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imns



10 medicinal plants on DOH list


Inquirer
First Posted 07:38:00 03/18/2007

Filed Under: Health, Medicines

MANILA, Philippines -- Health Secretary Francisco Duque III issued a circular on Jan. 29 putting back ampalaya (Momordica charantia) on the Department of Health?s list of ?scientifically validated herbal medicinal plants.?

He based his decision on ?recent evidence on the clinical efficacy of ampalaya against diabetes mellitus.?

Clinical trials conducted by scientists at the University of the Philippines in Manila and Los Baos have found that leaves of ampalaya growing in Mt. Makiling are comparable to synthetic drugs for diabetes. Other studies have established that ampalaya fruits and seeds have medicinal properties.

Duque?s directive recalls a circular issued in 2003 reclassifying ampalaya from scientifically validated medicinal plant to folklorically validated medicinal plant.

Sales of ampalaya-based food supplements plummeted after the downgrade. With the new DOH circular, five companies have expressed interest in manufacturing tablets from the leaves of ampalaya?s Makiling variety.

Once sold to the public, however, the ampalaya tablets should be taken only upon doctor?s prescription.

The government is promoting the 10 medicinal plants partly because of the ?high cost of synthetic medicines,? said Cirilo Galindez, acting director of the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), an attached agency of the DOH. A tablet of lagundi costs only P2.

Like any drug, the 10 medicinal plants on the DOH list can be dangerous if used the wrong way or if taken in doses more than the recommended amount.

The information on the medicinal plants used here came from the PITAHC.

FOUR of the medicinal plants?sambong, lagundi, tsaang gubat and yerba buena?are available in tablet form.

Lagundi
(Five-leafed chaste tree)
Vitex negundo
Cough, asthma and fever

How to prepare a decoction: Wash the leaves thoroughly and chop into pieces. Measure 2 glasses of water, and 1 glass of freshly chopped leaves. Boil under low fire for 15 minutes without cover. Set aside to cool and strain. The liquid is now ready for drinking.

Cough and asthma - 1/3 glass 3x a day; Fever - 1/3 glass every 4 hours

Tsaang Gubat
(Wild tea)
Carmona retusa
Diarrhea

Wash the leaves thoroughly and chop into pieces. Measure 2 glasses of water and 1 glass of chopped leaves. Boil under low fire for 15 minutes without cover. Set aside to cool and strain. The decoction can now be drank.

Take 1/2 glass every 4 hours.

Sambong
(Blumea camphor)
Blumea balsamifera
Kidney stones, edema (manas) and hypertension

Wash the leaves and cut into pieces. Measure 2 glasses of water and 1 glass of chopped leaves. Boil in low fire for 15 minutes without cover. Set aside, cool and strain.

Drink 1/3 glass 3x a day. Not intended for kidney
or bladder infection.

Yerba Buena
(Mint)
Mentha cordifolia Opiz
Body pain

Wash the leaves thoroughly and chop into pieces. Measure 2 glasses of water and 1 glass of chopped leaves. Boil under low fire for 15 minutes without cover. Set aside to cool, and strain.
Pounded fresh leaves can be applied directly on the painful area.

Drink 1/3 glass 3x a day.

Akapulko
(Ringworm bush)
Cassia alata
Fungus e.g. ringworm (buni), tinea flava (an-an) and scabies (galis aso)

Pound fresh, mature leaves and apply extracted juice on affected areas 1 to 2x a day. For people who are allergic to extracted juice, a decoction can be prepared by boiling 1 glass of chopped leaves into 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes. Use decoction to wash affected areas 1 to 2x a day until skin disorder disappears. Available in lotion.

Ampalaya
(Bitter gourd)
Momordica charantia
Diabetes mellitus

Wash the leaves thoroughly and cut into pieces. Boil 2 glasses of the leaves with 4 glasses of water. Let it boil for 15 minutes under low fire without cover. Set aside to cool and strain. Drink 1/3 glass of decoction 30 minutes before meal 3x a day. Young leaves can be eaten, steamed or cooked on top of boiled rice or with sauted mung beans (monggo).

Bawang
(Garlic)
Allium sativum
High cholesterol level

Fry in a small amount or without oil. Broil the cloves. Soak in vinegar for 30 minutes. Blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes. Eat two to three cloves after every meal.

Bayabas
(Guava)
Psidium guajava
Mouth and skin infections

Wash the leaves thoroughly and chop into pieces. Boil 2 glasses of leaves with 4 glasses of water. Boil for 15 minutes in low fire without cover. Set aside to cool then strain. Wound treatment: Wash the wound twice a day.
Mouthwash: Lukewarm decoction

Niyug-Niyogan
(Burma creeper, Chinese honeysuckle)
Quisqualis indica
Intestinal worms (ascaris and trichina)

Use only mature seeds, dried and newly cracked nut.

Adult, 8-10 seeds
7-12 years old, 6-7 seeds
6-8 years old, 5-6 seeds
4-5 years old, 4-5 seeds.

Consume seeds 2 hours after a meal. If the first dose has no effect, repeat the same dose after one week.

Ulasimang Bato or Pansit-Pansitan
(Peperomia)
Peperomia pellucida
High uric acid level (arthritis and gout)

Salad: Wash 1 1/2 glasses of fresh mature leaves thoroughly. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Decoction: Wash the leaves thoroughly and chop into pieces. Boil 2 glasses of chopped leaves with 4 glasses of water for 15 minutes in low fire without cover. Cool and strain.
Drink 1/3 glass after every meal, or 3x a day.

DOH circulars on medicinal plants

* 1992. Then Health Secretary Juan Flavier issues Administrative Order No. 12 setting up the Traditional Medicine Program to promote traditional medicine in the country.

* Dec. 9, 1997. Then President Fidel Ramos signs into law Republic Act No. 8423, or the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act, creating the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care, a government-owned and-controlled corporation attached to the Department of Health.

* Oct. 27, 1995. Then Health Secretary Hilarion Ramiro issues Circular 168-A listing 10 ?scientifically validated herbal medicinal plants??lagundi, tsaang gubat, sambong, yerba buena, akapulko, ampalaya, bawang, bayabas, niyug-niyogan and ulasimang bato.

* June 23, 2003. Then Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit issues Circular 196-A reclassifying ampalaya from scientifically validated herbal medicinal plant to folklorically validated herbal medicinal plant ?in light of lack of evidence on the clinical efficacy of ampalaya against diabetes mellitus.?

* Jan. 29, 2007. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III issues Circular 2007-0058 reinstating ampalaya as a scientifically validated herbal medicinal plant ?in light of recent evidence on the clinical efficacy of ampalaya against diabetes mellitus.?



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