By Cheshire Que
I grew up in a home surrounded by various plants and fruit trees. Although I was given western medicine whenever I got sick, I was not totally ignorant of the use of medicinal plants as my grandfather was a believer that plants had healing properties.
I was transported back in time as I wandered through Nurture Farmacy’s unique vegetable plots, which were intricately shaped liked the organ systems of the body. Nurture “Farmacists” donned in traditional Filipino costumes expertly explained the medicinal benefits of the plants, which are specific to illnesses of the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, reproductive system, digestive system as well as for general wellbeing.
Nurture Farmacy’s fertile soil yields a melange of herbs, fruits, and vegetables such as kale. This green leafy vegetable belongs to the cabbage family or cruciferous type of vegetables. It is nutrient dense, high in fiber, a good source of protein, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, calcium, and lutein, which promotes eye health.
One of the Nurture “Farmacists” gave me a quick lesson on phytotherapy focusing on 10 plants that heal:
Altamisa – This plant is wrapped in a banana leaf and heated over fire. The extract is then taken pure to treat kabag or gas pain, indigestion, and dysmennorhea. It is also said to have antibacterial properties good for post pregnancy.
Oregano – This plant is rubbed on the skin to treat acne and dandruff. It can also be boiled or heated to get the extract to relieve cough and colds.
Akapulko – The leaves are crushed and rubbed on to the affected area. This is used to treat skin diseases like buni or ringworm, which is caused by fungal infection.
Katakataka – As simple as pounding the leaves will release cool fluid that will make you feel better when you are feverish. Apply the leaf onto the forehead. This plant also relieves throbbing pain, especially from wounds.
Mayana – This reddish plant can be applied to treat bruises, bukol or lumps, itchiness, and skin allergy.
Pansit pansitan – This herb is steamed and eaten first thing in the morning to help control blood glucose level for people with diabetes or insulin resistance.
Sulasi – A single sniff of this aromatic herb is more powerful than ammonia when used for fainting spells. It also relieves dizziness. Crush leaves and apply to temple area.
Pandakaki – This plant is often boiled to ease stomachache. When crushed, it releases a white extract that can be applied to areas pricked with thorns for easy removal.
Turmeric – Commonly known as luyang dilaw, this plant has anti inflammatory properties that can prevent diseases like cancer. It can be added to recipes or drunk in the form of tea.
If you have any medical condition or are taking any medication, consult your doctor before taking any home remedies. Remember to regularly eat fresh, whole foods to nourish your body and prevent diseases. Let food be your first medicine and the kitchen be your first pharmacy.
Nurture Farmacy is a DOT accredited organic farm tourism destination located at Amadeo, Cavite. www.nurturefarmacy.com; www.nurturewellnessvillage.com;
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