Cincau hitam or black cincau (mesona palustris bl) is a kind of ingredient normally used in some Indonesian traditional drinks. There are other types of cincau such as cincau perdu (melastoma polyanthum B) and cincau hijau (cylea barbata miers).
Cincau hitam is a plant with small stalks and branches. Most of cincau crawl on the surface of the ground or climb on a tree. This family of plant normally has stronger stalks. It has oval leaves with sharp ends. The flowers of this plant look like basil flower but they are red or light purple. Black gelatin can be made from the leaves and stalks of cincau hitam plants.
The leaves and stalks are squeezed and the liquid from the leaves and stalks is left or cooled for a while until the gelatin is formed. Cincau hitam can be stored in a longer period of time than the green one. Generally, the gelatin is used as an ingredient in a refreshing drink. In fact, cincau hitam is very good for health because it is nutritious. Besides, it contains high carbohydrate and some minerals such as phosphor and calcium, vitamins A, B1 and C. It has low calories so it is very good for those who want to loose weight. Cincau hitam also contains water, from 66 – 98 %.
Cincau hitam can also be used to reduce temperature, fever, and to prevent indigestion and to lower high blood pressure. Having seen its efficacy, it will be very useful if you grow this plant in your garden.