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Ten (10) Herbal Medicines in the Philippines

Approved by the Department of Health (DOH)

These is the list of 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.

Benefits & Treatment of Akapulko:

• For external use, pound the leaves of the
• External Use: Akapulko plant, squeeze the juice and apply on
Treatment of skin diseases: affected areas.
Tinea infections, insect bites, ringworms, • As the expectorant for bronchitis and
eczema, scabies and itchiness. dyspnoea, drink decoction (soak and boil for 10
• Mouthwash in stomatitis to 15 minutes) of Akapulko leaves. The same
preparation may be used as a mouthwash,
• Internal use: stringent, and wash for eczema.
Expectorant for bronchitis and dyspnoea • As laxative, cut the plant parts (roots, flowers,
• Alleviation of asthma symptoms and the leaves) into a manageable size then
• Used as diuretic and purgative prepare a decoction Note: The decoction looses
• For cough & fever its potency if not used for a long time. Dispose
• As a laxative to expel intestinal parasites and leftovers after one day.
other stomach problems. • The pounded leaves of Akapulko has purgative
Preparation & Use: functions, specifically against ringworms.

Note: A strong decoction of Akapulko leaves is take decoction of the leaves or any part of this
an abortifacient. Pregnant women should not plant.

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.

Herbal Benefits of Ampalaya: Preparation & Use of Ampalaya:

• Good for rheumatism and gout • For coughs, fever, worms, diarrhea, diabetes,
• And diseases of the spleen and liver juice Ampalaya leaves and drink a spoonful
• Aids in lowering blood sugar levels daily.
• Helps in lowering blood pressure • For other ailments, the fruit and leaves can
• Relives headaches both be juiced and taken orally.
• Disinfects and heals wounds & burns • For headaches wounds, burns and skin
• Can be used as a cough & fever remedy diseases, apply warmed leaves to afflicted area.
• Treatment of intestinal worms, diarrhea • Powdered leaves, and the root decoction, may
• Helps prevent some types of cancer be used as stringent and applied to treat
• Enhances immune system to fight infection hemorrhoids.
• For treatment of hemorrhoids • Internal parasites are proven to be expelled
• Is an antioxidant and parasiticide when the ampalaya juice, made from its leaves,
• Is antibacterial and antipyretic is extracted. The ampalaya juice, and grounded
seeds is to be taken one spoonful thrice a day,
which also treats diarrhea, dysentery, and
chronic colitis.
3. Bawang (Allium sativum) - popularly known as "garlic", it mainly reduces cholesterol in the blood and
hence, helps control blood pressure.

Health Benefits of Bawang-Garlic: Preparation of Bawang-Garlic:

• Good for the heart • For disinfecting wound, crush and juice the
• Helps lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL) garlic bulb and apply. You may cover the afflicted
• Aids in lowering blood pressure area with a gauze and bandage.
• Remedy for arteriosclerosis • For sore throat and toothache, peal the skin
• May help prevent certain types of cancer and chew. Swallow the juice.
• Boosts immune system to fight infection
• With antioxidant properties • Cloves of garlic may be crushed and applied to
• Cough and cold remedy affected areas to reduce the pain caused by
• Relives sore throat, toothache arthritis, toothache, headache, and rheumatism.
• Aids in the treatment of tuberculosis • Decoction of the bawang bulbs and leaves are
• Helps relieve rheumatism pain used as treatment for fever.
• With anticoagulant properties • For nasal congestion, steam and inhale:
vinegar, chopped garlic, and water.

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.

Uses of Bayabas : Preparation:

• Antiseptic, astringent & anthelminthic • Boil one cup of Bayabas leaves in three cups
• Kills bacteria, fungi and ameba of water for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
• Used to treat diarrhea, nosebleeding • Use decoction as mouthwash, gargle.
• For Hypertension, diabetes and Asthma • Use as wound disinfectant - wash affected
• Promotes menstruation areas with the decoction of leaves 2 to 3 times a
The fresh leaves are used to facilitate the day.
healing of wounds and cuts. A decoction (boiling Fresh leaves may be applied to the wound
in water) or infusion of fresh leaves can be used directly for faster healing.
for wound cleaning to prevent infection. Bayabas • For toothaches, chew the leaves in your
is also effective for toothaches. mouth.
• For diarrhea, boil the chopped leaves for 15
Note: Bayabas can cause constipation when minutes in water, and strain. Let cool, and drink
consumed in excess. a cup every three to four hours.
• To stop nosebleed, densely roll Bayabas
leaves, then place in the nostril cavities.

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.

Herbal Benefits of Lagundi: Preparation & Use:

• Relief of asthma & pharyngitis • Boil half cup of chopped fresh or dried leaves
• Recommended relief of in 2 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink
rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, diarrhea half cup three times a day.
• Treatment of cough, colds, fever and flu and • For skin diseases or disorders, apply the
other bronchopulmonary disorders decoction of leaves and roots directly on skin.
• Alleviate symptoms of Chicken Pox • The root is specially good for treating
• Removal of worms, and boils dyspepsia, worms, boils, colic and rheumatism.
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.

Benefits & Treatment of Niyog-Niyogan:

Preparation & Use:
Almost all of its parts are used individually, or
mixed with other ingredients, as remedy to Seeds of niyog-niyogan can be taken as an
different ailments. In the Philippines, these are anthelmintic. These are eaten raw two hours
taken to rid people of parasitic worms. Some before the patient’s last meal of the day. Adults
also use these to help alleviate coughs and may take 10 seeds while children 4 to 7 years of
diarrhea. Medical experts, advice patients to age may eat up to four seeds only. Children from
consult their doctors as improper dosing may ages 8 to 9 may take six seeds and seven seeds
cause hiccups. Niyog-niyogan’s leaves are used may be eaten by children 10 to 12 years old.
to cure body pains by placing them on specific
problematic areas of the body. Compound Decoctions of its roots are also sometimes used
decoctions of the leaves of niyog-niyogan are as a remedy for rheumatism while its fruits are
used in India to alleviate flatulence. used as an effective way to relieve toothaches.

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.

Health Benefits of Sambong: Preparation & Use:

• Good as a diuretic agent • A decoction (boil in water) of Sambong leaves

• Effective in the dissolving kidney stones as like tea and drink a glass 3 or 4 times a day.
• Aids in treating hypertension & rheumatism • The leaves can also be crushed or pounded
• Treatment of colds & fever and mixed with coconut oil.
• Anti-diarrheic properties • For headaches, apply crushed and pounded
• Anti-gastralgic properties leaves on forehead and temples.
• Helps remove worms, boils • Decoction of leaves is used as sponge bath.
• Relief of stomach pains • Decoction of the roots, on the other hand, is to
• Treats dysentery, sore throat be taken in as cure for fever.

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

Health Benefits of Tsaang Gubat: Preparation & Use:

• Stomach pains • Thoroughly wash the leaves of tsaang gubat in

• Gastroenteritis running water. Chop to a desirable size and boil
• Intestinal motility 1 cup of chopped leaves in 2 cups of water. Boil
• Dysentery in low heat for 15 to 20 minutes and drain.
• Diarrhea or Loose Bowel Movement (LBM) • Take a cupful every 4 hours for diarrhea,
• Mouth gargle gastroenteritis and stomach pains.
• Body cleanser/wash • Gargle for stronger teeth and prevent cavities.
• Drink as tea daily for general good health.
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 used as an herbal medicine for the treatment of:

• Arthritis
• Gout
• Skin boils, abscesses, pimples
• Headache
• Abdominal pains
• kidney problems

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.

Yerba Buena may be used to treat: Preparation & Use:

• Arthritis • Wash fresh Yerba Buena leaves in running

• Head aches water. Chop to size for dried leaves, crush) and
• Tooth aches boil 2 teaspoons of leaves in a glass of water.
• Mouth wash Boil in medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
• Relief of intestinal gas • As analgesic, take a cupful every 3 hours.
• Stomach aches • For tooth aches, pound the fresh leaves,
• Indigestion squeeze juice out and apply on a cotton ball
• Drink as tea for general good health. then bite on to the aching tooth.
• Yerba buena leaves may be heated over fire
and placed over the forehead for headaches.