Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kamatis - (Tomato) - Lycopersicum Esculentum Mill. Parts used: fruit

Kamatis is cultivated throughout the Philippines. The original form of this species has small fruit. Dr. Eduardo Quisumbing, author of the classic book "Medicinal Plants of the Philippines," states, "Briefly, the medical and food value of tomatoes may be stated thus: -- (a) Tomatoes are the richest in vitamins of all foods; (b) they are the most wonderful and effective blood cleansers of all foods known to man; (c) they are the richest of all vegetables in the natural health acids which keep our stomachs and intestines in condition; (d) they are a most extraordinary corrective for kidneys, being a gentle, natural stimulant which helps to wash away the poisons which cause disease and contaminate our systems."

Piña - (Pineapple) - Anana Cosmosus Linn. Parts used: fruit, leaves/stalks

Piña is a fruit widely cultivated in the Philippines. There are two varieties, the native one, which has smaller fruits and is grown on Mt. Banahaw, and the Smooth Cayenne variety, which was introduced from Hawaii. Piña is well-known for its digestive enzyme bromelin, which has anthelmintic properties. For more information on Piña

PAPAYA- (English same) - Carica Papaya - Linn. Parts used: fruit, leaves, flowers, seeds

Papaya is a fruit tree found throughout the Philippines, mostly cultivated. The native species grows mostly wild on Mt. Banahaw. Papaya is one of our four "power herbs" having a long history and proof of being a very effective medicinal plant. The leaves, fruits, stem and roots all contain the proteolytic enzyme papain. Exhaustive studies have been done on papain, and it is reported to be a true, soluble, digestive ferment or a mixture of ferments of vegetable origin, its proteolytic action marked in acid, alkaline, and neutral solutions and also in the presence of many chemicals, antiseptics, and therapeutic agents. It has a peculiar softening and disintegrating actions in proteids, and its general proteolytic action is that of a genuine digestive ferment, similar to that of the ferments of animal origin. It acts in the way rennet does upon milk, and has a pronounced digestive power at a wide range of temperatures. Papain is used effectively as an anthelmintic. The leaves are often employed as a remedy for asthma, and said to also be a heart tonic. The flowers have pectoral properties. The fruit is used in cosmetics for a healthy skin complexion. The green fruit is laxative and diuretic. Studies at the University of Nigeria have revealed that extracts of ripe and unripe papaya fruits and of the seeds are active against gram-positive bacteria. Strong doses are effective against gram-negative bacteria. The substance has protein-like properties. To read more about Papaya

Niyog - (Coconut) - Cocos Nucifera Linn. Parts used: fruit, root

Niyog is a palm tree cultivated throughout the Philippines. Mt. Banahaw, being in Quezon Province, the coconut capital of the Philippines, is rich in Niyog trees. The roots of Niyog are astringent, and are used for coughs. Niyog fruit is often processed into oil or milk because of its refrigerant, aperient, diuretic, anthelmintic, and purgative properties. It is often used in cosmetics as a lotion for the skin. For more information on Niyog


10 medicinal plants approved by the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) as an alternative medicine in treating particular disorders.

The Philippines is blessed with more than 500 medicinal plants, and below is a list of 10 medicinal plants approved by the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) as an alternative medicine in treating particular disorders.

Ampalaya:(Bitter Gourd) – Momordica charantia

Ampalaya is a herbaceous, climbing vine that has heart-shaped leaves and grows to 5 meters. In the Philippines, ampalaya is grown year long for its bitter edible fruit. Each plant bears separate yellow male and female flowers. The fleshy green fruit has an oblong shape.

Medicinal Uses (parts use: leaves, roots, fruits)

  • Leaves or root decoction can be use to ease hemorrhoids.
  • Juice made from leaves is use for cough, to heal wounds and as a purgative and to drive out intestinal parasites.
  • Juice from fruit is effective for dysentery and chronic colitis.
  • A mixture of seeds and roots is helpful in treating urethral discharges.
  • Pounded leaves used for scalds.
  • Concoction of leaves relieved fevers.
  • It is also used for jaundice, eczema, abdominal pain, pneumonia, rheumatism, and psoriasis.

Recent studies have suggested that ampalaya is highly recommended for the treatment of diabetes. It contains a plant insulin responsible for its blood sugar lowering effect.

Akapulko: (Ringworm Bush) – Cassia alata

Akapulko or Acapulco in English is an erect, shrubby legume found throughout the Philippines. It grows up to 6 feet tall, with dark green compound leaves. It has yellow-orange flowers that produce on average 50-60 small, triangular seeds. The parts use are leaves, flowers and seeds.

Medicinal Uses: (parts use: leaves, flowers and seeds)

  • The seeds are used in expelling intestinal parasites.
  • Decoction of leaves and flowers eases cough.
  • Crushed leaves and juice extract are used to treat fungal infections such as; ringworm, athlete‘s foot, scabies, eczema, and herpes.
  • Pounded leaves are used for insect bites, rheumatism and reducing swelling of joints due to injuries.
  • Mixture of leaves and flowers used as mouthwash in the treatment of stomatitis.
  • The leaves stain is used as purgative.
  • The juice of the leaves is used for the treatment of fetid discharges.
  • Decoction of leaves are used to treat bronchitis and asthma.

Bawang: (GARLIC) - Allium sativum

low herb that grows to about 30-60 cm high. Garlic leaves are linear and flat and the bulbs are about 2-4 in. that are widely ovoid containing several angular and truncated tubers. In the Philippines,iIt is commercially grown in the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Batangas, Mindoro, Nueva Ecija and Cotabato.

Medicinal Uses:

  • Crushing a lobe and massaging it to both temples can relieve headache
  • Crushing a lobe of garlic and directly rubbing to affected areas is used to treat insect bites.
  • Mixture of leaves and bulbs boiled is used for the treatment of fever.
  • Decoction of leaves and bulbs is also used for tonsillitis.
  • It is used for treating gastrointestinal spasms and digestive problems.
  • Juice from crushed garlic is good for cough, sore throat, colds, asthma and bronchitis.
  • Also used in the treatment of athlete’s foot.

Bayabas: (GUAVA) - Psidium guajava

The guava is a Perennial tree or shrub with oval to oblong leaves about 7.6 cm (3 inches) in length. At maturity, the tree will reach up to 25 feet high. It bears white flowers that developed into ordinary yellow fruits on ripening. Found throughout the Philippines and is a common backyard plant. The fruits are edible and is very high in Vitamin C. for its medicinal applications, the leaves are used.

Medicinal Uses:

  • It has antiseptic, antispasmodic, and astringent properties.
  • Fresh leaves are used for treating wounds and toothache.
  • Decoction of fresh leaves is used as cleaning agent for wound to ease healing and to prevent infection
  • Boiled fresh leaves is used for aromatic baths.
  • Decoction of leaves is also used for diarrhea.
  • Chewing fresh leaves is used as mouthwash to ease gum swelling.
  • Decoction of leaves is also used for skin ulcers.
  • Placing densely roll leaves into the nostril cavity can stop nosebleeds.
  • It is also used as vaginal wash (after childbirth) or douche.

Lagundi: (Five-leaved chaste tree) - Vitex negundo

A small erect tree that grows to about 3m. The leaves are typically 5-foliate, blue flowers 6-7 mm long and globose black when ripe. Fruits about 4mm in diameter. For medicinal uses leaves, bark, roots and seeds are used.

Medicinal Uses: (parts use:leaves, bark, roots and seeds)

  • Decoction of leaves are used for headache, toothache, fever, cough and asthma.
  • Boiling leaves in coconut oil stop fungal infections on scalp.
  • Ash of fresh leaves are used for swelled rheumatic joints.
  • Decoction of leaves are used to ease amenorrhea, menstrual difficulties, menorrhagia, and Premenstrual Syndrome.
  • Lukewarm decoction of leaves are used for sponge bathing.
  • Mixture of leaves are used as wash in treating wounds and ulcers.
  • Decoction of leaves taken as a diuretic.

Niyog-niyogan: (Chinese honeysuckle) - Quisqualis indica

Niog-niogan is a large climbing shrub that grow to about 2.5-8 meters. The leaves are egg-shaped and opposite with a pointed tip and a rounded base. The flowers’s color varies from white to purple orange and are aromatic and tubular. The fruit grows to about 30-35 mm long and their color varies from white to pink to red. The 30 to 35 mm long fruit is oval-shape and has five distinguishable wings.

Medicinal Uses:

  • The seeds (dried nuts) and leaves are used for traditional medicine.
  • Dried seeds are used for deforming.
  • Decoctions of the root can be used as antihelmintic.
  • Roasted seeds are used to ease diarrhea and fever.
  • Fruit decoction is also used for gargling and to fight nephritis.
  • The roots can be used to ease rheumatism.
  • Decoctions of seeds and fruits are used as pectoral to combat ascaris.
  • Juice out of leaves are used for boils, ulcers, and headache cause by fever.
  • Pounded leaves are used externally for skin diseases.
  • Decoction of boiled leaves used to ease difficulty in urinating.

Pansit-pansitan: (SHINY BUSH) - Peperomia pellucida

It is a small herb that grows may reach 40 cm high ad can be found in damp areas such as: yards nooks, walls and even roofs. Leaves are shiny light green, heart-shaped , and alternate. Stems are erect, juicy and glabrous with tiny flowers on a spike. The fruits are also very small; round to oblong, green but turns to black when ripe.

Medical Uses: (parts use: leaves and stems)

  • Fresh juice out of stem and leaves combats eye inflammation.
  • Concoction of leaves are used as treatment for headache, fever, common colds, sore throat, cough, coughing, and diarrhea.
  • Also used to fight against prostate problems.
  • Mixture and decoction of leaves and stems ease gout and arthritis.
  • Concoction of stems and leaves is good against high blood pressure.
  • Concoction of leaves are used for abscesses, conjunctivitis, rheumatic pains, and gout.
  • Externally, as a facial wash for skin problems.
  • Pounded whole plant used as warm poultice for wounds, boils, and pimples.

Sambong: (Blumea camphora) – Blumea balsamifera

Sambong is a tall, erect, half wood, strongly aromatic herb that thrives in open fields, grasslands and waste areas. The shrub can grow up to 4 meters tall grows up to tall. Leaves are elongated with jagged edge and bears yellow flowers.

Medicinal uses: (parts use leaves)

  • Leaves is an effective poultice for abscesses.
  • Decoction leaves is used to ease fevers and cystitis.
  • Concoction of leaves is used for rheumatic pains.
  • Fresh juice of leaves used for wounds and cuts.
  • Poultice of leaves used for headaches and stomach pains.
  • Tea is used for colds and as an expectorant.
  • Concoction of leaves is used for treating dysentery, sore throat

Tsaang Gubat: (Fukien tea tree) - Ehretia microphylla Lam

Tsaang Gubat is a shrub that grows up to 5 meters. Found throughout the Philippines in secondary forests at low and medium altitudes Leaves in clusters, simple, rough, alternate, jagged towards the tip, slowly narrowing towards base. Tsaang gubat bears white flowers and a fleshy, yellow-orange when ripe fruits. >

Medicinal Uses: (part use; leaves)

  • Taken as tea, it is effective for stomach ache, diarrhea, and dysentery.
  • Decoction has also been used as a dental mouthwash.
  • Leaves concoction is an antidote for plant-based poisoning;
  • Leaves are also used to stop bleeding from snakebites. ; as body cleanser after childbirth.
  • Decoction of leaves is used as disinfectant wash after childbirth.

Yerba Buena: (PEPPER MINT) - Clinopodium douglasii

Yerba Buena is a strongly aromatic herb of the mint family. This perennial plant can reach up to 1 meter long with ascending terminal branches. growth ranges from 0.6 meters to 1 meter. It has elliptic to oblong-ovate, elongated leaves 1.5 to 2 cm long and bears small, hairy whitish, light blue or purplish flowers. Yerba Buena plants are found in high elevated areas.

Medical Uses: (parts use: leaves and stem)

  • Decoction of leaves is used for headaches, fever, toothaches, migraine and joint pains.
  • Leaves soak in a glass of water is an effective mouthwash.
  • Decoction of leaves is also used for treating indigestion, dysmenorrhea, stomach aches, diuresis, and relieves internal gas.
  • Pounded or crushed leaves is effective for insect bites.
  • For dizziness: Crushed fresh plants or leaves are sniffed.
  • It is good for the health if taken as a tea.
Sambong - (Blumea Camphor) - Blumea Balsamifera Linn. Parts used: leaves

Sambong is found throughout the Philippines, and grows wild on Mt. Banahaw. Doctors in the Philippines prescribe Sambong for the dissolution of kidney stones. The leaves of Sambong are used as a tea in the Philippines, and as a cure for colds. It is also said to have antidiarrhetic and antigastralgic properties. It is also used as an expectorant. It is given for worms and dysentery. It is one of the most common used medicinal herbs in the Philippines. For more information on Sambong
Talong - (Eggplant) - Solanum Melongena Linn. Parts used: root

Talong is cultivated throughout the Philippines, and is common on Mt. Banahaw. In the Philippines, the Talong roots are taken as a decoction internally as an antiasthmatic and general stimulant. The roots are also used in treatment of skin diseases
Duhat - (Black Plum/Java Plum) - Syzygium Cumini Skeels Parts used: fruit, leaves, bark, seeds

Duhat is a fruit tree found mostly wild throughout the Philippines. Duhat seeds are known for the treatment of diabetes, as are the leaves and the juice from the fruit. The bark is astringent and in decoction is used as a mouthwash and as a gargle for ulcerations of the mouth. For more information on Duhat
Darangita - (Mandarin Orange, or Tangerine Orange) - Citrus Reticulata Blanco Parts used: fruit

Darangita is a fruit tree common throughout the Philippines and abundant on Mt. Banahaw. Darangita is valued for its pleasant flavor and high concentration of vitamin C. For more information on Darangita

Cacao - (Cocoa) - Theobroma Cacao Linn. Parts used: pulpy flesh from fruit

Cacao is a fruit tree cultivated throughout the Philippines, and is very abundant on Mt. Banahaw. It is most known for the seeds of its fruit, which is used to manufacture cacao, chocolate, cacao butter, etc. We use the pulpy flesh of the fruit in our Digestive Enzyme tincture, because it contains the enzymes protease, invertase, raffinase, cesease and oxydase.

Bignay – (no English) – Antidesma Bunius Linn. Parts used: fruit, leaves

Bignay is a fruit tree with small red berries. It grows wild on Mt. Banahaw. The fruit is commonly used to make jam and wine. The fruit is known for its cooling properties. The leaves are sudorific and employed in treating snakebite, in Asia. The fruit is harvested once a year, and we add fresh bignay juice to our Kombucha Health drinks during that time. For more information on Bignay

(Guava) - Psidium Guajava Linn. Parts used: fruit, leaves, and bark

Bayabas is a fruit found throughout the Philippines. While the larger varieties are cultivated, most of it grows wild. It is very abundant on Mt. Banahaw in its wild form. The leaves and bark are known to be astringent, vulnerary, and antidiarrhetic. The bark is used in the chronic diarrhea of children. The fruit is known to be anthelmintic, and is used for high blood pressure, poor circulation, diabetes and asthma. The fruit also has probably the highest concentration of vitamin C of any of the tropical fruits in the Philippines. For more information on Bayabas,

Avocado - (English same) - Persea Americana Mill. Parts used: leaves and bark

The Avocado is a fruit and was introduced into the Philippines from tropical America around the 16th century. It is very common on Mt. Banahaw. It is a seasonal fruit, which contains over 20 percent fat, and more protein content than any other fresh fruit. The parts we use in our herbal formulas are the leaves and bark. The leaves and bark are used in domestic medicines because of the pectoral, stomachic, emmengague, resolutive, and antiperiodic properties ascribed to them.

Kalabasa - (Squash) - Cucurbita Maxima Duchesne Parts used: seeds

Kalabasa is a vegetable cultivated throughout the Philippines, and is common on Mt. Banahaw. Kalabasa seeds are used as an anthelmintic, which is attributed to the presence of saponin in the seeds. They are used to combat tapeworms. The seeds are also used as a diuretic for urinary diseases.

Ampalaya (Momordica charantia)

Ampalaya (Bitter Melon) with a scientific name Momordica charantia, is a climbing vine and the tendrils of which grow up to 20 centimeters long. This herbal plant belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae, and it is a tropical as well as a subtropical vine. Ampalaya leaves are heart-shaped, which are 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter. The fruits of the ampalaya vine are fleshy green with pointed ends at length. It can never be mistaken for any other variety because its ribbed and wrinkled surface had always been ampalaya’s distinct physical structure. The bitter taste of the ampalaya fruit had also been the distinguishing factor from the rest of the fruits with medicinal value, and this is due to the presence of a substance known as momorcidin.

Ampalaya has been a folkloric cure for generations but has now been proven to be an effective herbal medicine for many aliments. Most significant of which is for Diabetes. The Philippine variety has proven to be most potent. Ampalaya contains a mixture of flavanoids and alkaloids make the Pancreas produce more insulin that controls the blood sugar in diabetics. Aside from Ampalaya's medicinal value, it is good source of vitamins A, B and C, iron, folic acid, phosphorous and calcium.

Ampalaya has been for used even by the Chinese for centuries. The effectively of Ampalaya as 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 including diabetes, liver problems and even HIV. Aside from these, ampalaya also helps treat skin diseases and cough. Its herbal value extends to increasing the sterility of women, in parasiticide, antipyretic, and has purgative functions, as well. Note: In large dozes, pure Ampalaya juice can be a purgative and abortifacient.

Medical uses of Ampalaya

Diabetes. Ampalaya fruits and leaves can be eaten as vegetable. Ampalaya tablets and capsules are also now available in the Philippines.

Hemorrhoids. Powdered leaves and root decoction of Ampalaya are applied to hemorrhoids as astringent.

ampalayaStomach Problems. Ampalaya leaf juice is used to expel intestinal parasites, treat dysentery, diarrhea, and chronic colitis. Grounded seeds may also be used. Taken in a spoonfull 3x a day until ailment subsides.

Cough. Ampalaya leaf juice is used for mild coughs for children. Administered in a teaspoon 3x a day.

Burns, Scalds and Wounds. Pounded Ampalaya seeds or leaf are used to treat burns, scalds and wounds.

Other acclaimed uses are for the treatment of HIV, hypertension, treatment of fever and headaches, treatment of rheumatism and gout, disease of the spleen and liver.

Note: In large dozes, pure Ampalaya juice can be a purgative and abortifacient.

Ampalaya leaves are part of a tropical vine that initially gained wide use for medicinal purposes on the Philippines. Through the years, Ampalaya leaves were used to treat a number of conditions, diseases and ailments. The medicinal use of Ampalaya leaves expanded outside of the Philippines in more recent times.

    Topical Treatments

  1. Use Ampalaya leaves as a topical treatment to help resolve a number of different conditions. Ampalaya leaves are used to treat more superficial wounds and milder burns. Ampalaya leaves speed the overall healing process and also work to ease the pain associated with wounds and burns.

    As a topical treatment, mashed Ampalaya leaves are blended with a white cream or patted onto the wound or burn directly in their ground form.

    Ampalaya leaves may also be effective in aiding in the resolution of hemorrhoids. Again, the Ampalaya leaves are ground and applied directly to the hemorrhoids. They act to lessen the swelling and also as an astringent.
  2. Digestive Treatments

  3. Grind Ampalaya leaves to be used in treating certain digestive conditions and ailments. In addressing digestive issues, 1 tsp. of ground Ampalaya leaves are taken three times throughout the course of a day.

    In the Philippines, Ampalaya leaves are used to treat diarrhea and colitis. Ampalaya leaves may also be helpful in eliminating intestinal parasites and in the treatment of dysentery.
  4. Diabetes

  5. Incorporate Ampalaya leaves into your diet to aid in regulating diabetes (types I and II). Ampalaya leaves are also available in capsule form for diabetic patients. Ampalaya leaves may assist in regulating blood sugar levels in a person with diabetes.

    Before using Ampalaya leaves as part of a regimen to regulate blood sugar, consult with a doctor to ensure that using Ampalaya leaves makes sense for you and that it is an appropriate alternative remedy for your condition.
  6. Nutrition

  7. Add Ampalaya leaves to your diet to better your overall health. In addition to being effective at resolving a variety of common ailments and illnesses, Ampalaya leaves are nutritional. Ampalaya leaves are a useful dietary supplement in addition to having healing properties.

    Ampalaya leaves are rich in iron, calcium, beta carotene and vitamin B. These are all important nutrients in maintaining optimal health.


Guyabano/Soursop Fruit Nutrition

Guyabano belongs to the family of Annonaceae, (A. muricata L.). The flesh of the fruit consist of a white edible pulp that is high in carbohydrates and considerable amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Potassium and dietary fiber. Guyabano is low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium. No only is guyabano a good health food, it also taste delicious. The tree and fruit is known in various names: Guyabano in Filipino, Soursop in English, Graviola in Brazil, and Guanabana in Spanish.

About the Guyabano

The heart shaped / oblong guyabano fruit has a dark green, leathery and spike-like skin that measures from 8 to 12 inches long and can weigh up to 2.5 kilos. The creamy and delectable flesh contains from 60 to 100 black-brown seeds that are indigestible and non-edible.

The guyabano tree is relatively small. It usually grows from 8 to less than 20 feet high and is sensitive to very cold temperatures. The guyabano tree requires a lot of water, warmth and humidity and is usually grown in the tropics. It is cultivated commercially in Central & South America, West Africa, Asia and South Florida in limited numbers.

Products made from Guyabano fruit:
Aside from being eaten raw, the guyabano fruit is processed into candies, tarts, shakes, ice-cream, sherbets and other beverages.

Medicinal Uses of Guyabano
Guyabano has been used as folkloric herbal medicine in many regions thought the world. It is considered to be antispasmodic, sudorific and emetic. A decoction (boiling in water) of guyabano leaves is used to kill bedbugs and head lice.

To reduce fever, a decoction of leaves can be taken internally or the leaves added to bathing water also has the same effect. The crushed fresh leaves are also applied on skin eruptions for faster healing. A poultice of young guyabano leaves is applied on the skin to alleviate rheumatism and other skin infections like eczema. Applied during the healing of wounds, this can result in less or no skin scars. The decoction can also be used as a wet compress on swollen feet and other inflammations.

The juice of the fruit is taken orally as a herbal remedy for urethritis, haematuria and liver ailments.

Studies are underway by leading medical institutes, universities and pharmaceutical companies of the healing properties of guyabano against cancers. Initial findings show that certain compounds and chemicals extracted from guyabano leaves, seeds, fruit and bark appear to kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells remain unaffected.

Other uses of Guyabano
Pulverizing the guyabano seeds and mixing it with soap & water is used as effective spray against caterpillars, armyworms and leafhoppers on plants.

The guyabano leaves are believed to have a tranquilizing and sedative properties. In the Netherlands Antilles, the leaves are placed inside pillows or placed on top of the mattress to induce a good night's sleep.

Guyabano Nutritional Value*

Per 100g of edible portion

Calories - 65
Protein - 1.0 g
Fat - 0.95g
Carbohydrates - 16.5g
Fiber - 3.2 g
Ash - 58g
Calcium - 10.3 mg
Phosphorus - 26.9 mg
Potassium - 270 mg
Iron - 0.64 mg
Vitamin A - 2 IU
Vitamin C - 28.5 mg
Thiamine - 0.10 mg
Riboflavin - 0.06 mg
Niacin - 1.3 mg
Tryptophan - 11 mg
Methionine - 8 mg
Lysine - 60 mg

Fruit Shake

A basic recipe to a healthy drink for breakfast or snack.

1 cup fruit guyabano sliced
6 tbsp. CARNATION Non-Fat Milk
honey to taste
enough cold water/cracked ice to suite desired consistency

Combine ingredients in a blender and process for about 1 min. Serve on chilled glasses.