The picture below is a dwarf version of tsaang gubat. It’s true because it is a two year old bonsai plant. This plant is commonly found in the wild. They are often treated as nuisance or weed. Sometimes we used them as support for pole sitao and other vines. I was not giving attention to this herb before because I never knew its identity and importance, one of the ten medicinal plants recommended by the Department of Health.
Promoting natural medicines is a rare government project. They give more importance to expensive commercially available drugs.
Medicinal Properties of Tsaang Gubat (BPI):
1) The tea or leaf decoction is used as cure for stomach problems. For diarrhea with bloody discharge, and for dysentery.
2) Cough and fever cure.
3) The root is used in southern India for cachexia and syphilis. Maybe an antidote for vegetable poison.
4) Beneficial in secondary and constitutional syphilitic affections.
update as of June 2016
Tsaang Gubat is scientifically known as Ehretia microphylla.
Study of Demetrio L. Valle et. al.(2015) entitled “Antibacterial activities of ethanol extracts of Philippine medicinal plants against multi drug-resistant bacteria”, showed that ethanol extract has favorable antagonistic activity against bacteria.
How to Prepare?
Ritemed.com cited, the herb is effective cure for indigestion, diarrhea and dysentery. They added a preparation instruction. Slow boil a palm-full of leaves for few minutes. Drink it as tea three times a day. I guess they forgot to add the amount of water needed.
My mom is growing this medicinal herb in her front yard. She said that it is a good cure for diarrhea and effective in lowering blood pressure.
Centella asiatica / Takip-kohol is also known as gotu-kola and pennyworth. Other names are as follows:
Local names: Hahanghalo (C. Bis.); panggaga (Sub.); pispising (Bon.); tagaditak (Iv.); takip-kohol (Tag.); takip-suso (Tag.); tapiñgan-daga (Tag.); yahong-yahong (S. L. Bis.); Indian Hydrocotyle (Engl.).
Medicinal properties according to Bureau of Plant and Industries:
The leaves of Centella asiatica have been widely regarded as having tonic and stimulant properties and have been recommended for many complaints. The plant is reputed to have a direct action on lowering blood pressure. It is also known as a rejuvenating medicament. The leaves are sometimes eaten raw, but more usually a decoction or tea is made from them.
In the Philippines, according to Guerrero, the sap of the leaves is employed as a curative for wounds of the sclerotic. The decoction is considered a diuretic and is said to be useful in gonorrhoea.
The leaves are toasted and given in infusion to children in bowel-complaints and fevers. They are also applied as an anti-inflammatory, to parts that have seed are used for dysentery, fever, and headache.
I have just read from the issue of Health and Home magazine that a group of Australian researchers developed an organic topical cream from glycoalkaloids, a group of cancer killing compounds present in eggplant. Glykoalkaloids invade cancer cells and stimulate the cell’s owns digestive enzymes, which cause lesions to disappear in as short as four weeks.
The name of cream was not mentioned. But it was still good that medicine came from mother nature. Fruits and vegetables are really natural healers even though most of medical practitioners denied the effectiveness of natural medicines.
According to Bureau of Plant and Industry, other medicinal uses of eggplants are the following:
The root of the wild plant is boiled along with sour milk and grain porridge, for the treatment of syphilis.
Roots are used for treatment of skin diseases.
The roots, dried stalk, and leaves are used in decoction for washing sores and discharging surfaces, and as an astringent for haemorrhages from the bladder and for the other haemorrhages fluxes.
The leaves are used as an anodynes.
A decoction or infusion of the leaves is a medicine for throat and stomach troubles.
The long fruit is phlegmatic and generative of phthisis, coughs, and loss of appetite.
The tender fruit is antiphlegmatic and alleviative of wind and the ripe fruit is bilious.
The burnt fruit is light in digestion, purgative, slightly bilious, and beneficial in phlegm, wind, and obesity.
It has also been recommended as an excellent remedy for those suffering from liver complaints.
The fruit is regarded as cooling, and is used, bruised with vinegar, as a poultice for abscesses and cracked nipples.
The peduncle, incinerated, is used in intestinal haemorrhages, piles, and toothache.
The seeds are used as a stimulant but are apt to lead to dyspepsia and constipation.
I became familiar with this mint herb five years ago when I was still working at Cavite State University. A faculty researcher pioneered the construction of herbal nursery. This mint was one those herbs. Many students did their thesis study about mint.
I knew about this herb but I have never tasted it ever since.
My younger sister gave me this Alokozay Premium Mint Tea recently. According to her co-employees, this tea really taste good. They love drinking it.
I got excited as usual. I placed it in a cup of hot water and let stand for few minutes. Then started tasting though I am not a tea drinker.
The teabag was very similar to regular Lipton tea. The aroma was pungent. The taste was awful. It even got worse as the tea got colder. But, you gonna love it if you are a regular tea drinker. Its taste was somewhat deeper to regular tea or its taste was equivalent to two teabags of regular tea with a noticeable menthol flavor.
On the other hand, taste doesn’t matter. Many individuals love it due to its health benefits.
Lagundi, a herbal medicine is becoming popular as treatment for cough. In fact, the Philippine Department of Health is actively promoting it as an alternative medicine. The herb is included in 10 herbal medicine approved by DOH.
Some pharmaceutical companies are producing lagundi preparations. The Ascof Lagundi Syrup and the Flemex Lagundi Capsules.
If you are not lazy to prepare the tea or lagundi extact, make it as follows: Gather one-half cup of chopped fresh leaves and boil it in two cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Administer one-half cup three times a day. I hope a 15 minutes preparation would not hurt your busy schedule.
This herb has other medicinal uses by BPI:
Efficacious in reducing inflammatory, rheumatic swellings of the joints and swellings of the testes due to suppressed gonorrhea or gonorrheal epidymitis and orchitis. Also effective for sprained limbs, contusions, leech bites, etc.
The fresh leaves are put into an earthen pot, heated over a fire, and applied as hot as can be borne without pain; or the leaves are bruised and applied as a poultice to the affected part
A pillow stuffed with the leaves is placed under the head for relief of catarrh and headache.
The dried leaves, when smoked, are also said to remove foetid discharges and worms from ulcers.
The leaves are applied as a plaster to an enlarged spleen.
A decoction of the leaves as a warm bath in the puerperal state of women who suffer much from after-pains.
Leaves, heated over fire, are applied with oil externally on wounds.
The flowers are used in diarrhea, cholera, fever, and diseases of the liver, and are also recommended as a cardiac tonic. Powder form is administered in cases of discharge of blood from the stomach and bowels.
The fruit is cure for headache, catarrh, and watery eyes, and when dried, is considered vermifuge.
The seeds make a cooling medicine fro skin diseases and leprosy, and for inflammation of the mouth.
An oil prepared with the juice is applied to the sinuses and to scrofulous sores. As a bath for rubbing on the head in glandular (tubercular) swellings of the neck. Also found to effect marvelous cures of sloughing wounds and ulcers.
Last few words: lagundi leaves have insecticidal properties too.
Recently, my friend asked me about kulitis. I thought it was a “kulitiw” an eye disease characterized by inflammation of eyelid. Then she emphasized that her Chinese boss is looking for it because the said kulitis is a claimed kidney stone cure.
After few minutes of googling, I found out that kulitis is uray or amaranth, The thorny weed that causes scratches on my feet and legs every time I go to my Dad’s farm. Other name of kulitis are as follows:
I hate this thorny weed but the young plant is good for stews, sinigang and other dishes. Choose young uray with no thorns. Discard thorny plants.
This weed has a lot of Medicinal Uses. Listing courtesy of BPI.
Decoction of the root is useful in the treatment of gonorrhea. A common venereal disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae; symptoms are painful urination and pain around the urethra.
Bruised leaves are used locally for eczema. Generic term for inflammatory conditions of the skin; particularly with vesiculation in the acute stages.
Plant is used as a sudorific and febrifuge and is recommended in eruptive fevers.
Used as an antidote for snake-poison and as a lactagogue (enhance production of mother’s breastmilk).
The plant is used as an expectorant and to relieve breathing in acute bronchitis.
The root is known elsewhere as an effective diuretic. It is also useful in treatment of menorrhagia, an abnormally heavy or prolonged menstruation; can be a symptom of uterine tumors and can lead to anemia if prolonged.
update as of June 2016
Study of Teklit Amabye et. al. 2015, entitled “Evaluation of Physiochemical, Phytochemical, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Screening Parameters of Amaranthus spinosus Leaves”, shows it is effective against food borne and pathogenic organisms. It also exhibit antifungal activity, but not as effective as antibacterial. The leaves contain phytoconstituents like fixed oils and fats, carbohydrates, glycosides, gum, mucilage, phenolic compounds, protein amino acids, tannins and saponins which may be responsible for various pharmacological actions.