The Republic of the Philippines is an archipelago nation in Southeast Asia that is east of Vietnam, between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea. This island nation is home to a variety of plants that have medicinal value. However, rely on the advice of a qualified health care practitioner when considering any herbal or non-standard medical treatment.
Akapulko (Cassia alata), or the candlebrush, is a shrub that has long stalks with yellow flowers that resemble candles. The plant is a diuretic, or a medicine that causes people to urinate. This plant is also a sudorific, or herb that causes perspiration, and a purgative that causes bowel movements . Some medicinal uses of the candlebrush are to topically treat fungal skin infections and ringworms. The brush is also called ringworm brush. Other uses include medicine for respiratory disorders. The leaf, seeds and stems are all used medicinally.
Ampalaya (Momordica charantia), or bitter melon, is a fruit that is used to treat diabetes mellitus.The fruit and leaves are also used for stomach and skin ailments. The remedy is now sold in tablet and tea form.
Bayabas (Psidium guajava) or guava tree leaves are boiled and used as a wound disinfectant and as a mouth wash to treat gum infection and tooth decay. The bark is used to treat children with chronic diarrhea.
Lagundi (Vitex negundo), or five-leaved chaste tree, is a shrub that is used for ailments such as coughs, worms, colic and rheumatism. The root is an expectorant that helps get rid of mucus in the lungs, and a febrifuge that alleviates fever. The roots, flowers, leaves and bark are used.
Sabila (Aloe barbadensis miller ) or aloe vera is a plant now commonly grown in the United States and other non-native locations as a house plant. It is water-retaining succulent that is used to treat skin disorders such as sun burns, minor cuts and eczema. Aloe vera also has antibiotic, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic qualities. The juice from the leaves is used externally.
Tsaang gubat ( Ehretia microphylla Lam.) is called wild tea, but is not related to true tea (Camellia sinensis). It is a shrub prepared as an herbal tisane, but it is also available in tablet, capsule and tea bag form.The leaves of this medicinal herb are used for treating stomach problems like diarrhea, dysentery and gastroenteritis. Wild tea has a high fluoride level and is used to prevent tooth decay.
Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii), or peppermint, is used as a pain reliever. The leaves are used as an external poultice or boiled and taken as a beverage.
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