List of the most popular Philippine anti-cancer medicinal plants and herbs used as traditional and alternative medicine in the Philippines.
1. Ampalaya (Bitter Gourd)
A climbing, smooth, annual vine, tendrils up to 20 cm. long rounded leaves, 2.5 to 10 cm. long-oblong green fruit.
2. Kalabasa (Squash)
A coarse, prostrate, climbing annual herbaceous vine 4 m. long, leaves rounded 15 to 30 cm. in diameter, heart-shape, large, freshly yellow fruit.
3. Melon (Cantaloupe)
Spreading, annual hairy vine; leaves rounded heart-shaped 6 to 15 cm. long; fruits is ovoid, 20 cm. long, smooth, green. Kernel of the seeds are stomachic, peptic and prescribed for stomach cancer. Doctors say a crude extract of the melon can increase the survival rates of mice with cancer.
Scientist believe the melon extract stimulates the tumor killing abilities of macrophages, scavanger-like cells of the immune system. Studies show it activating white blood cells to attack cancerous cells more rapidly. Because of its ability to improve the function of the immune system, the bitter melon extract is also being considered as a dietary supplement for AIDS victims.
4. Kampanilla (Yellow Bell)
Smooth, hairy shrub, 2 to 4 cm. high, leaves in the whorls of 3 or 4, 8 to 12 cm. long, yellow flowers, shortly stalked.
Erect, branched shrub 1 to 4 cm. high; leaves are oblong elliptic 5 to 12 cm. long.
Small tree, leaves are crowded 11 to 22 cm. long 4 to cm., wide, pointed at both ends, seeds many and are embedded in pulp.
7. Tubang Bakod (Physic Nut Tree)
Smooth, erect, branch shrub 2 to 5 m. high; leaves are angular, 10 to 18 cm. long, apex is pointed and base, heart-shaped-usually used as hedge or fence.
Hairy shrub 3 m. high; leaves are alternate 30 cm. long; fruits is oval, black, smooth 0.5 cm. long.
9. Gatas-Gatas (Snake Weed, Cat’s Hair)
Is an annual hairy herb, branched up to 40 cm. long; reddish or purplish; leaves are oblong 1 to 2.5 cm. long, toothed at the margin.
10. Higad-Higaran (Erisypela Plant)
An annual erect, branched hairy plant 15 to 50 cm. high; leaves are opposite or alternate, 3 to 8 cm. long; fruits is 4 to 5 mm. long. The leaves crushed are used as a resolvent for abscesses and furuncles and swellings and removes pain generally in cancer of the throat.
11. Papaya (Papaw Tree)
Small, erect, fast-growing tree, 3 to 6 m. high, unbranched, sometimes when injured produces branches; leaves on rounded 1 m. broad and polmately 7 or 9 lobed; fruit is oblong-cylindric, 5 to 30 cm. long, yellowish, or yellowish-orange, black seeds, embedded in sweet pulp. Poultices of papaya leaf is useful for cancerous growths.
12. Bulak Damo (Curacau, Milkweed)
A pan tropic weed of American origin-an erect, perrenial herb 40 to 60 cm. high, leaves are opposite, oblong-lanceolate, 7 to 13 cm. long, pointed at both ends; flowers are orange-red. It can cure the cancer of the stomach, intestines, uterus and kidneys.
13. Canela (Ceylon Cinnamon)
Introduced from India or Ceylon where it is native–a medium-size tree, 12 to 20 cm. high, smooth with its buds with fine, silky hairs, leaves are leathery, shining, oval-lanceolate, 8 to 15 cm. long; flowers are numerous, pale yellow. It’s essential oil was used in massive doses with success in the treatment of cancer and other microbic diseases.
14. Dap Dap (Indian Coral Tree)
Introduced from Indian to Polynesia–a deciduous tree, up to 15 m. high; leaves are ovate, 8 to 18 cm. long; flowers are large and numerous. Crevos and petelot report that the seeds are employed externally in cancer and externally for abscesses.
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