PITAHC’S book highlights clinical studies on PHL medicinal plants

The Philippine Institute of Alternative and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) in a bid to raise awareness and educate the Filipino people about medicinal plants—their usage and proper preparation—has published books that brilliantly provides substantial information about the  medicinal plants of the Philippines.

The Encyclopedia of Common Medicinal Plants of the Philippines and Patnubay sa Paggamit ng Halamang Gamot are just the two information and education materials produced by the PITAHC to share to the public that the country is rich with natural resources that can be used for health care.

According to PITAHC director general Dr. Annabelle Padiona-De Guzman, the Encyclopedia of Common Medicinal Plants, Volume 1 was given a special citation for the 2017 Outstanding Book Award by the National Academy of Science and Technology. This was awarded by Dr. Jaime Montoya, Secretary and Executive Director of PCHRD and Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit, Acting President.

“We want to tell our fellow Filipino people that we are leveling up our alternative and traditional medicine practices. Each plant presented in the books has undergone scientific clinical studies. The country has a big potential to lead this billion dollar industry —  alternative and traditional medicine,” Pabiona-De Guzman stressed.

The Health & Fitness has lifted some very informative from Pitahc’s books, below are some of the plants included in the encyclopedia.

Pandan (Pandanus Amaryllifolius)

Uses in Philippine traditional medicine: The oil of the leaf is described as a purgative, treatment for leprosy, and as a stimulant and antispasmodic.  It is also reported to be effective  against headache, rheumatism, and epilepsy and as a cure for sore throat.

The seeds are reported to strengthen the heart and liver, while the roots are used as a diuretic  and an aphrodisiac.

Studies on the leaves:

• Anticancer activity: Showed a strong inhibition against tumor promoter 12-0 hexadecanoylphorbol-13 (HPA)-induced Epstein-Barr virus activation in Raji cells.

• Antioxidant activity: The methanolic leaf extract of Pandan showed scavenging activity against DPPH, nitric acid, superoxide radicals and hydroxyl radicals.

Duhat (Syzgium Cumini)

Uses in Philippine traditional medicine: The most reported traditional medical uses are for diarrhea and dysentery. Other reported uses are for diabetes, kidney problems, ulcer, cough, asthma, wound, bleeding, mouth sores and constipation.

Studies on the seeds:

• Antimicrobial activity: Preliminary research suggests that duhat seeds might have antibacterial and antifungal activity.

• Antioxidant activity: The seed extract of this plant appear to reduce tissue damage in the brain in experimental models of diabetes, possibly through an antioxidant effect.

Damong Maria (Artemisia Vulgaris)

Uses in Philippine traditional medicine: the plant part commonly used is the leaf, although the root is sometimes used. The reported uses are for the following: painful menstruation, late menstruation, difficulty in urination, diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, stomach ache, gas pain, colis, indigestion, ulcer, cough, dizziness, insomnia, numbness, headache, stiff neck, sprain, muscular pain, paralysis, pasma, fever, influenza, typhoid fever, malaria, scabies, intestinal worms, beri-beri, swelling, skin diseases, blackheads, ear ache and infection, wounds, snake bites, dandruff and baldness, hypertension and relapse after child delivery. The plant parts are also used as sedative, abortifacient, anti-infertility, ecbolic, purgative, and tonic after child birth.

Studies on the leaves:

• Ant carcinogenic activity: A nonpolar fraction of damong maria  leaves containing terpenoids has been shown to cause a decrease of oncogenes in an oral epithelial carcinoma cell line demonstrating an ant carcinogenic activity.

• Antibacterial activity: Damong maria possesses a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity and notable activity against Streptococcus pyogenes and Propionibacterium acnes using the disk diffusion method. Similarly, it has been shown that Staphycoccus aureus was sensitive to the major component of the essential oil,  alpha-thujone. In an in vitro anti-bacterial analysis conducted  among pediatric  patients.

To know more about the medicinal plants of the Philippines, visit PITAHC at Matapang Street, East Avenue Medical Center Compound, Barangay Central, Quezon City or email pitahc@gmail.com.


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