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Medicinal plants and herbs have been used by our Filipino forefathers for many

centuries. This knowledge was passed on from generation to generation. In the past few
years, a renewed interest in this natural method of treatment arose not only in the
Philippines but worldwide. This popularity will continue as medical science validates the
affectivity of many medicinal herbs as alternative medicine.
Reminders on the Use of Herbal Medicine

Avoid the use of insecticides as these may leave poison on plants.

In the preparation of herbal medicine, use a clay pot and remove cover while
boiling at low heat.

Use only the part of the plant being advocated.

Follow accurate dose of suggested preparation.

Use only one kind of herbal plant for each type of symptoms or sickness. Use
only half the dosage prescribed for fresh parts like leaves when using dried parts.

Decoctions loose potency after some time. Dispose of decoctions after one day.
To keep fresh during the day, keep lukewarm in a flask or thermos.

Stop giving the herbal medication in case untoward reaction such as allergy

If signs and symptoms are not relieved after 2 or 3 doses of herbal medication,
consult a doctor
10 DOH Approves Herbal Medicines
I. Sambong (Blumea balsamifera)
It functions as an astringent and as an expectorant, and has been found to be antidiarrhea and anti-spasm. As an astringent, preparations made of sambong leaves
maybe used for wounds and cuts. It is also suggested to be incorporated to postpartumbaths, as well as considerable immersion of particular body areas that are
afflicted withpains caused by rheumatism. Its expectorant properties make it as a
popular recommendation to be taken in as tea to treat colds. 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 not a medicine for kidney infection
Common names: Sambong
Indication: Hypertension, urolithiasis
Parts used: Leaves
Special precautions:
Although considered safe, not much is known about Sambong therefore it is
advised to avoid taking it during pregnancy or breast-feeding.
Avoid using with other diuretics. When taking diuretics, eat atleast one banana a

a) Boil Chopped leaves in water for 15 minutes until one glassful remains. Cool and
b) Divide into 3 parts. Drink one part part 3 times a day

Ulasimang Bato (Peperomia pellucida)

It is a small herb that grows from 1 to 1 1/2 feet. Pansit-pansitan can be found wild
onlightly shaded and damp areas such as nooks, walls, yards and even roofs. Pansitpansitan 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.
It lowers uric acid for rheumatic and gouty arthritis.
Common names: Pancit-Pancitan
Indication: Arthritis, Gout, Headache, Skin Boils, Abscess, Pimples
Parts used: Leaves, Stems
Special precautions:
Though there are no reported side effects, it is advised to take moderate doses
Avoid using with other pain relievers, diuretics
As vegetable
The leaves and steams may be eaten raw, when freshly harvested and washed.
For headache
Wash a couple of leaves, bruise the surface and apply on the forehead.
For skin problems
Wash and pound the leaves/steams and apply it directly to affected area.
As drink
Wash the leaves/steams. Measure 2 glasses of water and 1 glass of
leaves/steam. Boil then set aside, cool and strain.
- Use 2 times a day, 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup in the evening
III. Niyog-Niyogan (Quisqualis Indica)
It is a vine known as "Chinese honeysuckle". It is effective in the elimination of
intestinal worms, particularly the Ascaris and Trichina. Medical experts, advice
patients to consult their doctors asimproper dosing may cause hiccups
Common names: Chinese Honeysuckle, talulo (tagalog), pinones (visayan)
Indication: Antihelmintics
Parts used: Seeds, Leaves, roots, fruits
Special precautions: May cause hiccups and abdominal pain. 150 mg/kg p.o. Is the
maximum dose allowed, 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.

The seeds are taken 2 hours after supper. If no worms are expelled, the dose may be
repeated after one week.

Caution: Not to be given to children below 4 years old)

IV. Bayabas (Psidium guajava)
In the backyards of Filipino homes in the country, this plant is commonly seen, and
grown becauseof its many uses as fruit and as traditional remedy to treat various
ailments. As shown bymany 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
Common names: Guava
Indication: Hypertension, Toothaches, Diarrhea, Deworming, Poor Circulation
Parts used: Fruit, Bark, Leaves
Special precautions: Eating too much can cause constipation
Boil one cup of Bayabas leaves in three cups of water for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

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 diarrhea, boil the chopped leaves for 15 minutes in water, and strain. Let cool, and
To stop nosebleed, densely roll Bayabas leaves, then place in the nostril cavities.
V. Akapulko / Acapulco (Cassia alata)
A medicinal herb that contains chrysophanic acid, a fungicide used to treat
fungalinfections, like ringworms, scabies, and eczema. Akapulko also contains
saponin, alaxative that is useful in expelling intestinal parasites. The primary part
used for herbal purposes are the leaves, although the roots andflowers are also used
for certain preparations with medicinal value. The extracts fromthe Akapulko plant is
commonly used as an ingredient for lotions, soaps, andshampoos
Common names: Ringworm Bush
Indication: Tinea Infections, Ringworms, Expectorants for bronchitis, Mouthwash for
stomatitis, used as a diuretic
Parts used: Leaves, Flower, roots
Special precautions: Pregnant women should not take decoction of the leaves or any
part of this plant as a strong decoction of this plant is considered abortifacient
For external use, pound the leaves of the Akapulko plant, squeeze the juice and apply
on affected areas.

Manageable size, then soak and boil for 10 to 15 minutes, let cool and use as soon as
possible. Note: The decoction loses its potency if not used for a long time. Dispose
leftovers after one day
VI. Ampalaya (Momordica charantia)
The Philippine variety has proven to be most potent. Ampalaya contains a mixture
of flavanoids and alkaloids which make the pancreas produce more insulin that
controls theblood 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.
Common names: Bitter gourd
Indication: Diabetes Mellitus
Parts used: Leaves
Special precautions:
Blood sugar levels should be monitored regularly.
In large dozes, pure Ampalaya juice can be a purgative and abortifacient.
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. Note: Young leaves may be blanched and
eaten glassful 2 times a day.
Tsaang Gubat (Carmona retusa)
Tsaang Gubat is a shrub that grows abundantly in thePhilippines. In folkloric
medicine, the leaves has been used as a disinfectant wash during child birth, as cure
for diarrhea, as tea for general good heath and because Tsaang Gubathas high
fluoride content, it is used as a mouth gargle for preventing tooth decay. Research
and test now prove its efficacy as an herbal medicine. Aside from the traditional way
of taking Tsaag Gubat, it is now available commercially in capsules, tablets and tea
Common names: wild tea, alangit
Indication: Diarrhea, stomachache, prevent cavities
Parts used: Leaves
Special precautions: None
For Diarrhea
Boil the following amount of chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes
or until amount of water goes down to 1 glass. Cool and strain.
For stomachache
Wash leaves and chop. Boil chopped leaves in 1 glass of water for 15 minutes.
Cool and filter/strain and drink.

Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii)
A decoction (boil leaves then strain) of Yerba Buena is effective for minor
ailmentssuch as headaches, toothaches, and joint pains. It can also relive
stomachaches due togas 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 leavesin a glass of water (30 to 45 minutes) makes a good and
effective mouth wash for aclean, fresh smelling breath. Yerba Buena is one of the 10
herbs endorsed by the Department of Health (DOH) asan effective alternative
medicine for aches and pains. It has been recognized for its antiseptic, anti-cancer,
diuretic, anti-spasm, anti-emetic activities. Properties of thisherbal plant are also
found to function as stimulant and to have restorative effects.
Common names: Peppermint
Indication: Pain (headache, stomachache, tooth ache), rheumatism, cough and colds, swollen
gums, pruritus

Parts used: Leaves, sap of plant

Special precautions: Caution should be observed in taking this herbal medicine as it can be
toxic in large doses.

For pain (headache and stomachache)
Boil chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes. Cool and strain.
For rheumatism, arthritis and headache
Crush the fresh leaves and squeeze sap. Massage sap on painful parts with
For Cough & Cold
Soak 10 fresh leaves in a glass of hot water, drink as tea. (expectorant)
For Swollen gums
Steep 6 g. of fresh plant in a glass of boiling water for 30 minutes. Use as a
gargle solution
For Toothache
Cut fresh plant and squeeze sap. Soak a piece of cotton in the sap and insert this
in aching tooth cavity
For Menstrual & gas pain
Soak a handful of leaves in a lass of boiling water. Drink infusion.
For Nausea & Fainting
Crush leaves and apply at nostrils of patients
For Insect bites
Crush leaves and apply juice on affected area or pound leaves until like a paste,
rub on affected area
For Pruritus
Boil plant alone or with eucalyptus in water. Use decoction as a wash on affected

IX. Bawang (Alium sativum)

Garlics antibacterial compound known as allicin. This property prevented the
woundsfrom being infected and developing into gangrene at a later stage by
extracting the juiceof bawang or garlic and applying to the wounds.-Its juices
inhibit the growth of fungi and viruses thus, prevent viral, yeast, andinfections.
Bad breath, due to the strong odor of garlic, is the most common side effectof
taking this herb.
Common names: ajos, garlic
Indication: Hypertension, toothache
Parts used: Leaves, 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
For Hypertension
May be fried, roasted, soaked in vinegar for 30 minutes, or blanched in
boiled water for 5 minutes. Take two pieces three times a day after meals.
For toothache
Pound a small piece and apply to affected part. CAUTION: Take on full
stomach to prevent stomach and intestinal ulcers.
X. Lagundi (Vitex negundo)
Studies have shown that Lagundi can prevent the bodys production of
leukotrienes, which are released during an asthma attack.
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 have medicinal
Common names: five-leaved chaste tree, horseshoe vitex
Indication: Asthma and cough, fever, dysentery, colds & pain, skin diseases and
wounds, headache, rheumatism, sprain, contusions, insect bites. Aromatic bath
for sick patients
Parts used: Leaves, flowering tops
Special precautions: Make sure to have the five-leaved varieties, as there are other
varieties of lagundi.

For asthma, cough and fever

Boil chopped raw fruits or leaves in 2 glasses of water left for 15 minutes
until the water left in only 1 glass (decoction). Strain.
For dysentery, colds and pain
Boil a handful of leaves and flowers in water to produce a glass full of
decoction 3 time a day.
For skin diseases (dermatitis, scabies, ulcer, eczema) and wounds
Prepare a decoction of the leaves. Wash and clean the skin/wound with
the decoction.
For headache
Crushed leaves may be applied on the forehead.
For rheumatism, sprain, contusions and insect bites
Pound the leaves and apply on the affected part.
For aromatic bath for sick patients
Prepare leaf decoction for use in sick and newly delivered patients.
Commonly used herbal medicines that are not approved by DOH:
A. Malunggay (Moringa oleifera)
Common names: Ben oil tree. Miracle tree, drumstick tree
Indication: Asthma, gout, back pain, rheumatism, wounds and sores. Increase breast
milk in lactating women.
Parts used: Leaves, flowers, young pods
Special precautions: Although malunggay consumption is generally accepted as safe.
But according to Indian traditional usage, Malunggay may have an abortificient effects.
For sores and wound
Boil malunggay roots and let it cool to tolerable warm temperature and
use it to wash wounds and sores. By gargling the Malunggay decoction, it may
also be used to wash mouth sores and sore throats.
As poultice
Grounded Malunggay seeds, leaves and bark may be applied topically as
poultice onto swollen flesh to relieve inflammation.
B. Tawa-Tawa (Euphorbia hirta)
It is good for Dengue. If it does not totally cure the epidemic disease, at least it helps
prevent or delay the effects of Dengue, that is, it lowers the platelet count of the
patients blood. The herb is good for asthmatic persons. It breaks up mucus and
relaxes spasm. It is combined with bronchial sedatives in inhaler preparation. Steep
one teaspoon of leaves per cup of water for ten minutes. Take three to four glasses a
day. May also be form into cigarette burn and inhale smoke.

Common names: Gatas-gatas, asthma weed

Indication: Asthma, diarrhea, dysentery, dengue
Parts used: Entire plant
Special precautions: Safe use of tawa-tawa during pregnancy and lactation has not
been established. It has been reported to cause both contraction and relaxation of the
smooth muscles. In view of lack of pharmacological and toxicity data, the use of tawatawa during pregnancy and lactation is therefore not recommended.

C. Tanglad (Cymbopogon citratus)

Common names: lemon grass, citronella
Indication: stomachache, fever,
headache, diuretic, vomiting, Parts used: Leaves
Special precautions: Tanglad is not known to be harmful when taken in recommended
dosages. However, individuals should always take caution before using any treatment.
As Tea
Pound or cut about 10 leaves of Tanglad then add in 2 cups of boiling water for
10 to 15 minutes, strain, add sugar and a slice of ginger to taste. Let it cool and drink a
cup three to four times a day.