Father Sez

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“African Leaf” – Is this the elixir for everlasting youthfulness?

Monday September 15th, 2008 by fathersez

Last week I spent 4 days in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the State of Sabah, more commonly known as “the land below the wind”. 

The principal purpose was business, but there are still too many loose ends to be settled. So I can’t write about this yet. 

I visited my wife’s younger brother, Zaini, and his family. They have settled down in a town called Papar, about 30 kms from Kota Kinabalu (KK). He married a Sabahan lady when he was posted to Sabah whilst serving the Royal Malaysian Air Force. They have 4 young lovely kids, all of whom are attending Chinese schools. 

I had last seen Zaini about 9 months earlier. And I must admit that when I saw him at the airport last week, he looked radiant. A poster good picture of good health. I wondered about this but kept my thoughts to myself.  

Later when I asked him about it, he showed me a plant he referred to as the “African Leaf plant.”  Apparently the plant was just growing in his rented house compound, when he moved in. One day, one of his neighbours, a Chinese gentleman who was an avid practitioner of Feng Shui came to his house and saw the plant. He pointed out that the leaves of this plant could be soaked in hot water (either green or dried) and the resultant tea could be drunk as an excellent health beverage. 


The leaf is slightly smaller than an adult’s palm.


The tree can grow to twice our height. It is recommeded that we prune them once they are taller than us. The cuttings can be planted or given to friends for planting.

And this was what Zaini had been taking, about 3 – 4 glasses a day for the past 6 – 7 months. And, believe me, the results are nothing short of spectacular!

The tree can be grown from cuttings and I brought some back for planting in my house. I also brought some of the dried leaves back and have started drinking the tea. 


We have planted 5 cuttings in our garden. Let’s hope the tree blossoms as well as it is doing in Zaini’s garden.

I have not done any research on the scientific name of this plant. A google of the name only talks about the African Leaf fish. 

Apparently the tree grows quite easily, so if all goes well, I should have my own stock in the next couple of weeks or so.

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20 Comments for ““African Leaf” – Is this the elixir for everlasting youthfulness?”

by sam
On February 19, 2009
At 12:37 pm


I came across your articles while browsing for more info on the African Leaf. Some of my friends say this leaf can help diabetic patients, and I am hence interested on where to obtain this plant.

Hopefully you can give me a bit more information.



On February 19, 2009
At 1:58 pm

Hi, Sam,

I am not sure if this plant can help in diabetes. I was told that it was just a natural cleansing agent much like the Chinese green tea that we buy in shops.

I am aware of other herbal remedies for diabetes. One is the “buah peria” which grows easily in Malaysia. You boil the baby peria in some water then drink the water. Or you grind the baby peria and drink the stuff.

Another is boiling the leaf of the Neem tree and drinking the water. You can read a little about the Neem tree in my blog: http://www.ladangfatima.com

Mind you, both the drinks are very bitter and it’ll take some time to get used to it.

by Sam
On February 19, 2009
At 5:54 pm

Hi again:
Thanks for your quick response.
Yes I am aware of buah peria (bitter gourd) for diabetic patients as well as the Neem leaf. Also I know about the sky-fruit (tunjuk langit)which is a hundred times more bitter than any peria, including the peria katak. I have even eaten the peria raw each morning despite its bitterness and have gotten used to its taste rather than having it cooked.

I was asking about the african leaf simply because it would be good to have yet another possible herbal help in controlling the condition.

Anyway thanks again for your response. In any case I shall try to cultivate the african leaf plant. :)

On February 19, 2009
At 6:46 pm


I have sent you an email. I hope you have gotten it. I’ll be very happy to give you some cuttings. I have more than I need.


On February 20, 2009
At 11:11 pm


Yes, I did send you an email. I forwarded it again a short while ago. Please also check your spam mail. It might have been caught there.


by suraya
On March 26, 2009
At 3:35 pm

can you tell me where to find this in N.Sembilan? Because i really need this leaves for my research in my school.thanks.

On March 26, 2009
At 5:30 pm

Hi, Ms. Soraya,

I live in NS, so you should be able to get it from me, no problem. Pls email me your hp number or some other contact. I live in S2, not far from Jusco.

Wonder what research you are doing?


by lim ah ber
On April 5, 2009
At 5:13 pm

Would like to find out where can I find African Leaf plant in Singapore. I would like to have the cutting for planting.

On April 5, 2009
At 6:05 pm

Hi, Lim.

I am not sure where you can get it in Singapore. But I have enough plants to give you your cuttings. If you are coming to Malaysia by anychance, perhaps you can drop me a line. I live in Seremban, by the way.

Best regards

by Mancung
On May 29, 2009
At 12:45 pm

Thanks for the article. My wife gave me 2 cuttings of the plant last week which she had got from a friend. All we were told is that the leaves are good for health, but we had no clue on how to prepare the leaves and what it is good for. The cuttings have just sprouted their first leaves. I didnt know they can grow so tall, so I’ll now have to re-pot them.

BTW, I’m in Damansara Utama. There’s a pharmacy in Uptown called April Rose run by a Malay lady, they sell a very good range of potted herbs & medical plants. I bought a neem plant from there last month.


by Mancung
On June 15, 2009
At 6:20 pm

Hello. I came to see if you replied to my 1st comment but I think you have deleted it instead. apasal lah, sedihnya I…..
anyways, my african leaf plants are growing well. Do you know at what stage of growth or when the leaves can be boiled & drunk for health benefits? I also took a look at your blog ladangfatima.com, found it to be very informative & generally a very interesting read. Best regards.

by Vivian
On September 25, 2009
At 9:17 am

Dear Father Sez,

Do U know the scientific name for the ‘South African Leaf’ or the people called it in Chinese ‘Nam Fei Chou Yip’. I wld like to find out more on the benefits of the leaf.


On April 29, 2010
At 8:27 pm

i m a herblist,and ve been takeing african leaf daily together wth skyfruit. im also planting the leaf to share wth my family and frens.it is an excellant plant for those wth high sugar level and colostrol.

On April 29, 2010
At 8:38 pm

in malay this leaf is known as daun seratus cerita.for those within subang jaya my hp 0123136149

On July 18, 2010
At 9:17 am

Hi Sez,
I recently found about this plant which my friend said is “African leaf plant” in Chinese. Another friend of mine took some back from his sister’s house in Slim River; apparently, the sister was told that this plant is a treasure and after taking it for sometime, it brought her blood pressure under control.
I now have a cutting at home which will be planted in the ground soon. I have taken one leaf raw and although it’s utterly bitter, left a nice lingering and soothing aftertaste. I also have some dried leaves which I make into a tea and drink slowly.
I believe that this plant is good overall for blood circulation which may be why your brother looked so radiant after 9 months. I just happened to surf under “Africa leaf plant” and came across your blog which confirms that the plant is good for health (blood circulation) and what’s more, it’s free because we are sharing it amongst friends and saudara.
Thank you for the post.

by Jim
On October 20, 2010
At 3:38 pm

does anyone have the scientific name for this plant.
I would like to buy it and grow in Northern California -wonder if it will grow well there .

by Anna
On August 11, 2011
At 3:04 pm

I did try this drink and indeed my blood glucose did when down. Same happened to my mum.

by Jun
On February 29, 2012
At 1:48 pm

my mom had these leaf and drink the tea of the leaf. She said that her headache going better when she drink it. My uncle drink the tea too, and his hypertension also going better. Once, my husband had diabetes and trying drink that leaf tea. Amazing…his diabetes become better, just in 3 hours after he drink that leaf tea.

On April 23, 2012
At 2:20 am

Assalammualaikum Fther Sez,
I am interested to get this plant, do you know where can
I get in KL.

by roselim
On November 10, 2012
At 1:49 pm

Dear Friend.
yes leaf African is very good for drink. and easy to plant
last time my body have porblem my friend tole me about this leaf put hot water every day drink. now all are well. now plant many this plant. many malay friends came and ask

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