Ten (10) Herbal Medicines in the Philippines Approved by the Department of Health (DOH

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Here are the the ten (10) medicinal plants that the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) through its "Traditional Health Program" have endorsed. All ten (10) herbs have been thoroughly tested and have been clinically proven to have medicinal value in the relief and treatment of various aliments: 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. 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. 3. Bawang (Allium sativum) - popularly known as "garlic", it mainly reduces cholesterol in the blood and hence, helps control blood pressure. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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). 10. Yerba Buena (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.

do not cover the pot. • After harvesting. it is advisable to dry the plant parts either in the oven or airdried on screens above ground and never on concrete floors. To keep fresh during the day. keep lukewarm in a flask or thermos. glass or alike utensils. well-dried and stored can be used up to six months. • Medicinal parts of plants are best harvested on sunny mornings. Leaves and other plant parts that are prepared properly.without pesticides. flowers or nuts must be mature before harvesting. Avoid picking leaves. and boil in low flame. fruits. • Leaves. if drying is required. Only use earthen. buy herbs that are grown organically . • Decoctions loose potency after some time. • As a rule of thumb. • Always consult with a doctor if symptoms persist or if any sign of allergic reaction develops. fruits or nuts during and after heavy rainfall. • Do not use stainless steel utensils when boiling decoctions. Dispose of decoctions after one day.Tips on Handling Medicinal Plants / Herbs: • If possible. enamelled. • Store plant parts in sealed plastic bags or brown bottles in a cool dry place without sunlight preferably with a moisture absorbent material like charcoal. Tips on Preparation for Intake of Herbal Medicines: • Use only half the dosage prescribed for fresh parts like leaves when using dried parts. . when boiling leaves and other plant parts. Less medicinal substances are found on young parts.

Adelfa is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of ulcers. even in small amounts. • Ringworms: Make a paste using crushed and finely chopped bark of the root and a little coconut oil. Apply on skin 3 times a day. pink. Consult with a health care provider before starting any treatment using any plant part or extract of this poisonous shrub. It is also effective as skin insect repellant. snake bites and as insecticide. Its flowers may range in color from white. Apply directly on wound and cover with cloth or gauze. . Test show that oleandrin. Adelfa can also cause abortion if taken orally.Adelfa (Nerium oleander) Adelfa is an evergreen shrub that grows from 6 to 20 feet in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide including the Philippines. an ingredient of adelfa leaves. Do not apply when skin has eruptions. red and any shade between them. its effectiveness have not yet been proven to treat these ailments. heart failure and even AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). herpes simplex and herpes zoster (skin shingles). Further research is however needed. causes the death of some cancer cells. Preparation & Use of Adelfa/Nerium oreander in traditional medicine: • For herpes zoster: Mix crushed leaves and oil. • Herpes simplex and eczema: Blend chopped adelfa leaves and bark with some oil and apply directly to lesions. hemorrhoids. bark. stems and roots of Adelfa (Nerium oreander) is toxic to humans and animals when taken internally and may even cause death. • For Hemorrhoids. then apply. However. then apply on lesions on the surface of the skin. • Roots and bark used externally for . Secure with surgical tape. ringworms. flowers. leprosy. crush roots and make a paste by adding a little water. 3 times a day. Adelfa/Nerium oreander is also is being promoted to treat cancer. initial testing is promising. eczema. For cancer treatment. • Snake bites: make a poultice of finely ground leaves and branch of adelfa. Warning: Extracts from leaves. • Tumors: Apply fresh leaves directly to tumors to accelerate suppuration.

and grows about one to two meters tall. and palochina in Tagalog. The primary part used for herbal purposes are the leaves. It has thick branches and the leaves are embraced with 8 to 20 leaflets that are oblong-elliptical in shape. like ringworms. scabies and itchiness. soaps. Ilocos and in the Visayas regions. . which are also winged and glabrous. insect bites. a laxative that is useful in expelling intestinal parasites.Philippine Herbal Medicine: Akapulko / Acapulco (Cassia alata) Akapulko or Acapulco in English is a shrub found throughout the Philippines. andadasi. and shampoos. ringworms. The extracts from the Akapulko plant is commonly used as an ingredient for lotions. eczema. The shrub belongs to the family of Leguminosae. The flowers of the Akapulko have oblong sepals. and its fruits are tetragonal. Locals call the plant katanda. It is known under various names in different regions in the country. although the roots and flowers are also used for certain preparations with medicinal value. A medicinal herb that contains chrysophanic acid. Benefits & Treatment of Akapulko: • External Use: Treatment of skin diseases: Tinea infections. Akapulko also contains saponin. respectively. scabies. a fungicide used to treat fungal infections. and eczema. • Mouthwash in stomatitis • Internal use: Expectorant for bronchitis and dyspnoea • Alleviation of asthma symptoms • Used as diuretic and purgative • For cough & fever • As a laxative to expel intestinal parasites and other stomach problems.

Preparation & Use: • For external use. Ampalaya leaves are heart-shaped. which are 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter. drink decoction (soak and boil for 10 to 15 minutes) of Akapulko leaves. and it is a tropical as well as a subtropical vine. Herbal Medicine: Ampalaya (Momordica charantia) Ampalaya (Bitter Melon) with a scientific name Momordica charantia. The same preparation may be used as a mouthwash. squeeze the juice and apply on affected areas. Pregnant women should not take decoction of the leaves or any part of this plant. Marked improvement may be expected after two to three weeks of continuous application to the affected area(s) where the prepared Akapulko leaves were applied. and wash for eczema. specifically against ringworms. • The pounded leaves of Akapulko has purgative functions. is a climbing vine and the tendrils of which grow up to 20 centimeters long. stringent. • As the expectorant for bronchitis and dyspnoea. The bitter taste of the ampalaya fruit had also been the distinguishing factor from the rest of the fruits with medicinal value. It can never be mistaken for any other variety because its ribbed and wrinkled surface had always been ampalaya’s distinct physical structure. flowers. and this is due to the presence of a substance known as momorcidin. . This herbal plant belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae. The fruits of the ampalaya vine are fleshy green with pointed ends at length. and the leaves) into a manageable size then prepare a decoction Note: The decoction looses its potency if not used for a long time. cut the plant parts (roots. pound the leaves of the Akapulko plant. Dispose leftovers after one day.Note: A strong decoction of Akapulko leaves is an abortifacient. It should be noted that the pounded leaves of this plant may be applied thinly on the affected part twice a day. • As laxative.

is extracted. dysentery. the Department of Health has endorsed Ampalaya as an alternative medicine to help alleviate various ailments including diabetes. Note: In large dozes. Aside from Ampalaya's medicinal value. pure Ampalaya juice can be a purgative and abortifacient. liver problems and even HIV. Aside from these. 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. worms. may be used as stringent and applied to treat hemorrhoids. The Philippine variety has proven to be most potent. it is good source of vitamins A. phosphorous and calcium. which also treats diarrhea. diabetes.Ampalaya has been a folkloric cure for generations but has now been proven to be an effective herbal medicine for many aliments. ampalaya also helps treat skin diseases and cough. as well. apply warmed leaves to afflicted area. and chronic colitis. • Internal parasites are proven to be expelled when the ampalaya juice. in parasiticide. Ampalaya contains a mixture of flavanoids and alkaloids make the Pancreas produce more insulin that controls the blood sugar in diabetics. . and grounded seeds is to be taken one spoonful thrice a day. Ampalaya has been for used even by the Chinese for centuries. juice Ampalaya leaves and drink a spoonful daily. the fruit and leaves can both be juiced and taken orally. B and C. iron. • For other ailments. • For headaches wounds. Most significant of which is for Diabetes. folic acid. and has purgative functions. Its herbal value extends to increasing the sterility of women. burns and skin diseases. antipyretic. 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. In the Philippines. The effectively of Ampalaya as an herbal medicine has been tried and tested by many research clinics and laboratories worldwide. • Powdered leaves. diarrhea. made from its leaves. The ampalaya juice. fever. and the root decoction.

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. can be used as anti-cancer. and have slightly-toothed edges. Now.Balanoi or Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Balanoi is a plant. It can be found all over the country. Balanoi also manifests anti-bacterial activities. grows to an erect length of 50 to 80 centimeters. and are mixed in liquors and fragrances as well. 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. The same goes true for sprains. The amount of raw materials and extracts that are needed also vary depending on the use. and even shortness of breath. In the Philippines. the rhizomes of the Balanoi plant are extracted and are used as mosquito repellant. it is recommended for the individual to permeate about twenty (20) balanoi leaves with 200 grams of water. Health experts suggest that this be done three times every day. and has been found to be an effective means to remove cold sores. it serves as an anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medicine because of ethanol substance that it has. anti-diabetic and even shows promise for the protection of humans from radiation. in South Africa and in India. Preparation of Balanoi as Herbal Medication: There are several ways to prepare the plant for medication. cramps. until the cold sores are gone. anti-ulcer. it is an option to alleviate pain caused by headaches. which belongs to the family of Lamiaceae. to the ailing part of the body. When the balanoi leaves are to be used to stimulate the body. Balanoi has been renowned throughout the Philippines and in various parts of the world because of its medicinal and health benefits. There have also been clinical experiments showing that balanoi extracts. The flowers of balanoi or common basil are either white or purple. It has also been used as a stimulant. The compounds that can be extracted from this plant vary. the leaves of which are oval-shaped. Studies have shown that there are particular activities on which Balanoi plant extracts and oils address. and the way to do this is to rub the oil or the extract of the Balanoi plant leaves. but it has been determined through various experiments and researches that its dried leaves contain 0. This plant has also been found to aid people that suffer from various health ailments. extracts of common basil can be found in cosmetics.20% to 1% of essential oils. Balanoi's use is not only limited to medicinal purposes. For instance. and have several uses. for people who are suffering from . For one. mixed with alcohol. depending on the nature for which it is going to be used. and three to four cups are supposed to be drank a day. especially its ethanol content. rather.

the scientific name of which is Lagerstroemia speciosa. despite its useful medicinal value. during early mornings or when the person still has an empty stomach. Always consult with a qualified physician or a medical practitioner before taking any medication or any herbal medicine for a correct dose. they are suggested to drink one glass of boiled balanoi leaves. a substance known as one of the many treatments for diabetes mellitus. the herbal preparation may also be taken orally. Also. ten grams of balanoi leaves fused with 100 grams of water should be boiled and drank a glass per day. without any risk of adverse side effects. Banaba is rapidly becoming known as a natural plant insulin. they are supposed to prepare a mixture of 100 grams of balanoi leaves with a liter of water. Banaba is also known as Queen's Flower. Its leaves are large. Banaba has also been used to cure diabetes in Ayurvedic medicine for a long time. . It is recommended for people to drink four cups of this preparation several days before one’s expected period. 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. It should be rubbed to the ailing or throbbing part for eight days. and are bright orange or red during these times. twice a day.shortness of breath. In India. consisting of twelve leaves mixed with one and a half liters of water. in equal proportion. However. Banaba has been used in Filipino folkloric herbal medicine for the treatment of diabetes for centuries. banaba is also cultivated and known for its beautiful flowers. Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa) Banaba. for the aid that it effects for pains caused by rheumatism. one should grind a concoction of balanoi. Balanoi also helps regulate the women’s menstrual cycle. Recent studies and laboratory test showed that it's active ingredient. and if one is interested in this. is a tropical flowery tree. It grows to a height as high as 20 meters. Crepe Myrtle and the Pride of India. As for its antibacterial purposes. corosolic acid is a potent compound that has insulin like effect to lower glucose in the body and is effective in treating diabetes. rosemary and ruta. Besides its medicinal value. and what makes it ideal is that. Various research on Banaba conducted in Japan prove true the belief that this plant contains high levels of corosilic acid. Lastly. caution is advised against taking Banaba with any diabetic drug or any other drug simultaneously. simple headache and occasional sprains. and ranges from the shape of elliptical-ovate to oblong. It is now gaining popularity and getting recognition as a herbal medicine not only in the Philippines but worldwide. These leaves are shed by the plant during the first months of the year. the application of which may be continuous day and night.

The bark and leaves can be used as astringent. These include antibacterial functions of seed extracts from this plant. among others. The fruit turns yellowish-green and soft when ripe. • Boil Banaba (one cup Banaba to cup of water) for 30 minutes. The leaves can be boiled and taken daily as tea. The bayabas fruit bark and leaves are used as herbal medicine. Aside from the medicinal value of Banaba. It can also be used as a wash for uterine and vaginal problems. In the backyards of Filipino homes in the country. it is also good for the health. and thus. as a herbal medicine. Herbal Medicine: Bayabas or Guava (Psidium guajava) Bayabas or guava is a tropical plant. Another is the significant protection that Banaba seems to exhibit to treat HIVinfected cells. As shown by many research studies. and grown because of its many uses as fruit and as traditional remedy to treat various ailments. root and bark of Banaba can all be used. ripe fruit. The medicinal uses of Bayabas . and a water extract of the same manifest antioxidative functions. this plant is commonly seen. and gastroenteritis. Cut into smaller pieces if desired. such leaves are being used to aid in the treatment of dysentery and the inflammation of the kidneys. dried leaves. Its leaves decoction is recognized for its effectiveness to cure several ailments. which is locally known for its edible fruit. Bayabas is a small tree that can grow up to 3 meters tall with greenish-brownish smooth bark. flowers. In the same way. The most common use of the leaves is for cleaning and disinfecting wounds by rinsing the afflicted area with a decoction of the leaves. almost all of the parts of this plant have medicinal qualities and value. swollenness of the legs and other parts of the body. making it as one of the most popular therapeutic plants in the Philippines. The round globular bayabas fruit starts as a flower and is usually harvested and eaten while still green.Other studies that were focused on this plant showed other potential medicinal benefits. This is brought about by its ellagic acid constituents. 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: Note: Fresh leaves. • Wash the leaves in running water (if fresh). and is good for ulcers. Banaba contains high concentrations of dietary fiber and minerals such as zinc and magnesium. including the treatment of uterine hemorrhage. Drink like tea. of chronic diarrhea.

Its leaves are flat and linear. prevent viral. • For diarrhea. which only grows up to sixty centimeters high. Its juices inhibit the growth of fungi and viruses thus. Note: Bayabas can cause constipation when consumed in excess. A decoction (boiling in water) or infusion of fresh leaves can be used for wound cleaning to prevent infection. nosebleeding • For Hypertension. 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. with bulbs that consist of several tubers. Bawang. Bauang | Garlic (Allium sativum) Bawang or Garlic with scientific name Allium sativum. 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. then place in the nostril cavities. Fresh leaves may be applied to the wound directly for faster healing. gargle. yeast. astringent & anthelminthic • Kills bacteria. • Use as wound disinfectant . epilepsy. worms. As of the present . Preparation: • Boil one cup of Bayabas leaves in three cups of water for 8 to 10 minutes. Garlic’s antibacterial compound known as allicin.appear infinite. more medicinal and therapeutic properties become more evident. fungi and ameba • Used to treat diarrhea. Uses of Bayabas : • Antiseptic. chew the leaves in your mouth. Bayabas is also effective for toothaches. The preliminary test conducted on this medicinal herb showed some positive results in the treatment of AIDS. and infections. and drink a cup every three to four hours. aside from being delicious. sometimes spelled as bauang or in English. boil the chopped leaves for 15 minutes in water. Today. and spasms. • For toothaches. The fruit. 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. • To stop nosebleed.wash affected areas with the decoction of leaves 2 to 3 times a day. The Philippine bawang or garlic variety is more pungent than the imported ones. Let cool. and strain. densely roll Bayabas leaves. Bawang. contains nutritional values with a very high concentration of vitamin A and vitamin C. Let cool. • Use decoction as mouthwash. diabetes and Asthma • Promotes menstruation The fresh leaves are used to facilitate the healing of wounds and cuts. is a low herb. as more research is done on garlic. as it is also a suggested natural cure for fevers. 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. diabetes. garlic is known as nature's antibiotic.

Juice extracted from garlic bulbs can be used as tick and mosquito repellant when applied to skin. lowering of the blood pressure. Do this 3X day for a week. Fresh garlic applications to the skin have been reported to cause skin burns and rashes. . athlete’s foot • With anticoagulant properties Preparation of Bawang-Garlic: • For disinfecting wound. crush then bite garlic. This goes true both for those who are in the initial stages of their garlic therapies.e. 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 & antibacterial properties • Cough and cold remedy • Relives sore throat • Aids in the treatment of tuberculosis • Helps relieve rheumatism pain • Relief of toothaches • Kills skin fungus i. soak feet in salty water then apply garlic juice. is the most common side effect of taking this herb. and those who consume it as an ingredient in food preparations. • Cloves of garlic may be crushed and applied to affected areas to reduce the pain caused by arthritis. due to the strong odor of garlic. marked improvements in benign breast diseases have been traced to make progress because of the regular intake of supplements. which had been conducted on this herbal plant. which is supported by medical findings. and the boosting of fibrinolytic activities are among the list of herbal functions of garlic. reduction of platelet aggregation. of which the primary ingredient is garlic. You may cover the afflicted area with a gauze and bandage. Regular consumption of raw garlic has been proven to aid in many bleeding cases. • For toothaches. peal the skin and chew for several minutes. especially those cases that are associated with procedures in surgeries and dental activities. it has been proven through population-based studies that substances contain in garlic help in reducing the risk of some types of cancer. Bad breath. • For sore throat.time. 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. These would include colorectal malignancies. All these considered. crush and juice the garlic bulb and apply. Swallow the juice. Although more clinical studies are needed to support the contention stronger. Although controlled trials in terms of anti-cancer activities of garlic have been performed in medical research. and gastric cancer. it appears that garlic have no concrete scientific basis to claim a significant effect in the level of glucose in our blood. • For athlete’s foot.

Garlic is healthy and taste good on a variety of dishes. steam and inhale: vinegar. • Decoction of the bawang bulbs and leaves are used as treatment for fever. headache. and include bawang regularly in the food you eat. garlic is also recommended for maintaining good health . and rheumatism.toothache. arteriosclerosis and other ailments. chopped garlic. . Aside from being an alternative herbal medicine for hypertension. and water. • For nasal congestion.eat raw garlic bulbs if you can.

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