Philippine Traditional and Alternative Medicine

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Philippine Traditional medicine
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  Philippine Traditional and Alternative Medicine Traditional medicine has been practiced since ancient times in every culturethroughout the world and has been an integral part of human evolution anddevelopment.The evolution of Philippine traditional medicine is an interesting study that isinfluenced by religion, mysticism, magic, superstition, folkloric herbalism and westernmedicine.Philippine's common traditional medicine practitioners include the following    hilot or manghihilot acts as a midwife, a chiropractor or massage therapist topromote health and healing,    Tawas or mangtatawas, this practitioner uses alum, candles, smoke, paper,eggs and other mediums to diagnose the cause of illness associated by prayersand incanteations    albularyo, a general practitioner who uses a combination of healing modalitiesthat may include prayers, incantations, mysticism and herbalism. Albularyosclaim to draw healing powers from a supernatural source (shamanism)    Medico, a general practitioner similar to an albularyo but integrates westernmedicine to promote healing.    Faith healers, a practitioner who claims divine power bestowed by the HolySpirit or God. A patient is required to have faith and believe in divine powersto effect healingThese traditional medical practitioners covers a wide spectrum of practices anddiffers from one another. Even in this modern times where information and advancedscience has greatly progressed, traditional medicine still enjoys a large following mostespecially in rural areas.In recognition of the deep seated practice of traditional medicine as an alternativemodality for treating and preventing diseases in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) through its former Secretary Juan M. Flavier launched the TraditionalMedicine Program in 1992. This program aims to promote an effective and safe use of traditional medicine,Then President Fidel V. Ramos appreciated the importance of the traditionalmedicine program and signed into law Republic Act 8423 (R.A. 8423), otherwiseknown as the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (TAMA) of 1997. This gaverise to the creation of  Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative HealthCare (PITAHC) which is tasked to promote and advocates the use of traditional andalternative health care modalities through scientific research and productdevelopment  Since then the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) through its TraditioinalHealth Program has endorsed 10 medicinal plants to be used as herbal medicine inPhilippines due to its health benefits.The following are the 10 Medicinal Plants in the Philippines endorsed by DOH:1.   Akapulko (Cassia alata)  a medicinal plant called ringworm bush or schrub and   acapulco in English, this Philippine herbal medicine is used to treat tineainfections, insect bites, ringworms, eczema, scabies and itchiness.2.   Ampalaya (Momordica charantia)  Common names include bitter melon or   bitter gourd in English. This Philippine herbal medicine has been found to beeffective in the treatment of diabetes (diabetes mellitus), hemofrhoids,coughs, burns and scalds, and being studied for anti-cancer properties.3.   Bawang (Allium sativum)  Common name in english is Garlic . Bawang is a used   in Philippine herbal medicine to treat infection with antibacterial,antiinflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-hypertensive properties. It is widelyused to reduce cholesterol level in blood.4.   Bayabas (Psidium guajava)  - Guava in English. A Philippine herbal medicine   used as antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antioxidanthepatoprotective, anti-allergy, antimicrobial, anti-plasmodial, anti-cough,antidiabetic, and antigenotoxic in folkloric medicine.5.   Lagundi (Vitex negundo)  - known as 5-leaved chaste tree in english is used in   Philippine herbal medicine to treat cough, colds and fever . It is also used as arelief for asthma & pharyngitis, rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, and diarrhea.6.   Niyog-niyogan (Quisqualis indica L.)  - is a vine known as Chinese honey   suckle . This Philippine herbal medicine is used to eliminate intestinalparasites.7.   Sambong (Blumea balsamifera) -English name: Ngai camphor or Blumea   camphor is a Philippine herbal medicine used to treat kidney stones , woundsand cuts, rheumatism, anti-diarrhea, anti spasms, colds and coughs andhypertension8.   Tsaang Gubat (Ehretia microphylla Lam.)  - English : Wild tea is a Philippine   herbal medicine taken as tea to treat skin allergies including eczema, scabiesand itchiness wounds in child birth9.   Ulasimang Bato | Pansit-Pansitan  (Peperomia pellucida) is a Phillipine herbal   medicine known for its effectivity in treating arthritis and gout.10.   Yerba Buena(Clinopodium douglasii) - commonly known as Peppermint, isused in Philippine herbal medicine as analgesic to relive body aches and paindue to rheumatism and gout. It is also used to treat coughs, colds and insectbites Types Of Herbal Medicine    Medicinal plants can be used by anyone, for example as part of a salad, an herbal teaor supplement. Many herbalists, both professional and amateur, often grow orwildcraft their own herbs. Making your own herbal medicine preparation is not only  fun, but can be cost-effective. In using the above mentioned herbal medicines, somemay require some degree of skill, you have to use your own judgement if you decideto use one. Below is a list of general ways on how to prepare your own herbalmedicine. The list is not all inclusive and you have to see individual articles for theherb you use so that you will know how to prepare them. Herbal Teas There are two methods of making herbal teas, infusion and decoction. Infusion issteeping lighter parts of the plant (leaves, flowers, light stems) in boiled water forseveral minutes. Decoction is boiling tougher parts, such as roots or bark for a longerperiod of time. Herbal teas are often used as a home remedy, and as an alternative totea and coffee.As a general rule unless recommended by a herbalist, Prepare 1 teaspoon of driedherb for every 1 cup of water. Let it steep in boiling water for 10 to 20 minutes.Strain the herbs out and drink 3 to 4 times a day. Herbal Tinctures Steeping a medicinal plant in alcohol extracts the alcohol-soluble principles into aliquid form that can be stored for long periods. Herbalists may mix several herbaltinctures to form an individualized prescription for each patient. Plant tinctures arealso the basis for many homeopathic medicines.To prepare your herbal tincture you will need:8 ounces of finely cut dried herbs,1 large glass jar that can hold 4 cups of liquid2 cups of vodkaInstructions:Put the dried herb into a large, glass jar and pour in equal amount of liquid, makingsure the herbs are completely covered (this is very important). Store the jar in a cool,dark place for at least two weeks, preferably 4. Make sure to shake the mixture everyday. When ready to use, filter the mixture using a cheesecloth bag, coffee filter, orfine cloth, capturing the tincture liquid below in another container. Store the tincturein clean, dark glass containers, out of the sun. If stored properly the tincture will bepreserved for two or more years. Vinegar tinctures should be refrigerated.Note: A drop of tincture is equal to 1 tsp of herb juice.For Vinegar Tinctures, use 1 ounce of herb per 5 ounces of vinegar. Fluid Extracts  Fluid extracts are stronger than herbal tinctures, and can be made with alcohol orglycerin. Herbal Poultices Poultices are a solid, vegetable fat based mixture used externally. They have theshortest life span of any herbal remedy and must be made fresh for every use. Powdered Herbs And Tablets Herbs that are dried and (sometimes) certain parts are separated out then diced topowder fine consistency. Powered matter can then be compressed or put in an emptypill coating to form a tablet Herbal Creams And Ointments An ointment usually is mixed with beeswax (or something similar) to make it moreapplicable to outside the body, such as on a cut or scrape. Essential Oils Extraction of volatile liquid plant materials and other aromatic compounds fromplants gives essential oils. These plant oils may be used internally in some forms of herbal medicine as well as in aromatherapy and generally for their perfume, althoughtheir medicinal use as a natural treatment (alternative medicine) has proved highlyefficacious in the treatment of headache and muscle pain, joint pain and certain skindiseases Herbal Supplements Herbal supplements tend to be commercial products in tablet or capsule formmanufactured and marketed by the health food industry for sale in retail outlets tothe general public, although there are some types that are sold only to healthcarepractitioners for prescription. Herbal supplements are often standardized to containstated levels of active phytochemicals. Some herbalists may not agree with thestandardization of active ingredients, preferring instead to use the whole plant.
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