Characteristics of Bajakah, Tampala, and Kalalawit Trees

Spatholobus littoralis
Bajakah is a tree species in the genus Spatholobus, family Leguminosae, native to Kalimantan, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

In Indonesia, the Bajakah tree grows naturally in Kalimantan and a small part is wild in Java. The tree is in the form of shrubs and usually inhabits the highlands.

The Bajakah tree has two other recognized synonym names besides Spatholobus littoralis Hassk, they are Butea littoralis Hassk Blatt and Derris leytensis Merr.

Bajakah can be found in the forests around Central Kalimantan, the trees are in the form of shrubs or medium trees that have long vine roots. The vine roots of the Bajarkah tree can spread more than 5 meters, and it is this root that is often used by the Dayak community as an effective traditional medicine.

Not only the roots, but all parts of the Bajakah tree can also be used as herbal medicine. A test conducted by students of Lambung Mangkurat University in 2012 proved that the Bajakah tree contains phenolic compounds, flavonoids, tannins, and saponins which can accelerate wound healing.

Two species of Bajarkah trees grow in Kalimantan forests. Both of these trees have properties that can cure diseases. Those are Bajakah Tampala (Spatholobus littoralis), Bajakah Kalalawit, and Bajakah Lamei (Uncaria gambir) which are popularly known as Gambir Sarawak.

Spatholobus littoralis Leaf


  • Bajakah Tampala (Spatholobus littoralis) is believed to be a cancer drug from its stem extract which contains phenolic compounds, flavonoids, tannins, and saponins capable of accelerating the wound healing process.
  • Bajakah Kalalawit (Uncaria gambir) contains phenol and antibacterial content, besides that in the Bajakah Kalalawit extract there is a high enough catechin content. These catechins are believed to prevent heart disease, lose weight, and help build collagen.
  • Bajakah Lamei for the people of Central Kalimantan believes that drinking liquids from the Bajakah Lamei tree are believed to cure diarrhea.

Bajakah Variants Ready to Sell

Previously, timber from the Bajarkah tree cost around Rp. 10,000 – Rp. 20,000 or $1 ~ $2 /kg. However, after the name of this tree was popular because it was believed to be able to overcome many serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease, the price soared, even touching millions of rupiah.

Unfortunately, because the price of the roots and trunk of this high Bajarkah tree has an impact on the survival of the tree. Many residents deliberately come to the interior of the Kalimantan forest to look for and cut down Bajarkah trees in the wild.


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