Alternative medicines PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 June 2014 12:58



Alternative medicines are here to stay passing from one generation to another.

Juvencio Ordoña, director general, Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), attached-agency of Department of Health (DOH), said they are promoting herbal drugs that are naturally safe.

Ordoña said they promote herbal drugs through announcement based on testimonials, empirical statements of people, among others.

“The good news is that alternative medicine is now being recognized, several years back in the 1970s or even earlier, we’ve only recognized the Western Medicine meaning we were trained by the United States of the Western medicine. When we have a headache or stomach ache you go to a doctor who graduated from the regular curriculum of the College of Medicine,” Ordoña said.

“Way back in the 70s, a group of Filipino women doctors went to China and when they came back, a group of 20 doctors — the topnotch officers of the Philippine Medical Women’s Association when they came up they found out that there is such things as Oriental Medicine in China, example of which is acupuncture,” Ordoña continued.

“Long before 1800s, long before Rizal and other Filipinos went to Madrid to study medicine, we already have alternative medicines here, we have our own method of treating diseases,” added Ordoña.

Hence, when one go to hinterlands up to now Spiritistas outdates doctors while the tribal groups like the Mangyans , the Dumagats, Aetas, Manobos have their own doctors to treat them, Ordoña said

The reason why it is hard to convince tribal groups to have their children immunize due to their own belief.

“Do you believe that guava leaves or the guava extract as disinfectant? For your information young boys during summer go for circumcision before without doctor and what they use was guava leaves because the extracts in guava is a very strong disinfectant,” Ordoña said.

“We came up on akapulco which is very effective for fungal infection (in ointment form) to the farmers during rainy days,” he added.

Garlic is commonly used in Ilocos when they feel hypertensive they eat it, Ordoña added.

Notedly, PITAHC coordinated with the municipal health officer, provincial health officers for the promotion of traditional medicines, Ordoña said.

In Mariveles, Bataan, Dr. Gerald Sebastian, municipal health officer, said being a mountain municipality where there are plentiful of medicinal plants, they are promoting traditional medicines but with caution.

Sebastian prescribed sampaloc, lagundi and calamansi for cough and cold remedies, and so with guava leaves as antiseptic in the treatment of wounds and also sambong and banana leaves, among others.

The Traditional Alternative Medicine Act (TAMA) passed in Congress in 1997 gave rise to the creation of PITAHC which is tasked to promote traditional medicines to answer the present needs of the people on health care through the provision and delivery of traditional and alternative health care (TAHC) products, services and technologies that have been proven safe, effective and affordable.

Ordoña said PITAHC is now starting the first volume of medicinal herbs (around 30) to be presented to DOH Secretary Enrique T. Ona.

Around 1, 500 medicinal herbs are being documented in the country. Ten of these are already approved by the DOH. Philippine Herbal Medicine enlisted the ten (10) medicinal plants endorsed by the DOH through its “Traditional Health Program” with medicinal value in the relief and treatment of various ailments.

Lagundi (Vitex negundo), is a common relief for cough, asthma, and fever. The leaves are chopped and boiled to make a concoction. One-third glass of this concoction is taken three times a day to treat cough and asthma. For fever, the same amount is taken every four hours. Juice extracted from chopped lagundi leaves can also be applied on the skin to treat swellings from arthritis or sprains, bruises, sores, wounds, and infections. Commercially, lagundi are sold in tablet and syrup form.

Tsaang gubat (Carmona retusa) is a shrub that commonly grows in the country. Its leaves are chopped and boiled to make a concoction for treatment of diarrhea. Boiled tsaang gubat can also be used as a disinfectant wash for women who have just given birth. As it is high in fluoride content, its tea can be used as mouthwash for prevention of tooth decay. PITAHC manufactures and sells tsaang gubat in tablet form.

Sambong (Blumea balsamifera) is another herbal plant that commonly grows in the archipelago. In tea or in tablet form, sambong is often recommended for people suffering from kidney stones. Since it is a diuretic, it increases excretion of urine and is a good remedy for “pamamanas” (fluid retention). This also makes it a good alternative treatment for the hypertensive since it helps excretes excess sodium from the body.

Yerba buena (Clinopodium douglasii) is a herb that comes from the mint family. Its name literally means “good herb” and it is commonly used to treat muscle pains, toothache, headache, and stomach pains from gas buildup or indigestion. The leaves are chopped and boiled in water. One-third glass of the concoction may be drunk three times a day. Meanwhile, the chopped leaves can be applied on the affected area.

Akapulko (Senna alata) is an erect tropical shrub that has long yellow flowers which gave it its other name, Candle Bush. Aside from this name, the medicinal shrub is also known as the Ringworm Bush as it is found to be effective in treating ringworm, tinea flava, and scabies. Fresh, mature leaves are pounded and the extracted juice is applied to the affected area. The leaves can also be boiled and the decoction can be used to wash the affected area twice a day.

Ampalaya (Momordica charantia) scientifically approved by the DOH as an alternative medicine for managing Type 2 diabetes. The plant has polypeptide-P, a plant insulin that helps lower blood sugar levels. The leaves may be boiled and its 1/3 glass of its decoction may be taken thrice a day before meals. It is also commercially available as capsules and tea.

Cloves of garlic (Allium sativum) are not only used in cooking but also in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels to prevent heart disease. The cloves can be sliced thinly and fried, boiled in water, or soaked in vinegar for 30 minutes before eating. Eating two to three cloves of garlic after each meal is recommended. Garlic oil supplements in capsules are also available in drug stores and supermarkets.

In traditional Filipino folk medicine, the leaves of the guava (Psidium guajava) shrub are often pounded or chewed and applied on wounds because of its anti-bacterial properties. Leaves may also be boiled and the decoction is often used as antibacterial wash for women who have just given birth.

Vines of the niyog-niyogan (Quisqualis indica) are often found in forests all over the country. Its fruits are often boiled and drank to purge out intestinal worms. The following dosage should be followed:§ Adults – 8 to 10 seeds§ Children 7 to 12 years old – 6 to 7 seeds§ Children 6 to 8 years old – 5 to 6 seed§ Children 4 to 5 years old – 4 to 5 seedsOnly mature seeds should be used. Meanwhile, the leaves of the niyog-niyogan may be pounded and applied to the head to treat headaches.

Ulasimang bato or pansit-pansitan (Peperomia) is often used to lower uric acid levels and treat arthritis and gout. The leaves can be eaten fresh as a salad or boiled and drank after every meal.

And last but not the least , Ordoña divulged own version of “dengue drug” which they hope to be rolled out in the different hospitals during rainy season awaiting go signal from the Secretary of Health.