The Top Ten Most Commonly Used Herbal Medicines in the Philippines and Its Importance to the Filipinos

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Introduction
“Nothing is more calming than connecting with God through his nature. His beautiful creations, gifts and blessings we should never take for granted but enjoy”- Rachel Sazon Reyes. Many years ago when the production of a lot of materials made by nature had been idealized by many civilizations and immensely brought us the reality that these materials were truly the wonderful gifts from our Almighty God. One of these gifts is the alternative medicines, herbal medicines in particular that have been around for centuries and still benefiting a lot of people from different countries. Long time ago, when the forefathers in every civilization taught their people to use the gifts of nature to sustain their lives and survive out from their harmful environment. Civilizations before, assumed these herbal medicines as a healthier solutions given by nature. Even though people nowadays are living in a world of globalization, where technology is the center of every transactions, people remains to stay with their beliefs and stand with their traditions of using herbal medicines instead of those expensive drugs that are available in the market.

Philippines, as one of the tropical countries of the southeast region of Asia, has its vast resources of herbal medicines that has been always one of the great alternative medicine since then. Filipinos in fact held a lot of considerations putting medicinal plants as an alternative to all the expensive medicines in the Philippines. These natural remedies can be found in lots of Filipino homes today.

We are all attentive of the fact that because of the people’s ingenuity, practicality, and curiosity, it paved the way to discoveries of medicinal alternatives. The purpose of this paper is divided into four points. It intends, first, to define and explain the herbal medicine itself, along with its importance held by the people putting it aside as an alternative. Second, it aims to tell the history of herbal medicines touching some of the well- known civilizations around the world where herbals were believed to be originated and widely used. This paper will also enumerate the most common medicinal plants in the Philippines and its uses as natural remedies. Finally, it will also cover advantages of these medicinal plants as well as its disadvantages to humans as the primary user of these alternatives.

As a whole, this paper will significantly inform everyone knowingly herbal medicines and its importance is still a difficult discussion to them. It will gain more knowledge considering this paper will be a very effective medium of information to everyone. However, the research will only cover points, with pertains to the most commonly used medicinal plants, in the Philippines.

The definition and importance of herbal medicines. Plants have the ability to synthesize a wide variety of chemical compounds that are used to perform important biological functions in the lives of people. These have been believed to have beneficial effects on long- term wealth consumed by humans and can be used to effectively treat human diseases. Berquist (1975), defined herb as any plant especially used in medicines, scents, or seasonings. The use of herbs to treat a disease is almost universal among non- industrialized societies, and is often more affordable than purchasing expensive modern pharmaceuticals. Herbal medicine or herbalism on the other hand, as defined by The Free Dictionary by Farflex, is the use of medicinal herbs to prevent and treat diseases and ailments or to promote health and healing, and any drug preparation from a plant or plants used for any such purposes (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/herbal+medicine). Philippines, having its great and vast resources of these herbs, has been promoting the use of herbal medicines as an alternative to pharmaceuticals since then. Filipinos, in return look forward to its greater effect compare with those expensive drugs in the market. “Philippine...
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