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Medicinal Plants in The Philippines

Medicine.

There are many useful and valuable Philippine plants, fruits and trees (some are herbal medicines & some are not) that employs many Filipinos, generates foreign exchange and help our economy grow. Below are some of the more popular, cultivated plants and trees and fruits grown in the Philippines.

 Akapulko is a shrub that grows wild.The leaves contain chrysophanic acid. The leaves are reported to be sudorific, diuretic and purgative, being used in the same manner as senna. The leaves are commonly used for ringworm and other skin diseases. The leaves in concoction are also used to treat bronchitis and asthma.

English: Ringworm bush or shrub
Tagalog: Akapulko

 Lagundi (scientific name: Vitex negundo) is a shrub that grows in the Philippines. It is one of the ten herbal medicines endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health as an effective herbal medicine with proven therapeutic value. Commonly known in the Ilocos region as dangla, lagundi has been clinically tested to be effective in the treatment of colds, flu, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, and pharyngitis. Studies have shown that Lagundi can prevent the body’s production of leukotrienes, which are released during an asthma attack. Lagundi contains Chrysoplenol D, a substance with anti-histamine and muscle relaxant properties. Even in Japan, lagundi is becoming recognized as an effective herbal medicine, especially since researches have shown that it contains properties that make it an expectorant and it has been reported to function as a tonic as well. More than that, most of the parts of the lagundi plant have medicinal value.

 Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii), translated “good herb,” is a native plant in the mint family here in the U.S., with similar mint cousins bearing the same name further down in the more tropical climes in this hemisphere. In fact, San Francisco was originally called Yerba Buena (it grew well there) until the name was changed in the mid-1800s.

 Ampalaya (Bitter Melon) with a scientific name Momordica charantia, is a climbing vine and the tendrils of which grow up to 20 centimeters long. This herbal plant belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae, and it is a tropical as well as a subtropical vine. Ampalaya leaves are heart-shaped, which are 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter. The fruits of the ampalaya vine are fleshy green with pointed ends at length. It can never be mistaken for any other variety because its ribbed and wrinkled surface had always been ampalaya’s distinct physical structure. The bitter taste of the ampalaya fruit had also been the distinguishing factor from the rest of the fruits with medicinal value, and this is due to the presence of a substance known as momorcidin.

Ampalaya has been a folkloric cure for generations but has now been proven to be an effective herbal medicine for many aliments. Most significant of which is for Diabetes. The Philippine variety has proven to be most potent. Ampalaya contains a mixture of flavanoids and alkaloids make the Pancreas produce more insulin that controls the blood sugar in diabetics. Aside from Ampalaya’s medicinal value, it is good source of vitamins A, B and C, iron, folic acid, phosphorous and calcium.

Avocado fruits are getting very popular anywhere in the world. Throughout the year, you can find avocado in your nearby supermarkets. Avocado is sometimes called “avocado pear” or “alligator pear”, and “Aguacate Palta” in Spanish.

The world, especially in developing countries, is trying to adapt avocado as one of substitutes to cope for the shortage of nutritious food production.

 Avocado is one of the most recommended fruits as well as a food for bodybuilding and medicine for cholesterol-related heart diseases.

 Ginger has long been renowned for its use in cooking and for its aromatic smell, but did you know that there are also many health benefits of ginger root such as curing nausea and helping with digestion.

Bayabas or guava tree grows 3 to10 meters tall with greenish to red-brownish smooth bark. Bayabas produce a round globular bayabas fruit that starts as a flower. The bayabas fruit is green and turns yellowish-green and soft when ripe. Bayabas fruit has many small hard seeds contained in a yellowish pulp. Bayabas fruit is usually eaten while still green and hard.

 Ginger is a plant that comes from southeast Asia, and is now also cultivated in Jamaica and other tropical areas. The ginger herb root is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. 

Ginger is a natural spice and is known world wide for its smell and pungent taste. Ginger has been used by Chinese herbalists for more than 2,500 years as flavouring in food and also as a medicine.

 Bayabas or guava is a fruit bearing shrub or small tree that grows in the tropical climate like Mexico, Peru and the Philippines. Bayabas is widely used in the Philippines as herbal medicine and is recognized by the Philippine Department of Health for its antiseptic property. Bayabas or guava fruit is known for being rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. Bayabas leaves and fruits contain eugenol, tannin, saponins, amydalin, phenolic acids, malic acid, ash, aldehydes, catequinic components and flavonoids

Bayabas or guava is used in herbal medicine as antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antioxidant hepatoprotective, anti-allergy, antimicrobial, anti-plasmodial, anti-cough, antidiabetic, and antigenotoxic.

Bayabas or guava tree grows 3 to10 meters tall with greenish to red-brownish smooth bark. Bayabas produce a round globular bayabas fruit that starts as a flower. The bayabas fruit is green and turns yellowish-green and soft when ripe. Bayabas fruit has many small hard seeds contained in a yellowish pulp. Bayabas fruit is usually eaten while still green and hard.

 Lemon grass or the local tanglad (scientific name: Cymbopogon ciatrus) is one of those wondrous herbs that one can always associate with Asian cooking Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese homegrown meal enthusiasts always have this tropical grass at hand for its aromatic citrus flavor with a trace of ginger. Few people know that its other popular name is citronella – the common scent you usually find in candles, perfumes and soaps.

Citronella is known for its calming effect that relieves insomnia or stress. It is also considered as a mild insect repellant. But more than scent, tanglad or lemon grass provides a lot of health benefits. Studies have shown that the lemon grass has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Mixed with pepper, it’s a home therapy for menstrual troubles and nausea. Drank as tea, it is an effective diuretic. When it comes to pets, citronella is used to neutralize excessive barking of dogs. Since dogs hate citronella, it is sprayed to dogs to prevent them from barking or just to lessen the behavior. 

The Lemon grass is a good cleanser that helps to detoxify the Liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract. It cuts down uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats and other toxins in the body while stimulating digestion, blood circulation, and lactation; it also alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis. It is said that lemongrass also helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples and acts as a muscle and tissue toner. Also, it can reduce blood pressure. Just make a concoction by boiling some lemon grass leaves, let it cool for a while and drink the liquid. 

The leaves and base of this tender perennial are used as a food flavoring, particularly in fish and poultry dishes, and its essential oils are used medicinally. Its distinctive flavor balances hot chillies and contributes to the elaborate, multi-layered flavors of many dishes in South East Asian cuisine.

 As a diuretic in hypertension and fluid retention. Also used for dissolution of kidney stones. Some clinical studies, including double blind/placebo radomized studies, have shown encouraging results for Sambong to be both safe and effective in the treatment of kidney stones and hypertension. The National Kidney and Transplant Institute has promoted the use of this herbal medicine for many renal patients to avert or delay the need for dialysis or organ transplantation.

Being promoted by the Department of Health (DOH) as a diuretic and for dissolution of renal stones. One of a few herbs recently registered with the Bureau of Foods and Drugs as medicines.

 Malunggay leaves was once considered a “poor man’s vegetables” but now it is known as a “miracle tree” or “nature’s medicine cabinet” by scientists and health care workers from around the world because it is loaded with vitamins and minerals that can be an effective remedy against many kinds of ailments.

All parts of the malunggay tree are usable for nutritional and medicinal purposes – from the roots, trunk, and branches to the leaves, flowers, and seeds. The small, oval, dark-green leaves are famous vegetable ingredient in soup, fish and chicken dishes. The leaves can actually be eaten raw, but best added in meals due to its high concentration of nutrients. The roots is used to make tea, while the trunk, after it’s scraped and squeezed for its juice is used to clean wounds.

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  1. Highly informative. Ginger, Lemon Grass and Bitter Gourd are faound in India. The bitter gourd is however, not so elongated. It has a bulbous middle and the ridges are more prominent. Colour varies from th e light green and dark green to the big white varieties found in Kerala. It is known as Karela in Hindi. Bengal has a small bulbous type known as ucche which is even more bitter.

  2. Great, simply great.

  3. Very good post, kabayan, those plants really are helpful.

  4. who made this website

  5. You can order most of these herbs in capsule forms at http://www.perfectlynaturalherbs.com
    Very reasonably priced for anyone. I use Malunggay (also known as Moringa) and it has helped with hot flashes to calming arthritis pain.

  6. Great help for people who needs medication but cannot afford todays expensive medicine. These information helps a lot. I would like the Triond and be well informed of all herbal medicines. I am a stroke victim and needs more medicinal plant.

  7. pwede ho ba ninyung mai post at mabigyan kami ng kaalam ukol sa pag alis ng mga stretchmark..salamat poh..

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