Monday, July 7, 2014

Oregano - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific Name: Coleus Aromatieus Benth
Spanish: Torongil de Limon
Tagalog: Suganda, Oregano

An aromatic Eurasian plant related to marjoram, with small purple flowers and leaves used as a culinary herb.
Strongly aromatic erect, spreading plant, with many branches, with fleshy leaves and stems. Leaves are heart-shaped, 4 to 9 cm long, the margins toothed and rounded, with small flowers.
Chemical constituents and Medicinal Properties
Aromatic, carminative, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, tonic, stimulant.
Fresh leaves yield 0.055 volatile oil, largely carvacrol.
Cultivated in the Philippines.
Parts utilized
Medicinal uses
  • The juice of the leaves for dyspepsia, asthma, chronic coughs, bronchitis, colic, flatulence, rheumatism. The dose is one tablespoonful of the fresh juice every hour for adults and one teaspoonful every two hours, four times daily, for children. As an infusion, 50 to 60 grams to a pint of boiling water, and drink the tea, 4 to 5 glasses a day. For children, 1/2 cup 4 times daily.
  • For otalgia (ear aches), pour the fresh, pure juice into the ear for 10 minutes.
  • For carbuncles, boils, sprains, felons, painful swellings: Apply the poultice of leaves to the affected area, four times daily.
  • For sore throats, a decoction of two tablespoonfuls of dried leaves to a pint of boiling water, taken one hour before or after meals.

Gumamela (Hisbiscus) - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific Name: Hisbiscus Rosa-Sinensis Linn
English: China Rose, Hisbiscus
Tagalog: Gumamela

Gumamela is cultivated as an ornamental flower throughout the Philippines. It is common on Mt. Banahaw. Gumamela flowers are used as an expectorant in bronchitis, for general coughs, and as a refrigerant drink in fevers.
  • An erect, much-branched, glabrous shrub, 1 to 4 m high.
  • Leaves: glossy green, ovate, acuminate, pointeed, coarsely-toothed, 7 to 12 cm long, alternate, stipulate.
  • Flowers: solitary, axillary, very large. Outermost series of bracteoles 6, lanceolate, green, and 8 mm long or less. Calyx green, 2 cm long, lobes ovate. Petals commonly red, obovate, entire, rounded tip, and imbricate. Stamens forming a long staminal tube enclosing the entire style of the pistil and protruding out of the corolla. Ovary 5-celled, styles 5, fused below.
  • Fruits: capsules, loculicidally 5-valved, but rarely
Medicinal Use:
  • Mumps, infection of the urinary tract: use dried drug materials 15 to 30 gms, boil to decoction and drink.
  • For abscesses, carbuncles and boils: crush fresh leaves and poultice the infected area. Also, pound flower buds into a paste and apply to external swellings; also used for boils, cancerous swellings and mumps.
  • Decoction of roots, barks, leaves and flowers used as an emollient.
  • Decoction from roots of red and white-flowered plants used as an antidote for poison.
  • Bark is an emmenagogue; also used to normalize menstruation.
  • Seeds used as a stimulant and for cramps.
  • Decoction of leaves for fevers.
  • For headaches, an infusion of leaves or poultice of leaves.
  • Leaves are mildly laxative.
  • Mucilage during labor.
  • Red flowers are purgative; when taken with papaya seeds, may be abortive.
  • Infusion of leaves as an expectorant in bronchitis.
  • Hair stimulant: oil made by mixing the juice of fresh petals and olive oil for stimulating hair growth.
  • In Costa Rica, used as a purgative.
  • In Venezuela, used to treat tumors.
  • In the Carribean, used as analgesic, anti-inflammatory.
  • In the Dominican Republic, used to treat hematomas.

Halamang Gamot or Alternative Medicinal Plant

Herbal medicine is defined as the use of natural herbs and plants for the treatment or prevention of diseases, disorders and for the promotion of good health. 

Medicinal plants and herbs has been used by our Filipino forefathers for many centuries. This knowledge was passed on from generation to generation. In the past few years, a renewed interest on this natural method of treatment arose not only in the Philippines but worldwide. This popularity will continue as medical science validates the affectivity of many medicinal herbs as alternative medicine. (ref:

Langka - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific name: Artocarpus heterophylla Lmk
English: Jackfruit
Tagalog: Langka

The langka, nangka or Jackfruit is perhaps one of the largest fruits in the world. It grows to about 1-1/2 – 2 feet long with short spines covering its body. When ripe, it gives off a very distinct aroma. The fruit is often wrapped with plastic while still hanging from the tree to prevent birds and insects, which cannot resist the sweet smell, from feasting on the succulent flesh.

Langka is a fruit tree found throughout the Philippines. It is abundant on Mt. Banahaw. The ripe fruit is said to be demulcent, nutritive, and laxative.

Atis - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific name: Anona squamosa L.
English: Sugar apple, Sweet sop
Tagalog: Atis

 Small tree. 3 to 5 meters high. Leaves are hairy when young, oblong, 8 to 15 cm long, with a petiole 1 to 1.5 cm long. Flowers occur singly in the axils of the leaves, about 2.5 cm long, pendulous, three-angled, light green to yellow. Fruit is large, slightly heart-shaped, 6 to 9 cm long, the outside with polygonal tubercles. When ripe, the fruit is light yellowish-green, with a white, sweet soft and juicy flesh.

Parts used and preparation
Leaves, fruit and seeds.
Chemical constituents and properties
The leaves yield an alkaloid, chloroplatinate.
Seed yields an alkaloid, neurtral resin, fixed oil.
Seed contains a yellow, non-drying oil and an irritant which kills lice.
The leaves, fruit and seeds are vermicidal and insecticidal.
The unripe fruit is astringent, used for diarrhea and dysentery and dyspepsia.
The bark is astringent and tonic.
Roots make a drastic purgative.
Salted bruised leaves used to hasten suppuration. Fainting
Crush fresh leaves and place over nose.
Infected Insect bites
Pound and extract the juice from one unripe fruit and apply the juice directly on the infected bites, 3 times daily.
Lice infestation of the head:
Atis in the herbal treatment regimen:
(1) Shampoo hair with gugo bark or any commercial shampoo daily for one week; with “suyod” combing twice daily.
(2) For lice eggs (nits), apply hot vinegar for half an hour after shampooing; then “suyod” (fine combing) thoroughly.
(3) Bedtime, pound 1/2 cup of atis seeds and mix with 1/4 cup of oil. Apply mixture throroughly to the scalp and hair. Wrap the hair and head overnight. Shampoo in the morning and follow with fine tooth combing. Do daily for 3-5 days.
(4) Paste of the crushed seeds in water, applied to the scalp. The same used as abortifacient applied to the os uteri.
Eaten raw or makes a delicious ice cream.
The fermented fruit used to make cider.

Kamias - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific name: Hedychium coronarium
English: Ginger Lily
Tagalog: Kamias

 Small tree growing 5 to 12 meters high. Leaves are pinnate, 20-60 cm long, with hairy rachis and leaflets. Leaflets are opposite, 10 to 17 pairs, oblong, 5 to 10 cm in length. Flowers, about 1.5 cm long, and slightly fragrant. Fruit, green and edible, about 4 cm long, subcylindric with 5 obscure, broad, rounded, longitudinal lobes.

Cultvated and semi-cultivated throughout the Philippines.
Parts utilized
Whole plant.
Astringent, stomachic, refrigerant, antiscorbutic.
  • Skin diseases, especially with pruritus: Reduce the leaves to a paste and apply tolerably warm to areas of affected skin.
  • Post-partum and rectal inflammation: Infusion of leaves.
  • Mumps, acne, and localized rheumatic complaints: Paste of leaves applied to affected areas.
  • Warm paste of leaves also used for pruritus.
  • Cough and thrush: Infusion of flowers, 40 grams to a pint of boiling water, 4 glasses of tea daily.
  • Fever: Fruit as a cooling drink.
  • The fruit has been used for a variety of maladies: beriberi, cough, prevention of scurvy.
  • Infusion of leaves also drank as a protective tonic after childbirth.
  • Fruit used to remove stains from clothing and for washing hands.
  • A common seasoning for sweets and pickling.

Kamoteng Kahoy (Cassava) - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific name: Manihot esculenta Crantz
English: Tapioca plant, Cassava
Tagalog: Kamoteng Kahoy

Cassava, common name for any of several related plants native to tropical regions in the Americas. Cassava is the West Indian name; manioc, or mandioc, is the Brazilian name; and juca, or yucca, is used in other parts of South America. The plant grows in a bushy form, up to 2.4 m (8 ft) tall, with greenish-yellow flowers. The roots are up to 8 cm (3 in) thick and 91 cm (36 in) long.
Two varieties of the cassava are of economic value: the bitter, or poisonous; and the sweet, or non-poisonous. Because the volatile poison can be destroyed by heat in the process of preparation, both varieties yield a wholesome food. Cassava is the chief source of tapioca, and in South America a sauce and an intoxicating beverage are prepared from the juice. The root in powder form is used to prepare farinha, a meal used to make thin cakes sometimes called cassava bread. The starch of cassava yields a product called Brazilian arrowroot. In Florida, where sweet cassava is grown, the roots are eaten as food, fed to stock, or used in the manufacture of starch and glucose.
Scientific classification: Cassavas belong to the family Euphorbiaceae. Both bitter and sweet cassava are classified as Manihot esculenta.

Kangkong - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific name: Ipomea aquatica Tors
English: Potato Vine, Swamp Cabbage;
Tagalog: Kangkong

A smooth, widely spreading vine, with the stems trailing on mud or floating on water. Leaves are oblong-ovatem 7-14 cm long, with a pointed tip and heart- or arrow-shaped base, long petiole, the margins entire or angular, and sub-lobed. The peduncles are erect, 2.5 to 5 cm long, with 1 or 2 flowers in the axis of the leaves. Sepals are green, oblong, about 8 mm. The corolla is narrowly bell-shaped, about 5 mm long, and purplish with the tube deeper purple inside.
DistributionThroughout the Philippines in stagnant streams, fresh-water swamps, and pools.
Parts used and preparationYoung leaves and stems

Nutritional Uses 
Young leaves and stems eaten as a leafy vegetable.
Young stems popular as achara (native pickles) ingredient.
Good sources of iron, calcium, vitamins B and C.
Tops are mildly laxative. The purplish variety used for diabetes because of assumed insulin-like principle it contains. Juice used as emetic. Dried latex is purgative. Poultice of buds used for ringworm.

Malunggay - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific name: Moringa oleifera Lam
English: Horse raddish tree
Tagalog: Malunggay

Malungay is a tree found throughout the Philippines, including Mt. Banahaw. It is a common vegetable found in the market. They are a rich source of calcium and iron. The leaves are purgative, and diuretic.
- As high as 9 m; has a soft, white wood and corky, gummy bark. Root has the taste of horseradish. Each compound leaf contains 3-9 very thin leaflets dispersed on a compound (3 times pinnate) stalk. Flowers white and fragrant, producing long, pendulous, 9-ribbed pods. 3-angled winged seeds.
- Introduced from Malaya or some other part of tropical Asia in prehistoric times. Grown throughout the Philippines in settled areas as a backyard vegetable and as a border plant. Drought resistant and grows in practically all kinds of well-drained soils. Conserves water by shedding leaves during dry season.
- Propagation by seeds and stem cuttings.
- Galactagogue, rubefacient, antiscorbutic, diuretic, stimulant, purgative.
Grown throughout the Philippines as a vegetable or border plant.
Parts utilized
Flowers, leaves, young pods
Ben oil, 36% – palmitic, stearic, myristic, oleic, and behenic acids, phytosterin; two alkaloids the mixture of which has the same action as epinephrine.

Commercial Use
Oil, known as ben oil, extracted from flowers can be used as illuminant, ointment base, and absorbent in the enfleurage process of extracting volatile oils from flowers. The oil, applied locally, has also been helpful for arthritic pains, rheumatic and gouty joints.
Flowers, leaves and pods eaten as a vegetable.
Source of calcium, iron, phosphorus and vitamins.
Medicinal Use
Young leaves increases the flow of milk. Pods for intestinal parasitism.
Constipation: Leaves and fruit
Decoction of boiled roots used to wash sores and ulcers.
Decoction of the bark used for excitement, restlessness.
Pounded roots used as poultice for inflammatory swelling.
Juice of roots is used for otalgia.
Decoction of roots is use as gargle for hoarseness and sore throat.
Boiled leaves used to help increase lactation.
Seeds for hypertension, gout, asthma, hiccups, and as a diuretic.
Rheumatic complaints: Decoction of seeds; or, powdered roasted seeds applied to affected area.
Juice of the root with milk used for asthma, hiccups, gout, lumbago.
Poultice of leaves applied for glandular swelling.
Pounded fresh leaves mixed with coconut oil applied to wounds and cuts.
The flowers boiled with soy milk thought to have aphrodisiac quality.

Saging na Saba (Banana) - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific name: Musa paradisiaca Linn

Ang saging (Musa paradisiaca Linn) ay isang uri ng prutas na masasabing pinakakilala sa Pilipinas at matatagpuan sa buong bansa. Isa ito sa mga paborito ng mga Pilipino. Ang Pilipinas din ang pang-lima sa pinakamalaking nagluluwas ng saging sa buong mundo. Ito ay tinatawag na tukol ng mga Ilokano, turdan ng mga bisaya, Latunda ng mga Bikolano at Pangasinense, at Saquin a Latondan ng mga Kapampangan.

Ang saging ay madalas na napagkakamalan bilang isang puno ngunit ang totoo, ito ay isang malaking halamang-damo (herb). Bagaman ito ay tumutubo na sa mga bansang tropikal, ito ay nagmula sa Timog-Silangang Asya.

Ito ay may taas na umaabot hanggang walong metro ngunit ang karaniwan ay mula tatlo hanggang limang metro. Ang mga dahon nito ay malambot, madulas, hugis pahaba at may kulay na berde. Ang bunga naman nito ay may kulay na mula berde hanggang dilaw o pula, at maaaring may haba na umaabot mula 2 ½ hanggang 12 na pulgada.

Ang murang bunga ng saging na saba ay gamot sa pigsa, sa pamamagitan nito lumalambot ang pigsa at nagkakaroon ng mata.

Kumuha ng murang saging na saba, kayurin ito ng pino. Ilagay sa telang ginupit ng pabilog at may maliit na butas sa gitna. Idikit sa pigsa, hayaang matuyo ang saging dahil ito ang magiging daan upang kusang pumutok ang pigsa.

Iba pang gamit
* Ang batang dahon ng saging ay ginagamit para sa pagbebenda ng sugat at ginagamit ding pampahid sa sakit ng ulo.

* Sa naninipis na buhok: Ang dagta ng puno ay ipinapahid sa anit.

* Ang nilutong bulaklak ng saging ay ginagamit naman bilang lunas sa diabetes.

* Ang dagta naman ng bulaklak ay ginagamit para sa pananakit ng tenga.

Bayabas (Guava) - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific Name: Psidium Guajava L.
English: Guava
Tagalog: Bayabas

Bayabas or guava is a tropical plant, which is locally known for its edible fruit. In the backyards of Filipino homes in the country, this plant is commonly seen, and grown because of its many uses as fruit and as traditional remedy to treat various ailments. As shown by many research studies, almost all of the parts of this plant have medicinal qualities and value, and thus, making it as one of the most popular therapeutic plants in the Philippines. Bayabas is a small tree that can grow up to 3 meters tall with greenish-brownish smooth bark. The round globular bayabas fruit starts as a flower and is usually harvested and eaten while still green. The fruit turns yellowish-green and soft when ripe.

The bayabas fruit bark and leaves are used as herbal medicine. Its leaves decoction is recognized for its effectiveness to cure several ailments, including the treatment of uterine hemorrhage, swollenness of the legs and other parts of the body, of chronic diarrhea, and gastroenteritis, among others. The most common use of the leaves is for cleaning and disinfecting wounds by rinsing the afflicted area with a decoction of the leaves. In the same way, such leaves are being used to aid in the treatment of dysentery and the inflammation of the kidneys. The bark and leaves can be used as astringent. It can also be used as a wash for uterine and vaginal problems, and is good for ulcers. The medicinal uses of Bayabas appear infinite, as it is also a suggested natural cure for fevers, diabetes, epilepsy, worms, and spasms. The fruit, aside from being delicious, contains nutritional values with a very high concentration of vitamin A and vitamin C.

Uses of Bayabas :

• Antiseptic, astringent & anthelminthic
• Kills bacteria, fungi and ameba
• Used to treat diarrhea, nosebleeding
• For Hypertension, diabetes and Asthma
• Promotes menstruation

The fresh leaves are used to facilitate the healing of wounds and cuts. A decoction (boiling in water) or infusion of fresh leaves can be used for wound cleaning to prevent infection. Bayabas is also effective for toothaches. Note: Bayabas can cause constipation when consumed in excess.


• Boil one cup of Bayabas leaves in three cups of water for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
• Use decoction as mouthwash, gargle.
• Use as wound disinfectant - wash affected areas with the decoction of leaves 2 to 3 times a day. Fresh leaves may be applied to the wound directly for faster healing.
• For toothaches, chew the leaves in your mouth.
• For diarrhea, boil the chopped leaves for 15 minutes in water, and strain. Let cool, and drink a cup every three to four hours.
• To stop nosebleed, densely roll Bayabas leaves, then place in the nostril cavities.

Makahiya - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific name: Mimosa pudica L
English: Sensitive plant
Tagalog: Makahiya

Makahiya is found throughout the Philippines and is found wild everywhere on Mt. Banahaw. It is not cultivated, and is considered a weed. The Tagalog name, and suggested by the scientific name, means “sensitive.” The reason it is given this name is that upon human touch the leaves contract and appear to wilt, but then open up again a short time later. Makahiya is known as a diuretic, and is considered alterant and anti asthmatic. It is used for urinary complaints, and is useful in diseases arising from corrupt blood and bile.

Kulitis - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific name: Amaranthus spinosus L.
English: Amaranth
Tagalog: Kulitis

Amaranth, common name used for plants with blossoms that do not readily fade when picked, but especially for about 50 species of one genus found in the Tropics and temperate regions where many are widely naturalized. They are herbaceous annuals with simple leaves, and flowers in heads or spikes. The spikes are sometimes several centimetres long. Love-lies-bleeding has dry red bracts that surround the flower which allows them to retain their freshness for some time. For this reason the plant is a symbol of immortality. The annual tumbleweed of the United States belongs to this genus. The globe amaranth, of the same family but a different genus, has purple flowers that retain their beauty for years.
Scientific classification: Amaranths belong to the family Amaranthaceae. Love-lies-bleeding is classified as Amaranthus caudatus, tumbleweed as Amaranthus graecizans. The globe amaranth is classified as Gomphrena globosa.

Ipil-Ipil - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific name: Leucaena glauca L.
English: Lead Tree
Tagalog: Ipil-ipil

Small plant up to 8 m high; leaves alternate, twice compound, 15-25 cm, base of petiole enlarged; leaflets 9 to 18 pairs, 7 to 12 mm long, linear-oblong, unequilateral; flowering stalks axillary, 3.5 to 5 cm long; flowers in dense globule heads 2 to 3 cm in diameter, white; fruit a pod, strap-shaped, flattened, 12 to 18 cm long, 1 to 2 cm wide, papery, green turning brown and splits open along two edges when mature, several fruits develop from each flower head; seeds obovate, 5 to 8 mm long, 3 to 5 mm wide, shiny, brown.
Fat, 8.68%; crude fiber, 22.59%; nitrogen-free material other than fiber, 9.78%; nitrogen, 6.42%; sucrose; water, 14.8%; ash, 4.2%.

Medicinal Uses:
Intestinal parasitism: ascaris and trichinosis.
Adults: 1 teaspoon of powdered dried seeds, alone or mixed with condensed milk and followed by half a glass of water, taken as a single dose 2 hours after a meal; repeated after one week as needed.
Children: 7-8 years old: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon; 9-12 years old: 1/2 to 2/3 teaspoon.
Adverse effects: Abdominal pain, diarrhea.
Recent Studies and Uses
R&D on seed gum for a pharmaceutical substitute for the imported guar gum used as a binder in tablet formulation. In 1996, ipil-ipil was found to be an excellent liquid excipient as a suspending and thickening agent.

Kantutay - Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine

Scientific name: Lantana camara L.
English: Coronitas
Tagalog: Lantana, Kantutay

 A gregarious, erect or half-climbing, somewhat hairy aromatic shrub; when erect, usually 1.2 m high and when scandent, twice as high. Branches four-sided with recurved prickles.

  • Leaves: ovate, 5 to 9 cm long, pointed at the tip and rounded at the base and toothed in the margins.
  • Flowers: pink, orange, yellow, white, lilac and other shades, according to the variety and borne in stalked heads which are 2 to 3.5 cm in diameter. Calyx small. Corolla tube slender, the limb spreading, 6 to 7 mm wide, and divided into unequal lobes. Stamens 4, in 2 pairs, included. Ovary 2-celled, 2-ovuled.
  • Fruits: Sweet tasting drupaceous fruit; purple or black, fleshy ovoid, and about 5 mm long.
A gregarious weed in the Philippines. Certain varieties are cultivated as a trimmed hedge either alone or with other shrubs.
Leaves: volatile oil, 0.2%.
Dried flowers: volatile oil, 0.07% – caryophyllene-like bicyclic terpene, 80%, l,a-phellandrene, 10-12%.
Bark: Lantanine, 0.08%.
Parts utilized and preparation
  • Leaves, bark, roots, flowering tops.
  • May be collected throughout the year.
  • Sun-dry.
Characteristics and Pharmacological Effects
  • Root: sweet and bitter tasting, refrigerant, antifebrile.
  • Leaves: minty tasting, cooling natured, antiphlogistic, anti-dermatoses.
  • Flowers: sweet tasting, mildly cooling, hemostatic.
Medicinal uses
  • Influenza, cough, mumps, incessant high fever, malaria, cervical lymph node tuberculosis: use 30 to 60 gms dried roots or 60 to 120 gms fresh roots in decoction.
  • Fever: Take decoction of bark or infusion of leaves and flowering tops as tea.
  • Hemoptysis, pulmonary tuberculosis: use 6 to 9 gms dried flowers in decoction.
  • Dermatitis, eczema, pruritus: use fresh stems and leaves.
  • Rheumatism – Spread oil on leaves, warm over low flame and apply on affected part.
  • Sprains, wounds, contusions: Use pounded fresh leaves applied as poultice.