Herbal medicine is often looked down upon as a load of bologna. Yet, it is one of the most widely used system of medicine in the world.

But whether you believe in the power of herbal medicine or not, it undoubtedly raises a number of questions—namely: What is herbal medicine? Why is it so popular? And most importantly, is it more pseudo science than actual, well, science? Allow us to help educate you on the stuff. Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about herbal medicine. Just scroll!

WHAT IS HERBAL MEDICINE

As the name indicates, herbal medicine is medicine exclusively made out of plants. It’s not only one of the most widespread practices, it is also one of the oldest. And when we say “old,” we mean ancient. Egyptians authored one of the earliest known medical documents around 1500BC called Papyrus Ebers. And, in 2000 BC, the Chinese Emperor Shen Nong wrote the Shennong Bencaojing, the first ever herbal study. These chronicles are just one part of herbal medicine’s history. It is, however, proof that our oldest relatives might’ve known something we were yet to discover.

Perhaps, herbal medicine provides something Western medicine does not. It uses only natural substances, a quality that many people look for in their products nowadays. We’ve become more aware of the ingredients and dangers of pharmacy drugs, which gives us the option to pick what we believe is best for our bodies.

It’s important to note, however, that “natural” isn’t always synonymous with “safe.” Some herbs contain potent ingredients and must be viewed with the same level of caution as pharmaceutical medications. Please ensure you consult your healthcare physician in case you’re looking to use any herbal medicines.

HOW IS HERBAL MEDICINE EFFECTIVE

Herbal medicine’s mission is to bring the body into a natural state of balance, so it may heal itself. What’s more, it exists as an option for people with specific allergies or negative effects to pharmaceuticals. But it should never ever replace the medicines your physician prescribes to you.

A BEGINNER’S LIST OF HERBAL MEDICINE

Now that you know more about herbal medicine, here’s a list of herbal medicines that you can find here in the Philippines.

AMPALAYA
Besides its popularity as a Pinoy dish, the bitter veggie has plenty of health benefits. It has properties that help regulate blood sugar levels. Perfect for diabetics and people who are at risk of the disease. Plus, it’s an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, such as phosphorous, folic acid, and more.

TRY: Carica Ampalaya Capsules (30 Capsules), on sale at P149 (limited time only), Carica Ampalaya Capsules (90 Capsules, on sale at P396 (limited time only)

BANABA
Old Philippine folklore says Banaba was a natural treatment used for a ton of health issues. Today, however, it is most notable for aiding in weight loss. The plant is also rich in corosolic acid, a compound found to possess antioxidant properties, which combat aggressors that put us at risk of illnesses.

TRY: Carica Banaba Capsules (30 Capsules), on sale at P129 (limited time only), Carica Banaba Capsules (90 Capsules), on sale at P347 (limited time only)

GARLIC

As you probably know, garlic is one of the most popular—and potent—natural solutions in the world. Some of its most prominent uses are improving cardiovascular function, reducing blood pressure, and preventing dementia. Studies also show the powerhouse ingredient is linked to improving longevity and overall wellbeing.

TRY: Carica Garlic Capsules (30 Capsules), on sale at P129 (limited time only), Carica Garlic Capsules (90 Capsules), on sale at P347 (limited time only)

LEMONGRASS
Lemongrass is not just tea you drink to unwind after a long day. It actually treats a variety of ailments that burden us daily. From alleviating headaches to upset stomachs and easing muscle spasms, lemongrass should become a staple in your medicine kit. What’s more, lemongrass can also help prevent infections from worsening.

TRY: Carica Lemongrass Capsules (30 Capsules), on sale at P129 (limited time only), Carica Lemongrass Capsules (90 Capsules), on sale at P347 (limited time only)

MALUNGGAY
Like ampalaya, malunggay isn’t just for the kitchen. Traditionally, it was used to help increase lactation in nursing mothers, and was even believed to improve fertility. While the latter is up for debate, many people use the vegetable to strengthen immunity. It’s jam-packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and potent antioxidants.

TRY: Carica Malunggay Capsules (30 Capsules), on sale at P129 (limited time only), Carica Malunggay Capsules (90 Capsules), on sale at P347 (limited time only)

MANGOSTEEN

Chock-full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, it’s no wonder mangosteen is considered as medicine. In fact, it’s called “queen of tropical fruit!” Mangosteen is known to prevent various ailments, like constipation, urinary tract infection (UTI), and menstrual problems. Moreover, it’s loaded with all the vitamins and minerals you require the daily.

TRY: Carica Mangosteen Capsules (30 Capsules), on sale at P178 (limited time only), Carica Mangosteen Capsules (90 Capsules), on sale at P495 (limited time only)

TURMERIC
Famous for its yellow hue, turmeric is an MVP in the world of herbal medicine. This is thanks to curcumin, its active component. It has an overall impact on our health, and contains properties that help reduce inflammation and joint pain. It’s clear there’s more to turmeric than meets the eye. It’s even thought to prevent the progression of cancer cells!

TRY: Philippine Pure Turmeric Capsules (150 Capsules), P595, Herbs of the Earth Turmeric Tablets (60 Tablets), P1,099

We’ve said it once, and we’ll said it again: always consult your healthcare physician when you’re planning to purchase any medicine—including the herbal variety—over the counter. Play it safe, not sorry, ladies!

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