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Traditional Medicine
• Folk Herbalist
- Tested the curative effects of herbal medicines
- Handed from generations to generations
- Moral support and psychological comfort from
- High social status and are well respected
• Modern drugs
- cheaper
- decline of herbal medicines popularity

• 1992 - Administrative Order No.12

- Traditional Medicine Program
- Senator Juan Flavier
- promote and advocate Traditional Medicine
• RA 8423
Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (TAMA)

• Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative

Health Care (PITAHC)
- A Government owned and controlled corporation
- provision and delivery of traditional and alternative health
care (TAHC) products, services and technologies that
have been proven safe, effective and affordable
• “Traditional and alternative health care in
the hands of the people”
• Alternative healthcare is the sum of total
knowledge, skills, and practices on health
care, other than those embodied in
biomedicine, used in the prevention,
diagnosis and elimination of physical or
mental disorder
• Traditional Medicine
Sum of total knowledge, skills and practices on
health care, not necessarily explicable in the
context of modern, scientific philosophical
framework but recognized by the people to help
maintain and improve their health towards the
wholeness of their being, the community and
society, and their interrelations based on culture,
history, heritage and consciousness
WHO - based on indigenous theories, beliefs and
experiences that are handed down form
generation to generation
According to the DOH, the health sector falls short
due to:
- inappropriate health delivery system such as,
poor hospital facilities, fragmented primary
health system, ineffective delivery mechanism
for public health program, and misdistribution of
health human resources
- inadequate health regulatory mechanisms such
as gaps in regulatory mandates, lengthy and
laborious regulatory systems and processes and
inadequate human resources and facilities
resulting in poor quality of health care, high cost
of privately provided health services and high
cost of drugs
- poor health care financing such as inadequate
funding, inefficient sourcing, and ineffective
Traditional Health Program
• Ten (10) herbs have been thoroughly tested and
have been clinically proven to have medicinal

Akapulko Niyog-niyogan
Ampalaya Sambong
Bawang Tsaang Gubat
Bayabas Ulasimang Bato
Lagundi Yerba Buena
• scientific study that correlates ethnic groups, their
health practices, and how it relates to their physical
habits and methodology in creating and using
• incorporates the social science of ethnology and the
medical science of pharmacology. It is related to
botany in that many pharmaceuticals are delivered
through plants
• through the combination of medical anthropology,
phytotherapy, and pharmaceutical science, it explores
medicinal plants in indigenous cultures, which includes
the bioactive compounds, and the sustainable
development and production of nature-derived
• Thus, ethnopharmacology studies the
pharmacological aspects of a culture's medical
treatment as well as its social appeal. This
includes taste, symbology, and religious context.
Through this, a culture's exposure to
pharmacological substances can be determined.
• methods of collection, extraction, preparation –
allowed safe usage of the substance and its
safety record
• Ethnopharmacological Research
- Documentation of indigenous medical knowledge
- Scientific study of indigenous medicines in order to
contribute in the long-run to improved health care in
the regions of study
- Search for pharmacologically unique principles from
existing indigenous remedies.
• Ethnopharmacology investigations
classically involved traditional healers,
botanist, anthropologist, chemist and
• Role of Physicians:
- Ethnopharmacological field work which involves
interviewing healers, interpreting traditional
terminologies into their modern counterparts,
examining patients consuming herbal remedies and
identifying the disease for which an herbal remedy is
- Interpretation of signs and symptoms mentioned in
ancient texts and suggesting proper use of old
traditional remedies in the light of modern medicine
- Clinical studies on herbs and their interaction
with modern medicines
- Advising pharmacologists to carryout laboratory
studies on herbs observed during field studies
- Work in collaboration with local healers to
strengthen traditional system of medicine in a
• Physician's involvement in ethnopharmacological
studies will lead to more reliable information on
traditional use of medicinal plants both from field
and ancient texts, more focused and cheaper
natural product based drug discovery, as well as
bridge that gap between traditional and modern

• In the study of Aburjai,

- Collection of information from local population
concerning the use of regional medicinal plants and
identified the species used and their relative importance
• Journal of Ethnopharmacology
- First formal study was published 1979
- Research in this field permitted:
d) documentation of indigenous medical
e) health care improvement through the scientific
study of indigenous medicines
f) search for pharmacologically unique principles
from existing indigenous remedies
• Uttara Kannada district
- 92 traditional medicine practitioners/healers
were interviewed to collect information on the
use of herbal treatments
- Information was also collected on the method
of preparation, dose and duration along with
the botanical names, family and local names of
the medicinal plants
• In the study of Gazzaneo
- Performed door-to-door visits in order to identify the local
people with specialized knowledge on the use of the
medicinal plants
- By using the snowball method, the names of other
specialists were obtained
- the rural dwellers of the “Tres Ladeiras” community
helped in collecting the information on the use of the
medicinal plants and also mediated in identifying the
specialists to be interviewed in connection to the
confirmation of the native inhabitants and the specialists
identified were all living in the community for at least 30
• In the study of Akerreta, et al
- For the determination of folk herbalist, the local people of
the villages and towns helped in locating the
interviewees. The interviewees are all born or had been
living in the region for most of their lives. All of the
chosen local people have no scientific knowledge
concerning to the medicinal plants that they prescribed.
505 interviewees were gathered and the information was
collected using semi-constructed ethnobotanical
interviews. The selected local people having lived most
of their lives or born in the region studied. The age
ranges from 22 to 100 year, the age group from 71-80
years represented the mean.
• In 2003, the University of Navarra, Spain
organized an interdisciplinary research team to
conduct an ethnobotanical and medical study in
the Navarre Pyrenees. This area is known both
for its high biological diversity and its cultural
• The study was intended to attain a more
thorough understanding on the plants used in
Navarre’s traditional medicine, the principles
behind their use, their composition, and
therapeutic use.
• The objectives of the study included compiling
an ethnobotanical and medical catalogue of the
Navarre Pyrenean Region, to conduct a
quantitative analysis of the results and compare
it with other ethnobotanical studies of the
Pyrenees region, and to do a review of the drugs
within the community through studying the
monographs published by WHO, ESCOP and
the E Commission of the German Department of
Health, institutions responsible for the safety and
efficacy of medicinal plants, with the purpose of
assessing the official validity of the
pharmacology of the Navarre Pyrenees.
• Ethnobotanical interviews were conducted on
people who have a knowledge on traditional
medicine. Data gathering was done through
individual interviews, as well as group interviews
in nursing homes. Open and semi-structured
questions were asked which encouraged the
spontaneous participation of the interviewees.
The conversations were recorded with prior
consent of the participants, and more than one
interview session took place to confirm the
identification of some plants
• Data analysis was done using quantitative
a. Ethnobotonicity Index
b. Shannon-Wiener's Diversity
c. Equitability
d. The Informant Consensus Factor

• The results of the study showed that the

ethnobotanical and medical catalogue of the
Navarre Pyrenees Area comprised of 92
species. 39 of which were mentioned by at
least three interviewees.
• According to WHO, traditional medicine is still
being used by 80% of the world population as
part of their health care, especially those in
developing countries.
• Many African countries including Tanzania,
depend on traditional healers who provide
primary health care by taking care of people
living with emerging diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
• However, factors such as poverty, high cost of
life-enhancing drugs, resistance to conventional
medicine and the serious side effects associated
with antiretroviral drugs hindered the utilization
of conventional therapies
• It was noted that greater than 60% of the people
in Tanzania resort to traditional medicines in
managing various diseases including HIV/AIDS.
Because of the scarcity of available drugs, the
people with HIV/AIDS depend on traditional
health services in controlling the disease.
• In this study, the researchers used an open-
ended semi-structured questionnaire to gather
field information. Analysis of the ethnobotanical
data collected was done using descriptive
statistics. They used the factor of informant
consensus (Fic) to analyze the ethnobotanical
importance of the plants.
• 75 plant species belonging to 66 genera and 41
families utilized them in treating one of HIV/AIDS
related infections in the district diseases. The
study unveiled the first detailed account of
ethnomedical documentation of plants which
focused on the management of HIV/AIDS
related infections in the district.
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2007
22.8% - gastrointestinal disorder and parasites
22.1% - external injuries and parasites
17.9% - rabies and internal diseases
- The proportion of remedies used for treatment of
gastrointestinal related disease are also high in
most studies conducted in Ethiopia, accounting
for 35% compared to other type of remedies that
were compiled as being used against human
8.3% - swelling and cancer
6.2% - evil eye and devil sickness
6.2% - sensorial disease
4.8% - venereal disease and impotence
4.1% - 'mich' and febrile diseases
4.1% - respiratory and throat infection
3.4% - snake bite
• The Journal of Ethnopharmacology is dedicated to
the exchange of information and understandings
about people’s use of plants, fungi, animals,
microorganisms and minerals and their biological
and pharmacological effects based on the principles
established through international conventions.
• Early people confronted with illness and disease,
discovered a wealth of useful therapeutic agents in
the plant and animal kingdoms. The empirical
knowledge of these medicinal substances and their
toxic potential was passed on by oral tradition and
sometimes recorded in herbals and other texts on
materia medica.