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10 Medicinal Plants Approved by the Department of

Lagundi (Vitex negundo L.)
Common names: Dangla (Ilokano); five-leaved chaste tree,
horseshoe vitex
Indication: Leaves and flowering tops decoction, syrup, tablets and
capsules for coughs, colds, fever and asthma.
Description: A shedding shrub or small tree up to 8 m tall, bark
surface slightly rough, peeling off in papery flakes, pale reddishbrown. Leaflets 3-5, narrowly elliptical Fruit spherical to broadly
egg-shaped, 3-6 mm long, purple or black when mature.
Found in: in humid places or along watercourses, in waste places
and mixed open forest.
Parts used: Leaves and flowering tops
Special precautions: Make sure to have the five-leaved varieties, as
there are other varieties of lagundi.
Traditional uses:
a. roots and leaves for pain, bitter tonic, expectorant and diuretic
b. sap from crushed leaves for coughs and sore throat
c. leaf decoction for wounds, ulcers, aromatic baths, and internally
to promote the flow of milk, to induce menstruation, against
gastric colic, and against flatulence
d. seeds boiled and eaten to prevent the spread of toxins from
poisonous bites of animals
e. flowers for diarrhea, cholera and liver disorders

Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii)

Common name: Peppermint
Indications and preparations: for pain, cough, colds, nausea,
dizziness, and pruritus
Description: a small, multi-branching herb with small elliptical
Parts utilized: leaves, sap of plant
Traditional uses:
a. For pain in different parts of the body as headache,
stomachacheboil chopped leaves in two glasses of water for 15 minutes. Cool
and strain. Divide decoction into two parts and drink one part
every three hours
b. Rheumatism, arthritis and headache crush the fresh leaves
squeeze sap. Massage sap on painful parts with eucalyptus.
c. Cough and colds get about 10 fresh leaves and soak in a glass
of hot water. Drink as tea. Acts as an expectorant.
d. Swollen Gums steep 6 grams of fresh plant in a glass of boiling
water for 30 minutes. Use solution as gargle.
e. Toothaches cut fresh plant and squeeze sap. Soak a piece of
cotton in the sap and insert this in aching tooth cavity. Mouth
should be rinsed by gargling salt solution before inserting the
cotton. To prepare salt solution add 5 grams of table salt to one
glass of water.
f. Menstrual and gas pain soak a handful of leaves in a glass of
boiling water. Drink infusion. It induces menstrual flow and
g. Nausea and fainting crush leaves and apply at nostrils of
h. Insect bites crush leaves and apply juice on affected part or
pound leaves until paste-like. Then rub this on affected part.
i. Pruritis- boil plant alone or with eucalyptus in water. Use
decoction as wash on affected area.

Sambong (Blumea balsamifera L. DC)

Common names: Sambong (Tagalog); lakad-bulan (Bikol); Ngai
camphor (English)
Indications: Diuretic in hypertension; dissolves kidney stones
Description: Erect, semi-woody, aromatic herb or shrub about 4 m
tall; Leaves alternate, coarse, large with slightly
toothed margins. Flowerheads stalked, terminal
panicles, yellowish- white flowers numerous
Found in: In roadsides, fields, lowland and mountainous regions

Found in: In secondary forests at low and medium altitudes.

Sometimes cultivated as ornamentals.
Parts used: Leaves
Traditional uses:
Diarrhea boil the following amount of chopped leaves in 2
glasses of water for 15 minutes or until amount of water go
down to glass. Cool and strain. Divide decoction into 4 parts.
Let patient drink 1 part every 3 hours
Stomachache- wash leaves and chop. Boil chopped leaves in
1 glass of water for 15 minutes. Cool and filter, strain and

Parts used: Leaves and flowering tops

Special precautions: Avoid using with other diuretics. When taking
diuretics eat at least one banana a day.
Traditional use: Anti- edema, diuretic, anti- urolithiasis -boil
chopped leaves in water for 15 minutes until one glassful remains.
Cool and strain. Divide decoction into 3 parts. Drink one part 3
times a day.

Niyog- Niyogan (Quisqualis Indica L.)

Common names: Tartaraok (Tagalog); balitadham (Bisaya);
Rangoon creeper, Chinese honeysuckle, liane vermifuge.
Indications: Fruit (kernel) anthelmintic; leaves poultice for
Description: Woody climber up to 8 m, young branchlets sparsely

Tsaang Gubat (Carmona retusa (Vahl) Masam.)

Common names: Putputai (Bikol); alangit (Bisaya);
forest tea, wild tea.
Indications: pills, leaf decoction for gastroenteritis; as gargle to
prevent cavities
Description: Shrub or much-branched small tree 1 4 m tall. Leaves
simple ,coarse, alternate, toothed towards the apex, gradually
narrowing towards base, sometimes two or three arising from the
same point. Flowers white, small, axillary, one to four from a
common stalk. Fruit round, 4 5 mm in diameter, yellow-orange
when ripe.

pubescent. Leaves opposite, untire, 7 15 cm long. Inflorescence

terminal or axillary clusters of fragrant, tubular, showy flowers
varying in color from white to pink to red. Petals 10 20 mm long.
Fruit ellipsoidal, long, with 5 prominent wings lengthwise. Fruit
when mature taste like almonds.
Found in: In forest margins at low altitude, in garden sand
backyards. Native to Asian tropics and throughout
Malesian region.
Parts used: Fruits
Special precautions: Follow recommended dosage
Overdose causes hiccups.

Ulasimang-bato (Peperonia pellucida)

Traditional uses:
For washing wounds- may be used twice a day.
For diarrhea- may be taken 3-4 twice a day.
As gargle and to relieve toothache. Warm decoction is used for
gargle. Freshly pounded leaves are used for toothache. Guava
leaves are to be washed well and chopped. Boil for 15 minutes at
low fire. Do not cover pot.

Common names: Ulasimang-bato, pansit-pansitan (Tagalog);

olasiman-ihalas (Cebu, Bisaya); tangon-tangon (Bikol);
peperonia (English)
Indications: Infusion, decoction or salad for gout and rheumatic
pains; pounded plant warm poultice for boils and abscesses
Description: Small fleshy herb up to 30 cm tall. Stem initially erect,

Akapulko (Cassia alata L.)

Common names: Katanda (Tagalog); andadasi (Ilokano); palochina
(Bisaya); ringworm bush, seven golden
Candlesticks, bayabas- bayabasan

rooting at nodes, glabrous. Leaves spirally arranged, simple and

membranous when dry. Flowers bisexual, without a stalk, floral
bracts rounded. Fruit fleshy, one-seeded
Found in: in disturbed habitats, in gardens and cultivated areas that
are damp and lightly shaded, on damp hard surfaces such as walls,
roofs, steep gullies, and in flower pots

Description: A shrub, 1-2 m tall, with thick branches, pubescent.

Parts used: aerial plant parts

Leaves with 8-20 pairs of leaflets oblong-elliptical. Flowers with

oblong sepals. Fruit tetragonal, winged and glabrous. Seeds
quadrangular, flattened, and shiny

Special precautions: Avoid using with other pain relievers,


Found in: Abundantly naturalized in South East Asia, and

occasionally planted throughout the region for medicinal and
ornamental purposes

+ Lowers uric acid. (rheumatism and gout)- Wash leaves well. One
and a half cup leaves are boiled in two glassfuls of water over lower
fire. Do not cover pot. Cool and strain. Divide into three parts and
drink each part three times a day after meals.

Parts used: Leaves

Special precautions: Apply thinly twice daily on affected part.
Improvement should occur 2 3 weeks after treatment.
Traditional uses:

Traditional uses:

+ May also be eaten as salad. Wash the leaves well. Prepare one
and a half cups of leaves. Divide into 3 parts and take as salad three
times a day.

+ As antifungal- Fresh, matured leaves pounded. Apply as soap to

the affected part 1-2 times a day

Bawang (Alium sativum L.)

Common names: Ajos (Bisaya); garlic
Indications: Fresh cloves, capsules for lowering blood cholesterol
levels; antiseptic.
Description: Erect, low, annual herb, 30-60 cm high. Leaves flat, or
V-shaped in transverse section, alternate, arranged in two opposite
rows, arising from underground bulbs. Cloves enclosed by papery
protective coats. Flowers often imperfect or absent
Found in: cultivated all over the world. Probably originated from
Central Asia
Parts used: Leaves and bulbs (cloves)
Special precautions: Avoid taking with medicines for lowering
blood sugar, and medicines for thinning blood. Dosage must not
exceed 6-8 cooked cloves a day. Stomach ulcer may develop if garlic
is eaten raw.
Traditional uses:
For lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels-- May be
fried, roasted, soaked in vinegar for 30 minutes or blanched in
boiled in water for 5 minutes. Take 2 pieces three times a day
after meals.
For headache, insect bites, ringworm, athletes foot,
toothache, rheumatism- Pound a small piece and apply to
affected part.

Ampalaya (Momordica charantia (L.) DC)

Common names: Ampalaya (Tagalog); paria (Ilokano); palia
(Bisaya); bitter gourd, bitter cucumber, bitter melon (English)
Indications: lowers blood sugar levels; for fertility regulation
Description: Monoecious, annual vine up to 5m long. Stem 5-ridged.
Leaf blade broad. Flowers, yellow. Fruit, irregularly warty, orange
when ripe, dehiscing. Seeds brown.
Found in: In lowland rain forest, thickets, hedges, waste places, and

Parts used: Young leaves

Special precautions: Blood sugar levels should be monitored
regularly. The native variety with small bitter fruit is recommended.
Traditional uses:
To lower blood sugar levels- Gather and wash young leaves very
well. Chop. Boil 6 tablespoons in two glassfuls of water for 15
minutes under low fire. Do not cover pot. Cool and strain. Take
one third cup 3 times a day after meals. Leaves may be
blanched/ steamed and eaten glassful 2 times a day.

Guava (Psidium guajava L.)

Common names: Guava, bayabas (Tagalog); guyabas (Iloko); Guava
Indications: antidiarrheal and antiseptic
Description: Shallow-rooted shrub or small tree, up to 10 m tall,
branching from the base and often producing suckers. Bark, smooth,
green to red brown, peeling off in thin flakes. Leaves opposite and
with glands. Flowers solitary or in 2-3 flowered cymes. Seeds of the
fruit are usually numerous, embedded in pulp, yellowish, 3 - 5 mm
Found in: Common in the Philippines
Parts used: Leaves, fruits
Special precautions: Eating too much guava fruit may cause
Traditional uses:
For diarrhea- may be taken 3-4 twice a day
For washing wounds, skin infections, feminine hygiene, and
mouthwash- Guava leaves are to be washed well and chopped.
Boil for 15 minutes at low fire. Do not cover pot. Cool and strain
before use.


A social development approach that aims to transform the

apathetic, individualistic and voiceless poor into dynamic,

participatory and politically responsive community.
A collective, participatory, transformative, liberative, sustained
and systematic process of building peoples organizations by
mobilizing and enhancing the capabilities and resources of the
people for the resolution of their issues and concerns towards
effecting change in their existing oppressive and exploitative
conditions (1994 National Rural Conference)
A process by which a community identifies its needs and
objectives, develops confidence to take action in respect to them
and in doing so, extends and develops cooperative and
collaborative attitudes and practices in the community (Ross
A continuous and sustained process of educating the people to
understand and develop their critical awareness of their existing
condition, working with the people collectively and efficiently on
their immediate and long-term problems, and mobilizing the
people to develop their capability and readiness to respond and
take action on their immediate needs towards solving their longterm problems (CO: A manual of experience, PCPD)

Community Organizing Participatory Action Research (COPAR) - is a

continuous and a sustained
process of:
1. Educating the people
2. Working with people
3. Mobilizing with people

- The sequence of steps whereby members of a community come
together to critically assess to evaluate community conditions and
work together to improve those conditions.
- Refers to a particular group of community members that work
together for a common health and health related goals.
Emphasis of COPAR:
1. Community working to solve its own problem
2. Direction is established internally and externally
3. Development and implementation of a specific project less
important than the development of the capacity of the community to
establish the project
4. Consciousness raising involves perceiving health and medical care
within the total structure of society
Importance of COPAR:
1. COPAR is an important tool for community development and
people empowerment as this helps the community workers to
generate community participation in development activities.
2. COPAR prepares people/clients to eventually take over the
management of a development programs in the future.
3. COPAR maximizes community participation and involvement;
community resources are mobilized for community services.
1. People especially the most oppressed, exploited and deprived
sectors are open to change, have the capacity to change and are able
to bring about change.
2. COPAR should be based on the interest of the poorest sector of the
3. COPAR should lead to a self-reliant community and society.

COPAR process
A progressive cycle of action-reflection action which begins with
small, local and concrete issues identified by the people and the
evaluation and the reflection of and on the action taken by them.
Consciousness through experimental learning central to the
COPAR process because it places emphasis on learning that
emerges from concrete action and which enriches succeeding
COPAR is participatory and mass-based because it is primarily
directed towards and biased in favor of the poor, the powerless
and oppressed.
COPAR is group-centered and not leader-oriented. Leaders are
identified, emerge and are tested through action rather than
appointed or selected by some external force or entity.

Criteria for Initial Site Selection

* Must have a population of 100-200 families.
* Economically depressed.
* No strong resistance from the community.
* No serious peace and order problem.
* No similar group or organization holding the same program.

Phases of COPAR Process:

Choosing Final Barangay

* Conduct informal interviews with community residents and key
* Determine the need of the program in the community.
* Take note of political development.
* Develop community profiles for secondary data.
* Develop survey tools.
* Pay courtesy call to community leaders.
* Choose foster families based on guidelines.

1. Pre-Entry Phase - is the intial phase of the organizing process

where the community organizer looks for communities to serve and
help. Activities include:
Preparation of the Institution
* Train faculty and students in COPAR.
* Formulate plans for institutionalizing COPAR.
* Revise/enrich curriculum and immersion program.
* Coordinate participants of other departments.
Site Selection
* Initial networking with local government.
* Conduct preliminary special investigation.
* Make long/short list of potential communities.
* Do ocular survey of listed communities.

Identifying Potential Municipalities

* Make long/short list.
Identifying Potential Barangay
* Do the same process as in selecting municipality.
* Consult key informants and residents.
* Coordinate with local government and NGOs for future activities.

Identifying Host Family

* House is strategically located in the community.
* Should not belong to the rich segment.
* Respected by both formal and informal leaders.
* Neighbors are not hesitant to enter the house.
* No member of the host family should be moving out in the

2. Entry Phase - sometimes called the social preparation phase. Is

crucial in determining which strategies for organizing would suit the
chosen community. Success of the activities depend on how much
the community organizers has integrated with the commuity.
Guidelines for Entry:
* Recognize the role of local authorities by paying them visits to
inform their presence and activities.
* Her appearance, speech, behavior and lifestyle should be in
keeping with those of the community residents without disregard of
their being role model.
* Avoid raising the consciousness of the community residents; adopt
a low-key profile.
Activities in the Entry Phase:
* Integration - establishing rapport with the people in continuing
effort to imbibe community life.
o living with the community
o seek out to converse with people where they usually congregate
o lend a hand in household chores
o avoid gambling and drinking
* Deepening social investigation/community study
o verification and enrichment of data collected from initial survey
o conduct baseline survey by students, results relayed through
community assembly
Core Group Formation
* Leader spotting through sociogram.
Key persons - approached by most people
Opinion leader - approach by key persons
Isolates - never or hardly consulted

3. Organization-building Phase
Entails the formation of more formal structure and the inclusion of
more formal procedure of planning, implementing, and evaluating
community-wise activities. It is at this phase where the organized
leaders or groups are being given training (formal, informal, OJT) to
develop their style in managing their own concerns/programs.
Key Activities
* Community Health Organization (CHO)
> preparation of legal requirements
> guidelines in the organization of the CHO by the core group
> election of officers
* Research Team Committee
* Planning Committee
* Health Committee Organization
* Others
* Formation of by-laws by the CHO
4. Sustenance and Strengthening Phase
Occurs when the community organization has already been
established and the community members are already actively
participating in community-wide undertakings. At this point, the
different committees setup in the organization-building phase are
already expected to be
functioning by way of planning, implementing and evaluating their
own programs, with the
overall guidance from the community-wide organization.

Key Activities
* Training of CHO for monitoring and implementing of community
health program.
* Identification of secondary leaders.
* Linkaging and networking.
* Conduct of mobilization on health and development concerns.
* Implementation of livelihood projects.

Related Interests