Photos / Description

List of Photos & Uses 


Abanico is an erect and tufted perennial herb with a thick creeping rootstock, growing to a height of 0.5 to 1.5 meters. Leaves are 2-ranked, narrow lanceolate, sword-shaped, 40 to 60 cm long, 2.5 to 4 cm wide, and overlapping at the base. 

Use of abanico

Used for purifying the blood, for liver and pulmonary complaints.


Year-round vegetable, extensively cultivated in the Philippines for its bitter edible fruit.

Uses for the ampalaya

  • Astringent powdered leaves or root decoction can be applied to hemorrhoids.
  • Leaf juice for cough and as a purgative and anthelminthic to expel intestinal parasites, and for healing wounds. 
  • The vine or the juice of leaves used as mild purgative for children.
  • Infusion of leaves or leaf juice used for fevers.
                                       Philippine News: Diabetes Mellitus
A Philippine herb that has recently gained international recognition for its possible benefits in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Despite its bitter taste, it has also become a popular nutritional drink for a boost of vim and vigor. In fact, the more bitter, the better, as it is believed that the bitterness is proportionate to its potency.
      Studies have suggested that ampalaya contains a hypoglycemic polypeptide, a plant insulin responsible for its blood sugar lowering effect. Other benefits suggested were body detoxification (including removal of nicotine), strengthening of the immune system and fertility regulation.
     It is increasingly recommended as an adjunct or supplement to traditional therapeutic regimens for diabetes mellitus.


Lagundi is an erect, branched tree or shrub, 2 to 5 meters high. Leaves are usually 5-foliate, rarely with 3 leaflets only, and palmately arranged. 

Uses of Lagundi

  • Decoction of leaves used externally for cleaning ulcers and internally for flatulence. Also used as a lactagogue and emmenagogue.
  • Vapor bath prepared with the plant used for treatment of febrile, catarrhal, and rheumatic affections.
  • Decoction of leaves used as warm bath by women suffering with after-pains in the puerperal period
  • Seeds are boiled in water and eaten or the water drunk to prevent the spread of toxin from bites of poisonous animals.
  • Leaf decoction for fever, headache, toothache, cough, asthma.

Sambong is a half woody, strongly aromatic shrub, densely and softly hairy, 1-4 meters high. Stems grow up to 2.5 cm in diameter. 

Uses of Sambong

  • Leaves as poultice for abscesses.
  • Applied while hot over the sinuses. Used for wounds and cuts.
  • Decoction of leaves, 50 gms to a pint of boiling water, 4 glasses daily, for stomach pains.
  • Fresh juice of leaves to wounds and cuts.

bawang  - A low herb, 30 to 60 cm high. Bulbs are broadly ovoid, 2 to 4 cm in diameter, consisting of several, densely crowded, angular and truncated tubers. 

Uses of Bawang

  • Arthritis, rheumatism, toothaches: Crush several cloves and rub on affected areas.
  • Headaches: Crush one clove and apply to both temples as poultice.
  • Fresh garlic has been used as a complement to INH therapy for tuberculosis. 
  • Also used for menstrual cramps.
  • Juice from freshly crushed garlic used for colds, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, asthma and bronchitis.

small tropical shrubby tree bearing small yellowish fruit

Uses of Bayabas

  • Leaves used for wounds and toothache must always be fresh.
  • For diarrhea, boil for 15 minutes 4 to 6 tablespoons of chopped leaves in 18 ounces of water. Strain and cool. Drink 1/4 of the decoction every 3 - 4 hours.
  • Nosebleeds: Densely roll the bayabas leaves and place into the nostril cavity.
  • Decoction or infusion of fresh leaves used for wound cleaning to prevent infection and to facilitate healing.
  • For skin ulcers, pruritic or infected wounds: Apply decoction of leaves or unripe fruit as wash or the leaf 

Malunggay is a small tree growing as high as 9 meters, with a soft and white wood and corky and gummy bark. Leaves are alternate, usually thrice pinnate, 25 to 50 centimeters long. 

Uses of Malungay
  • Young leaves are a rich source of calcium, iron, phosphorus and vitamins A, B and C.
  •  Leaves and fruit used for constipation.
  • Pods for intestinal parasitism.
  • Decoction of boiled roots used to wash sores and ulcers.
  • Decoction of the bark used for excitement, restlessness.

Ipil - Ipil

Small plant up to 15 m high; leaves alternate, twice compound, 15-25 cm, base of petiole enlarged; leaflets 9 to 18 pairs, 7 to 12 mm long, linear-oblong, unequilateral; flowering stalks axillary, 3.5 to 5 cm long. 

Uses of Ipil - Ipil

  • Intestinal parasitism: ascaris and trichinosis.
  • Adults: 1 teasppon of powdered dried seeds, alone or mixed with condensed milk and followed by half a glass of water, taken as a single dose 2 hours after a meal; repeated after one week as needed.
  • Children: 7-8 years old: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon; 9-12 years old: 1/2 to 2/3 teaspoon.
Adverse effects: Abdominal pain, diarrhea.

Buhok ni Ester

Epiphytic bromeliad with silvery gray, threadlike and hanging stems, growing 2m or longer. Leaves are scattered, narrow-linear, up to 7 cm long. Flowers are small, solitary in the leaf axils

Uses of Buhok ni Ester

In south Louisiana, has been used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.
Bahia, Northern-eastern Brazil, decoction of the whole plant, "Sambambaia," is used for sexual weakness.


Widely cultivated in the Philippines in two forms: Native and Smooth Cayenne. 

use of Pinya

Ripe fruit good for acid dyspepsia and aids digestion.