Tuesday, August 10, 2010


There are some plants that are usually seen  growing just everywhere like in our backyards or our relatives' farm or garden  that we ignore not knowing what benefits they could give. Some of us don't know that some of these plants can give us the relief that most over the counter medicines can. All we have to do is to know more about them, their side effects (mind you not all people benefit from herbal medicines, others might have some adverse reactions on them and always be reminded that different patients needs different treatment depending on their illness and cases.)
Plants were used as herbal medicines since pre-historic times. Just to add some information, herbs were not only used to treat ailments but lately, they were also used in beauty product manufacturing. People nowadays rely on using herbal medicines for the obvious reason that homeopathic drugs are much cheaper than that of over the counter medicines.

DOH tips on handling medicinal plants / herbs:

-If possible, buy herbs that are grown organically i.e. without pesticides.

  -Medicinal parts of plants are best harvested on sunny mornings. Avoid picking leaves, fruits or nuts during and after heavy rainfall.

-Leaves, fruits, flowers or nuts must be mature before harvesting. Less medicinal substances are found on young parts.

- After harvesting, if drying is required, it is advisable to dry the plant parts either in the oven or air-dried on screens above ground and never on concrete floors.

-Store plant parts in sealed plastic bags or colored bottles in a cool dry place without sunlight preferably with a moisture absorbent material like charcoal. Leaves and other plant parts that are prepared properly, well-dried and stored can be used up to six months.

DOH tips on preparation for intake of  medicinal herbs:

-Use only half the dosage prescribed for fresh parts like leaves when using dried parts.

-Do not use stainless steel utensils when boiling decoctions. Only use earthen, enamelled, glass or alike utensils.

-As a rule of thumb, when boiling leaves and other plant parts, do not cover the pot, and boil in low flame.

-Decoctions loose potency after some time. Dispose of decoctions after one day. To keep fresh during the day, keep lukewarm in a flask or thermos.

-Always consult with a doctor if symptoms persist or if any sign of allergic reaction develops.
Here are the list of some safe herbs that were endorsed by the DOH (Department Of Health)

AMPALAYA (Mamordica Charantia) - Probably the most bitter of all the vegetables. Known as Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon, this has been known as a treatment for diabetes for patients who are non insulin dependent ( Diabetes Mellitus) . Because this plant has  both flavonoids and alkaloids, it makes our pancreas create insulin which controls the blood sugar level in the body. Aside from these, Ampalaya is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It also stimulates digestion.

                  wash and chop leaves
                  measure 6 tablespoon and 2 cups of water
                  boil for about 15 minutes on low heat and don't cover the clay pot.
                  let it cool and strain

YERBA BUENA (Clinopodium Douglasii/ Mentha x cordifolia, Opiz ex Fresen) - a local species of mint, which varies from region to region . It is an aromatic plant that is used as herbal medicine worldwide. Commonly known as peppermint. In Spanish it literally means the good herb and was formerly the name given to California City in San Francisco USA. It has been consumed for hundred of years as tea and as analgesic. It is effective to relieves body aches and pain such as toothache and headache.  Taken internally as a decoction or externally by pounding the leaves and applied on the affected area.


Relieves tooth aches
Relieves stomach aches
Relieves arthritis
Relieves headaches
Relieves indigestion
Relieves intestinal gas
Used as mouthwash
Used as tea for general health purposes


                 wash the leaves and chop
                 measure 2 cups of water and leaves
                 boil in low heat for 15 minutes
                 do not cover the clay pot
                 let it cool and strain

                     FRESH LEAVES                                   DRIED LEAVES
for adults:        6 tablespoon                                             4 tablespoon
for children 7 - 12 years old give only half the dosage that is recommended for adults.

LAGUNDI - (Vitex Negundo L.) - A shrub that grows in the Philippines, known in English as the 5 leaved chaste tree. Lagundi is used for the relief of coughs and asthma. The juice of the leaves is used as for the treatment of fetid discharges. Others apply it locally for the relief of rheumatic swellings and sprains. It is an effective medicine that has a proven therapeutic claims.
Lagundi contains Chrysoplenol D, a substance with anti-histamine and muscle relaxant properties


Relief of rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, diarrhea
Removal of worms, and boils
Alleviate symptoms of Chicken Pox
Treatment of cough, colds, fever and flu and other bronchopulmonary disorders
Relief of asthma & pharyngitis

Preparation and usage:

-Boil half cup of chopped fresh or dried leaves in 2 cups of water  for 15 minutes. 
-Boil in low heat and do not cover the clay pot.
- For skin diseases or disorders, apply the decoction of leaves and roots directly on skin. -The root is specially good for treating dyspepsia, worms, boils, colic and rheumatism.
-For treatment of fever, take recommended dosage every four hours.
-For treatment of asthma and cough divide the boiled concoction in 3 equal parts to be taken in the morning, afternoon and evening.

                               FRESH LEAVES                           DRIED LEAVES
adults:                        6 tablespoon                                   4 tablespoon
7-12 years old             3 tablespoon                                   2 tablespoon
2-6   years old           1 1/2 tablespoon                               1 tablespoon

SAMBONG (Blumea Balmasifera) - a flowering plant that belongs to the Blumea genus, Asteraceae family. Its English name is Blumea Camphora. It is a diuretic that helps in the excretion of urinary stones (urolithiasis). Also used as edema. Sambong is used in Thai and Chinese folk medicines. The plant is a strongly aromatic herb that grows tall and erect.


-Helps remove worms, boils
-Treatment of colds & fever
-Treats dysenter and sore throat
-Relief of stomach pains
-Diuretic agent
-Helps in treating hypertension & rheumatism
-Effective in dissolving kidney stones
-Anti-gastralgic properties


                 wash and chop the leaves           
                 measure 2 cups of water and leaves
                 boil in low heat for 15 minutes
                 do not cover the clay pot
                 let it cool and strain


                           FRESH LEAVES                          DRIED LEAVES
adults:                   6 tablespoon                                  4 tablespoon
7-12 years old        3 tablespoon                                  2 tablespoon

-divide boiled concoction into 3 equal parts. Drink each part in the morning, afternoon and evening.
-For headaches, apply crushed and pounded leaves on forehead and temples.
- decoction of leaves is used as sponge bath.

TSAANG- GUBAT (Carmona Retusa / Ehretia Mycrophylla Lam.) - this small tree is abundant in the Philippines. This shrub grows 1 to 5 meters. It is also known as wild tea or Forest tea. Research and test now prove its efficacy as an herbal medicine in fact just like Sambong and Lagundi it is now commercially sold in capsules, tablets and tea bags.


Relieves stomach ache
relieves gastroenteritis
relieves dysentery
relieves diarrhea or LBM
used as a mouthwash
used as body wash or body cleanser


                 wash the leaves and chop              
                 measure 2 cups of water and leaves
                 boil in low heat for 15 minutes
                 do not cover the clay pot
                 let it cool and strain


                            FRESH LEAVES                          DRIED LEAVES
adults                      4 tablespoon                                  3 tablespoon
7-12 years old          2 tablespoon                               1 1/2 tablespoon

directions for use:    divide the boiled decoction into 2 equal parts and drink every 4 hours.
                              can also be used as mouthwash for stronger teeth.

NIYUG-NIYOGAN (Quisqualis indica L.) - a vine known as chinese honey suckle. Niyug-niyogan grows at least 2.5m long and reaches up to 8m long when it matures. This belongs to the combretaceae family. It grows during the rainy season. Decoctions of the root, seed or fruit can be used as antihelmintic. Only the dried matured seeds are medicinal but others claimed that the leaves can also be used externally to relieve body aches.

preparations and use:

                  used only the dried matured seeds. Eat the seed 2 hours after dinner. If one dose does not eliminate the worms, wait for a week before repeating the dose.


adults                             8-10 seeds
7-12 years old                  6-7 seeds
6-8 years old                    5-6 seeds
4-5 years old                    4-5 seeds

adverse reaction may include hiccups, stomachache, diarrhea

BAYABAS ( Psidium Guajava L.) - Guava in english, is a kind of tree that grows 4-5 meters. They are plants in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) genus. This can be commonly seen in the backyards. The leaves, bark and the fruit are used as homeopathic remedy. The leaves decoction are known to cure several ailments.  The bark and leaves are used as astringent and feminine wash. It can also be used as a mouth wash to treat tooth decay and gum infection.. The fruit has a lot of nutritional benefits. Essential oils from the leaves displays anti-cancer activity in vitro.


-Antiseptic, astringent & anthelminthic
-Kills bacteria, fungi and ameba
-Used to treat diarrhea, nosebleeding
-For Hypertension, diabetes and Asthma
-Promotes menstruation

                           wash the leaves and chop                              
                           2 handful of leaves in 4 cups of water and leaves
                           boil in low heat for 15 minutes
                           do not cover the clay pot
                           let it cool and strain

 AS ANTISEPTIC:   use the cooled decoction to wash the wound
 AS MOUTHWASH:  use the lukewarm decoction.

AKAPULKO (Cassia alata L./ Senna alata) - A shrub that can be found throughout the Philippines. Akapulko is known as Ringworm bush in english because of its very effective fungicidal properties, for treating ringworm and other fungal infections of the skin.
The leaves are the important part of the tree because it is the part that is used for medicinal used. This plant is commonly used as an ingredient for beauty products such as soaps, shampoo and lotions.

                  pound fresh leaves and apply on affected parts 1-2 times a day.

ULASIMANG BATO (Pepperomia pellucida) - also known as pansit-pansitan or pepperomia in english . This is an annual, shallow rooted herb and usually grows up to a height of about 15 to 45 cm. Ulasimang-bato is used as herbal medicine for the treatment of Arthritis, gout, headache, abdominal pains, skin boils, abcesses, kidney problems and pimples. The entire plant is edible, can be eaten cooked or raw. 


                  FOR SALAD - wash the leaves
                                         prepare 1 1/2 cup of fresh leaves (not pounded)
                                         divide into 3 equal parts to be taken in the morning, afternoon and in the evening.

                DECOCTION - wash the leaves
                                         prepare 1 1/2 of fresh leaves and 2 cups of water
                                         boil in low heat for 15 minutes
                                         leave the claypot uncovered
                                         let it cool and strain
                                         divide into 3 parts, and take it in the morning, afternoon and in the evening after meal.

BAWANG ( Allium sativum) - commonly known as garlic in english, is a species in the onion family, Alliacaea. Its close relatives include the onion, shallots, leek, chive, and  rakkyo. In the Philippines it is usually harvested in the month of February and March.
Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning or condiment.
Study shows that garlic has been found to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity. Garlic is also claimed to help prevent heart disease including atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cancer.

preparation for use to alleviate high blood pressure: (do any of the following according to your preference)
                  - saute on small amount of cooking oil or without cooking oil.
                  - grill
                  - soak in vinegar for 30 minutes

                       eat 2 pieces 3 times a day after meal.
note:  this herb has a strong odor and can cause bad breath
         application of fresh garlic on the skin can cause rashes and skin burns.
         garlic should not be taken on empty stomach.

  - Boosts immune system to fight infection                   
  -Helps lower bad cholesterol levels
  -Aids in lowering blood pressure
  -Remedy for arteriosclerosis
  -May help prevent certain types of cancer
  - Good for the heart
  -With antioxidant properties
  -Cough and cold remedy
  -Relives sore throat, toothache
  -Aids in the treatment of tuberculosis
  -Helps relieve rheumatism pain
  -With anticoagulant properties


  1. Wow. Really informative.


  2. Oh my goodness! That is just SOO sweet!! Something like that would retail for a few hundred dollars and you did it Fabulously for oh so less!!! Thanks for the great pics of everything you did.

  3. Thanks for sharing that list. I'll definitely prefer taking herbal medicine products because of their effectiveness and safety. Most of what you've said are really very common in the Philippines.

  4. thanks a lot for sharing the benefits of these herbal medicines. i could share it to my family, relatives and friends so it could help them especially in the barangay area where some of these medicinal herbs are abundant.

  5. Thanks to give me these type of information thanks one again


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