The tropical climate of the Philippines has made it possible for thousands of plants and vegetation to thrive more in lush forests. Many herbal plants have been tapped because of its efficacy against common ailments and the practice of the use of herbal plants as medicines have stretched as far as during pre-Spanish era, and are still being practiced until these modern times. The Department of Health (DOH) advocated the use of herbal plants as what is considered as form of primary health care and as an answer to the increasing cost of synthetic drugs in the market. These 10 DOH-approved herbal plants are found within the country and have been proven to treat common ailments, according to the thorough research done by National Science Development Board, and other government and private agencies and persons. Its importance in providing better health care was not overlooked. In 1992, The DOH, through former Health Secretary and Senator Juan M. Flavier made a health program by virtue of Administrative Order No. 12. This program was known as the Traditional Medicine Program, with its main function of promoting and advocating the use of traditional medicine across the country. In 1994, the drafting of a traditional medicine law was initiated in order to institutionalize the program. Then by 1997, President Fidel V. Ramos saw the promising potential of traditional medicines both in the health of Filipinos and the economy and timely approved the Republic Act 8423, also known as the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (TAMA) of 1997. This law then, gave rise to the government owned and controlled corporation known as the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC). It is attached to the DOH in delivering safe, effective and affordable proper traditional and alternative (TAHC) health care products and services to the people. The 10 DOH-approved herbal plants are listed below, along with their uses, preparations and names in different places/dialects within the country. 1. Lagundi (Vitex negundo)
* Kamalan (Tag.)
* Limo-limo (Ilk.)
* Tugas (Ceb.)
* Dabtan (If.)
* Molave aso (Sul.)
* 5 leaveschaste tree (English)
Lagundi is a shrub type of plant growing wild in vacant lots and waste land. Matured branches are planted. The flowers are blue and bell-shaped. The small fruits turn black when ripe. It is better to collect the leaves when are in bloom. Uses:
* For asthma, cough and fever – boil raw fruits or leaves in 2 glasses of water for15 minutes until the water left in only 1 glass (decoction). Strain. Leaves should be chopped and the following dosages of the decoction are given according to age group:
Dried leavesFresh leaves
7-12 yrs. 2 tbsp.3 tbsp.
2-6 yrs.1 tbsp.1 ½ tbsp.
* For dysentery, colds and pain in any part of the body as in influenza – boil a handful of leaves and flowers in water to produce a glass full of decoction and drink it three times a day. * For skin diseases (dermatitis, scabies ulcer, eczema) and wounds – prepare a decoction from handful of leaves. Wash and clean the skin/wound with the decoction. * For headache – crush leaves and may be applied on the forehead. * For rheumatism, sprain and contusions, insect bites – pound the leaves and apply on affected part. * For aromatic bath for sick patients – prepare leaf decoction for use in sick and newly delivered patients.
2. Yerba (Hierba) Buena (Mentha cordifelia)
* Herba Buena (most dialects)
* Hierba/Yerba Buena (Spanish)
* Hilbas (Dav., Ley.)
* Opiz Ablebana (If.)
* Malipuen (Als.)
* Peppermint, mint (English)
Yerba (Hierba) Buena is a small multi-branching aromatic herb. The leaves are small, elliptical and with toothed margin. The stem creeps to the ground and develops roots. It may be also propagated through cuttings. Uses:
* For pain in different parts...