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10 Philippine Medicinal Plants Approve by DOH (Department of Health)

1. Akapulko (Cassia alata) - also known as "bayabas-bayabasan" and "ringworm bush" in English, this herbal medicine is used to treat ringworms and skin fungal infections.

An erect, shrubby legume reaching 6 ft tall, Akapulko grows throughout the Philippines. It has dark green leaves and yellow-orange flowers, producing as much as 50 to 60 small, triangular seeds. For medicinal purposes, leaves, flowers and seeds are used.

Medicinal Uses:

  • Decoction of leaves and flowers is very effective in easing asthma, cough and bronchitis.
  • The seeds are effective in expelling intestinal parasites.
  • Juice from leaves aids in controlling fungal infections like; eczema, athlete’s foot, ringworm, scabies, and herpes.
  • Pounded leaves reduce injury-related swellings, treat insect bites, and ease rheumatism.
  • Leaves and flowers concoction used as mouthwash in treating stomatitis.
  • Juice from leaves ease fetid discharges.
  • The leaves stain is an effective purgative.

 

2. Ampalaya (Momordica charantia) - known as "bitter gourd" or "bitter melon" in English, it most known as a treatment of diabetes (diabetes mellitus), for the non-insulin dependent patients.

Well-known for its bitter edible fruit, Ampalaya is a herbaceous, climbing vine growing up to five meters. The plant have heart-shaped leaves and bear green oblong-shaped fruits. Leaves, fruits and roots are used in treating several health disorders.

Medicinal Uses:

  • Juice extracted from leaves is effective in easing cough, pneumonia, heal wounds, and combating intestinal parasites.
  • Juice from fruits aids in treating dysentery and chronic colitis.
  • Decoction of roots and seeds is effective in treating hemorrhoids, rheumatism, abdominal pain, psoriasis.

 

3. Bawang (Allium sativum) - popularly known as "garlic", it mainly reduces cholesterol in the blood and hence, helps control blood pressure.

Garlic is a low herb with flat and linear leaves growing to about 30 to 60 cm tall. Garlic is commercially grown in the Philippine provinces of Batangas, Cotabato, Ilocos Norte, Mindoro and Nueva Ecija. Leaves, bulbs, lobes are used for medical purposes.

Medicinal Uses:

  • Massaging crushed lobe to both temples can ease headache.
  • Rubbing crushed lobe to affected areas is a good remedy for insect bites and athlete’s foot.
  • Decoction of leaves and bulbs is effective for fever, tonsillitis, and digestive problems.
  • Juice from crushed garlic is used to treat colds, cough, sore throat, bronchitis, and asthma

 

4. Bayabas (Psidium guajava) - "guava" in English. It is primarily used as an antiseptic, to disinfect wounds. Also, it can be used as a mouth wash to treat tooth decay and gum infection.

The guava is a perennial shrub growing to about 25 ft. tall at maturity. It has oval to oblong leaves and bears white flowers, developing into green fruits that turns yellow in color when ripe. A common backyard plant, Bayabas is grown throughout the Philippines. The edible fruit is a good source of Vitamin C. The leaves are used for treating certain health problems.

Medicinal Uses:

  • As cleaning agent, decoction of fresh leaves prevents infection in wounds.
  • Also, decoction of leaves is effective for diarrhea and skin ulcers.
  • Boiled fresh leaves are good ingredients for aromatic baths.
  • Chewing fresh leaves help control gum swelling.
  • Placing tightly roll leaves into the nasal tract can stop nosebleeds.

 

5. Lagundi (Vitex negundo) - known in English as the "5-leaved chaste tree". It's main use is for the relief of coughs and asthma.

Lagundi is a small erect tree that can reach 3meter at maturity. The plant has evergreen leaves, blue flowers about 6-7 mm that develop into fruits about 4mm in diameter. Leaves, seeds, bark and roots are used for the treatment of various illnesses.

Medicinal Uses:

  • Decoction of leaves is effective for cough, colds, fever, headache, toothache, asthma, menstrual difficulties and amenorrhea.
  • As washing agent, boiled leaves are used for sponge bathing, treating wounds and ulcer.
  • Placing ash of fresh leaves in affected areas can ease rheumatic joints.
  • Decoction of leaves taken as a diuretic.

 

6. Niyog-niyogan (Quisqualis indica L.) - is a vine known as "Chinese honey suckle". It is effective in the elimination of intestinal worms, particularly the Ascaris and Trichina. Only the dried matured seeds are medicinal -crack and ingest the dried seeds two hours after eating (5 to 7 seeds for children & 8 to 10 seeds for adults). If one dose does not eliminate the worms, wait a week before repeating the dose.

Niog-niogan is a perennial climbing shrub growing to about 2.5-8 meters at maturity. It has egg-shaped leaves, aromatic flowers that may come in white to purple orange in color. The oval-shaped fruit can reach 30-35 mm long when ripe. For medicinal purposes leaves, seeds and roots are used.

Medicinal Uses:

  • Dried seeds, when eaten, act as deworming agents.
  • Roasted seeds help control diarrhea and fever.
  • Boiled leaves used to check difficulty in urinating
  • Fruit decoction of fruit, taken as mouthwash, is effective against nephritis.
  • Juice made from leaves are used in the treatment of ulcers, boils, and fever-induced headache.
  • Decoctions of roots aids in reducing pain due to rheumatism.
  • Pounded leaves are used externally for skin diseases.

 

7. Sambong (Blumea balsamifera)- English name: Blumea camphora. A diuretic that helps in the excretion of urinary stones. It can also be used as an edema.

Sambong is a tall, erect, shrub that grows in grasslands, open fields, waste areas. This strongly aromatic herb with elongated leaves, and yellow flowers can reach 4 meters tall at maturity. Leaves are used to treat certain medical conditions.

Medicinal uses:

  • Decoction of leaves is effective against fever, kidney problems and cystitis.
  • Leaves is used as poultice for abscesses.
  • Concoction of leaves is used for sore throat, rheumatic pains, stomach pains, and dysentery.
  • Fresh juice made from leaves is applied to wounds and cuts.
  • As expectorant, Sambong tea is used for colds.

 

8. Tsaang Gubat (Ehretia microphylla Lam.) - Prepared like tea, this herbal medicine is effective in treating intestinal motility and also used as a mouth wash since the leaves of this shrub has high fluoride content.

Grown throughout the Philippines, Tsaang Gubat is a shrub growing to about 5 m tall. Leaves grow in clusters with rough jagged edge towards the tip. The plant bears white flowers that developed into a fleshy, yellow-orange fruits when ripe. Leaves are used for medicinal purposes.

Medicinal Uses:

  • Tea extracted from leaves is taken to ease stomach aches, diarrheas, and dysentery.
  • Decoction of leaves is effective as dental mouthwash.
  • Leaves concoction is used to stop bleeding cause by snakebites, and a cure for plant-based poisoning;
  • Decoction of leaves is also used as body cleanser after childbirth.

 

9. Ulasimang Bato | Pansit-Pansitan (Peperomia pellucida) - It is effective in fighting arthritis and gout. The leaves can be eaten fresh (about a cupful) as salad or like tea. For the decoction, boil a cup of clean chopped leaves in 2 cups of water. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain, let cool and drink a cup after meals (3 times day).

Pansit-pansitan is a small, fleshy herb (about 40 cm tall), which grows in yards, nooks and other damp areas. The plant have green, heart-shaped leaves, fleshy stems that produce tiny flowers on a spike. The small, oblong-shaped fruits turn to black when ripe. Parts uses are leaves and stems.

Medical Uses:

  • Fresh juice made from stem and leaves controls eye inflammation.
  • Crushed whole plant as warm poultice, is effective for pimples, boils, and wound.
  • Concoction of leaves used in treating fevers, headaches, sore throats, coughs, common colds, and diarrheas.
  • Boiled leaves and stems is used for gout, arthritis, rheumatic pains, and conjunctivitis. The mixture is also effective in controlling high blood pressure.
  • Juice made from leaves and stem, taken externally, is a good facial wash for skin problems.

 

10. Yerba Buena or Mint (Clinopodium douglasii) - commonly known as Peppermint, this vine is used as an analgesic to relive body aches and pain. It can be taken internally as a decoction or externally by pounding the leaves and applied directly on the afflicted area.

Yerba Buena is a perennial plant of the mint family that grows up to 1 meter long. Leaves are elliptic in shape, and produces small, hairy whitish, or purplish flowers. In the Philippines, Yerba Buena is grown in high elevated areas. As medicinal plant, the parts used are leaves and stem.

Medical Uses:

  • Promotes good health, if taken as tea.
  • Sniffing crushed fresh leaves is effective for dizziness.
  • Leaves soak in a glass of water is used as mouthwash.
  • Decoction of leaves is used for migraine, headaches, fevers, toothaches, stomach aches, muscles and joint pains, and dysmenorrhea.
  • Pounded or crushed leaves is used to treat insect bites.

 

 

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