Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Mahogany (Sweitenia ,macrophyilia King Meliaceae)

A Mahogany is a large tree, the height of this tree is up 10 cm or more , with a heavy color dark-green and dense crown. during summer.the leaves of mahogany sheds, The trunk is more or less buttressed. The bark is dark gray and ridged. The leaves are alternate, smooth (with the upper portion shiny, brownish, or purplish), or compound and about 15 cm long, comprising 3-6 of leaflets.

Medicinal use:
• A of bark may serve as an anticyptic (reduces fever).
• It serve as also as an astringent.
• It is also used increases our body tone.

Kalingag (Cinamomum mercadoi vidal Laurace)

picutres taken from www.google.com

A Kalingag tree is medium in sized, fissures or cracks and its covered irregularly with corky postules , which give it slightly rough appearance. The leaves of kalingag are smooth, opposite, elliptical, 7-14 cm long and 3-6.5 cm wide; apex is acute, tip of a leaf is rounded; texture is lethery; both faces are glabrous, the upper is shiny white the lower has a glouccous ochre bloom.

Medicinal use:
• The bark when masticated and taken internally, helps digestion.
• It is also used for flatulence (gas accumulation in the alimentary canal and as an expectorant).
• It is also used for tuberculosis and as a relieves or cure for headaches and rheumatism.

Hauili (ficus septic Burm. F. var. Moraceae)

picture taken from www.googgle.com

Hauili is a small tree in high of 3 – 4 m, smooth, with the young shoot more or less hairy. The leaves of hauili tree are smooth and shiny, oblong-ovate to elliptic-ovate, 10-20 cm long. With tip tapering to a rather sharp point and the base pointed.

Medical use:
• A decoction of the roots helps the body dispose of excess water through urination.
• The roots are used as a poutice for boils.
• The used of the leaves used as a sudorific (induces sweating) and cure for headaches.
• The leaves, when applied externally, are said to be antirheumatic.
• The latex is used to cure certain varieties of herpes

Monday, 25 January 2010

PILI (Canarium ovatum Engl. Burseraceae)

The PILI is large tree in height of 35 m and or more in diameter. The leaves are alternate, pinnate and about 30 cm long with usually tree pairs of opposite leaflite are ovate-oblong, 12-20 cm long and 3-7 cm wide, smooth and shiny on both sides, pointed at the apex and rounded base.

Medicinal use:
• The “saheng” (oleoresin) is used as a stimulant; a rubefacient ( an external skin application causing redness of the skin); and an antirheumatic when applied externally
• Poultices of brea (soft resin obtained from genes canarium) are used externally for swellings of the legs.
• Oleoresin, applied in the form of ointment, is applied on indolent ulcers.

CABALLERO (Caesalpinia pulcherrinma)

picture taken from www.google.com

A CABALLERO is small and smooth tree, about 1.5 to 5 m high. It is has spines along the branches. red and yellow, few flowed clustered are born on terminal portions.

Medicinal use:
• Fresh leaves are applied externally it relieves rheumatism; when heated and applied, remedycure for stomach pains.
• the decoration from the crushed seeds is used as an emetic and believed to be a cure for dysentery.
• The Roots are diuretic and useful in cases of stone formation in bladder.
• The juice of the stem and roasted fruit are used for eye diseases.
• The powdered leaves are given as uterine tonic to women immediately after giving birth.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

BIGNAI (Antidesma Bunuis (L) Spreng)

pictures taken from www.google.com

the BIGNAI tree was origin in native of India, and its is more popular in its second home in Indonesia and Malaysia. this tree is an evergreen, with wide, dark green glossy, leathery leaves, the reddish flowers are tiny. Male and female flowers are produced on separate trees.
Bignai tree is a small in a height of about 10 m, and diameter of about 40 cm. The bark is dark brown. This tree forms a dense crown. The leaves are simple, alternate, dark green, shiny on the upper surface, small, 8 -10 in length and generally oblong.

Medicinal Use:
• The leaves of the bignay are used in the treatment of snakebite.
• The leaves of BIGNAI TREE are acidic and diaphoretic (having the power to increase perspiration). Young leaves are boiled with pot-herbs and used by the natives in syphilitic infections.

Culinary uses:
• Ripened fruit is eaten raw / fresh
• Taken as juice
• The juice makes syrup and has been successfully fermented into wine and brandy.
• it si used in preparation of sauce for fish dishes.
• It makes an excellent jam and wine.
• Young leaves are edible and eaten with rice

Other Uses:
• The bark contains a strong fiber which is used for making ropes.
• The reddish, hard wood has been experimented with to make cardboard.

• The bark is poisonous, it contains alkaloid.

Narra (Pterocarpus spp.)

Preferred scientific name
Pterocarpus indicus Willd.
The genus name is derived from the Greek pteron, which
Means wing, and karpos, which means fruit, referring to
the flat, winged pods characteristic of the genus.

The NARRA is a medium to large tree with an irregular trunk, the height of narra tree is up to 40 m and a diameter up to 200 cm. It thrives best in flats and guilles, on moist sandy loam or clay loam soil. It is found in association with dipterocarp species and needs sufficient moisture for its growth.

• Shredded bark is boiled and the fluid taken orally.

Medicinal use:
• Shredded bark is boiled, the fluid taken orally, for the cure of dysentery and diarrhea.
• the Herbal teas pills made for narra extracts, and popularized in the Philippines for treating a range of diseases such as treat for leprosy, menstrual pain, flu, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii)

YERBA BUENA it is a one of mint family, is kind of herbs. An aromatic plant used as herbal medicine whole wide world. This perennial plant’s grow from 0.6 meters to 1 meter. It has elongated leaves and in summers, it bears small whitish or purplish flowers. Such flowers possess both male and female organs that allow it to be pollinated by bees and animals of the same nature. The word Yerba Buena originated in Spanish they called "good herb"..

Before its medicinal value has been recognized, Yerba Buena was first used as an ingredient in numerous cuisines. It became popular because of its distinctively strong spearmint flavor, thus making it ideal for salads. The leaves are the source of this flavor, and they may be added to viands and meals, either raw or cooked. It has also been effective to drive away rats and other rodents, because of its strong smell of mint that it emits. Thus, besides its medicinal value, it has long been recognized to have strong commercial demand due to the variety of uses that the plant have.

Centuries as tea and herbal medicine as a pain reliever (analgesic). Native American Indians used it even before the "white men" colonized the Americas. Today, this folk medicine's efficacy has been validated by scientific research.
In the Philippines, Yerba Buena is one of the 10 herbs endorsed by the Department of Health (DOH) as an effective alternative medicine for aches and pains. It has been recognized for its antiseptic, anti-cancer, diuretic, anti-spasm, anti-emetic activities. Properties of this herbal plant are also found to function as stimulant and to have restorative effects.

As an herbal medicine, a decoction (boil leaves then strain) of Yerba Buena it is also effective for minor ailments such as headaches, toothaches, and joint pains.
It can also relive stomachaches due to gas buildup and indigestion.
The fresh and dried leaves can both be used for the decoction. And because Yerba Buena belongs to the mint family, soaking fresh leaves in a glass of water (30 to 45 minutes) makes a good and effective mouth wash for a clean, fresh smelling breath.

Used to treat:
• used to treat in Arthritis
• cure Head aches
• cure Tooth aches
• used in Mouth wash
• Relief of intestinal gas
• treat in Stomach aches
• Indigestion
• Drink as tea for general good health.

Preparation & Use:
• Wash fresh Yerba Buena leaves in running water. Chop to size for dried leaves, crush) and boil 2 teaspoons of leaves in a glass of water. Boil in medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
• As analgesic, take a cupful every 3 hours.
• For tooth aches, pound the fresh leaves, squeeze juice out and apply on a cotton ball then bite on to the aching tooth.
• Yerba buena leaves may be heated over fire and placed over the forehead for headaches.
Stems of Yerba Buena may be crushed and applied directly to bruises. Folkloric use include poultice preparation and the oil extracts from its stems are suggested to be a remedy for cancerous tumors. Caution should be observed in taking this herbal medicine as it can be toxic in large doses.

Philippine Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) is now getting global reputation as the healthiest and versatile oil and popular in the world. The Philippines is one of the best sources of virgin coconut oil. Although not an herb, we decided to make an article about VCO because of the growing interest on the oil and after receiving several inquiries from our visitors.

VCO is regular coconut oil and rich in Lauric Acid, an essential fatty acid and only found in high concentrations in mother's milk. When taken internally, Lauric Acid turns into a compound known as Monolaurin. It is this compound that is believed to fight viral pathogens that protects the body from bacteria, viruses and infections from parasites.
Coconut oil also causes the metabolic rate to increase, and helps reduce weight and is safe and beneficial for diabetics.

In years, coconut oil has been discredited (specially in the west) because of it's high saturated fat content. But recent studies shown that not all saturated fats are the same. The medium chain triglycerides of which virgin coconut oil is classified, does not elevate LDL (the bad cholesterol) in our body compared to other polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as canola and sunflower oil which is widely produced in the west.
How Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) is Made
First and foremost, the husk and the shell is removed from fresh coconuts, then the meat of the coconut is shredded -this process called "Wet Milled", then the meat is "Cold Pressed" to get the coconut milk without any chemicals. The milk is then fermented in containers for a day or two. After which, oil is produced. This oil is carefully filtered and separated from the curd. and moe they called, virgin coconut oil.
A more modern way of separating the oil from the curd is through centrifugal force.
The second method of producing virgin coconut oil (VCO) is using quick dried coconut meat and then processed in the same way. But the preferred manner by most is still the "Wet Milled" process.
Difference between Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and Regular (RBD) Coconut Oil.
RBD stands for Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized. Ordinary coconut oil usually comes from copra - coconut meat that is dried by either smoke, kiln or placing under the sun. Because the process itself is not sanitized, the oil must be further refined. To get more oil from copra, chemicals are usually used. RBD process is required to make the oil clear, odor free and tasteless. This procedure also removes the anti-oxidant and other properties of the oil.
Some coconut oils are also hydrogenated which increases the serum cholesterol levels and thus is bad for the heart.

While virgin coconut oil, being pure, unadulterated and unhydrogenated retains it's pleasant coconut taste, smell and all the health benefits of coconut oil.

More research still has to be done on the benefits of virgin coconut oil but preliminary findings and anecdotal reports are very promising.

Medical use:
it fight viral pathogens and protects the body from bacteria, viruses and infections from parasites.
Coconut oil also causes the metabolic rate to increase, and helps reduce weight and is safe and beneficial for diabetics.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Tsaang Gubat or Wild Tea (Ehretia microphylla Lam.)

Tsaang Gubat is one of the 10 herbs that is endorsed the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) as an antispasmodic for abdominal (stomach) pains. And is registered as a herbal medicine at the Philippine Bureau of Food & Drug (BFAD).

Tsaang Gubat is small tree that grows (from 1 to 5 meters) abundantly in the Philippines.In folkloric medicine, the leaves has been used as a disinfectant wash during child birth, as cure for diarrhea, as tea for general good health and because Tsaang Gubat has high fluoride content, it is used as a mouth gargle for preventing tooth decay.
Research and test now prove it's efficacy as an herbal medicine. now a days Tsaag Gubat, it is now available commercially in capsules, tablets and tea bags.
Scientific name: Ehretia Microphylla Lam.

Tsaang Gubat is also known as: Wild Tea, Forest Tea, in (Visayas Region) Alibungog ,
in(Bicol Region)Putputai, and in (Ilocos Region)they called it Maragued.

Benefits of Tsaang Gubat:• it treats Stomach pains
• it treats Gastroenteritis
• it trears Intestinal motility
• it treats Dysentery
• it treats Diarrhea or Loose Bowel Movement (LBM)
• used as Mouth gargle
• used as Body cleanser/wash

Procedure & Use:
• Thoroughly wash the leaves of tsaang gubat in running water. Chop to a and boil 1 cup of chopped leaves in 2 cups of water. Boil in low heat for 15 to 20 minutes and drain.
• Take a cupful every 4 hours for diarrhea, gastroenteritis and stomach pains.
• Gargle for stronger teeth and prevent cavities.
• Drink as tea daily for general good health.

Tanglad | Lemon Grass

Tanglad or they call it lemon grass is a commercially-viable. It can be easily found in most Asian countries, and it found in widely tropical areas. By nature, tanglad is a permanent or perennial plant, and the benefits of which are not restricted to its fragrance. The utility of tanglad basically lies in its leaves, where all the benefits are derived. What can be seen of this plant are mainly the leaves, which is easy to access to the main part that is needed in order to enjoy tanglad's health benefits.
It constitutes most of this plant above ground, as the leaves grow up to one meter in length, and are flat in shape.

Health Benefits of Lemon Grass | Tanglad
• It helps ease stomach discomforts and aids in lessening, if not totally curing, the pain caused by toothache and sprain.
• It is also displays anti-bacterial activities and anti-fungal properties, thus, eradicates ring worms. Like malunggay,
• It can be applied to sprains for easy healing.
• This can be done by chopping the leaves and roots of tanglad and boiled them, along with fresh coconut oil. If it is infusion that an individual wishes to achieve, use one pint of water to boil the tanglad leaves with.
• The Tanglad may also serve as an insect repellant,by applying liniment, or by placing crushed tanglad leaves in specific place at home including the window

Medicinal Treatment:
• The lemon grass can aid an individual if such person is suffering from insomnia or stress.
• The plant also has therapeutic value, it allows to used by women who are suffering from menstrual problems or dysmenorrhoea.
• Tanglad also has cleansing properties, which makes it a good option to detoxify the various internal organs, like the liver.
• Lemon grass reduces the level of uric acid and of other toxins, as it detoxifies the body. The results is better blood circulation and better digestion, as excess fats and cholesterol are cut down from the body. When it's taken, tanglad affects the tissues in such a manner that there would be a significant reduction and avoidance of acne and pimples.
• It is also tones the muscles and tissues, and makes the skin firmer.

Benifits and use:
Like saluyot, exposure of an individual to the benefits of tanglad is greatly increased because of the nature with which it can be used. As saluyot can be taken in as part of one’s usual viand and dish, tanglad’s properties on the other hand, allows it to be used as food flavorings. Lemon grass is incorporated in a multitude of Asian cuisines and dishes, and in the Philippines it is even made part of commercial beverages. So aside from the oil that can be extracted from lemon grass leaves, the fluid that is obtained from the boiled leaves of this plant proves to have medicinal purposes as well. Such lemon grass leaves can also be used in its raw form by mixing directly with the food before it is served. Such dishes include, and are especially good, when the primary ingredient is fish or poultry. Besides the health benefits, tanglad balances the chili flavorings in dishes, which makes eating a more enjoyable experience.

Silymarin - Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

Silymarin is derived from Milk Thistle (seed extract from the flower of silymarin plant). The Milk thistle herb is a flowering plant of Silybum Adans genus, a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae). It grows mainly in North Africa, the Mediterranean region and the Middle East (now also grown in the U.S.) but is marketed and is widely available in the Philippines as a herbal liver supplement (silymarin capsules, trademark: Liveraide). Silymarin and milk thistle are frequently used interchangeably.

Experiments laboratory on animals (rats, baboons, dogs) shows silymarin works by modifying hepatic cell membranes in a way, prevents liver toxins from entering the interior of the cells. The toxins that may damage the liver are expelled through the kidneys instead. Silymarin is a polyphenolic flavanoid consisting of three chemicals: silybin, silicristin and silidianin which are antioxidants that neutralizes and breaks down free radicals. When there is an existing liver damage,silymarin also helps repair the damage and help regenerate new liver cells but is unlikely to help in the late stages of liver cirrhosis.

Many studies have been published on the health benefits of milk thistle and silymarin on humans but many are inconclusive or poorly done. Further studies are needed to fully appreciate the health benefits of silymarin on humans. However, anecdotal data suggests that it helps alleviate liver diseases and other aliments.
Since most commercial silymarin and milk thistle products are marketed as herbal supplements, they are not subjected to the same stringent standards imposed on prescription drugs. Their safety, purity and quality vary from brand to brand. In very rare instances, silymarin can cause headaches, upset stomach and joint pains. Silymarin is not recommended during pregnancy. Dozes over 1.5 grams a day may cause diarrhoea. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor or a health care provider before taking silymarin herbal supplements, liver supplements or any herbal medicine.

Anecdotal Health Benefits of Silymarin | Milk Thistle:
•Help improve liver function for those with cirrhosis of the liver and chronic hepatitis.
• Prevents inflammation of the liver
• Cure for Amanita phalloides mushroom poisoning
• Helps control blood sugar in patients with diabetes and cirrhosis.
• Helps lower cholesterol levels.
• Reduces growth of breast, prostate, cervical and skin cancer cells.
• Helps reduce fatty infiltration on the liver caused by toxins and alcohol.
• A strong antioxidant that helps fight free radicals (see Key to Healing).
• Not used to prevent hepatitis C, but used to minimize the damage caused by it.
• Non-toxic / no known overdose symptoms.

Sambong (Blumea balsamifera L.)

Sambong (scientific name: Blumea balsamifera) is an amazing medicinal plant. Coming from the family of Compositae, it goes by several names locally. It is known in the Visayas as bukadkad and as subsob in Ilocos. The plant is a strongly aromatic herb that grows tall and erect. Its height ranges from 1.5 to 3 meters, with stems that grow for up to 2.5 centimeters. It is an anti-urolithiasis and work as a diuretic. It is used to aid the treatment of kidney disorders. The Sambong leaves can also be used to treat colds and mild hypertension. Since it is a diuretic, this herbal medicine helps dispose of excess water and sodium (salt) in the body.

Sambong is a herbal medicine approved by the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) as an alternative medicine.

This plant possesses a multitude of properties:
• It's functions as an astringent and as an expectorant, and has been found to be anti-diarrhea and anti-spasm.
• As an astringent, preparations made of sambong leaves may be used for wounds and cuts.
• It is also suggested to be incorporated to post-partum baths, as well as considerable immersion of particular body areas that are afflicted with pains caused by rheumatism.
• Its expectorant properties make it as a popular recommendation to be taken in as tea to treat colds.

Health Benefits of Sambong:
• It gives us Good as a diuretic agent
• It is effective in the dissolving kidney stones
• Aids in treating hypertension & rheumatism
• It cures colds & fever
• Anti-diarrheic properties
• Anti-gastralgic properties
• It Helps remove worms, boils
• It Relief of stomach pains
• It cures dysentery, sore throat

Procedure & Use:
• boil in water of Sambong leaves, as like tea and drink a glass 3 or 4 times a day.
• The leaves of sambong can also be crushed or pounded and mixed with coconut oil.
• For headaches, apply crushed and pounded leaves on forehead and temples.
• Decoction of leaves is used for sponge bath.
• Decoction of the roots, on the other hand, is to be taken in as cure for fever.

Saluyot or Jute (Corchorus capsularis L.)

Saluyot, also named as jute, its color green leafy vegetable, It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium. It has also been determined that 100 grams of saluyot contains an ample amount of Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, and is also rich in fiber.

With these facts alone, It is also gives diet. This vegetable also assures safety of intake even for pregnant mothers. Unlike other plants with medicinal benefits like makabuhay, it is safe to be eaten even by those which are medically considered to be in a weak state. Saluyot can be found basically everywhere. From warm, tropical countries like the Philippines to tropical deserts and wet forest zones, saluyot is abundant. It does not require much attention and care, and thus, thrives without cultivation the whole year round.

Because the saluyot or jute plant is by nature a vegetable, it is easy to prepare and can be incorporated to various dishes that would allow individuals to benefit from its vitamins and mineral content. Since it can be found easily, there are a lot of local viands and/or dishes that use saluyot as an ingredient. For instance, the Ilocanos use saluyot in their preparation of dinengdeng and bulangbulang. Fried saluyot are also mixed with sautéed bamboo shoots and dried beans. Other dishes include, but are not limited to chicken viands, wherein saluyot are mixed in either sautéed or pureed form. It is also integrated in mongo dishes, and in soups.

The Philippine Department of Health advises the public to increase their intake of this particular vegetable, to include malunggay and banana as well, in order to build resistance against the threat of swine flu.

Health Benifits and use:
• It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium.
• It has also been determined that 100 grams of saluyot contains an ample amount of Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, and is also rich in fiber.
• It is also gives diet.
• The Ilocanos use saluyot in their preparation of dinengdeng and bulangbulang.
• The content is good for eyesight, as the vegetable contains beta-carotene.
• It is used to reduce wrinkles, it is also contains anti-oxidant substances.
• It is used for anti-inflammatory treatment.
• Its vitamin content is good for eyesight, as the vegetable contains beta-carotene.
• It is used traditionally to address concerns related to inflammation and pain.
• It is also been connected with curing the chronic inflammation of the urinary bladder.

Sabila | Aloe Vera

Sabila or Aloe Vera holds the scientific name, Aloe barbadensis miller liquid.
It is a herb, it is known particular for its cosmetic functions.
The plant is rich in substances that treats a several illnesses and ailments. this plant has been found to have great contributions to health, both internally and externally. Research studies have shown that it has properties comprising of inhibitory, anti-inflammatory, regenerative, and anti-bacterial functions.

Preparations made with aloe vera as the primary ingredient have been effective in reducing pain and allergies.

The sabila properties is able to penetrate the inner parts of the body, and specifically targets joints, tendons, and muscles, and helps in the promotion and growth of new tissues. Aloe vera or Sabila contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, vitamin C, choline, niacin amide and 18 amino acids. You can mix the Aloe Vera extract with fruit juice and other drinks. Aloe Vera is also an anti-oxidant in which, it prevents oxidation of certain fats and gene cells, preventing ailing conditions like tumors and cancers. Since it is an anti-oxidant, it has anti-aging properties. It also reduces free radicals, which can damage the arteries. Aside from being an herbal medicine, Aloe Vera is good for the health and can be taken internally, or applied externally.

Medicinal Benefits of Aloe Vera:• Treatment of acne, pimples & psoriasis
• Analgesic properties for inflammation of skin
• Helps reduce high blood pressure
• Anti-aging properties
• Heals insect bites, minor burns & sunburns
• Arthritis, diabetes
• Eradicates intestinal bacteria and parasites
• Helps prevent cancer & tumors
• Eases Constipation
• Antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic and antibiotic properties
It helps in the promotion and growth of new tissues. Aloe vera or Sabila contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, vitamin C, choline, niacin amide and 18 amino acids.

Preparation & Use:• Its used for treatment of skin inflammation, acne, pimple, insect bites, scalds (minor burns) etc., remove the skin of a leaf then rub Sabila (Aloe Vera) juice on your skin (may be mixed with coconut oil) and leave for at least 30 minutes.
• The poultices of the aloe vera leaves may be applied directly to contusions.
• For hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, intestinal parasites, constipation etc., remove the skin and take internally. The jell liquefies a after a few minutes and can be mixed with other drinks.

Pansit-Pansitan (Peperomia pellucida Linn.) a.k.a. Ulasiman-Bato

Pansit-pansitan (family of Piperaceae) is an herbal name also known as Ulasiman-bato, olasiman-ihalas & tangon-tangon in the Philippines. English name: peperomia. It is a small herb that grows from 1 to 1 1/2 feet. Pansit-pansitan can be found wild on lightly shaded and damp areas such as nooks, walls, yards and even roofs. Pansit-pansitan has heart shaped leaves, succulent stems with tiny flowers on a spike. When matured, the small fruits bear one seed which fall of the ground and propagate.

The leaves of pansit pansitan are edible. It can be harvested, washed and eaten as fresh salad.

Pansit-pansitan is used as an herbal medicine for the treatment:
• Gout
• Skin boils, abscesses, pimples
• Headache
• Abdminal pains.
• kidney problems.
also good for abdominal pains and kidney problems.

Procedure and use:
• For headaches, heat a couple of leaves in hot water, bruise the surface and apply on the forehead
• The decoction of leaves and stalks is also good for abdominal pains and kidney problems.
• Like any herbal medicine it is not advisable to take any other medication in combination with any herbs.
• Consult with a medical practitioner knowledgeable in herbal medicine before any treatment.

Pandan (Pandanus tectorius)

The pandan grows as high as 5 meters, with small branches. origin name is also known as FRAGRANT SCREW PINE. The trunk of pandan tree bears plenty of prop roots. Its leaves spirals, the branches, and crowds at the end. The male inflorescence emits a fragrant smell, and grows up to up to 0.5 meters in lenght. The fruit of the pandan tree, which is usually about 20 centimeters long, are angular in shape, narrow in the end and the apex is truncate. This plant grows in thickets lining the seashores of m places in the Philippines.

In Philippines, pandan leaves are being cooked along with rice to incorporate the flavor and smell to it.
Pandan Health Benefits:
•.Treats leprosy, smallpox and wounds.
• Helps reduce fever
• Solves several skin problems
• Relives headache and arthritis
• Treatment for ear pains
• Functions as a laxative for children
• Eases chest pains
• Helps in speeding up the recuperation of women who have just given birth and are still weak
• Pandan reduces stomach spasms
Pandan flowers have also been traced with characteristics that function as aphrodisiac.
Pandan also manifests anti-cancer activities,
It can also be used as antiseptic and anti-bacterial, which makes it ideal for healing wounds.

Preparation & Use of Pandan:
• Decoction of the bark may be taken as tea, or mixed with water that is to be used in bathing, in order to remedy skin problems, cough, and urine-related concerns.
• Apply pulverized roots of pandan to affected wound areas to facilitate healing.
• The anthers of the male flowers are used for earaches, headaches and stomach spasms.
• Chew the roots to strengthen the gum.
• Extract oils and juices from the roots and flowers are used in preparing the decoction to relieve pains brought about by headache and arthritis.

Medical benifits use:The leaves and roots are found to have medicinal benefits. Such parts of the plant have been found to have essential oils, tannin, alkaloids and glycosides, which are the reasons for the effective treatment of various health concerns.

Niyog-Niyogan (Quisqualis Indica L.)

Niyog-niyogan or Rangoon Creeper is an excellent vine and for outdoor gardens.scientifically called Quisqualis indica L.
This ligneous plant,
It is also known as Burma or Rangoon Creeper, Liane Vermifuge and Chinese honeysuckle. Niyog-niyogan is perfect for covered walkways as it grows at least 2.5m long and reaches up to 8m long when it matures. This active climber, which belongs to the combretaceae family grows best in tropical areas and demands constant sunlight. Perhaps due to its tropical characterization that it is found in primary and secondary countries like Africa, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and other Asian regions.

Niyog-niyogan is cultivated in greenhouses and can be naturalized in tropical areas. This vine starts as a shrub about 3-feet tall with branches growing from all directions. The mother shrub seizes to grow and dies after six months allowing the creeper to rapidly climb walls, trees, and the like.
The branches of niyog-niyogan are filled with oblong-shaped leaves growing on opposite sides attached to 6mm to 10mm long petioles. The leaves of niyog-niyogan can grow up to 15cm long and more than 5cm wide with a pointed tip. Its flowers grow in clusters and it blossoms year-round. Its flowers open at night with five bright red petals and gives out a distinct perfume. The young flowers of niyog-niyogan start with white-colored petals that turn pink then red as it matures. It also bears fruits, which can grow up to 3cm long with five angles on its sides.

Benefits & Treatment of Niyog-Niyogan:
Almost all of its parts are used individually, or mixed with other ingredients, as remedy to different ailments. In the Philippines, these are taken to rid people of parasitic worms. Some also use these to help alleviate coughs and diarrhea. Medical experts, advice patients to consult their doctors as improper dosing may cause hiccups. Niyog-niyogan’s leaves are used to cure body pains by placing them on specific problematic areas of the body. Compound decoctions of the leaves of niyog-niyogan are used in India to alleviate flatulence.

Preparation & Use:
The Seeds of niyog-niyogan can be taken as an anthelmintic. These are eaten raw two hours before the patient’s last meal of the day. Adults may take 10 seeds while children 4 to 7 years of age may eat up to four seeds only. Children from ages 8 to 9 may take six seeds and seven seeds may be eaten by children 10 to 12 years old.
Decoctions of its roots are also sometimes used as a remedy for rheumatism while its fruits are used as an effective way to relieve toothaches.

Malunggay (Moringa oleifera Lam.)

A malunggay plant is known to different parts of the world under various names including, but not limited to, horseradish tree, drumstick tree, and dool in some regions. It is one of the more popular and publicized plant that is acknowledged to have nutritional, as well as, medicinal value. Fortunately, the plant is easily accessible as it can be found not only as part of the wild life, but also in the backyards of many Filipino homes. Malunggay proves to be a low-maintenance plant to grow, and is able to propagate in almost all kinds of soil. Most of the parts of the malunggay had been proven to be useful, both for consumption and for its preparation as a medicinal plant. Its flowers, leaves and young pods are associated and perceived to be important because of the health benefits that it provides.

This plant belongs to the Moringaceae family, nine meters. and when peered closely, is comprised of white wood that is soft in nature. It derives one of its names, horseradish, from the taste of its roots. The malunggay leaves, which are used in certain Filipino viands, have a very distinct shape that makes it easily recognizable. They are circular, thin sheets that are attached to a main stalk. The malunggay flowers are white fragrances that produce the pods, which are also used for medicinal purposes.

Health Benefits of Malunggay:
As have been mentioned earlier, there are various parts of the malunggay plant which are being used for health reasons. For one, the leaves of this plant proved to be a good source of calcium, iron, ascorbic acid and phosphorus. Its other parts such as the seeds, the young pods, and the flowers have been established to benefit individuals as far as anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, circulatory stimulations, and such other activities that are most beneficial to mankind, are concerned. There have been claims that malunggay can be used to lower blood pressure, aid in pains caused by rheumatism, headaches and migraines, as well as its being an anti-tumor plant. Malunggay is also used for purgative and anti-fungal purposes, as well. All these prove the claim that this plant is indeed multi-purpose.

There are various ways to derive the benefits from malunggay plant. Aside from the natural and direct means, wherein one is going to prepare the concoctions at home by picking the necessary parts from the plant itself, one can also purchase the commercial extractions of malunggay. There are malunggay capsules that are now available in the market, which contain 250mg dried young leaves of the malunggay plant. In the same way, there are commercial oil extracts of the malunggay flowers which are also in the market. Because of the popularity that has been associated with this plant, commercial establishments have exploited the malunggay’s marketable qualities. For simple preparations however, as when the concoction would be used for uncomplicated ailments like hiccups, as a means to end constipation, or as wound cleanser, one may eat the cooked leaves of the malunggay plant during his last meals of the day. This should be accompanied by water, especially when the ailment to be addressed is constipation. Now, as wound cleanser, the leaves may be crushed and applied to the affected area directly. In all instances, cleanliness should be observed to avoid complications.

Makabuhay (Tinospora rumphii Boerl)

The makabuhay plant is a clinging vine, and the name itself suggests the primary purpose of such plant. Makabuhay is a Filipino translation of the English term ‘pro-life or to give life’. It is commonly known as the paliahan in the Visayas region. The plant belongs to the family of Menispermaceae, and can grow, or rather climb, up to fifteen meters long. The makabuhay leaves are thin sheets that are heart-shaped, and its flowers look distinct as they only have three petals. The makabuhay plant is known for its bitter nature, and the fruits of this plant are held in clusters, which can be as long as two centimeters. This plant may be propagated by planting its stem, which contains a bitter sap. However, it is important to note that makabuhay can be found in most forests all over the Philippines. It grows in tropical areas, and it is of little wonder why it is abundant in a country like the Philippines. The fruits of this plant have not been utilized nor established to have medicinal values. Only the leaves and the stems of makabuhay have been found to cure particular health concerns. For the stems, both the dried and the fresh stems are found to be beneficial.

Health Benefits of Makabuhay Plant:
The stem of makabuhay plant is a primary ingredient used to concoct preparations that would prevent spread of malaria, and may be used as cleanser for skin ulcer and skin wounds. Clinical tests have shown that the decoction of this plant cures diarrhea, indigestion and scabies. Also, it is an effective ointment for pains caused by rheumatism. However, young children below the age of three, pregnant women, patients with typhoid fever, those who are suffering from pneumonia, and people diagnosed with heart problems, should not in any way take decoction that contains makabuhay, because their weak state will be in conflict with the strong medicinal effects that it manifests.

Preparation and Use of Makabuhay:It has been mentioned earlier that this plant have several medicinal uses. Thus, the form, preparation, and manner of intake also vary according to the purpose for which it will be taken. For instance, when makabuhay is going to be used as an ointment for rheumatism, its preparation is different in such a manner that the stems have to be chopped. It is suggested that the chopped stems amount to one-half glass and such stems are supposed to be fried for five minutes in a glass of coconut oil, under low fire. Then, the stems are to be separated after frying, after which ½ glass of grated candle wax should be incorporated to it. As soon as the wax have already dissolved and cooled down, the prepared ointment can already be applied to the body, except for the face, for three successive nights.

A similar preparation is to be observed when makabuhay is to be used to eradicate intestinal worms, and cure fever brought about by malaria. However, instead of sautéing, the stems are supposed to be boiled. In preparing this particular decoction, 30 grams of fresh makabuhay stems, or 25 grams of dried ones, are supposed to be boiled for twenty minutes in three cups of water. The extracts can be derived by subjecting the boiled preparation in a strainer, therefore removing the stems from the substance that are necessary to address the health concern discussed. The preparation should be taken and drank in half a cup, twice a day before the first and last meals of the day. Like any other medicinal plant preparation, should there be complications suffered or no marked improvements seen after administering the said preparation, treatment should be discontinued and a physician is to be consulted.

Mabolo (Diospyros blancoi)

A member of the Ebenaceae family, mabolo is known for its value as an ornament, rather than for its fruit. Its wood is commonly known in the Philippines as kamagong, and it is the fruit that goes by the name of mabolo. It is an evergreen forest tree that is medium-sized, and has an oval or conical-shaped crown. Depending on the way it was planted, a mabolo tree may have long, straight stems or short trunks. Its leaves are oblong-shaped, which are big and rounded but are pointed and narrow at the top. The mabolo fruit has a round, velvety outer cover which contains the seed in a pulp. From green, it becomes light brown and eventually, turns to magenta as this fruit berry ages and ripens. It is somewhat unpopular because of the strong cheesy odor that it emits, once the fruit is opened. When eaten, though, the mobolo fruit has an edible and sweet taste. The concern about its smell may be remedied by peeling its outside cover, and storing it in the refrigerator for several hours, so that the smell will already dissipate. Studies have shown that it is worthy to endure the odor of the fruit, because it has been found to contain several vitamins and nutrients. It is known to be an ideal source of calcium, vitamin B, iron, and protein. Thus, several ways of preparing the mabolo fruit has been constantly discovered. It is served as dessert, by mixing the fruit with lemon juice or lime. It is also used in salad preparations, by dicing the fruit. In the same manner, it is used as ingredients in soups, where it changes texture and becomes tough when stewed. This is ideal especially when served with ham and other meats that have a spicy quality in it.

Mabolo is grown commercially, but at a small scale only, as it can be found along the seashores by the locals in the Philippines. There are several uses for the mabolo plant and fruits, because of its commercial value. It is a very useful plant, in such a way that not only does it have ornamentation significance; but it also contains nutritional benefits and medicinal functions as well. The parts that are being utilized for this purpose are the leaves, bark, and the roots. Its bark is being utilized in such a manner that it is being decocted and prepared to address skin ailments like eczema, fever and cough.

Medicinal tretment:
• use to treat Cough, stomach pains, fever, and skin ailments are treated by preparations of the mobolo leaves and bark.
• Used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, heart ailments, hypertension and diabetes.
antidote for snakebites.
used to treat diabetes

Preparation & Use:
• Decoctions of the bark and leaves of mabolo are used for all the health concerns that have been listed on the left.

Luyang Dilaw - Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Luyang Dilaw, or Ginger Root (scientific name: Zingiber officinale) belongs to the family of, as its scientific name signifies, Zingiberaceae. The rootstocks of this erect, smooth plant are thick, and have strong aromatic qualities. Its edible roots, tops, and even its leaves are found to have medicinal value. The taste of luyang dilaw is distinct, brought about by the zingerone and shogoal substances that it has, giving the plant its pungent properties. As an herbal medicine, Luyang Dilaw has long been used as a cold, cough, fever, and sore throat remedy.

Ginger helps in the digestion and absorption of food, lowering of cholesterol, alleviating nausea and vomiting. Luyang dilaw has antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties as well. In the same way, it has been found to contain potent anti-oxidant qualities, which come from the extract and active constituents of the plant. These uses are separate and distinct from the nutritional value of luyang dilaw.

The rhizomes of luyang dilaw is mainly associated as the main ingredient in a very popular local beverage, which is salabat. Recent studies have shown that luyang dilaw had been found with traces of antiemetic properties. Thus, it is now being recommended to be taken half an hour before one’s travel to avoid being travelsick and experience nausea during the voyage. Pregnant women should take precautionary measures in taking luyang dilaw for medicinal purposes although it has been proven that none of the plant’s substances triggers adverse side effects, even when it interacts with other drugs. This herbal plant is not recommended for expectant mothers for the very reason that there is a possibility of inhibition of testosterones that binds the fetus, as a result of some of the properties that luyang dilaw contains.

Medicinal Benefits of Luyang Dilao (Ginger Root):
• Relieves rheumatic pains & muscle pains
• Alleviates sore throat, fever and colds
• Ease nausea and vomiting
• Intestinal disorders and slow digestion
• Relief from tympanism and flatulence
• Treat intestinal worms
• Hinder diarrhea, gas pains
• Relieve indigestion (dyspepsia), toothaches
• Lower cholesterol levels
• Aids treatment of tuberculosis

Preparation & Use:
• Boil the ginger root in water and drink. The more concentrated the better.
• For sore throat and tooth ache, remove the skin and chew small portions.
• For cuts & bruises, apply the juice of luyang-dilao directly to the skin or use dried rhizomes with 70% alcohol then apply to afflicted areas.
• For rheumatism and muscle pains, pound roasted or fresh ginger and apply to painful areas -can be mixed with oil for easy application.

Lagundi (Vitex negundo)

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 are associated with medicinal value.

The roots of this shrub are also used as treatment for rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, and leprosy.
the flowers are recommended as a cardiac tonic, as cure for liver diseases, and other internal disorders such as diarrhea and cholera.
also has anti-inflammatory functions, and treatment for skin diseases such as leprosy.

Plant Description:
The Lagundi plant can grow up to five meters tall. It can be described as a cross between a shrub and a tree with a single woody stem (trunk). One of Lagundi's distinctive features is its pointed leaves with five leaflets set like a hand.

Herbal Benefits of Lagundi:
• Relief of asthma & pharyngitis
• Recommended relief of rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, diarrhea
• Treatment of cough, colds, fever and flu and other bronchopulmonary disorders
• Alleviate symptoms of Chicken Pox
• Removal of worms.
treating dyspepsia,colic and rheumatism

Preparation & Use:
• Boil half cup of chopped fresh or dried leaves in 2 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink half cup three times a day.
• For skin diseases or disorders, apply the decoction of leaves and roots directly on skin.

Precautions: make sure to have the five-leaved varieties.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

Oregano (Scientific name: Origanum vulgare) is also known as Wild Marjoram, Mountain Mint, Origanum, Wintersweet and Winter Marjoram. This erectly spreading plant has strong aromatic characteristics, with leaves and stems that are fleshy. The leaves of oregano are heart-shaped, with toothed edges, and which, grow for up to 9 meters in length. In other countries, the plant is primarily used as a culinary ingredient. However, in countries like the Philippines, Oregano is a known herbal medicine for its strong anti-oxidant properties. Oregano contains a rosmarinic acid compound, thymol, and carvacrol that are responsible for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Oregano also contains flavinoids, triterpenoids, sterols, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Its anti-bacterial properties have been proven by recent studies to treat infections of the reproductive tracts, and which make it ideal to be given to women who have just given birth.

The volatile oils in oregano and its properties are believed to be responsible for slowing the process of spoilage of food and thus minimizing the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria, parasites and fungi.

The anti-oxidant properties of oregano helps fight free radicals in the body that cause cellular damage and accelerate ageing. Free radicals are believed to be involved with many degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis and heart diseases, to name a few.

The most useful parts of this plant are its leaves. The extracts and juices of such are used for asthma, dyspepsia, chronic coughs, bronchitis, and rheumatism. Ear aches have also been proven to be cured by the infusion prepared from its leaves. The leaves relieve painful swellings, boils, and sprains, when their poultices are applied directly to the affected area.

Health Benefits of Oregano:
• Good for cough and cold relief
• Helps prevent degenerative arthritis
• Has Anti-aging properties
• Helps relieve rheumatism and osteoarthritis
• Bronchitis herbal remedy
• Ease asthma attacks
• Relieves upset stomach
• Treatment of urinary tract problems
• Relief for dyspepsia or indigestion
• Healing wounds, insect bites & stings
• Cure for sore throat
• Avoid infections caused by childbirth by taking decoctions of the leaves by the recent mother.
• For general good health

Preparation of Oregano Leaves:
• Boil one cup of fresh leaves in 3 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink half a cup 3 times a day for common colds.
• For a concentrate, juice the oregano leaves and take 1 tablespoon every hour to relieve chronic coughs, rheumatism, bronchitis, asthma, and dyspepsia.
• For Insect bites, wounds and stings, apply the leaves as a poultice directly on the afflicted area.
• For sore throat, boil 2 tablespoonfuls of dried oregano leaves in a pint of water, take 2 hours before or after meals.
• To prevent degenerative arthritis & for general good health drink oregano decoction daily.

Herbal Medicine: Bayabas or Guava (Psidium guajava)

Bayabas or guava is a tropical plant, which is locally known for its edible fruit. In the backyards of Filipino homes in the country, this plant is commonly seen, and grown because of its many uses as fruit and as traditional remedy to treat various ailments. As shown by many research studies, almost all of the parts of this plant have medicinal qualities and value, and thus, making it as one of the most popular therapeutic plants in the Philippines. Bayabas is a small tree that can grow up to 3 meters tall with greenish-brownish smooth bark. The round globular bayabas fruit starts as a flower and is usually harvested and eaten while still green. The fruit turns yellowish-green and soft when ripe.

The bayabas fruit bark and leaves are used as herbal medicine. Its leaves decoction is recognized for its effectiveness to cure several ailments, including the treatment of uterine hemorrhage, swollenness of the legs and other parts of the body, of chronic diarrhea, and gastroenteritis, among others. The most common use of the leaves is for cleaning and disinfecting wounds by rinsing the afflicted area with a decoction of the leaves. In the same way, such leaves are being used to aid in the treatment of dysentery and the inflammation of the kidneys. The bark and leaves can be used as astringent. It can also be used as a wash for uterine and vaginal problems, and is good for ulcers. The medicinal uses of Bayabas appear infinite, as it is also a suggested natural cure for fevers, diabetes, epilepsy, worms, and spasms. The fruit, aside from being delicious, contains nutritional values with a very high concentration of vitamin A and vitamin C.
Uses of Bayabas :
• Antiseptic, astringent & anthelminthic
• Kills bacteria, fungi and ameba
• Used to treat diarrhea, nosebleeding
• For Hypertension, diabetes and Asthma
• Promotes menstruation

The fresh leaves are used to facilitate the healing of wounds and cuts. A decoction (boiling in water) or infusion of fresh leaves can be used for wound cleaning to prevent infection. Bayabas is also effective for toothaches. Note: Bayabas can cause constipation when consumed in excess.
• Boil one cup of Bayabas leaves in three cups of water for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
• Use decoction as mouthwash, gargle.
• Use as wound disinfectant - wash affected areas with the decoction of leaves 2 to 3 times a day. Fresh leaves may be applied to the wound directly for faster healing.
• For toothaches, chew the leaves in your mouth.
• For diarrhea, boil the chopped leaves for 15 minutes in water, and strain. Let cool, and drink a cup every three to four hours.
• To stop nosebleed, densely roll Bayabas leaves, then place in the nostril cavities.

Gumamela (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn)

Gumamela is a shrub that grows from one meter up to 4 meters high. Gumamela is also known as: Hibiscus, China Rose and Shoeflower. In the Philippines, gumamela is cultivated as an ornamental plant. The gumamela flower comes in many colors: red, yellow, orange, white, purple, pink and other color combinations.

Gumamela leaves, usually blended with Rose Hip has long been used in the Middle East and Okinawa as herbal tea. Today, the use of gumamela tea is gaining worldwide popularity - including Asia. Gumamela (Hibiscus) is associated with longevity.
Gumamela as Herbal Medicine
As herbal medicine, gumamela flower, leaves and roots are used. Gumamela has the following medicinal characteristics: expectorant, diuretic, emollient, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, anodyne and refrigerant.
Preparation & Use of Gumamela:
There are two ways to utilize gumamela as herbal medicine. One is dried and the other is fresh. For Dried gumamela, collect the flower, leaves and/or roots. Wash, then cut into small pieces and sun dry. To use as decoction, boil the dried gumamela parts (1/4 cup dried gumamela in 1 glass of water)

To make a decoction from fresh gumamela, Wash gumamela flower and/or leaves, cut into small pieces and boil (1/3 cup in 1 glass of water), let cool and drink.
Use Gumamela as Poultice:
Poultice is the use or fresh or dried herbs that is mashed, crushed or pounded - often heated (boiled in water to soften and heat the herb) and applied directly to the skin. A clean cloth or gauze can be used to help the poultice stay in place.

Gumamela is used for the treatment of:

• Bronchitis - as an expectorant
• Coughs, sore throat
• Fever - as refrigerant drink
• Treats dysentery
• Urinary tract infection, bladder infections
• High blood pressure
• Prevention of constipation
• Headaches
• Boils, swelling & abscesses, mumps

Application & Use of Gumamela:

• Decoction is used to treat: Bronchitis, coughs, fever, dysentery, urinary and bladder infections, high blood pressure and constipation.
• Poultice is applied externally on the afflicted area. This is used to treat: headaches (on the forehead), boils, swelling, abscesses and mumps.
• Intake of gumamela (alone or mixed with papaya or papaya seeds) specially in large quantities can be an abortifacient.

Bawang, Bauang | Garlic (Allium sativum)

Bawang or Garlic with scientific name Allium sativum, is a low herb, which only grows up to sixty centimeters high. Its leaves are flat and linear, with bulbs that consist of several tubers. This herb is one of the most widely used herbal medicines in the Philippines and can also be found commonly in the kitchen of Filipino households as it is used to spice up food preparations. The Philippine bawang or garlic variety is more pungent than the imported ones. Its medicinal properties have been known for a long time and have been especially proven during World War II when it was used to treat wounds and infections of soldiers. Garlic’s antibacterial compound known as allicin, saved many lives of the soldiers as this property prevented the wounds from being infected and developing into gangrene at a later stage by extracting the juice of bawang or garlic and applying to the wounds.

Bawang, sometimes spelled as bauang or in English, garlic is known as nature's antibiotic. Its juices inhibit the growth of fungi and viruses thus, prevent viral, yeast, and infections. The preliminary test conducted on this medicinal herb showed some positive results in the treatment of AIDS. Several clinical tests that followed and published studies have shown the efficacy of garlic in lowering cholesterol in the blood and is beneficial to the circulatory system of the body. Today, as more research is done on garlic, more medicinal and therapeutic properties become more evident. As of the present time, lowering of the blood pressure, reduction of platelet aggregation, and the boosting of fibrinolytic activities are among the list of herbal functions of garlic, which is supported by medical findings. Although more clinical studies are needed to support the contention stronger, marked improvements in benign breast diseases have been traced to make progress because of the regular intake of supplements, of which the primary ingredient is garlic.

Although controlled trials in terms of anti-cancer activities of garlic have been performed in medical research, it has been proven through population-based studies that substances contain in garlic help in reducing the risk of some types of cancer. These would include colorectal malignancies, and gastric cancer. Regular consumption of raw garlic has been proven to aid in many bleeding cases, especially those cases that are associated with procedures in surgeries and dental activities. All these considered, it appears that garlic have no concrete scientific basis to claim a significant effect in the level of glucose in our blood. It is remarkable to note though that the Philippine Department of Health has endorsed garlic as one of the top ten Philippine herbs with therapeutic value and the department recommends its use as an alternative herbal medicine in view of the positive results of thorough research and testing, which had been conducted on this herbal plant. Juice extracted from garlic bulbs can be used as tick and mosquito repellant when applied to skin.

Bad breath, due to the strong odor of garlic, is the most common side effect of taking this herb. Fresh garlic applications to the skin have been reported to cause skin burns and rashes. This goes true both for those who are in the initial stages of their garlic therapies, and those who consume it as an ingredient in food preparations.

Health Benefits of Bawang-Garlic:

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

Preparation of Bawang-Garlic:

• For disinfecting wound, crush and juice the garlic bulb and apply. You may cover the afflicted area with a gauze and bandage.
• For sore throat and toothache, peal the skin and chew. Swallow the juice.
• Cloves of garlic may be crushed and applied to affected areas to reduce the pain caused by arthritis, toothache, headache, and rheumatism.
• Decoction of the bawang bulbs and leaves are used as treatment for fever.
• For nasal congestion, steam and inhale: vinegar, chopped garlic, and water.

Carrot (Daucus carota L.)

Carrot (Karot in Filipino) is an outstanding trait of this flowering plant, which belongs to the family of Apiaceae, is that it is self-fertile. By nature, carrot's flowers have both male and female organs, and are usually pollinated primarily by beetles and flies. In order to facilitate the cultivation of this plant, it is necessary to place it in an area where it can receive light. It has a strong rate of survival, because it can withstand strong winds. However, the carrot plant cannot bear to be exposed to salty water and soil. It is a biennial plant, which means that it usually takes two years for it to complete its life cycle. However, it is not uncommon for plants of this nature to complete its biological life cycle in a few months time, especially when subjected to extreme climate conditions.

Carrot is classified as a root vegetable, which grows as tall as one (1) meter. The wild carrot, from which the modern carrot’s cultivation is based, has flowers that are rounded, which are bright white in color when it is in full bloom. Such flowers have the width of 3 to 7 centimeters, and the vegetable itself is known to have various colors, such as orange, red, purple, yellow or white.

Carrots are extremely popular because of its numerous uses, and because of the many vitamins and minerals that it contains. For instance, its roots are edible, whether cooked or raw, and are used as an ingredient to soups and salad bowls. It has been found that carrot root juice is very rich in carotene, which in turn is converted to vitamin A by our liver, and is one of the vitamins that the body needs. Regular intake of carrot roots, in any manner, though recommended to be taken in juice form, improves eyesight. Particular substances that are contained in the roots have been discovered to be anti-cancer. That is the primary reason why carrot juice has become a popular drink, as it is associated with a wealth of health benefits. The roots of the carrot plant, when roasted, are also being used as a substitute for coffee. Extractions from the roots, known as carotene, are also being used commercially as a food dye. The leaves of this plant, which have high vitamin E content, are also being used as flavorings for soup. From the derived uses of this plant, it is evident that its roots, seeds, and leaves have particular functions which are known to be utilized by many.

Carrots have been known to have medicinal properties that allow it to be used as an astringent and antiseptic substance. Carrot has been used as a cleansing medicine, because of its activities which basically helps the kidney in the removal of waste in the body. It also aids in the stimulation of one’s menstruation because of the same properties. For children, raw carrot roots are a safe and recommended treatment for threadworms. In the same manner, regular intake of cultivated carrot roots allows the stimulation of urine flow. It manifests activities that help the skin, by virtue of its anti-oxidant contents.

Carrot Health Benefits:

• Body cleanser, and is a medication for kidney problems
• Treatment for cough and chest pains
• Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic function helps solve burns, ulcer and infected wounds

Preparation & Use:

• Boil with milk, and drink for cough
• Poultice of carrots may be applied to infected wounds and to the chest, in case it is going to be used to aid in an individual’s chest pains
• Ground seeds of the plant may be taken as tea, in order to increase urine flow

Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa)

Banaba, the scientific name of which is Lagerstroemia speciosa, is a tropical flowery tree. It grows to a height as high as 20 meters. Its leaves are large, and ranges from the shape of elliptical-ovate to oblong. These leaves are shed by the plant during the first months of the year, and are bright orange or red during these times. Various research on Banaba conducted in Japan prove true the belief that this plant contains high levels of corosilic acid, a substance known as one of the many treatments for diabetes mellitus. Besides its medicinal value, banaba is also cultivated and known for its beautiful flowers.

Banaba has been used in Filipino folkloric herbal medicine for the treatment of diabetes for centuries. It is now gaining popularity and getting recognition as a herbal medicine not only in the Philippines but worldwide. Banaba is also known as Queen's Flower, Crepe Myrtle and the Pride of India. In India, Banaba has also been used to cure diabetes in Ayurvedic medicine for a long time.

Recent studies and laboratory test showed that it's active ingredient, corosolic acid is a potent compound that has insulin like effect to lower glucose in the body and is effective in treating diabetes. Banaba is rapidly becoming known as a natural plant insulin, and what makes it ideal is that, the herbal preparation may also be taken orally, without any risk of adverse side effects. However, caution is advised against taking Banaba with any diabetic drug or any other drug simultaneously. Always consult with a qualified physician or a medical practitioner before taking any medication or any herbal medicine for a correct dose. Also, extra precaution is highly recommended as initial findings show that Banaba extract may delay and reduce the absorption of carbohydrates in the body and promote weight loss, despite its useful medicinal value.

Other studies that were focused on this plant showed other potential medicinal benefits. These include antibacterial functions of seed extracts from this plant, and a water extract of the same manifest anti-oxidative functions. Another is the significant protection that Banaba seems to exhibit to treat HIV-infected cells. This is brought about by its ellagic acid constituents.

Aside from the medicinal value of Banaba, as a herbal medicine, it is also good for the health. Banaba contains high concentrations of dietary fiber and minerals such as zinc and magnesium. The leaves can be boiled and taken daily as tea.

Benefits and Treatment of Banaba:

• Diabetes
• Fights obesity
• Helps regulate blood pressure
• Good for the kidneys
• Aids the digestive system
• Helps ease urination

Banaba Preparation & Use:

• Wash the leaves in running water (if fresh). Cut into smaller pieces if desired.
• Boil Banaba (one cup Banaba to cup of water) for 30 minutes. Drink like tea.

Note: Fresh leaves, dried leaves, flowers, ripe fruit, root and bark of Banaba can all be used.

Ampalaya (Momordica charantia)

Ampalaya leaves


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.

Ampalaya has been for used even by the Chinese for centuries. The effectively of Ampalaya as an herbal medicine has been tried and tested by many research clinics and laboratories worldwide. In the Philippines, the Department of Health has endorsed Ampalaya as an alternative medicine to help alleviate various ailments including diabetes, liver problems and even HIV. Aside from these, ampalaya also helps treat skin diseases and cough. Its herbal value extends to increasing the sterility of women, in parasiticide, antipyretic, and has purgative functions, as well. Note: In large dozes, pure Ampalaya juice can be a purgative and abortifacient.

Herbal Benefits of Ampalaya:

• Good for rheumatism and gout
• And diseases of the spleen and liver
• Aids in lowering blood sugar levels
• Helps in lowering blood pressure
• Relives headaches
• Disinfects and heals wounds & burns
• Can be used as a cough & fever remedy
• Treatment of intestinal worms, diarrhea
• Helps prevent some types of cancer
• Enhances immune system to fight infection
• For treatment of hemorrhoids
• Is an antioxidant and parasiticide
• Is antibacterial and antipyretic

Preparation & Use of Ampalaya:

• For coughs, fever, worms, diarrhea, diabetes, juice Ampalaya leaves and drink a spoonful daily.
• For other ailments, the fruit and leaves can both be juiced and taken orally.
• For headaches wounds, burns and skin diseases, apply warmed leaves to afflicted area.
• Powdered leaves, and the root decoction, may be used as stringent and applied to treat hemorrhoids.
• Internal parasites are proven to be expelled when the ampalaya juice, made from its leaves, is extracted. The ampalaya juice, and grounded seeds is to be taken one spoonful thrice a day, which also treats diarrhea, dysentery, and chronic colitis.

Balanoi or Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

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Balanoi is a plant, which belongs to the family of Lamiaceae, grows to an erect length of 50 to 80 centimeters, the leaves of which are oval-shaped, and have slightly-toothed edges. The flowers of balanoi or common basil are either white or purple. The compounds that can be extracted from this plant vary, but it has been determined through various experiments and researches that its dried leaves contain 0.20% to 1% of essential oils. Balanoi has been renowned throughout the Philippines and in various parts of the world because of its medicinal and health benefits. It can be found all over the country, and have several uses. Balanoi's use is not only limited to medicinal purposes, rather, extracts of common basil can be found in cosmetics, and are mixed in liquors and fragrances as well.

In the Philippines, it is an option to alleviate pain caused by headaches, cramps, and even shortness of breath. The same goes true for sprains, and the way to do this is to rub the oil or the extract of the Balanoi plant leaves, mixed with alcohol, to the ailing part of the body. Balanoi also manifests anti-bacterial activities, in such a manner that intestinal worms are eradicated from the body when the ethanol extracts derived from it are taken in as a form of medication. There have also been clinical experiments showing that balanoi extracts, especially its ethanol content, can be used as anti-cancer, anti-ulcer, anti-diabetic and even shows promise for the protection of humans from radiation.

Preparation of Balanoi as Herbal Medication:

There are several ways to prepare the plant for medication, depending on the nature for which it is going to be used. The amount of raw materials and extracts that are needed also vary depending on the use. When the balanoi leaves are to be used to stimulate the body, it is recommended for the individual to permeate about twenty (20) balanoi leaves with 200 grams of water, and three to four cups are supposed to be drank a day. A combined weight of 40 grams basil leaves incorporated with 200 grams of water is to be used for gargling in order to remove cold sores. Health experts suggest that this be done three times every day, until the cold sores are gone. Now, for people who are suffering from shortness of breath, they are suggested to drink one glass of boiled balanoi leaves, consisting of twelve leaves mixed with one and a half liters of water, twice a day. Balanoi also helps regulate the women’s menstrual cycle, and if one is interested in this, they are supposed to prepare a mixture of 100 grams of balanoi leaves with a liter of water. It is recommended for people to drink four cups of this preparation several days before one’s expected period. As for its antibacterial purposes, ten grams of balanoi leaves fused with 100 grams of water should be boiled and drank a glass per day, during early mornings or when the person still has an empty stomach. Lastly, for the aid that it effects for pains caused by rheumatism, simple headache and occasional sprains, one should grind a concoction of balanoi, rosemary and ruta, in equal proportion. It should be rubbed to the ailing or throbbing part for eight days, the application of which may be continuous day and night.