Saturday, 7 April 2012

GAMAT commonly known as Sea Cucumber, is a species of  invertebrates and is very popular  in this modern age for its nutritional value and unique healing properties. In fact its healing properties have been proudly manifested and have benefited our ancestors more than 300 years ago.

From the family of Ecchinodermates, the species of Sea Cucumber  is found to be effective for its medicinal value is from the Stichopus family or GAMAT in Malaysia. Its other name called locally in nearby  regions are Balat, Bat, Brunok, Trepang and Hoi Sum. Nearly 42 species of Sea Cucumber have been identified in Malaysian waters and more than 2,000 species existed elsewhere worldwide.

Out of this 42 species, one specie stands out and is highly rated for its medicinal and healing properties. It is called Stichopus Hermanii or known locally as Gamat Emas. Commonly, this marine life is cylindrical in shape, flat at its dorso-ventral and has openings at its anterior and posterior. It's reproductive system can be sexual or asexual. It is a detritus marine life which eats by sweeping sand into its mouth. Its slow movement requires it to have an efficient self defense mechanism that produces Holothurine which is toxic and which can immobilize small marine life. Holothurine is excreted through its special gland called the Couvier. This Compound is identified in the early 1920's and only been intensively emphasized in the 1950's. Saponine is the main Holothurine which is believed to be effective in wound healing, after birth treatment and anti fungus.

Research on local GAMAT in Malaysia started in the early 1980's by the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia), Sabah campus. After that research teams from Universiti Malaya (Malayan University), Universiti Sains Malaysia (Science University of Malaysia), Universiti Putra Malaysia (Putra University of Malaysia) and the Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia (Fishing Authority of Malaysia) were formed.

The research team from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia is consistently doing research and conducting numerous tests to identify Bio-active ingredients in the GAMAT so as to confirm and establish it's effectiveness. This research team consisting of 20 highly qualified Academicians is headed by Professor Dr Ridzwan Hashim, Dean of Science Faculty, UIA.

Analysis on GAMAT's body and its liquid established has identified that it is high in Protein content which is more than 44%, Carbohydrate is between 3-5% and Fats is about 1.5%. It's components include Essential Amino Acid, Collagen, Vitamin E, Trace Minerals such as Chromium, Pherum, Cadmium, Manganese, Nickel, Cobalt and Zinc. Its other contents of Essential Fatty Acids such as EPA and DHA also plays an important part as the wound healing and anti-thrombosis agent which is capable to reduce the clotting of blood in the human blood vessels. This help reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. These two essential fatty acids are believed to also assist in slowing the process of cells degeneration while also slowing the process of aging.

Bio-active ingredients in GAMAT are also effective as anti-oxidant which helps to reduce damage of the body's tissues and cells. It is also important for maintaining a fertile body. It's anti-bacteria and anti-fungus effects, increases it's capability for skin treatment. GAMAT is also found to have the anti-noceceptive  (pain resistant) and anti-inflammation (heat resistant and anti-swelling) effects. Research observations on residents in coastal districts of Kudat and Semporna in East Malaysia and Setiu, Kuantan, Pekan and Pulau Pangkor in Malaysia further strengthen the proof of  GAMAT's  effectiveness as an Anti-Hypertension agent (reduce high blood pressure).

Traditionally, GAMAT is believed to have an effect of increasing body health, accelerating the healing of  internal and external wounds, reduce body aches and tired muscles, avoid allergies and asthma, heat resistant  and swellings reduction, promoting smooth flow of  blood circulating in the body,  recuperate the reproductive system after delivery, beautify the skin and anti-aging, increase body metabolism and helps reduce tiredness, avoid constipation and piles, reduce high blood pressure and control diabetes.

Realizing the fact that GAMAT has that highly special effective properties GISB has formulated GAMAT based products under the watchful eyes of experts for everyday use and optimal health under the Brand name of GAMAT EMAS.

For more information on Gamat, please refer to the Book "Sea-Cucumbers - A Malaysian Heritage" by Ridzwan Hashim, Published by Research Centre, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

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