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Temulawak Patented by the United States

Temulawak, widely known as Java turmeric, whose varieties of the herb in Indonesia are considered abundant, has been patented by the United States, according to Alvin Lie, coordinator of Masyarakat Bangga Produk Indonesia. He said that the action will be threatening the existence of Indonesian herbal industry.

"Where is the future of our herbal industry heading if the US files a lawsuit against it?" he said today, Oct 21. Temulawak (Curcuma xanthorrhiza) is popular as an anti-inflammatory and anti-hepatotoxic herb which can be used for curing hemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhea, and cancer. In fact, there is a medicine for cancer made in overseas countries using Java turmeric.

This is quite the contrary to what the government intended back then in 2009. Last year, the government stated through State Minister for Research and Technology Kusmayanto Kadiman in a press conference that Indonesia is working to establish Java turmeric as an icon of Indonesia on the grounds that the country has the most varieties of the herb.

Alvin Lie urged the government to take any immediate measure for preserving domestic products. He claimed that this is not the first case that the country lags behind other countries as regards patenting some important properties. Earlier, a French citizen had patented crafts made of coconut shell, which was revealed in May 2010.

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