Herbal medicine is the use of leaves, barks, roots and flowers of plants for the treatment or prevention of ailments or the promotion of good health. Like China, the Philippines is another country long known for using herbal medicines long before its popularity in the west. In recent years, medical researchers, organizations, pharmaceutical companies and government health agencies took a serious look at folkloric herbal medicines often used by Filipinos in rural areas.
Research and studies by the academe, industries and government confirm the effectively of certain herbs in the treatment of diseases. Many of these herbs also proved to have health benefits in addition to their curative value. The Philippine Department of Health, after thorough evaluation and years of clinical trials have endorsed 10 herbal plants as alternative medicines for various diseases ranging from asthma, hypertension to diabetes.
The 10 herbs endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health are:
1. Akapulko for fungal infections.
2. Ampalaya for diabetes.
3. Bawang for hypertension.
4. Bayabas as antiseptic.
5. Lagundi for asthma
6. Niyog-niyogan for intestinal infestation
7. Sambong as a diuretic
8. Tsaang Gubat for intestinal motility
9. Ulasimang Bato for gout
10. Yerba Buena as analgesic
Caution however is advised to those who wish to try herbal medicines. A lot of research is still to be done and standards of dosage have to be established. Many of the commercially available herbal medicines are listed as supplements and have not passed the stringent standards required by the Bureau of Food and Drug Administration. Some herbal medicines also react to prescription & nonprescription drugs. Always consult your doctor before taking any herbal medicine.