Kacip Fatima herb Labisia pumila
March 22 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Kacip Fatimah is a traditional herbal medicine with a long history in the Malay community. Kacip Fatimah is used by Malay women to induce and facilitate childbirth as well as a post-partum medicine.

Safety of the herb, not genotoxic
Kacip Fatimah also known as Labisia pumila, is a traditional herbal medicine with a long history in the Malay community. It has been used by many generations of Malay women to induce and facilitate childbirth as well as a post-partum medicine. We tested the genotoxic potential of Kacip Fatimah in bone marrow cells obtained from Sprague-Dawley rats using micronuclei formation as the toxicological endpoints. Five groups of five male rats each were administered orally for two consecutive days with doses of 100, 700 and 2000 mg/kg body weight of Kacip Fatimah extract dissolved in distilled water. Micronucleus preparation was obtained from bone marrow cells of the animals following standard protocols. No statistically significant increase in micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes was observed at any dose level and sacrifice/harvest time point. However, a significant decrease in polychromatic erythrocytes / normochromatic erythrocytes ratio was observed from the highest dose level (2000 mg/kg of body weight) at 48h harvest time point. In this study, we investigated the effect of Kacip Fatimah on mammalian bone marrow cells using micronuclei formation to assess the genotoxicity of the herb. The in vivo rodent micronucleus assay of Kacip Fatimah (Labisia pumila) extract. Trop Biomed. 2006; Zaizuhana S, Puteri J Noor MB, Noral'ashikin Y, Rohana AB, Zakiah I. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Drug interactions
Front Pharmacology. 2014. Evaluation of drug interaction potential of Labisia pumila (Kacip Fatimah) and its constituents. Labisia pumila (Kacip Fatimah) is a popular herb in Malaysia that has been traditionally used in a number of women's health applications such as to improve libido, relieve postmenopausal symptoms, and to facilitate or hasten delivery in childbirth. In addition, the constituents of this plant have been reported to possess anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical studies have indicated that cytochrome P450s (CYPs), P-glycoprotein (P-gp), and Pregnane X receptor (PXR) are the three main modulators of drug-drug interactions which alter the absorption, distribution, and metabolism of drugs. Given the widespread use of Kacip Fatimah in dietary supplements, the current study focuses on determining the potential of its constituents to affect the activities of CYPs, P-gp, or PXR. L. pumila and its constituents showed significant modulation of all three regulatory proteins (CYPs, P-gp, and PXR) suggesting a potential to alter the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of conventional drugs if used concomitantly

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013. Antifungal, anti-inflammatory and cytotoxicity activities of three varieties of labisia pumila benth: from microwave obtained extracts.

Planta Med. 2010.
Protective effect of Labisia pumila on stress-induced behavioral, biochemical, and immunological alterations.
Kour K, Sharma N, Chandan BK, Koul S, Sangwan PL, Bani S. Department of Pharmacology, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu Tawi, India.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the antistress potential of LABISIA PUMILA aqueous extract (LPPM/A003) using a battery of tests widely employed in different stressful situations. Pretreatment of experimental animals with LPPM/A003 caused an increase in the swimming endurance and hypoxia time and also showed the recovery of physical stress-induced depletion of neuromuscular coordination and scopolamine induced memory deficit. LPPM/A003 at graded doses reversed the chronic restraint stress (RST), induced depletion of CD4 (+) and CD8 (+) T lymphocytes, NK cell population, and corresponding cytokines expression besides downregulating the stress-induced increase in plasma corticosterone, a major stress hormone. In addition, LPPM/A003 reversed the chronic stress-induced increase in adrenal gland weight, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and hepatic lipid peroxidation (LP) levels and augmented the RST induced decrease in hepatic glutathione (GSH), thymus and spleen weight. Thus, we conclude that labisia pumila has the ability to reverse the alterations produced by various stressful stimuli and therefore restores homeostasis.

J Biosci Bioeng. 2010.
Labisia pumila extract protects skin cells from photoaging caused by UVB irradiation.
Choi HK, Kim DH, Kim JW, Ngadiran S, Sarmidi MR. Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Dongguk University, Chung-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
In this study, we have focused on the anti-photoaging effects of L. pumila. Extract of L. pumila was first analyzed for their antioxidant activities using DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) since UV irradiation is a primary cause of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in the skin. The 50% free radical scavenging activity (FSC(50)) of L. pumila extract was determined to be 0.006%, which was equal to that produced by 156 microM ascorbic acid. TNF-alpha and cyclooxygenase (COX-2) play a primary role in the inflammation process upon UV irradiation and are known to be stimulated by UVB. Treatment with L. pumila extract markedly inhibited the TNF-alpha production and the expression of COX-2. Decreased collagen synthesis of human fibroblasts by UVB was restored back to normal level after treatment with L. pumila extract. On the other hand, the enhanced MMP-1 expression upon UVB irradiation was down regulated by L. pumila extract in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, treatment of normal keratinocytes with L. pumila extract attenuated UVB-induced MMP-9 expression. These results collectively suggest L. pumila extract has tremendous potential as an anti-photoaging cosmetic ingredient.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2010.
Beneficial metabolic effects of the Malaysian herb Labisia pumila var. alata in a rat model of polycystic ovary syndrome.
Mannerås L, Fazliana M, Wan Nazaimoon WM, Lönn M, Gu HF, Ostenson CG, Stener-Victorin E. Department of Physiology, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden.
Labisia pumila var. alata (LPva)-a Malaysian herb thought to have phytoestrogenic effects-has shown promise in reducing body weight gain in ovariectomized rats. In this study, we investigated the effect of LPva on body composition and metabolic features in female rats treated continuously with dihydrotestosterone, starting before puberty, to induce PCOS. At 9 weeks of age, the PCOS rats were randomly subdivided into two groups; PCOS LPva and PCOS control. PCOS LPva rats received a daily oral dose of LPva (50mg/kg body weight), dissolved in 1 ml of deionised water, for 4-5 weeks. PCOS controls received 1 ml of deionised water on the same schedule. LPva increased uterine weight (27%) and insulin sensitivity (36%) measured by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp. Plasma resistin levels were increased and lipid profile was improved in LPva rats. In adipose tissue, LPva decreased leptin mRNA expression but did not affect expression of resistin and adiponectin. No effects on body composition, adipocyte size, or plasma leptin levels were observed. LPva increases uterine weight, indicating estrogenic effects, and improves insulin sensitivity and lipid profile in PCOS rats without affecting body composition.

I have been doing a lot of reading and research on tongkat Ali, in terms of increasing libido. I am understanding that it has to do with testosterone levels. What is the difference between Tongkat Ali and Kacip Fatimah? I have read that the kacip fatimah is the female version of tongkat ali, but what is the difference? Does one work more effectively on women than the other? I am leaning toward Tongkat Ali to increase my low libido and help my sexual appetite, and it also seems that is the main function of the herb, whereas kacip fatimah has a lot to do with menstrual and post-partum problems.
   Tongkat ali and kacip fatimah (Labisia pumila) are different plants with different chemical compositions. I am not aware of human research done with kacip fatimah.