Nowadays, Filipino particularly use the herbal medicine as an alternative to their treatment this is possibly of the high cost of conventional medicines in the market. As our role as nurses we have to educate and teach our patient /client of what alternative medicine, which has been thoroughly test and have been clinically proven to have medical value in the relief of various ailments.
Below are the list of herbal plants that underwent in clinical studies by the Department of Health through its Traditional Health Program as an alternative conventional medicine.
The 10 Herbal Plant approved by the Department of Health-DOH
1.) Lagundi (Vitex negundo L.)
It is one of the ten herbal medicines endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health as an effective herbal medicine with proven therapeutic value. Studies have shown that Lagundi can prevent the body’s 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 value
Common names: Dangla (Ilokano); five-leaved chaste tree, horseshoe vitex
Indication: Leaves and flowering tops decoction, syrup, tablets and capsules for
coughs, colds, fever and asthma.
Found in: in humid places or along watercourses, in waste places and mixed open
Parts used: Leaves and flowering tops
Special precautions: Make sure to have the five-leaved varieties, as there are
other varieties of lagundi.
Asthma, Cough & Fever
– Decoction ( Boil raw fruits or leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes)Dysentery, Colds & Pain – Decoction ( Boil a handful of leaves & flowers in water to produce a glass, three times a day)
Skin diseases (dermatitis, scabies, ulcer, eczema)
– Wash & clean the skin/wound with the decoction
Crush leaves may be applied on the forehead
Rheumatism, sprain, contusions, insect bites
-Pound the leaves and apply on affected area
2.) Ulasimang-bato (Peperonia 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. Pansit-pansitan 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.
Common names: Ulasimang-bato, pansit-pansitan (Tagalog); olasiman-ihalas
(Cebu,Bisaya); tangon-tangon (Bikol); peperonia (English)
Indications: Infusion, decoction or salad for gout and rheumatic pains; pounded
plant warm poultice for boils and abscesses
Found in: In lowland rain forest, thickets, hedges, waste places, and roadsides.
Parts used: aerial plant parts
Special precautions: Avoid using with other pain relievers, diuretics
Lowers uric acid (rheumatism and gout)
– One a half cup leaves are boiled in two glass of water over low fire. Do not cover pot. Divide into 3 parts and drink one part 3 times a day
3.) Guava (Psidium guajava L.)
Bayabas or guava is a tropical plant, which is locally known for its edible fruit. 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, bayabas (Tagalog); guyabas (Iloko); Guava (English).
Indications: antidiarrheal and antiseptic
Found in:Common in the Philippines
Special precautions:Eating too much guava fruit may cause constipation
For washing wounds
– Maybe use twice a day
– May be taken 3-4 times a day
As gargle and for toothache – Warm decoction is used for gargle. Freshly pounded leaves are used for toothache. Boil chopped leaves for 15 minutes at low fire. Do not cover and then let it cool and strain.
4.)Bawang (Alium sativum L.)
This herb is one of the most widely used herbal medicines in the Philippines and can also be found commonly in the kitchen of Filipino households as it is used to spice up food preparations. The Philippines bawang or garlic variety is more pungent than the imported ones. Its medicinal properties have been known for a long time and have been especiallyproven during World War II when it was used to treat wounds and infections of soldiers.Garlic antibacterial compound known as allicin, saved many lives of the soldiers as thisproperty prevented the wounds from being infected and developing into gangrene at a laterstage by extracting the juice of bawang or garlic and applying to the wounds.
Common names: Ajos (Bisaya); garlic
Indications: Fresh cloves, capsules for lowering blood cholesterol levels;
Found in:cultivated all over the world. Probably originated from Central Asia
Parts used: Leaves and bulbs (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
Uses & Preparation:
– Maybe fried, roasted, soaked in vinegar for 30 minutes, or blanched in boiled water for 15 minutes. Take 2 pieces 3 times a day after meals.
– Pound a small piece and apply to affected are
Yerba Buena has been consumed for centuries as tea and herbal medicine as a pain reliever(analgesic). Native American Indians used it even before the “white men” colonized theAmericas. Today, this folk medicine’s efficacy has been validated by scientific research. In the Philippines, Yerba Buena is one of the 10 herbs endorsed by the Department of Health(DOH) as an effective alternative medicine for aches and pains.
Indications and preparations: for pain, cough, colds, nausea, dizziness, and
Parts utilized: leaves, sap of plant
Uses & Preparation:
Pain (headache, stomachache)
– Boil chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes. Divide decoction into 2 parts, drink one part every 3 hours.
Rheumatism, arthritis and headache
– Crush the fresh leaves and squeeze sap. Massage sap on painful parts with eucalyptus
Cough & Cold
– Soak 10 fresh leaves in a glass of hot water, drink as tea. (expectorant)
– Steep 6 g. of fresh plant in a glass of boiling water for 30 minutes. Use as a gargle solution
– Cut fresh plant and squeeze sap. Soak a piece of cotton in the sap and insert this in aching tooth cavity
Menstrual & gas pain
– Soak a handful of leaves in a lass of boiling water. Drink infusion.
Nausea & Fainting
– Crush leaves and apply at nostrils of patients
– Crush leaves and apply juice on affected area or pound leaves until like a paste, rub on affected area
– Boil plant alone or with eucalyptus in water. Use decoction as a wash on affected area.
Sabong is an amazing medical plant.Coming from the family of Compositae,it goes by several names locally.It is known in the Visayas as bukadkad and as subsud in ilocos.This plant possesses a multitude of properties that make it worthy of the DOH approval.
Common names: Sambong (Tagalog); lakad-bulan (Bikol); Ngai camphor (English)
Indications: Diuretic in hypertension; dissolves kidney stones
Found in:In roadsides, fields, lowland and mountainous regions
Parts used:Leaves and flowering tops
Special precautions:Avoid using with other diuretics. When taking diuretics, eat at
least one banana a day.
7.) Akapulko (Cassia alata L.)
Akapulko is a shrub found throughout the Philippines. It is known under various names in different regions in the country.
Common names:Katanda (Tagalog); andadasi (Ilokano);palochina (Bisaya);
ringworm bush,seven golden candlesticks, bayabas-bayabasan
Found in: Abundantly naturalized in South East Asia, and occasionally planted
throughout the region for medicinal and ornamental purposes
Parts used: Leaves
Anti-fungal (tinea flava, ringworm, athlete’s foot and scabies)
– Fresh, matured leaves are pounded. Apply soap to the affected area 1-2 times a day
8.) Niyog- Niyogan (Quisqualis Indica L.)
Common names: Tartaraok (Tagalog); balitadham (Bisaya); Rangoon creeper,
Chinese honeysuckle, liane vermifuge.
Indications: Fruit (kernel) anthelmintic; leaves poultice for headache
Found in: In forest margins at low altitude, in gardensand backyards. Native to
Asian tropics and throughout Malesian region.
Parts used: Fruits
Special precautions: Follow recommended dosage. Overdose causes hiccups.
-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)
9.) Tsaang Gubat (Carmona retusa (Vahl) Masam.)
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 it’s efficacy as an herbal medicine. Aside from the traditional way of taking Tsaag Gubat, it is now available commercially in capsules, tablets and tea bags.
Common names:Putputai (Bikol); alangit (Bisaya); forest tea, wild tea.
Indications:pills, leaf decoction for gastroenteritis; as gargle to prevent cavities
Found in:In secondary forests at low and medium altitudes. Sometimes cultivated
– Boil chopped leaves into 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes. Divide decoction into 4 parts. Drink 1 part every 3 hours
– Boil chopped leaves in 1 glass of water for 15 minutes. Cool and strain.
Ampalaya has been for used even by the Chinese for centuries. The effectively of Ampalayaas an herbal medicine has been tried and tested by many research clinics and laboratories worldwide. In the Philippines, the Department of Health has endorsed Ampalaya as an alternative medicine to help alleviate various ailments
Common names:Ampalaya (Tagalog); paria (Ilokano); palia (Bisaya); bitter gourd,
bitter cucumber, bitter melon (English)
Indications:lowers blood sugar levels; for fertility regulation
Found in:In lowland rain forest, thickets, hedges, waste places, and roadsides.
Parts used:Young leaves
Special precautions:Blood sugar levels should be monitored regularly. The native
variety with small bitter fruit is recommended
Diabetes Mellitus (Mild non-insulin dependent)
– Chopped leaves then boil in a glass of water for 15 minutes. Do not cover. Cool and strain. Take 1/3 cup 3 times a day after meals
Although these are all-natural drugs approved by the Department of Health it’s still dangerous if not taken as recommended by a medical practitioner.