Sarang semut is a revolutionary plant and is also called an ant-plant. Indonesia is a country located in the equatorial line, with an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands. This exotic country is covered with forests with more than 60% of its area, making it one of the richest countries with various types of trees. The country has two parts, divided into two developmental extremities, with the western part and developed islands and the eastern part of the archipelago, which is undeveloped.

On the island of Papua, located in the eastern part of the country, many more primitive tribes live as hunter-gatherers. These original tribes rely on their great knowledge of nature, which successfully maintains their survival without modern scientific branches and provides the necessary medical assistance.

Exploring Sarang Semut ant plant

Indonesian tribe

Scientists worldwide have always been interested in this primitive social community, and their interest is even more pronounced in today’s modern world. Some scientists are showing great interest in the traditional medicines made in these tribes, hoping to find the potential for new sources of therapeutic agents in response to medicine’s challenges, including one of the most important, which is cancer.

One of the identified plants in this long-term research is a plant originally called Sarang Semut and scientifically Mymecodia Pendens, popularly known as Ant’s Nest or Ant Plant … The first data on this plant come from the empirical knowledge of the local Papuan tribes located in eastern Indonesia. They used the Ant plant to remedy various diseases such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, various heart diseases, tumors, and cancer. In general, they obtained extracts of this plant by boiling and consuming juices obtained in this way.

sarang semut mravlja biljka

Sarang semut, or ant-plant, comes from the tuber family and grows on the tree’s high parts. This plant depends mainly on the symbiosis with ants, giving them shelter and space for making ants and taking nutrients from the ant colony’s feces. This plant provides a safe habitat for ants high in the treetops, protecting them from various predators. Ants also, in turn, through the symbiosis of these two species, provide the plant with protection and nutrients through waste materials that are absorbed inside the plant.

Sarang semut is a member of the Rubiaceae family for 5 genera. However, only two of these plants connect with ants, and they are Mymecodia Pendens and Mymecodia tuberose, and have only confirmed medicinal value.

Cancer and its origin

sarang semut ant plant tree

Cancerous cells have the property of an immortal cell literally until the patient’s death. They have the ability to avoid programmed cell death or apoptosis. Every normal human cell has a specific age regulated by an internal factor stored in our DNA. Our normal cells die when needed and go through a cycle of programmed cell death, freeing up space for new cells to take the place of dead cells. This is not the case with cancer cells. Cancer cells successfully fight apoptosis with mutations in DNA.

In addition to being immortal, cancer cells have also mutated so that they have built up the ability to continuously divide or multiply, regardless of natural inhibition and signals such as cell density and growth factors. These cancer cells develop the ability to stimulate growth by producing a relevant growth factor. However, in terms of growth, the only limiting factors are nutrients. Cancer cells are supplied with nutrients through a mechanism called angiogenesis, which literally means the growth of new blood vessels. These cells secrete an angiogenesis factor such as VEFG (vascular endothelial growth factor) and IL-8.


The new blood vessels will supply these cancer cells with the necessary nutrients to continue growing and spreading cancer to other parts of the human body through a mechanism known as metastasis. With all the above processes, cancer cells will kill their healthy relatives by taking all the nutrients from normal cells, reducing the ability of the immune response (cells that are natural cancer killers), and when they spread to other organs and parts of the body will cause organ dysfunction syndrome.

Knowing the characteristics, structure, and behavior of cancer cells, the way they fight them, and how you can eliminate them from the body, and this was obtained by preventing the spread and development of these cells, scientific teams set out in search of adequate compounds that would affect necessary factors in the body to reduce cancer. Many researchers and research centers have invested a lot of time and energy in finding the ultimate cure for cancer.

Their research work’s progress is commendable for now, but killing cancer cells through chemotherapy or surgery will also affect healthy cells, weakening the host even more. Current chemotherapies are potent enough but lack selectivity for healthy cells. Given these facts, many researchers are looking for drugs that are provided by nature that kill cancer cells and that are at the same time harmless to healthy cells.

Traditional use of the ant plant

Based on the Ant plant’s traditional use as an anti-cancer agent by Papuan tribes, many studies have been conducted to prove the claim that it is indeed curative for cancerous diseases.

In vitro research has been performed for many years. It has been proven that certain compounds from Mymecodia suppress the properties of the mutated N-53 gene from breast cancer cells, specifically the T47D line, which is responsible for the eternal life of these cells. Besides, anti-proliferative activity against lung cancer and colon cancer has also been proven. Based on this evidence, local scientists from the Indonesian Institute of Medicine hypothesized that the Ant plant would express its anticancer effect in vivo or be tested on animals.

Studies performed on sarang semut

plant ants

In a study conducted by scientists at the Indonesian University of Padjaran, live animals were included. Namely, 28 rats, divided into four groups. One group was the control while the other three received different doses of Ant Plants. Adenocarcinoma cells were inoculated into these rats, and after development, each rat was given ant-plant extract at various doses of 4 mg/day, 8 mg/day, and 16 mg/day. The result of this experiment indicated the anticancer effects of the ant-plant.

In terms of apoptotic index or cancer cell death index, all groups treated with Ant plant extract maintained an increased apoptotic index compared to the control group. The increase in the treated groups’ apoptotic index is associated with the stimulation of interferon-gamma by the plant flavonoids. This, in turn, increases the activation of T lymphocytes by natural cancer killer cells that provide the body’s defense against cancer cells. Research has also shown that the group tested with the highest dose of Ant Plant has an increased apoptotic rate that exceeds the tumor growth rate.

Similar studies were done by the Arius team in 2011, discovering that when the Ant plant extract at an Inhibitory Concentration of 539902 micrograms per milliliter, breast cancer cell growth could be inhibited 50%. When the extract is increased to an effective concentration of 1599988 micrograms per milliliter, it can kill up to 50% of cancer cells. This finding represents a new possibility of modern chemotherapies that do not harm healthy cells.

Another study by Dr. Harun in 2014 confirmed that the Mymecodia plant extract also had increased efficacy against human tongue cancer of the CP-C1 line of squamous cell carcinoma type. The study maintains an appropriately high inhibition rate with a higher dose of flavonoid extract of this plant. In this study, the effect of Ant Plant extract on VEGF, and IL-8 expression was measured.

The results presented were excellent as expected. Extract-treated cancer cells maintain VEGF and IL-8 expression inhibition, which are the two major cytokines involved in angiogenesis. Therefore, popularly speaking, it can be concluded that the ant-plant affects angiogenesis and acts as a means that includes a switch of programmed death of cancer cells, which has been excluded until today. When these two factors are affected, the cancer cells are forced to age and stop their activity, stopping the cell cycle of cancer cell immortality.

Sarang semut effect on cancer

Also, Dr. Anam identified the main antioxidants in this plant that prevented oxidative stress caused by a high concentration of free radicals in the body, which is very pronounced in people with cancer. Also, due to free radicals’ action, cell damage occurs, which affects the further development of cancer. The antioxidant substances discovered are procyanidin B1 and the polymer procyanidin B1.

Dr. Triana conducted further research in 2014 on the Sarang Semut plant’s immunomodulatory effects or ant-plant. The study was done based on lymphocyte proliferation. Macrophages and their activity are increased by taking the formic acid extract. From this analysis and study, it was concluded that the ant-plant, in addition to many of the above properties, is also an immune modulator and has a positive and stimulating effect on the immune system by activating it to destroy cancer cells.

This medicinal plant by Indonesian tribes, traditionally called Sarang Semut, has been used for many years to treat cancer. All the results from the previously mentioned studies look promising because it has been proven that this plant has multifunctional activity on various anticancer mechanisms in the body. Previous research has confirmed the very pronounced effect of formic acid on many factors in the body, such as reducing cancer growth and anticancer activity of formic acid. This effect can be directly related to Sarang semut plant extract’s consumption and the long-term presence of ants inside this plant.

Performance sarang semut

Many patients have been successfully cured with this plant, and many testimonies from Indonesia indicate this. For example, Mr. Afril was diagnosed with AML M3B leukemia from a bone marrow puncture. After consuming the Ant plant extract, the number of leukocytes began to decrease within 2 months, and after 3 months, the complete state of this parameter returned to normal.

Ms. Deva was stunned when she was diagnosed with the early stage of skin cancer on her forehead. After consuming the Ant Plant extract, within 6 weeks, the tumor gradually shrunk and finally completely disappeared! Ms. Niti was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after one month of plant extract therapy, the tumor was reduced by 70%, and her condition completely improved without the need for surgery. There are many other testimonies of people who used the plant harvested and made by Papuan Indians. All point to Sarang Semut plant therapy’s effectiveness and its perfect anticancer effect on many diseases as lung cancer, brain cancer, and other above-mentioned rashes.



We can conclude that pervasive research is forthcoming. Apparently, according to the region’s information, many scientific expeditions are currently on the spot. Many medical studies are being launched to find a specific way of action of the ant-plant and its optimal values. To eliminate cancerous diseases. The cases recorded so far give very high hope that this plant can successfully fight against almost all recorded cancerous diseases by acting on many anticancer mechanisms to cure cancer completely.

Exclusively for, members of the Sarang Semut plant research team from Indonesia and Dr. Benz Napoli