Philippine Traditional and Alternative Medicine
Traditional medicine has been practiced since ancient times in every culture throughout the world and has been an integral part of human evolution and development. The evolution of Philippine traditional medicine is an interesting study that is influenced by religion, mysticism, magic, superstition, folkloric herbalism and western medicine. Philippine's common traditional medicine practitioners include the following • hilot or manghihilot acts as a midwife, a chiropractor or massage therapist to promote health and healing, • Tawas or mangtatawas, this practitioner uses alum, candles, smoke, paper, eggs and other mediums to diagnose the cause of illness associated by prayers and incantations • albularyo, a general practitioner who uses a combination of healing modalities that may include prayers, incantations, mysticism and herbalism. Albularyos claim to draw healing powers from a supernatural source (shamanism) • Medico, a general practitioner similar to an albularyo but integrates western medicine to promote healing. • Faith healers, a practitioner who claims divine power bestowed by the Holy Spirit or God. A patient is required to have faith and believe in divine powers to effect healing These traditional medical practitioners covers a wide spectrum of practices and differs from one another. Even in this modern times where information and advanced science has greatly progressed, traditional medicine still enjoys a large following most especially in rural areas. In recognition of the deep seated practice of traditional medicine as an alternative modality for treating and preventing diseases in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) through its former Secretary Juan M. Flavier launched the Traditional Medicine Program in 1992. This program aims to promote an effective and safe use of traditional medicine, Then President Fidel V. Ramos appreciated the importance of the traditional medicine program and signed into law Republic Act 8423 (R.A. 8423), otherwise known as the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (TAMA) of 1997. This gave rise to the creation of Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) which is tasked to promote and advocates the use of traditional and alternative health care modalities through scientific research and product development Since then the Philippine Department of Health (DOH)through its "Traditional Health Program" has endorsed 10 medicinal plants to be used as herbal medicine in Philippines due to its health benefits. The following are the 10 Medicinal Plants in the Philippines endorsed by DOH: 1. Akapulko (Cassia alata) [pic]
a medicinal plant called "ringworm bush or shrub" and "acapulco" in English, this Philippine herbal medicine is used to treat tinea infections, insect bites, ringworms, eczema, scabies and itchiness. 2.Ampalaya (Momordica charantia) [pic] Common names include "bitter melon " or "bitter gourd " in English. This Philippine herbal medicine has been found to be effective in the treatment of diabetes (diabetes mellitus), hemispheroids, coughs, burns and scalds, and being studied for anti-cancer properties. 2. Bawang (Allium sativum) [pic]Common name in English is "Garlic". Bawang is a used in Philippine herbal medicine to treat infection with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-hypertensive properties. It is widely used to reduce cholesterol level in blood. 3. Bayabas (Psidium guajava) [pic] - "Guava" in English. A Philippine herbal medicine used as antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-allergy, antimicrobial, anti-plasmodial, anti-cough, antidiabetic, and antigenotoxic in folkloric medicine. 4. Lagundi (Vitex negundo) [pic]- known as "5-leaved chaste tree" in English is used in Philippine herbal medicine to treat cough, colds and fever. It is also used as a relief for asthma &...
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