Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saging (Banana)

The banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant. The main or upright stem is actually a pseudostem, growing from a corm, to a height of 6 to 7.6 meters. Leaves are spirally arranged, as long as 2.7 meters and 60 cm wide, fragile and easily torn by wind, with the familiar frond look. Each pseudostem produces a single bunch of bananas; the pseudostem dies after fruiting, as offshoots usually develop from the base of the plant. Each pseudostem produces a single inflorescence, the banana heart, containing many bracts between rows of flowers. The banana fruits develop from the heart, in a hanging cluster made up of tiers (hands), up to 20 fruit to a tier.

Cultivated throughout the Philippines in many varieties.

• Juice of the flower-stem contains potash, soda, lime, magnesia, alumina, chlorine, sulfuric anhydride, silica and carbon anhydride.
• High potassium content - a medium banana contains about 450 mg of potassium. (Because of potassium homeostasis in the body, 40K ingested is balanced by 40K potassium excreted. The net dose of a banana is zero.)
• Preliminary phytochemical screening of fresh steam juice yielded vitamin B, oxalic acid, sulphate, vitamin C, starch, tannin, glycosides, phenolic compounds, gum mucilage.
• Study yielded 6 triterpenes: 6 triterpenes: cyclomusalenol, cyclomusalenone, 24-methylenecycloartanol, stigmast-7-methylenecycloartanol, stigmast-7-en-3-ol, lanosterol, and a-amyrin and eight flavonoids.
- Mineral content and nutritional value of varieties (lakatan, latundan, saba, and bungalan)

showed the carbohydrate content to exceed 25%.

• Demulcent, nutrient, cooling, astringent, antiscorbutic, antifebrile, restorative, emmenagogue, cardialgic, styptic.
• The ripe fruit is laxative, demiulcent, and nutrient.
• Unripe fruit is cooling and astringent.
• Dried fruit considered antiscorbutic.
• Root is antibilious and alterative.
• Juice of the plant is styptic.
• Because of its high potassium content, bananas are naturally slightly radioactive, more than other fruits.
• Good sources of vitamin A, fair sources of vitamin B, and good sources of vitamin C. All are deficient in calcium and phosphorus, and only fair in iron.
• Studies have attributed biologic activities: antiulcerogenic, antidiabetic, antiatherogenic, antidiarrheic, antitumoral, antimutagenic, antihypertensive.


Parts used
Leaves, fruit.

Edibility / Nutritional
- The "puso" (male inflorescence) of saba is extensively used as a vegetable.
- Unripe fruit is sugared and candied.
- Ripe fruits also used in making brandy, rum, and wine.
- Rich in vitamins A, B, and C; a fair source of iron.
• Young leaves used for cool dressing of inflamed and blistered surfaces and as cool application for headaches.
• Powdered roots used for anemia and cachexia.
• Mucilage prepared from seeds used for catarrhal and mild inflammatory forms of diarrhea.
• Juice of tender roots used as mucilage for checking hemorrhages from the genitalia and air passages.
• In China, juice of roots used as antifebrile and restorative.
• Juice of the trunk applied to scalp to increase hair growth and prevent hair from falling.
• In West Africa, used for diarrhea.
• In Gambia, sap of inflorescence used for earaches.
• In French Guiana, flowers used as emmenagogue.
• In the Gold Coast, sap from roots given as enema for diarrhea.
• In Cambodia, Java and Malaya, juice from trunk used for dysentery and diarrhea.
• Juice from flowers, mixed with curds, for dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia.
• Flour made of green bananas used for dyspepsia with flatulence and acidity.
• Ripe fruit, mixed with half its weight in tamarinds and a little salt, is a valuable food in chronic dysentery and diarrhea,
• Cooked flower used for diabetes. Flowers also used as cardialgic.
• Sap of the flower used for earaches.
• In Western Ghat in India, leaves are used for bandaging cuts, blisters and ulcers.
• Ripe bananas combined with tamarind and common salt used for dysentery.
• In traditional medicine in India, used for diabetes.
• In South-Western Nigeria, green fruits used for diabetes.
• Papermaking / Clothing: Plant fibers used in the manufacture of paper and clothes. A related species, Musa textilis (Abaca, Manila hemp) is produced on a commercial scale for its fiber use in the manufacture of paper.
• Wrapping / Cooking: Leaves used for wrapping food for cooking.
• Leaves used for polishing floors, lining pots for cooking rice.

Bunch of bananas with "puso" - male inflorescence.

Alagaw (Premna Odorata Blanco)

Tagalog: Adiyo, Alagaw

Alagaw is a tree that is only found in the Philippines. It grows wild on Mt. Banahaw and in many other places in the Philippines. For many years now, Alagaw has been considered a drug in the Philippines, being used to loosen phlegm and relieve coughs. It is also claimed to benefit tuberculosis and headaches. Its other properties are carminative, parasiticide, sudorific, and pectoral. Alagaw is one of the great medicinal herbs of the Philippines.

Sabila (ALoe barbadensis Mill, Aloe Vera)

English: Aloe vera
Tagalog: Sabila

Aloe, genus of succulent plants with more than 150 species, most native to southern Africa. They usually have short stems, fleshy, tapering leaves crowded in rosettes at the end of the stem, and red or yellow tubular flowers in dense clusters. Species vary in height from several centimetres to more than 9 m (30 ft); they are widely cultivated as garden and tub plants in warmer regions. Several species are commercially important as the source of the bitter-tasting aloes used in medicine.

Scientific classification: Aloes belong to the family Liliaceae.

Medicinal use:
  • Juice of fleshy leaves is usually mixed with gogo by Filipino women and used to prevent falling of fair or as a cure for baldness.
  • Use for dandruff.
  • Juice from leaves mixed with wine used to preserve the hair
  • Burns and scalds: Use ointment made by mixing equal amounts of powdered aloe and coconut oil.
  • Juice from leaves mixed with milk used for dysentery and pains of the kidney.
  • Fresh juice expressed from the leaves is spread on skin burns, scalds, scrapes, sunburn and wounds.
  • In small doses, considered stomachic tonic; in large doses, as purgative.
  • Used for wound healing.
  • For conjunctivitis, leaf juice is applied to the outer eyelid.
  • In the Philippines, leaves used to poultice edema associated with beriberi.
  • In small doses, used as a tonic; in larger doses, as aperient; and in still larger doses, drastically so; it is also used as emmenagogue and cholagogue.
  • Used for sprains, sore throat.
  • In Costa Rica, the mucilaginous pulp of leaves is used as purgative.
  • For contusions or local edema, bruised fresh leaves are applied as poultice over affected areas.
  • In the Arabian peninsula, used for diabetes.
  • Juice mixed with coconut milk used for dysentery and kidney pains.
  • For bruises, equal parts of juice and alcohol are applied to affected areas.
  • For hemorrhoids, cuticle from leaves used as suppository for hemorrhoids.
  • In India and the Antilles the alcoholic tincture of inspissated juice is used for bruises, contusions and ecchymoses.
  • For alopecia and falling hair, remove the spines, cut leaves and rub directly on the scalp. The juice of fresh leave may be mixed with gugo and used as a shampoo.
  • Used in combination with licorice roots to treat eczema and psoriasis.
  • For burns and scalds, an ointment is prepared by mixing 2 drams of powdered aloe with 2 drams.
  • Also used for herpes simplex sores, tendinitis, dandruff, menstrual cramps, acne, stomatitis, varicose veins, warts, hemorrhoids.

Amarillo (Tagetes erecta Linn)

English: Marigold
Tagalog: Amarillo

A rather coarse, erect, glabrous branched, rank-smelling annual herb, 0.4 to 1 m high. Leaves: 4 to 11 cm long, very deeply pinnatifid, the lobe lanceolate, coarsely and sharply toothed, 1 to 2.5 cm long. Flowers: heads solitary, long-peduncled, the peduncle thickened upward, 2.5 to 3.5 cm long, 2 to 4 cm in diameter, the involucre green. Ray flowers 1-seriate, female, the ligule entire or 2-toothed, short or long; disk flowers, perfect, regular, tubular limb usually somewhat enlarged, 5-fid, flowers pale to deep yellow. Fruits: achenes, linear, narrowed below, compressed or angled, 6 to 7 mm long.

Ornamental cultivation throughout most of Philippines,
Spontaneous and naturalized in some localities.
Flowering all year.

Parts utilized
Collect from October to January.

Tonic, emmenagogue, disperses contusions.

Anemia,Irregular menstruation, abdominal pain during menstrual period, Rheumatic muscular and bone pain.