10 Herbal Medicines in the Philippines

Ten (10) Herbal Medicines in the Philippines
Approved by the Department of Health (DOH)



Here are the the ten (10) medicinal plants that the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) through its “Traditional Health Program” have endorsed. All ten (10) herbs have been thoroughly tested and have been clinically proven to have medicinal value in the relief and treatment of various aliments:

1. Sambong (Blumea balsamifera)- English name: Blumea camphora. A diuretic that helps in the excretion of urinary stones. It can also be used as an edema.

2. Akapulko (Cassia alata) – also known as “bayabas-bayabasan” and “ringworm bush” in English, this herbal medicine is used to treat ringworms and skin fungal infections.

3. Niyog-niyogan (Quisqualis indica L.) – is a vine known as “Chinese honey suckle”. It is effective in the elimination of intestinal worms, particularly the Ascaris and Trichina. Only the dried matured seeds are medicinal -crack and ingest the dried seeds two hours after eating (5 to 7 seeds for children & 8 to 10 seeds for adults). If one dose does not eliminate the worms, wait a week before repeating the dose.

4. Tsaang Gubat (Ehretia microphylla Lam.) – Prepared like tea, this herbal medicine is effective in treating intestinal motility and also used as a mouth wash since the leaves of this shrub has high fluoride content.

5. Ampalaya (Momordica charantia) – known as “bitter gourd” or “bitter melon” in English, it most known as a treatment of diabetes (diabetes mellitus), for the non-insulin dependent patients.

6. Lagundi (Vitex negundo) – known in English as the “5-leaved chaste tree”. It’s main use is for the relief of coughs and asthma.

7. Ulasimang Bato | Pansit-Pansitan (Peperomia pellucida) – It is effective in fighting arthritis and gout. The leaves can be eaten fresh (about a cupful) as salad or like tea. For the decoction, boil a cup of clean chopped leaves in 2 cups of water. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain, let cool and drink a cup after meals (3 times day).

8. Bawang (Allium sativum) – popularly known as “garlic”, it mainly reduces cholesterol in the blood and hence, helps control blood pressure.

9. Bayabas (Psidium guajava) – “guava” in English. It is primarily used as an antiseptic, to disinfect wounds. Also, it can be used as a mouth wash to treat tooth decay and gum infection.

10. Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii) – commonly known as Peppermint, this vine is used as an analgesic to relive body aches and pain. It can be taken internally as a decoction or externally by pounding the leaves and applied directly on the afflicted area.


The Wonders of Neem Tree

Family Meliaceae
Azadirachta indica A. Juss.

Other scientific names Common names
Melia indica Brand Nim
Melia azadirachta A. Juss. Margosa tree
Indian Lilac
Bead tree
Pride of China
Divine tree
Holy tree
Persian Lilac
Neem tree

General info

A tree belonging to the mahogany family known as the “free tree” because of its ability to “free the soil.” Popular in the Philippines, more for its insecticidal properties (pang-lamok) than for its medicinal applications. In India, it is considered the most useful traditional medicinal plant, and commericially beneficial as each part of the tree has some medicinal property.

Medium-sized tree growing to 15 meters high, with wide spreading branches formiing an oval crown. Leaves are pinnately compound. The drooping leaflets are 1 cm long, paired, lanceolate, acuminate with serrated margins. The blade is shiny dark green on the upper surface and pale green on the underside. Flowers are numerous, small, white and fragrant.

Not widespread in the Philippines.
A good shade tree.
Propagated by seeds.

Chemical constituents and properties
• From the seed is produced a bitter fixed oil, nimbidin, known as “Oil of Margosa” or neem oil.
• Neem seeds yield a fix oil of glycerides and bitter compounds including nimbin, nimbinin and nimbidol.
• Neem bark and leaves contain tannin and oil.
• Azadirachtin, the insecticide constitutent of the seeds, is biodegradable, non-mutagenic, and nontoxic to birds, fish, and warm-blooded animals. The EPA has approved a neem formulation (Margosan-O) as a pesticide for limited use on nonfood crops
• Antiinflammatory (nimbidin, sodium nimbidate, gallic acid, catechin, polysachharides).
• Antiarthritic, hypoglycemic, antipyretic, hypoglycemic, diuretic, anti-gastric ulcer (nimbidin)
• Antifungal (nimbidin, gedunin, cyclic trisulfide)
• Antibacterial (nimbidin, nimbolide, mahmoodin, margolone, margolonone, isomargolonone)
• Spermicidal (nimbin, nimbidin)
• Antimalarial (nimbolidfe, gedunin, azadirachtin)
• Antitumor (polysaccharides)
• Immunomodulatory (NB-II peptoglycan, gallic acid, epicatechin, catechin)
• Hepatoprotective (aequeous extract of neem leaf)
• Antioxidant (neem seed extract)

Parts used and preparation
Whole plant.
Poultice of leaves for swollen glands, brusies and sprains.
Fresh leaf-tea used for malaria.
Tree and root barks have been used for malaria, jaundice, and for intestinal parasitism.
Edible pulp of the fruit used for hemorrhoids.
Ayurvedic medicine
Leaf- leprosy, intestinal parasites, eye problems, skin ulcers
Bark – pain and fever.
Flower – bile suppression, intestinal worms and phlegm.
Fruit – piles, intestinal worms, urinary disorder, nose bleeding , phlegm, eye problem, diabetes, wounds and leprosy.
Twig – cough, asthma, piles, intestinal worms, spermatorrhoea, urinary disorders, diabetes.
Gum – ringworms,scabies, wounds and ulcers.
Seed pulp and oil- leprosy and intestinal worms.
Young tender branches are chewed for toothbrushing use.
Leaf’s oil is used as a local antiseptic and insecticide.
Neem oil may be useful for gingivitis.
In the rural areas, burning of leaves and seeds used as mosquito repellant.
Neem oil has been shown to possess some spermicidal and contraceptive properties when used intravaginally.
Use of neem oil in animals showed lowering of glucose
Commercial use
Neem extracts used in the manufacture of toothpaste for its antibacterial properties.
Fresh seed oil has a strong garlic odor and is an ingredient for insect sprays.

• Studies have suggested hypoglycemic, antiulcer, antifertility, antimalarial, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anticancer and antioxidant effects.
• Effect of essential oils from two Nigerian medicinal plants (Azadirachta indica and Morinda lucida) on growth and aflatoxin B1 production in maize grain by a toxigenic Aspergillus flavus: Oils from A indica completely suppressed aflatoxin synthesis.
Lipid Effects / Antiviral: Effect of Supplemental Garlic and Neem Leaves in Broiler Feeds on Blood Cholesterol, Triglycerids and Antibody Titer: Study showed neem had greater potential than garlic in reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and increasing the antibody titers against viruses.
Antibacterial / Anticariogenic: Study showed Neem bark constituents have the ability to suppress growth of cariogenic bacteria (Streptococcus sobrinus).
Anti-ulcer: (1) Mechanism of antiulcer effect of Neem (Azadirachta indica) leaf extract: effect on H+-K+-ATPase, oxidative damage and apoptosis: Study suggests antiulcer activity is achieved by blocking acid secretionn through inhibition of H+K+ATPase and preventing oxidative damage and apoptosis. (2) Study of A indica in albino rats showed significant inhibition of basal and histamine-induced gastric acid secretion. Cimetidine seemed to augment AI inhibition of gastric acid secretion. (3) Study of neem bark extract showed therapeutic potential in controlling gastric hypersecretion and gastroesophageal and gastroduodenal ulcers. (4) Study showed neem extract to have a regenerative potential in ethanol-induced mucosal damage in the stomach and ileum and may be adopted in the management of gastrointestinal ulcer disorders.
Anti-candidal: Anticandidal activity of Azadirachta indica: Study suggested hexane and alcoholic extracts to have anticandidal potential.
Antiplaque Activity: A study was done on the effectiveness of neem leaf extract against plaque formation. Results showed the dental gel containing neem extract significantly reduced the plaque index and bacterial count of S mutans and Lactobacillus species compared with commercial chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash as control.
Antidermatophytic Activity: A study showed the neem seed extract has high antidermatophytic properties and supports the alternative use of neem oil in the treatment of various skin infections.
Biosorbent Activity: A study showed the effectiveness of the Neem leaf powder as a biosorbent for removing dyes like Congo Red from water.
Hypoglycemic / Antidiabetic Activity: (1) In a study of 30 known or less known hypoglycemic medicinal plants in folk medicine, Azadirachta indica was one of 24 samples (18th or 24) that was observed to have significant blood glucose lowering activities. (2) Study on the aqueous extracts of C roseus, Azadirachta indica and A sativum indicated significant antidiabetic activity, supporting its traditional use in Ayurveda for therapy of diabetes.
Hepatoprotective Activity: A study showed A indica leaf extract showed hepatoprotective effects against paracetamol-induced hepatic damage probably through its antioxidant activity.
Anti-Fertility Activity / Rodent Control: A study showed Neem seed extract can be used as an anti-fertility agent on baits to control harmful agricultural rodents.

Toxicity Studies
Acute Toxicity Study of Neem Oil: Study of neem oil by oral route in rats and rabbits showed dose-related pharmacotoxic symptoms along with biochemical and histopatholocial indices of toxicity, with the changes in the lungs and CNS as target organs of toxicity.

Available in cybermarkets as supplements, oil, cakes, extracts, and organic manure.

Resources:  http://www.stuartxchange.org/Neem.html

My stand about the issue of RH Bill.

I have read the whole new version of the Reproductive Health Bill.

And here are my standpoints about the issue:

1.  According to Natural Law, population growth is part of societal progress, so an attempt to prevent it will have negative effect in the society.

We all know that man is the prime movers of a country, and indeed the best resource that a country could ever have.

When we have to mitigate population growth, we are saying that a big population is a kind of sickness.

But is Japan sick? Is China sick?

Their big population is a factor to their economic progress.

Certainly, big population is not a problem. it is the poor governance and inappropriate government policies.

2. The bill promotes reproductive health rights among people, especially women and their children.

I admire the bill because it aims for an easy access on reproductive health services like assistance to cervical or breast cancer patients. It also promotes breastfeeding programs to the nursing mothers.

It is good to know that the bill promotes rights. But we have to be careful in determining which rights are just and which rights are not.

On the case of the right to use contraceptive, it is misleading. This right gives anyone the license to have sex even without the purpose of having a baby. This is a clear form of immorality.

And that just not end on the moral standpoint, it will produce a negative impact on the mindset of the people, that they can have multiple partners, without the risk of having a baby or acquiring sexually transmitted diseases or HIV/AIDS.

Can you imagine people in the streets gathering to do sexual orgies just because they believe it’s safe?

Contraceptives aren’t always safe, they are not always effective against all kinds of sexually transmitted diseases, neither do it guarantee women of not getting pregnant after intercourse.

3. Now, about sex education, or ‘reproductive health education’ (as the bill identify the term). Some topics in the curriculum are good. I find them relevant to a student as he/she undergo adolescent stage. But, the curriculum includes the use and application of natural and artificial contraceptives. I am thinking of the negative effect. What will most likely to happen is that it will teach the youth to have sex accompanied with the use of artificial contraceptives, then we’ll have a generation of sex maniacs.

I am not against the sex education, but the DepEd should assure that the curriculum is age-appropriate, and that it will not promote pre-marital sex among the youth.

4. Lastly, Philippines has more pressing issues than this. Poverty, unemployment, underemployment, corruption, health services, unequal distribution of wealth, oil crisis and economic crisis. We need a stable political government!

According to the Pro-RH bill advertisement, this promotes chance- the chance to life.

I do believe that life isn’t a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. Even though you give these people an easy access to condoms, pills, IUD and other contraceptives, even though you teach them about family planning, at the end of the day, it will still be their choice if they would apply it to their life.

If you want to view the current revision of the RH bill, click here


This poem was written last 10-10-10, pagkatapos namin mag-pasig run!

Masyado ngang emo eh, pero hayaan nyo na.

Just realized na life’s too short, do not spend the rest of it hoping and waiting for someone who is impossible to come back.


Sa tuwing umagang imumulat ang mga mata,

Ikaw ang unang bagay na naglalaro sa isip

Tila isang istoryang hindi alam

kung paano magwawakas at tila paulit-ulit.

Ngayon ko lang nadama ang ganitong hapdi at pait

Sadyang ganito ba talaga ang buhay

nang wala ka, puno ng hinanakit?

Gusto ko lang naman sabihin mo na mahal mo din ako,

Gusto ko na makita kong may silbi pa din ako para sayo.

Gusto ko lang naman marining ang salitang “I miss you”

Gusto kong hawakan mo ang mga kamay ko,

At sabihing, halika ulitin natin mahal ko.

Hanggang ngayon nandito pa rin ako,

Nakakapit, hindi sumusuko.

Naniniwala na pagsubok lamang ang lahat ng ito

Naniniwala sa ating sinumpaang pangako

Na tayo’y magmamahalan hanggang dulo.

Nandito ako ngayon hindi para kulitin ka,

Nandito ako para tanungin ka.

Gusto mo pa ba?

O ayaw mo na?

Anumang desisyon ay handa kong tanggapin.

Kahit masakit, aking kakayanin.

Basta ito tandaan mo,

Mahal na mahal pa din kita

Hindi nagbabago, hindi maglalaho.

Mananatili ka dito, dito sa puso ko…

GUYABANO, a potential cure for cancer!

Guys, share ko lang itong nabasa ko sa net. It’s kinda interesting kasi.

GUYABANO, a potential cure for cancer!

Guyabano, The Soursop Fruit has cancer curing abilities. The Sour Sop or the fruit from the graviola tree is a miraculous natural cancer cell killer 10,000 times stronger than Chemo. The taste is not bad after all. It’s completely natural and definitely has no side effects..

Guyabano is a tree called graviola in Brazil , guanabana in Spanish and has the uninspiring name “soursop” in English.

The fruit is very large and the subacid sweet white pulp is eaten out of hand or, more commonly, used to make fruit drinks, sherbets and such.

The principal interest in this plant is because of its strong anti-cancer effects. This plant is a proven cancer remedy for cancers of all types. Besides being a cancer remedy, graviola is a broad spectrum antimicrobial agent for both bacterial and fungal infections, is effective against internal parasites and worms, lowers high blood pressure and is used for depression, stress and nervous disorders.

Research shows that with extracts from this miraculous tree it now may be possible to:

* Attack cancer safely and effectively with an all-natural therapy that does not cause extreme nausea, weight loss and hair loss
* Protect your immune system and avoid deadly infections
* Feel stronger and healthier throughout the course of the treatment
* Boost your energy and improve your outlook on life
* Effectively target and kill malignant cells in 12 types of cancer, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreatic cancer..
* The tree compounds proved to be up to 10,000 times stronger in slowing the growth of cancer cells than Adriamycin, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug!
* What’s more, unlike chemotherapy, the compound extracted from the Graviola tree selectively hunts down and kills only cancer cells.

Various parts of the Graviola tree–including the bark, leaves, roots, fruit and fruit-seeds–have been used for centuries by medicine men and native Indians in South America to treat heart disease, asthma, liver problems and arthritis.

Going on very little documented scientific evidence, the company poured money and resources into testing the tree’s anti-cancerous properties–and were shocked by the results. Graviola proved itself to be a cancer-killing dynamo.

The National Cancer Institute performed the first scientific research in 1976.

The results showed that Graviola’s “leaves and stems were found effective in attacking and destroying malignant cells.” Inexplicably, the results were published in an internal report and never released to the public. Since 1976, Graviola has proven to be an immensely potent cancer killer in 20 independent laboratory tests, but as of now, no double-blind clinical trials.

A study published in the Journal of Natural Products, following a recent study conducted at Catholic University of South Korea stated that one chemical in Graviola was found to selectively kill colon cancer cells at “10,000 times the potency of (the commonly used chemotherapy drug) Adriamycin…”

The most significant part of the Catholic University of South Korea report is that Graviola was shown to selectively target the cancer cells, leaving healthy cells untouched.

Unlike chemotherapy, which indiscriminately targets all actively reproducing cells (such as stomach and hair cells), causing the often devastating side effects of nausea and hair loss in cancer patients.

A study at Purdue University recently found that leaves from the Graviola tree killed cancer cells among six human cell lines and were especially effective against prostate, pancreatic and lung cancers.

Note By Tom Coghill. This research looks good but cancer is never that easy to heal. It would be great to put this to the test. The juice would have to be fresh. The seeds have to be removed before blending or juicing.

Resources: http://www.fasting.ws/juice-fasting/cancer-treatments/guyabano-cancer-cure

Buhay Pharma sa UST

Im now a 3rd year BS Pharmacy student at the University of Santo Tomas.

whew! And I thank God for surviving. 🙂

Entering the university was quite easy, but your life inside is another story.

paskuhan mass

Di ko sinasabing sobrang hirap that it reached the optimum level of toxicity (though in many times it is).

Here are some facts and tips na rin:

1.  Dadating ka sa point na wala ka ng panahon magfacebook, gumimik, lumabas with friends, makipagdate, manood ng sine, maglaro..

2. You will be sleep-deprived, because you will be bombarded with a lot of school stuffs. Quizzes, assignments, reports, paperworks and research. Everyday yan. Maswerte ka pag wala 🙂

3. You always look wasted (haggard) sa sobrang dami ng ginagawa. *pano ka pa mapapansin ng crush mo? hahaha

4. Pati eating habits mo ma-aapektuhan. I usually dont eat breakfast, kasi wala ng time magluto. Kuntento na sa pasundot-sundot na biscuit o junk foods from classmates (swerte kung meron). And kung may time naman, we go to Mcdo and magtatake-out ng food. Pabilisan maubos 🙂 dahil nandyan na ang prof. Sa lunch, magtatakeout nalang at sa classroom kakainin. Because you have to review for the next class.

5. In our block, we usually have morning classes starting from 7am! Lagi akong pinapagalitan ng prof dahil lagi nalang ako late. Im residing at Kamuning, QC pa kasi. And ang pinaka-nakakabadtrip ay ang soooobraang traffic sa Espanya! Goodluck nalang sa jeep kung patigil-tigil pa at naghahanap ng pasahero. Like ako, tuwing umaga, im always in a rush. Nagagawa kong takbuhin ang main bldg mula Espanya just for 5mins. Partida kung 4th floor pa! 😀

6. You have to love pharmacy! Dapat inclined ka sa memorization and computations. There are a lot of computations(kala ko dati wala). Nakakabulol ang mga names ng drug. Pati mga scientific name ng halaman, at bacteria! They all sucks! Halos pare-pareho and sobrang confusing. Kaya we sing “because the drug, the drug, the drug is my love”. haha

7. Kapag galing kang laboratory, lagi kang amoy sulfur o kaya may stain ka ng silver nitrate sa kamay. You always smell like you absorbed all the chemicals in the lab, even the carcinogenics like dcm or cyclohexane.

8. You will be dealing with chemicals, bacteria (lalo na yung mga pathogenic) in the laboratory so alcohol should come handy if you dont want to get sick.

9. Speaking of being sick, talagang magkakasakit ka sa dami ng ginagawa. So you should prevent that from happening. Have a healthy lifestyle pa din! Kasi when you’re sick, you might be absent sa class o hindi maka-focus.

10. We are deprived of having a summer vacation. Yes, you heard it right! Every summer, you have to undergo internship training. Pag first year sa community set-up/retail. Hospital naman pag second year, and Manufacturing pag third year. Then you will choose among the three kung saan ang gusto mo i-major. So far, masaya naman kasi hands-on ang experience..

11. Yes it is stressful! Pero dont let stress overcome you, let yourself overcome stress. Chill lang. There are times na you feel like quitting. Ups and downs will come in your way. Well that’s part of the journey.

12. Hindi dito pwede ang easy-go-lucky. Those people whom we call ‘social parasites’ or ‘user-friendly’. Yung kuntentong pumapasa dahil sa pakopya-kopya ng assignment o quiz.  Those people who have ‘bahala-na’ attitude or ‘basta-pumasa-lang’ outlook in life. Kasi in any field naman, mapa-study, work o business. No one has become successful in an effortless way. Lahat yan pinaghihirapan, pinagpapawisan.

13. And lastly, mahal ang tuition! Our parents are working hard to send us to school. Not everyone has the privilege to study. So make the most out of it! Go to the library very often, pati sa health service. Maximize all the facilities and services that the university is offering, because we are paying for these. 😀