Saturday, April 11, 2015

Doctor lists best 100 PH medicinal plants in new book

Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan

Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, an integrative medicine practitioner and a professor in the University of the Philippines- College of Medicine, recently launched his latest book ‘The Best 100 Philippine Medicinal Plants’ at The Gallery of Greenbelt 5, Makati City, which will soon be available in leading bookstores nationwide. 

Dr. Galvez-Tan and his co-author Dr. Isidro C. Sia aim to convince more doctors to recognize the amazing health benefits of medicinal herbs, do more research and prescribe them to their patients after reading the book. 

According to Dr. Galvez-Tan, it took him five years to identify, study and write about 100 Philippine herbs he considers as the best. He first came with a book for the public five years ago, the “Medicinal Fruits and Vegetables,” as herbs are more difficult to identify. 

“Compared to herbs, we are more familiar with fruits and vegetables. So I came up with a book listing the health benefits we get from them. But now, I wanted to reach the doctors. To do so, I must provide them technical and scientific information about herbs. Hopefully, more doctors will open themselves to herbs and do research,” he said. 

Dr. Galvez-Tan’s fascination with herbs started when he first ran out of medicine supply during a medical mission in a rural area. As his supplies only lasted for a month, he asked rural people about the methods they use to treat sick people. 

“All these years, they lived without doctors. They only rely on traditional healers. As they introduce me to their methods, I am amazed on how they use plants found in their backyard, even in their kitchen, as medicines for the sick. Since then, I decided to work and learn with their albularyos. It was a life changing experience,” Dr. Galvez-Tan said. 

He started using and prescribing herbs in his clinic. After taking post graduate studies in Europe and the United States, Dr. Galvez-Tan also studied acupuncture, massage, yoga and meditation. His practice now is Integrative Medicine, a combination of conventional medicine (European and Northern American), Filipino medicine (hilot and albularyo), Ayurvedic medicine (yoga and meditation) and Chinese medicine. 

He said an herb highlighted in his book is Lagundi, which is the number 1 clinically-proven successful for asthma and coughs and as an anti-viral supplement. 

“If you’re starting to feel symptoms of influenza, take Lagundi and it won’t proceed. It’s effective and safe for day-to-day use, I take it too myself. Even my patients say that it is really good,” he said, also mentioning equally-efficient herbs like Sambong (melts kidney stones), Ampalaya (controls blood sugar) and Luyang Dilaw (lowers cholesterol). 

Dr. Galvez-Tan said that the Philippines’ economy can benefit greatly from herbs as they can also be used in food production, personal care products and fragrance-making. 

“If we get to study all 1,500 types of herbs in the Philippines, think of all the economic benefits the country can get. One plant can generate up to PhP300 million if we are able to maximize its uses. It can give jobs to more farmers and businesses, thus boosting the Philippine economy,” Dr. Galvez-Tan said. 

Buying his book does not only provide information about 100 Philippine herbs but also helps rehabilitate dilapidated barangay health centers providing primary healthcare in fourth and fifth-class municipalities in the country, especially those affected by the Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last year. One book also brings another book for a library or school in the rural areas of the Philippines. 

His book will be available soon in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. For those interested to purchase the book now, you may order through Health Futures Foundation, Inc. (HFI) located at Unit 6, 4/F The One Executive Building, West Ave., Quezon City. Contact HFI at telephone number (+632) 411-8698 or via e-mail at 


Cough relief from a leaf 
Harnessing the healing power of nature, Lagundex is a safe, natural weapon against irritating cough and other respiratory disorders. Lagundi plant’s phytochemicals contain anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and analgesic properties for effective respiratory relief. Extensive quality control during the manufacturing process ensures zero bacterial, mold and fungi contamination. 

Lagundex is available in four variants: 600mg tablet, 300mg caplet, 600mg/5mL syrup for adults in soothing mint flavor and 300mg/5mL syrup for kids in sweet orange flavor. These are available in leading drugstores nationwide. 

Jaime Galvez-Tan, M.D. is a family and community medicine practitioner, an authority in natural medicine and a staunch advocate of traditional medicine and medicinal plants. A professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine, he was also the vice chancellor for research of UP Manila and executive director of the National Institutes of Health Philippines. During his terms as undersecretary and secretary of the Department of Health, the "10 herbal medicines in the Philippines" was approved and released. He is the co-author of several books, including Hilot:The Filipino Traditional Massage and Medicinal Fruits & Vegetables. 

The New Marketlink Pharmaceutical Corporation (NMPC) is one of the leading distributors of pharmaceutical and healthcare products in the Philippines. It supports and markets a marquee list of established multinational medical brands. Since it began operations in 2006, the Filipino-owned company has been committed to strengthen its importation, sales, promotion and distribution of its diverse line of pharmaceutical and healthcare products. 

NMPC management and staff are backed by years of expertise in the field of pharmaceutical marketing. Deploying 120 sales agents to 15,300 physicians, the company ensures the widest geographical coverage possible in providing better market share for its partners. 

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