The Philippines, a country of more than 7000 islands, is famous for its abundant exotic fauna and the presence of over 500 species of medicinal plants in it. In connection with the development of alternative medicine, the Philippine government, with the assistance of public institutions and private organizations, has conducted extensive research into the study of plants with healing properties. Below is a list of seven herbs approved by the Philippine Department of Health for use in alternative medicine.
Known for its edible fruits, the bitter gourd looks like a grapevine that can reach up to five meters. The plant has heart-shaped leaves and green fruits of an oblong shape. Leaves, fruits and roots are used in the treatment of a number of diseases.
- The juice from the leaves helps with coughs, pneumonia, heals wounds and expels intestinal parasites.
- Fruit juice is used to treat dysentery and chronic colitis.
- A decoction of roots and seeds cures hemorrhoids, rheumatism, abdominal pain, psoriasis.
- Pounded leaves are used for eczema, jaundice and burns.
- A decoction of the leaves is effective in fever.
Studies have shown that bitter fruits contain vegetable insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels, so this medicinal plant is prescribed for diabetics.
The legume family grows up to six feet tall and grows throughout the Philippines. It has dark green leaves and yellow-orange flowers in which 50-60 small triangular seeds ripen. Cassia leaves, flowers and seeds are used medicinally.
- A decoction of leaves and flowers treats asthma, coughs and bronchitis.
- The seeds are effective against intestinal parasites.
- The juice from the leaves is used in the treatment of fungal infections, eczema, ringworm, scabies and herpes.
- Pounded leaves relieve puffiness, apply to insect bites, relieve rheumatic pains.
- A decoction of leaves and flowers is used as a mouthwash for stomatitis.
- The leaves have a laxative effect.
The perennial guava shrub has oblong oval leaves and white flowers that turn into yellow fruits when ripe. In the Philippines, guava is considered a common plant in home gardens. The guava fruit is high in vitamin C, and the leaves are used in folk medicine.
- A decoction and fresh guava leaves are used as a disinfectant for wounds.
- Also, this decoction treats diarrhea and skin ulcers.
- Boiled guava leaves are used in aromatic baths.
- Fresh leaves are chewed to treat gums.
- Nosebleeds can be stopped by inserting rolled guava leaves into the nostrils.
The upright Abraham tree reaches a height of 3 meters. This plant has evergreen leaves, small blue flowers and fruits 4 mm in diameter. The leaves, bark and seeds of the Abraham tree have healing properties.
- A decoction of the leaves relieves coughs, colds, fevers and headaches.
- Boiled leaves are used as sponges for bathing, as lotions for wounds and ulcers.
- The ashes from the fresh leaves are tied to sore joints to relieve rheumatic pains.
- A decoction of the leaves is drunk as a diuretic.
The shrub during the ripening period grows up to 2,5-8 meters. Leaves are egg-shaped, fragrant flowers from white to dark purple. Fruits are oval, 30-35 mm long. Leaves, seeds and roots are used in medicine.
- Dried seeds are eaten to get rid of parasites.
- Roasted seeds stop diarrhea and reduce fever.
- Fruit compote is used to rinse the mouth and drink with nephritis.
- The juice from the leaves is used to treat ulcers, boils and fever headaches.
- A decoction of the roots is used for rheumatic pains.
- Pounded leaves are applied externally for skin diseases.
Blumeya is a shrub that grows in open spaces. The plant is very fragrant with elongated leaves and yellow flowers, reaches 4 meters. Bloomea leaves have medicinal properties.
- A decoction of the leaves is effective for fever, kidney problems and cystitis.
- Leaves are applied as poultices in the area of abscesses.
- A decoction of the leaves relieves sore throats, rheumatic pains, stomach ailments.
- The fresh juice of the leaves is applied to wounds and cuts.
- Bloomea tea is drunk as an expectorant for colds.
Perennial plant, can spread along the ground up to 1 meter in length. The leaves are elliptical and the flowers are hairy pale or purple. In the Philippines, mint is grown in elevated areas. The stems and leaves are used in medicine.
- Mint tea strengthens the body as a whole.
- The smell of fresh crushed leaves helps with dizziness.
- Mint water refreshes the mouth.
- A decoction of the leaves is used to treat migraine, headache, fever, toothache, abdominal pain, muscle and joint pain, and dysmenorrhea.
- Pounded or crushed leaves treat insect bites.