Southeast Asians do love our pandan leaves. Widely used as a flavouring in our cuisine, we incorporate pandan into our drinks (pandan tea), food (pandan chicken) and desserts as well (pandan layer cake, onde-onde etc.)! In fact, it’s so common that we don’t stop to think twice about what these fragrant leaves can actually do for us. Curious? Keep reading to discover these 10 pandan leaves benefits, some of which may surprise you!
1) Helps With Insomnia
Pandan leaves have alkaloid compounds, which have a calming effect on the body. (Not unlike lavender!) As we all know, the calmer we are, the easier it is to fall asleep, and to achieve good sleep quality. Try making warm pandan leaf tea, and adding a dollop of honey to it. Drink before bed to get a good night’s sleep!
2) Prevents Dandruff
Uh huh, you read that right. Apparently, pandan helps with hair health a lot, but let’s start with dandruff. All you got to do is mash or blend 10 pandan leaves till it becomes a paste, and add in 100 ml of water. (Measurements as guide for ratio, add or remove leaves and water as you see fit.) After that, apply it to your scalp, wrap in a towel, and leave it for 30 minutes. Rinse your hair clean with or without shampoo afterwards and you’re done! Pandan leaves can also help prevent hair loss and restore hair lustre, though “recipes” may slightly differ.
3) Improves Appetite
Ah, so the fragrance of pandan leaves helps again! Thanks to that, pandan leaves help with improving one’s appetite, particularly if one is recovering from loss of appetite due to any reason, or is suffering from food aversion. Consuming pandan leaf tea twice a day in the morning and evening should do the trick!
4) Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Pandan leaves are naturally antihyperglycemic, and is even touted as a potential traditional treatment method for diabetes. This is according to a study done in Thailand back in 2015. Just like item no. 3 above, all you need to do is drink some pandan leaf tea!
5) Acts As A Pest Repellent
Alright, we can’t say that it’s all pests, but common pests deterred by pandan leaves are mosquitoes and cockroaches. Apparently, applying pandan leaf extract to your skin will keep mosquitoes away, while a pandan spray sprayed at places where cockroaches tend to appear will put them off as well. Otherwise, you can always try the traditional method: knotting a few pandan leaves together and just leaving it in certain areas of the house. Change regularly for best results.
6) Helps Rid the Body Of Toxins
Pandan leaves can actually help discharge toxins and unhealthy substances, keeping your liver in better health. It is also a mild laxative, so pandan leaves help with better digestion, and encourages bowel moment as well!
7) Helps With Gout
Commonly affecting the joint in the base of the big toe, gout is a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream. Consuming pandan leaf tea can help reduce uric acid levels, therefore alleviating gout. With regular consumption, pandan leaves may even help with removing kidney stones from the body.
8) Acts As Pain/Cramp Relief
You can ingest or apply to the affected areas, but pandan leaves can help with the pain, including headaches, ear pain, chest pain and arthritis. As aforementioned, it is a mild laxative, so when ingested, it can also help with stomach spasms caused by inflammation and/or infection.
9) Lowers Blood Pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension, pandan leaves could be a natural, alternative way to lower it. It can help with symptoms of dizziness, and even prevent stroke under certain conditions. Either way, no harm done consuming pandan leaf tea again!
10) Helps With Anxiety & Stress
As it helps with insomnia, it also helps with anxiety and stress, thanks to its calming effects. This one is pretty straightforward; simply brew leaves in boiling water, and leave to cool. Strain afterwards, and consume immediately. It’s simple pandan tea!
Who knew that the pandan plant could be so helpful in a variety of ways, besides just being in good food? Would you like to know more about pandan recipes instead? Let us know in the comments below!