Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Luyang Dilaw, or Ginger Root

Luyang Dilaw, or Ginger Root (scientific name: Zingiber officinale) belongs to the family of, as its scientific name signifies, Zingiberaceae. The rootstocks of this erect, smooth plant are thick, and have strong aromatic qualities. Its edible roots, tops, and even its leaves are found to have medicinal value. The taste of luyang dilaw is distinct, brought about by the zingerone and shogoal substances that it has, giving the plant its pungent properties. As an herbal medicine, Luyang Dilaw has long been used as a cold, cough, fever, and sore throat remedy.

Ginger helps in the digestion and absorption of food, lowering of cholesterol, alleviating nausea and vomiting. Luyang dilaw has antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties as well. In the same way, it has been found to contain potent anti-oxidant qualities, which come from the extract and active constituents of the plant. These uses are separate and distinct from the nutritional value of luyang dilaw.

The rhizomes of luyang dilaw is mainly associated as the main ingredient in a very popular local beverage, which is salabat. Recent studies have shown that luyang dilaw had been found with traces of antiemetic properties. Thus, it is now being recommended to be taken half an hour before one’s travel to avoid being travelsick and experience nausea during the voyage. Pregnant women should take precautionary measures in taking luyang dilaw for medicinal purposes although it has been proven that none of the plant’s substances triggers adverse side effects, even when it interacts with other drugs. This herbal plant is not recommended for expectant mothers for the very reason that there is a possibility of inhibition of testosterones that binds the fetus, as a result of some of the properties that luyang dilaw contains.

Medicinal Benefits of Luyang Dilao (Ginger Root):

• Relieves rheumatic pains & muscle pains
• Alleviates sore throat, fever and colds
• Ease nausea and vomiting
• Intestinal disorders and slow digestion
• Relief from tympanism and flatulence
• Treat intestinal worms
• Hinder diarrhea, gas pains
• Relieve indigestion (dyspepsia), toothaches
• Lower cholesterol levels
• Aids treatment of tuberculosis

Preparation & Use:

• Boil the ginger root in water and drink. The more concentrated the better.
• For sore throat and tooth ache, remove the skin and chew small portions.
• For cuts & bruises, apply the juice of luyang-dilao directly to the skin or use dried rhizomes with 70% alcohol then apply to afflicted areas.
• For rheumatism and muscle pains, pound roasted or fresh ginger and apply to painful areas -can be mixed with oil for easy application.


Ampalaya (scientific name: Momordica charantia) - a vegetable used to treat diabetes (diabetes mellitus) it is now commercially produced in tablet form and tea bags. English name: bitter melon and bitter gourd.

Ampalaya (Bitter Melon) with a scientific name Momordica charantia, is a climbing vine and the tendrils of which grow up to 20 centimeters long. This herbal plant belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae, and it is a tropical as well as a subtropical vine. Ampalaya leaves are heart-shaped, which are 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter. The fruits of the ampalaya vine are fleshy green with pointed ends at length. It can never be mistaken for any other variety because its ribbed and wrinkled surface had always been ampalaya’s distinct physical structure. The bitter taste of the ampalaya fruit had also been the distinguishing factor from the rest of the fruits with medicinal value, and this is due to the presence of a substance known as momorcidin.

Ampalaya has been a folkloric cure for generations but has now been proven to be an effective herbal medicine for many aliments. Most significant of which is for Diabetes. The Philippine variety has proven to be most potent. Ampalaya contains a mixture of flavanoids and alkaloids make the Pancreas produce more insulin that controls the blood sugar in diabetics. Aside from Ampalaya's medicinal value, it is good source of vitamins A, B and C, iron, folic acid, phosphorous and calcium.

Ampalaya has been for used even by the Chinese for centuries. The effectively of Ampalaya as an herbal medicine has been tried and tested by many research clinics and laboratories worldwide. In the Philippines, the Department of Health has endorsed Ampalaya as an alternative medicine to help alleviate various ailments including diabetes, liver problems and even HIV. Aside from these, ampalaya also helps treat skin diseases and cough. Its herbal value extends to increasing the sterility of women, in parasiticide, antipyretic, and has purgative functions, as well. Note: In large dozes, pure Ampalaya juice can be a purgative and abortifacient.

Herbal Benefits of Ampalaya:

• Good for rheumatism and gout
• And diseases of the spleen and liver
• Aids in lowering blood sugar levels
• Helps in lowering blood pressure
• Relives headaches
• Disinfects and heals wounds & burns
• Can be used as a cough & fever remedy
• Treatment of intestinal worms, diarrhea
• Helps prevent some types of cancer
• Enhances immune system to fight infection
• For treatment of hemorrhoids
• Is an antioxidant and parasiticide
• Is antibacterial and antipyretic

Preparation & Use of Ampalaya:

• For coughs, fever, worms, diarrhea, diabetes, juice Ampalaya leaves and drink a spoonful daily.
• For other ailments, the fruit and leaves can both be juiced and taken orally.
• For headaches wounds, burns and skin diseases, apply warmed leaves to afflicted area.
• Powdered leaves, and the root decoction, may be used as stringent and applied to treat hemorrhoids.
• Internal parasites are proven to be expelled when the ampalaya juice, made from its leaves, is extracted. The ampalaya juice, and grounded seeds is to be taken one spoonful thrice a day, which also treats diarrhea, dysentery, and chronic colitis.

Philippine Herbal Medicine

Friday, November 6, 2009


Atis Fruit Information

Atis is the Philippine name for Sweet Sop and Sugar Apple. Atis is a relative to custard apple and belongs to the Annona family. Atis is native to Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. Atis was introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish times.

Atis is a small tree that grows between 10 to 20 feet high when fully matured with oblong leaves and green heart-shaped fruits with polygonal tubercles. The atis fruit has a white, sweet flesh and black seeds.

The Atis tree is easy to grow. Just plant a seed on almost any soil and atis will grow. However, it requires tropical or near tropical weather. When planted, Atis will begin to bear fruit in about a year's time. It will bear fruit about 3 times a year and the sweetest fruits are those borne during the summer months.

Toxic Properties of the Atis Fruit

All parts of the atis tree have medicinal value. The seeds however are poisonous. The seeds are pounded and made into paste. This can be applied to the scalp of the head to kill hair lice. Care should be taken when applying atis seed paste on the scalp as this is extremely irritating to the eyes and can even cause blindness. The paste when applied into the uterus can cause abortion.

Atis Use as Herbal Medicine

• A decoction (boiling in water) of the leaves induces or hastens menstrual flow and used to treat dysentery, colds and fever. The decoction is also used for bathing to alleviate rheumatic pain.
• Crushed leaves are inhaled for dizziness and fainting.
• The bark of the atis tree is used as a decoction for diarrhoea.
• The root is a strong purgative and used to treat dysentery.
• Infected insect bites can be cured by applying the juice from an unripe atis fruit.

Atis Fruit Nutritional Value (edible portion)

Food Value of Atis Fruit

Per 100g

Vitamins & Minerals

Per 100g





Total dietary fiber


Total sugars




91 g

70 g

22 g

2.0 g

2.0 g

0.60 g


9 mg

60 mg

7.5 mg

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)









40 mg

0.12 mg

0.14 mg

0.80 mg

6 I.U.

1 mg

40 mg

30 mg

1.0 mg


Avocado Nutrition Information

Avocado is a fruit and a tree. It often said to be the most nutritious fruit in the world - and it is. Avocado provides more than 25 essential nutrients such as protein, potassium, vitamin E, C, B-vitamins, folic acid, iron, copper, phosphorus and magnesium, just to name a few. Avocado also provides calories for energy and beneficial phytochemicals such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein.

Avocado contains fat, that is why it is a good source of energy, but the fat in avocado is mostly monounsaturated. What should be avoided or reduced is saturated fat that is present in most dairy and animal products. In fact, avocado helps in the absorption of nutrients that are fat-soluble such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, when food containing this nutrients are eaten with avocado. Avocado is also high in fiber that is good for the digestive system and the heart.

Overall, avocado is considered a complete food. With vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, calories and fiber with no cholesterol and is sodium free. Avocado is ideal for growing up children, adults and even for babies, especially when blended with other fruits. For athletes, avocado is a nutritious energy booster to rev up the body's strength.

Avocado can be eaten as is, mixed with other fruits, as salad, a shake, baked in breads and even made into a dip. In the Philippines, ripe avocado is often eaten as a snack by scooping from flesh from the skin then mixed with a some sugar and milk or cream. It is simply delicious!

Philippine Herbal Medicine

Philippine Herbal Medicine Site list the most popular Philippine medicinal plants, herbs and fruits used as traditional and alternative medicine in the Philippines. Featured herbs and herbal remedies on this site are: Akapulko (Cassia alata), Ampalaya (bitter melons), Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa), Balanoi, Bayabas (Guava), Bawang (Garlic), Carrot, Gumamela, Lagundi, Luyang Dilao (Yellow Ginger), Mabolo, Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.), Malunggay, Makabuhay, Niyog-niyogan (Quisqualis indica L.), Oregano, Pandan, Pansit-Pansitan, Saluyot, Sambong, Sabila (Aloe Vera), Silymarin (Milk Thistle), Tsaang Gubat (Wild Tea), Ulasimang Bato (Peperomia pellucida) and Yerba Buena (Mentha Spicata). Featured as well on this site are the ten (10) herbal medicines approved by the Philippine Department of Heath (DOH) as alternative herbal medicine. This site also contains is a sub-section on other Philippine plants, fruits and trees, some of which are also herbal medicines.
Herbal medicine is defined as the use of natural herbs and plants for the treatment or prevention of diseases, disorders and for the promotion of good health.

About Philippine Herbal Medicine

Medicinal plants and herbs has been used by our Filipino forefathers for many centuries. This knowledge was passed on from generation to generation. In the past few years, a renewed interest on this natural method of treatment arose not only in the Philippines but worldwide. This popularity will continue as medical science validates the affectivity of many herbs as alternative medicine.

This Philippine herbal medicine site is presented in a layman's language for easy understanding. The contents herein are based on sources such as medical publications, bulletins, articles and other reliable sources we have gathered and edited for easy reference.

We have chosen to publish here on our website, the more commonly utilized medicinal plants and herbs that used as alternative medicine in the Philippines. These herbs have undergone clinical and laboratory test and have been proven to have therapeutic value and have been generally recognized and recommended by most researchers and medical practitioners to be effective alternative medicines.

This site is only meant as a general reference and guide. It is not intended as a substitute for the services of a licensed medical practitioner. Consult with a doctor knowledgeable with herbal medicine or Philippine medicinal plants before taking or mixing any herb with prescription and non-prescription drugs. Laboratory test show that some herbal medicines have adverse reaction when mixed with other drugs.