Saturday, May 18Food Security Matters

15 Philippine Medicinal Plants You Can Grow in Container

Welcome to the lush world of Philippine medicinal plants and traditional medicine. If you are here whether for medication or research, continue reading.

For centuries, our ancestors have relied on the healing powers of nature to treat various ailments. Today, we continue this tradition by exploring the bountiful array of medicinal plants that grow right in our backyards.

In a time when synthetic medications dominate pharmacy shelves, it’s empowering to know that Mother Nature has provided us with an abundance of natural remedies. From fevers and digestive issues to skin problems and respiratory ailments, these Philippine medicinal plants offer holistic solutions for common health concerns.

So, whether you’re a seasoned herbal enthusiast or simply curious about harnessing the power of nature’s pharmacy, join us as we delve into 15 remarkable Philippine medicinal plants that can be grown in containers.

When to Use Medicinal Herbs

Medicinal plants can be used for various ailments and health conditions. While it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist for personalized advice, here is a list of common sicknesses or health issues where medicinal plants are often used:

  1. Common Cold and Cough: Echinacea, Elderberry, Peppermint, Ginger, Licorice
  2. Digestive Issues: Peppermint, Ginger, Chamomile, Fennel, Aloe Vera
  3. Insomnia and Sleep Disorders: Valerian Root, Lavender, Chamomile, Passionflower
  4. Anxiety and Stress: Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Ashwagandha
  5. Headaches and Migraines: Feverfew, Peppermint, Willow Bark, Ginger
  6. Skin Irritations and Rashes: Aloe Vera, Calendula, Chamomile, Tea Tree Oil
  7. Joint Pain and Inflammation: Turmeric, Ginger, Boswellia, Devil’s Claw
  8. Menstrual Cramps: Dong Quai, Raspberry Leaf, Cramp Bark, Chamomile
  9. Allergies and Hay Fever: Stinging Nettle, Butterbur, Eyebright, Licorice
  10. High Blood Pressure: Hawthorn, Garlic, Olive Leaf, Hibiscus
  11. Diarrhea and Stomach Upset: Peppermint, Ginger, Chamomile, Slippery Elm
  12. Wound Healing: Calendula, Aloe Vera, Comfrey, Plantain

Remember, this list is not exhaustive, and the effectiveness of medicinal plants can vary depending on the individual and the specific condition. It’s essential to seek professional advice and follow recommended dosage guidelines when using medicinal plants for health purposes.

15 Important Philippine Medicinal Plants You Can Grow in Pots

Medicinal plants can be used for various ailments and health conditions. While it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist for personalized advice, here is a list of some of the most important Philippine medicinal plants and their uses.

1. Asthma Weed (Tawa-tawa)

The plant commonly referred to as “Asthma Weed” or “Tawa-Tawa”  in Tagalog, is scientifically known as Euphorbia hirta. It is also known by various other names including “Gatas-gatas,” “Cat’s Hair,” and “Snakeweed.”

Tawa-Tawa has been traditionally used in folk medicine for various purposes. It is primarily known for its purported ability to relieve symptoms of asthma and respiratory ailments. The leaves of the plant are usually prepared as an herbal infusion or decoction for consumption.

Tawa-tawa Medicinal Uses - philippine medicinal plants
Tawa-tawa medicinal plant
  1. Anti-asthmatic Potential: Tawa-Tawa has gained attention due to its potential anti-asthmatic properties. Some research suggests that it may possess bronchodilatory effects, helping to alleviate bronchospasms and improve breathing. However, further scientific studies are still required to establish its efficacy and safety for asthma treatment.
  2. Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Activity: Euphorbia hirta is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties may contribute to its potential therapeutic benefits in respiratory conditions and other ailments.
  3. Diuretic and Anti-dengue Potential: In addition to its respiratory applications, Tawa-Tawa has been traditionally used as a diuretic to promote urine production and as a remedy for dengue fever symptoms. However, it’s important to note that scientific evidence supporting these uses is limited, and consulting a healthcare professional is advisable for the appropriate management of these conditions.

2. Pepper Elder (Pansit-pansitan)

The plant known as “Sinaw-sinaw” or “Pansit-pansitan” is scientifically known as Peperomia pellucida. It is also known by various other names, including Pepper Elder,  “Ulasimang Bato” in the Philippines and “Clearweed” or “Shining Bush” in other regions. Here’s some information about its medicinal uses:

sinaw-sinaw philippine medicinal plants
Sinaw-Sinaw (Ilonggo term)
  1. Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Properties: Sinaw-sinaw/Pancit-pancitan is traditionally used as a natural remedy for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is often used externally as a poultice or salve to alleviate pain, swelling, and inflammation caused by minor skin conditions, such as cuts, burns, and insect bites.
  2. Diuretic and Detoxifying Effects: The plant is also believed to have diuretic properties, which means it may promote urine production and help eliminate excess fluids from the body. This attribute is thought to support kidney health and aid in detoxification.
  3. Anti-hypertensive Potential: Some studies suggest that Peperomia pellucida may have antihypertensive effects, meaning it may help lower blood pressure levels. However, further research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and efficacy in managing hypertension.
  4. Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity: Sinaw-sinaw/Pancit-pancitan contains various bioactive compounds that exhibit antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. These attributes may contribute to its traditional use in promoting overall health and supporting the immune system.

3. Sambong (Blumea balsamifera)

The plant commonly known as “Sambong” is scientifically known as Blumea balsamifera. It is also known by various other names, including “Ngai camphor” “Lakad-bulan”, and “Alibhon” in Ilonggo.

Sambong is arguably one of the most important Philippine medicinal plants and is highly sought-after anywhere in the Philippines, even in urban cities. Here’s some information about its medicinal uses:

sambong philippine medicinal plants
Sambong
  1. Diuretic and Kidney Health: Sambong is widely used as a natural diuretic, promoting increased urine production. It is traditionally used to support kidney health and help alleviate urinary tract conditions, such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and fluid retention.
  2. Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Properties: The plant is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is often used externally as a poultice or applied topically to relieve pain and inflammation caused by sprains, strains, bruises, and joint conditions.
  3. Antimicrobial and Antifungal Effects: Sambong has been reported to exhibit antimicrobial and antifungal activities. It is traditionally used to address various infections, including respiratory infections, skin infections, and fungal infections.
  4. Anti-hypertensive Potential: Some studies suggest that Sambong may have antihypertensive effects, meaning it may help lower blood pressure levels. It is often used as a herbal supplement to support cardiovascular health and manage hypertension.
  5. Digestive Aid: Sambong is also used to alleviate digestive issues, including indigestion, stomachaches, and flatulence.
  6. Anti-allergic Properties: Sambong has been investigated for its potential anti-allergic properties, which may help alleviate symptoms associated with allergies and respiratory conditions like asthma and rhinitis.

4. Lagundi (Five-leaved Chaste Tree)

The plant commonly known as “Five-leaved Chaste Tree” or “Lagundi” is scientifically known as Vitex negundo. It is also known by various other names, including “Nirgundi” and “Horseshoe Vitex.” Here’s some information about its medicinal uses:

lagundi-philippine-medicinal-plants
Lagundi
  1. Respiratory Conditions: Lagundi is traditionally used as a natural remedy for respiratory ailments. It is commonly used to alleviate symptoms associated with cough, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions. Lagundi leaves are often prepared as a decoction or used in herbal teas.
  2. Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Effects: The plant is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is often used topically as a poultice or applied as an oil to relieve pain, inflammation, and swelling associated with various conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, and muscle strains.
  3. Antimicrobial and Antiviral Activity: Lagundi has been reported to exhibit antimicrobial and antiviral effects. It is traditionally used to address infections, including coughs and colds, as well as to support the immune system.
  4. Antispasmodic and Muscle Relaxant: Lagundi is also known for its antispasmodic properties, which may help relieve muscle spasms and cramps. It is used to alleviate menstrual cramps and gastrointestinal conditions associated with spasms.
  5. Skin Conditions: The leaves of Lagundi are sometimes used externally to treat skin conditions such as cuts, wounds, insect bites, and skin infections due to its potential antiseptic and wound-healing properties.
  6. Other Uses: Lagundi is also believed to have potential benefits in addressing fever, high blood pressure, and certain digestive disorders.

5. Gotu Kola (Takip Kuhol)

The plant commonly known as “Gotu Kola” or “Takip-Kohol” is scientifically known as Centella asiatica. It is also known by various other names, including  “Yahong-yahong”, “Indian Pennywort,” “Brahmi,” and “Mandookaparni.” Here’s some information about its medicinal uses:

yahong-yahong plant
Yahong-yahong
  1. Cognitive Function and Mental Health: Gotu Kola is traditionally used as a brain tonic to enhance cognitive function. It is believed to support memory, concentration, and overall mental health. It is often used in herbal formulations and supplements for these purposes.
  2. Wound Healing and Skin Health: Gotu Kola has been used for centuries to aid in wound healing and promote skin health. It is believed to have properties that enhance collagen production and improve the strength and elasticity of the skin. It is often used topically as a cream or ointment for wound healing and to address skin conditions such as scars, burns, and eczema.
  3. Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects: The plant is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is believed to help reduce inflammation in the body and protect against oxidative stress, which can contribute to various chronic diseases.
  4. Circulatory Support: Gotu Kola has been used to support healthy circulation and improve venous insufficiency. It is sometimes used to alleviate symptoms associated with varicose veins, leg swelling, and poor blood circulation.
  5. Anxiety and Stress Relief: Gotu Kola is traditionally used as an adaptogen to help the body cope with stress and promote relaxation. It is believed to have calming and anxiety-reducing effects.
  6. Other Uses: Gotu Kola is also believed to have potential benefits in supporting liver health, aiding digestion, and promoting longevity. It is sometimes used in traditional systems of medicine for these purposes.

6. Ginger (Luya)

The plant commonly known as “Ginger” or “Luya” is scientifically known as Zingiber officinale. It is also known by various other names, including “Adrak,” “Shoga,” and “Jengibre.” Here’s some information about its medicinal uses:

ginger-in-pot-Healthiest-Root-Vegetables
Ginger
  1. Digestive Aid: Ginger is widely recognized for its digestive benefits. It is often used to alleviate nausea, vomiting, and motion sickness. Ginger is also known for its ability to stimulate digestion, relieve bloating, and reduce gastrointestinal discomfort.
  2. Anti-inflammatory Effects: Ginger contains compounds called gingerols that possess anti-inflammatory properties. It may help reduce inflammation in the body and may be used to alleviate pain associated with conditions such as arthritis and muscle soreness.
  3. Cold and Flu Relief: Ginger is traditionally used to alleviate symptoms of the common cold and flu. It is believed to have warming properties that help relieve congestion, sore throat, and cough.
  4. Antiemetic Properties: Ginger is known for its antiemetic effects, which means it can help prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting. It is commonly used by pregnant women experiencing morning sickness and by individuals undergoing chemotherapy-induced nausea.
  5. Menstrual Pain Relief: Ginger may be used to alleviate menstrual cramps and reduce the severity of pain during menstruation.
  6. Immune System Support: Ginger is believed to have immune-boosting properties. It may help strengthen the immune system and support overall immune health.
  7. Anti-oxidant and Anti-microbial Effects: Ginger contains antioxidants that help protect the body against oxidative stress. It also exhibits antimicrobial properties that may help combat certain infections.
  8. Blood Sugar Control: Some studies suggest that ginger may help regulate blood sugar levels, making it potentially beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes.

7. King of Bitters (Andrographis paniculata)

The plant commonly known as “King of Bitters” or “Sinta” is scientifically known as Andrographis paniculata. It is also known by various other names, including “Kalmegh,” “Green Chireta,” “Sinsansoy”, and “Chuanxinlian.” Here’s some information about its medicinal uses:

Andrographis-paniculata
Sinsansoy (Ilonggo)
  1. Immune System Support: King of Bitters is traditionally used to support and strengthen the immune system. It is believed to have immunomodulatory properties, potentially enhancing the body’s natural defenses against infections and diseases.
  2. Anti-inflammatory Effects: The plant is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is used to alleviate inflammation in conditions such as arthritis, respiratory tract infections, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
  3. Fever and Cold Relief: King of Bitters is commonly used to reduce fever and relieve symptoms of the common cold, such as sore throat, congestion, and cough. It is often used in herbal formulations and cough syrups.
  4. Digestive Health: The plant is believed to promote digestive health. It may help alleviate digestive disorders such as indigestion, bloating, and diarrhea.
  5. Liver Health: King of Bitters is used to support liver health and liver detoxification processes. It may help protect the liver from damage and enhance liver function.
  6. Antimicrobial and Antiviral Effects: The plant has shown antimicrobial and antiviral activities against various pathogens. It is traditionally used to combat infections, including respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, and certain viral diseases.
  7. Anti-diabetic Properties: Some studies suggest that King of Bitters may have beneficial effects in managing diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity.
  8. Anti-cancer Potential: King of Bitters has attracted attention for its potential anti-cancer properties. Preliminary studies have indicated its ability to inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells, although more research is needed to establish its efficacy and safety.

In rural Negros Occidental, Sinsansoy is often an immediate option for people suffering from stomach aches.

8.  Lemongrass (Tanglad)

The plant commonly known as “Lemongrass” or “Tanglad” is scientifically known as Cymbopogon citratus. It is also known by various other names, including “Salay”,  “Fever Grass,” “Sereh,” and “Citronella Grass.” Here’s some information about its medicinal uses:

lemongrass-farming
Lemongrass
  1. Digestive Aid: Lemongrass is often used to aid digestion and relieve digestive issues such as bloating, indigestion, and stomach cramps. It may help stimulate the production of digestive enzymes and promote healthy bowel movements.
  2. Anti-inflammatory and Pain Relief: The plant is believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body. It may be used to alleviate pain associated with conditions such as arthritis and muscle strains.
  3. Relaxation and Stress Relief: Lemongrass is known for its calming and soothing effects. It is often used in herbal teas or aromatherapy to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and relieve stress.
  4. Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties: Lemongrass contains natural compounds with antibacterial and antifungal properties. It may help combat certain types of bacteria and fungi, making it useful for addressing skin infections and other microbial-related conditions.
  5. Detoxification and Diuretic Effects: Lemongrass is believed to have detoxifying properties that help cleanse the body and support liver function. It is also known to have diuretic effects, promoting the elimination of toxins and excess fluids through increased urine production.
  6. Fever Reducer: Traditionally, Lemongrass has been used to reduce fever and alleviate symptoms associated with colds and flu. It may help lower body temperature and provide relief from fever-related discomfort.
  7. Respiratory Health: Lemongrass is used to support respiratory health and alleviate respiratory conditions such as coughs, bronchitis, and congestion. It may help loosen phlegm, soothe irritated airways, and promote easier breathing.
  8. Antioxidant Properties: Lemongrass contains antioxidants that help protect the body against damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants may contribute to overall health and well-being.

9. Mexican Oregano

The scientific name for Mexican oregano is Lippia graveolens. It belongs to the Verbenaceae family. Mexican oregano is also known by various other names, including Mexican marjoram, Mexican wild sage, Mexican sage, and Puerto Rican oregano. It is called just “Oregano” in the Philippines.

Mexican oregano has been traditionally used in Mexican and Latin American cuisine as a flavorful herb. It possesses a strong, pungent aroma and taste that is reminiscent of oregano but with a citrusy undertone. In addition to its culinary uses, Mexican oregano has also been attributed to several medicinal properties. However, it’s important to note that scientific research on the medicinal benefits of Mexican oregano is limited, and many of its traditional uses are based on anecdotal evidence.

benefits of oregano
Oregano

Here are some of the traditional medicinal uses associated with Mexican oregano:

  1. Digestive Aid: Mexican oregano has been used to relieve digestive issues such as indigestion, bloating, and gas. It is believed to have carminative properties that can help soothe the digestive system.
  2. Respiratory Conditions: Mexican oregano has been used to alleviate symptoms associated with respiratory conditions such as coughs, colds, and bronchitis. It is often brewed into teas or used in steam inhalation to provide respiratory relief.
  3. Anti-inflammatory Properties: Mexican oregano is believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation and associated discomfort. It has been used topically as a poultice or infused into oils for external application.
  4. Antimicrobial Activity: Mexican oregano contains compounds that have demonstrated antimicrobial properties against certain bacteria and fungi. It has been used traditionally to help combat infections and promote wound healing.
  5. Menstrual Aid: Mexican oregano has been used to regulate menstrual cycles and alleviate menstrual pain. It is often consumed as a tea or included in herbal formulations.

10. Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa)

The Roselle plant is known for its vibrant red calyces, which are used in various culinary preparations, particularly in beverages and jams. Additionally, it has been used for its medicinal properties in traditional medicine systems.

The scientific name for the Roselle plant is Hibiscus sabdariffa. It is a species of hibiscus and belongs to the Malvaceae family. The Roselle plant is also known by several other names, including Labog/Labug, Rosella, Jamaican sorrel, Indian sorrel, Florida cranberry, and red sorrel.

rosselle
Roselle

Here are some of the traditional medicinal uses associated with the Roselle plant:

  1. Antioxidant Activity: The calyces of the Roselle plant are rich in anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants. These antioxidants help to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, which may contribute to various chronic diseases.
  2. Digestive Health: Roselle is often used as a digestive aid. It is believed to have mild laxative properties and can help relieve constipation. It is also used to soothe the digestive system and promote healthy digestion.
  3. Blood Pressure Regulation: Roselle has been traditionally used to help regulate blood pressure. Some studies suggest that consuming Roselle tea or extract may have a modest hypotensive (blood pressure-lowering) effect. However, further research is needed to confirm its efficacy and optimal dosage.
  4. Cholesterol Management: Some studies have indicated that Roselle may have a positive impact on cholesterol levels. It has been shown to reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in animal studies. However, more research is required to determine its effectiveness in humans.
  5. Anti-inflammatory Properties: Roselle possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation in the body. This could potentially benefit conditions such as arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.
  6. Liver Protection: The Roselle plant has hepatoprotective properties, meaning it may help protect the liver from damage caused by toxins or certain medications. It has been used in traditional medicine to support liver health.
  7. Weight Management: Roselle is often used as a component in weight loss or weight management programs. It is believed to have diuretic properties and may aid in reducing water retention and promoting weight loss.

11. Turmeric (Luyang Dilaw)

The scientific name for turmeric is Curcuma longa. Turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). It is native to South Asia and has been widely used in traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Turmeric is also known by various other names in different regions and languages. In the Philippines, it is commonly referred to as “Luyang dilaw”, and “Kalawag” in the Ilonggo-speaking Western Visayas region.

kalawag
Turmeric (Kalawag)

Here are some of the common names and medicinal uses associated with turmeric:

Other Names:

Luyang dilaw (Philippines) Haldi (Hindi) Jiang Huang (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

1. Anti-inflammatory Properties: Turmeric is widely recognized for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. The active compound responsible for these effects is called curcumin. Turmeric and curcumin have been used traditionally to help alleviate inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis, joint pain, and inflammatory bowel diseases.

2. Antioxidant Activity: Curcumin in turmeric exhibits strong antioxidant effects, helping to neutralize free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage. This antioxidant activity is believed to contribute to its potential benefits for overall health and longevity.

3. Digestive Health: Turmeric has been used traditionally to support digestive health. It is believed to stimulate the production of bile, which aids in digestion and helps to alleviate digestive discomfort. Turmeric is also used to promote a healthy gut and balance gut microbiota.

4. Pain Relief: Turmeric has analgesic properties and has been used to alleviate pain. It may help reduce pain associated with conditions like arthritis, muscle sprains, and menstrual cramps.

5. Wound Healing: Turmeric has been traditionally applied topically to wounds and cuts due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed to help disinfect wounds and promote faster healing.

6. Skin Health: Turmeric is known for its potential benefits for the skin. It is used in various skincare products due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Turmeric may help reduce acne, lighten dark spots, and promote a healthy, glowing complexion.

7. Cognitive Support: Curcumin has shown promising effects on brain health. It may have neuroprotective properties and help improve cognitive function. Some studies suggest that turmeric may be beneficial in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and depression, although further research is needed.

8. Cardiovascular Health: Turmeric may have cardiovascular benefits, including improving blood circulation, reducing cholesterol levels, and preventing blood clot formation. It is believed to have a positive impact on heart health.

12. Aloe Vera

The scientific name for Aloe vera is, well, Aloe vera. Aloe vera is a succulent plant species that belongs to the Asphodelaceae family. It is widely cultivated for its medicinal and therapeutic properties. Aloe vera is known by several other names in different regions and languages. Here are some common names for Aloe vera:

  1. Other Names:
  • Barbados aloe
  • Curacao aloe
  • Indian aloe
  • True aloe
  • Medicinal aloe
aloe-vera
Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has a long history of use in traditional medicine and is known for its gel-filled leaves that provide various health benefits. Here are some of the medicinal uses associated with Aloe vera:

  1. Skin Care: Aloe vera gel is renowned for its soothing and moisturizing properties. It is commonly used topically to promote skin health, alleviate sunburn, relieve minor burns, moisturize dry skin, and reduce irritation caused by insect bites or rashes. It is also used in cosmetic products like lotions, creams, and soaps.
  2. Wound Healing: Aloe vera has been used for its wound-healing properties. It may help accelerate the healing process of minor cuts, burns, and abrasions. The gel of Aloe vera is believed to have antimicrobial properties that can help prevent infection in wounds.
  3. Anti-inflammatory Effects: Aloe vera contains compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties. The gel can be applied topically to reduce inflammation and redness associated with skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
  4. Digestive Aid: Aloe vera has been used traditionally to support digestive health. It is believed to have a soothing effect on the digestive tract, helping to alleviate symptoms of acid reflux, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Consuming aloe vera juice or gel may help regulate bowel movements and promote a healthy digestive system.
  5. Immune System Support: Aloe vera contains various bioactive compounds, including polysaccharides, which have immunomodulatory effects. It is believed to support the immune system by enhancing its response to infections and helping to reduce inflammation.
  6. Oral Health: Aloe vera can be beneficial for oral health. It is used in some natural toothpaste and mouthwash formulations due to its antimicrobial properties. Aloe vera gel can help reduce plaque buildup, soothe gum inflammation, and promote overall oral hygiene.
  7. Diabetes Management: Some studies suggest that Aloe vera may have a positive impact on blood sugar control in individuals with diabetes. It may help lower fasting blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity. However, further research is needed to establish its effectiveness and optimal dosage.

13. Mugwort (Artamisa)

The scientific name for Mugwort is Artemisia vulgaris. It is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. Mugwort is also known by several other names in different regions and languages. Here are some common names for Mugwort:

Other Names:

  • Common mugwort
  • Wild wormwood
  • Artamisa (Ilonggo, Philippines)
  • Felon herb
  • Sailor’s tobacco
  • Chrysanthemum weed
mugwort
Mugwort

Mugwort has been used for various medicinal purposes in traditional medicine systems around the world. Here are some of the medicinal uses associated with Mugwort:

  1. Digestive Health: Mugwort has been traditionally used to support digestive health. It is believed to have carminative properties that can help alleviate digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and indigestion. Mugwort may also help stimulate appetite and improve overall digestion.
  2. Menstrual Support: Mugwort has been used to regulate menstrual cycles and relieve menstrual discomfort. It is believed to have emmenagogue properties, which means it can help stimulate blood flow to the pelvic area and promote regular menstruation. Mugwort may also be used to alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  3. Sleep Aid: Mugwort is often used to promote relaxation and support sleep. It is believed to have mild sedative properties that can help calm the nervous system and improve sleep quality. Mugwort is sometimes used in herbal pillows or as an ingredient in herbal tea blends for its sleep-inducing effects.
  4. Digestive Parasite Treatment: Mugwort has been used in traditional medicine to help eliminate intestinal parasites, such as worms. It is believed to have anthelmintic properties that can help expel parasites from the digestive system.
  5. Skin Conditions: Mugwort is sometimes used topically to help alleviate skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rashes. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that can help reduce inflammation, soothe skin irritations, and promote healing.
  6. Stimulating Appetite: Mugwort has been used as an appetite stimulant, particularly in cases of poor appetite or loss of appetite due to illness or convalescence.

14. Mayana (Plectranthus scutellarioides)

The scientific name for Mayana is Coleus blumei, formerly known as Plectranthus scutellarioides. Mayana is a perennial herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It is native to Southeast Asia and is cultivated for its attractive foliage and medicinal uses. Mayana is also known by several other names in different regions and languages. Here are some common names for Mayana:

Other Names:

  • Painted nettle
  • Coleus
  • Lampunaya
  • Flame nettle
  • Poor man’s croton
  • Red nettle
Mayana
Mayana

Mayana is primarily grown for ornamental purposes due to its vibrant and colorful leaves. However, it also has traditional medicinal uses. Here are some of the medicinal uses associated with Mayana:

  1. Wound Healing: Mayana has been traditionally used to promote wound healing. It is believed to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent infection and reduce inflammation in wounds. Crushed Mayana leaves may be applied topically to minor cuts, wounds, or bruises to aid in healing.
  2. Respiratory Support: Mayana has been used in traditional medicine to alleviate respiratory conditions such as coughs, colds, and bronchitis. It is believed to have expectorant properties, which can help loosen phlegm and ease congestion in the respiratory tract.
  3. Anti-inflammatory Effects: Mayana is known for its potential anti-inflammatory properties. It may help reduce inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.
  4. Diuretic Properties: Mayana is believed to have diuretic properties, meaning it can increase urine production and promote the elimination of waste products from the body. It has been used traditionally to support kidney and urinary tract health.
  5. Antioxidant Activity: Mayana contains compounds with antioxidant properties, which help to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Antioxidants can help protect cells from oxidative damage and promote overall health.

15. Makahiya (Shameplant)

The scientific name for Makahiya, commonly known as the shameplant, is Mimosa pudica. Makahiya is a perennial creeping herb that belongs to the Fabaceae family. It is native to South and Central America but is now found in various parts of the world. Makahiya is known for its unique response to touch, where its leaves fold inward and droop when disturbed, hence its common name “shameplant.” Here are some other names associated with Makahiya:

Other Names:

  • Sensitive plant
  • Touch-me-not
  • TickleMe plant
  • Huya-huya
  • Shy plant
  • Humble plant
makahiya-philippine-medicinal-plants
Makahiya

While Makahiya is primarily admired for its intriguing leaf movements, it also has a history of traditional medicinal uses. Here are some of the medicinal uses associated with Makahiya:

  1. Anti-inflammatory Effects: Makahiya has been traditionally used for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed to help reduce inflammation in various parts of the body, particularly in the digestive system. It may be used to alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions like gastritis, indigestion, and stomach ulcers.
  2. Wound Healing: Makahiya has been used topically for wound healing. The leaves and extracts of Makahiya are believed to have antimicrobial properties that can help prevent infection and promote the healing of minor cuts, wounds, and burns.
  3. Pain Relief: Makahiya has been used traditionally to relieve pain. It is believed to have analgesic properties and may be used topically or consumed as tea to help alleviate pain associated with conditions like headaches, muscle aches, and joint pain.
  4. Respiratory Support: Makahiya has been used to support respiratory health. It is believed to have expectorant properties that can help relieve coughs and congestion. Makahiya may be used in herbal formulations to alleviate symptoms of respiratory conditions like bronchitis and asthma.
  5. Antimicrobial Activity: Makahiya has shown antimicrobial activity against certain bacteria and fungi in laboratory studies. It may have potential as a natural antimicrobial agent, although more research is needed to understand its efficacy and mechanisms of action.

It’s important to note that while these Philippine medicinal plants have traditional uses, scientific research on each medicinal properties and safety are limited. As with any herbal remedy, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or herbalist before using the above plants for medicinal purposes, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. They can guide the appropriate dosage and potential interactions.

Things to Remember When Using Medicinal Plants

Using medicinal plants can be a wonderful way to tap into the healing power of nature. However, it is important to remember that just like any other form of medicine, there are certain things you need to keep in mind when using medicinal plants.

It is crucial to do thorough research about the specific plant you are planning to use. Each plant has its own properties and potential side effects, so knowing what you’re dealing with is essential. Look for reputable sources and consult with experts if needed.

Furthermore, start with small doses and observe how your body responds. Everyone’s body reacts differently, so what works for one person may not work for another. Pay attention to any adverse reactions or allergies and adjust accordingly.

Additionally, avoid relying solely on self-diagnosis when using medicinal plants. If you have a serious health condition or are unsure about something, it’s always best to seek professional advice from a healthcare provider.

Keep in mind that while natural remedies can be effective, they should not replace conventional medical treatment when necessary. It’s important to strike a balance between traditional medicine and alternative approaches.

Final Words

We have explored the fascinating world of Philippine medicinal plants and traditional medicine. These plants have been used for centuries to treat various ailments and promote overall wellness. By growing these plants in containers, you can easily incorporate them into your daily life and harness their healing properties.

However, it is important to remember that while medicinal herbs can be powerful allies in our quest for health, they should not replace professional medical advice or treatment. Always consult with a healthcare practitioner before incorporating any new herbs or supplements into your routine.

Additionally, it’s crucial to educate yourself about the potential side effects and interactions of each herb before using them. While natural remedies are generally safe when used appropriately, some individuals may experience adverse reactions or allergic responses.

Personal experiences with herbal remedies may vary from person to person. What works for one individual may not work the same way for another. It’s essential to listen to your body and adjust accordingly.

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