10 Classic Home Remedies Trusted By Filipino Moms

Being cared for by Filipina moms can fill a childhood with warmth, tough love, and the unforgettable aroma of liniments and home remedies that they swear by.

From the location of hidden house items to sound pieces of advice when we're making milestone decisions, no matter what, we can always count on mom to give us the answer we need.

Even when we're down with the colds or any form of physical sickness, she's also got a line of home remedies prepared to make us all feel better. A clogged nose or sudden fever can have our moms and grandparents reaching for the nearest Vicks Vapor Rub. Or if not, she could just have easily gone to the garden and return with a handful of sambong leaves to boil them into an herbal drink. Yet as we grow older, we also can't help but question the efficacy of these natural remedies.

How effective are traditional medicines?

Although these healing practices may not seem as compelling as modern medicine in amber glass bottles and capsules, the healing power of these natural remedies is not all fluff.

The Department of Health currently endorses ten herbal plants that are clinically proven for their medicinal value. And with the help of the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Healthcare (PITAHC), there is continuous effort to research and develop traditional medicine and how it can be integrated further into the country's health care delivery.

However, this is not to say that we should forego vaccination and seek medical professionals' help altogether. Natural home remedies are only preventive treatments and not cure-all medicines.

Here is a list of herbal remedies proven for their medicinal benefit, along with popular liniments that have gained the trust of Filipino moms through the years.

1. Calamansi with Honey

This combination is perhaps one of the easiest home remedies for cough and colds. But just because it's simple to make doesn't mean it's not as effective. Honey's antibacterial and throat-coating properties make a good pair with calamansi's rich source of Vitamin C for immunity. Just get two tablespoons of honey, one tablespoon of calamansi juice, and a half cup of hot water. Stir it all together for a comforting drink.

2. Salabat (Ginger Tea)

Salabat is more widely recognized as the singer's beverage, and it's no wonder why. Ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in runny rose and sore throat. But aside from this, it can also be used as a tonic to help alleviate an upset stomach. Or you may also rub the ginger root on your skin to minimize wrinkles and lighten dark spots.

3. Garlic

As a kitchen staple, garlic is not only fondly used to enhance the flavor of your favorite dishes. It also carries antiseptic properties that protect the skin from invading bacteria. Garlic also contains a sulfur component which helps to heal acne quickly. But for those aiming to make a change in their diet, eating garlic is also shown to reduce cholesterol levels.

4. Lagundi

Lagundi leaves can be used to treat a variety, including wounds, headaches, diarrhea, and the common cold. It's been clinically tested by the Depart of Science and Technology (DOST) to treat cough and relieve asthma. So for moms that have kids who are susceptible to these sicknesses, they might find some peace of mind by growing a small shrub of Lagundi in the garden. Just boil the leaves for 15 minutes and transfer them to a cup as an herbal tea. Drinking the Lagundi tea thrice a day can help loosen phlegm.

But for those who might have limited space at home, they can still enjoy the benefits of Lagundi with Lagundex Syrup. It provides a smooth relief for common colds, flu, and mild to moderate acute bronchitis.

5. Turmeric

Instantly recognizable for its bright yellow hue, turmeric is often used as a colorant for dishes such as curry and kare-kare. But aside from making dishes more appetizing, there are also several benefits in incorporating turmeric in your meals and drinking it as tea. Turmeric's active ingredient is curcumin which has powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. And once drank as tea, it assists in reducing the symptoms of arthritis and aid in boosting heart and lung health. Furthermore, it also acts as protection against liver damage and gallbladder disorders.

6. Akapulco

Because of its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, the akapulco plant or ringworm bush has been a favorable natural remedy for skin-related issues such as ringworms, insect bites, scabies, and eczema. Akapulco grows abundantly across the country, so it may be called different names such as palochina or katanda. To use as a treatment for ringworm and eczema, grind the flower and leaves and apply the juice directly to the infected area.

7. Guava

In a tropical climate like ours, fruits like guava grow abundantly and allow us to enjoy its rich source of Vitamin C whenever we want. But by boiling the leaves, you also unlock more of its uses and potential. Guava as herbal medicine can be used as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-plasmodial, and anti-diabetic treatment. Just a few of its benefits include treating diarrhea, remedy for tooth decay and gum infection. It is also effective in lowering cholesterol and promote weight loss.

8. Sambong

Like lagundi and akapulco, you can also grow the Sambong plant in your backyard. And although it only takes up a small space, the medicinal benefits of Sambong are beyond what meets the eye. Pounding the leaves into a paste can be used as a treatment for the pain caused by rheumatism. While boiling the leaves into a drink can help bring down a fever or act as a diuretic for urinary tract infections.

9. Vicks Vapor Rub

Vicks is a quintessential item in a mother's arsenal of home remedies. But what is it that makes this ointment effective? Although rubbing Vicks on one's feet may not effectively relieve cold symptoms, the ointment provides a cooling sensation that may help bring down your temperature during a fever. Vicks is not quite a decongestant, but the powerful, active ingredients of camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol do create a minty scent that soothes the nasal passage and fabricate the sensation of breathing more freely.

Use Vicks safely by applying the ointment only to the chest and neck area. Health professionals advise against putting Vicks on the nose area as camphor present in the product may be toxic to the mucous membrane. As a more gentle and safer alternative for moms, Vicks BabyRub excludes camphor oil in its ingredients.

10. Efficascent Oil

For decades, Efficascent Oil has been a household item for Filipino families. The distinct bottled green oil can be found sitting on the shelves or tabletops, readily available for any sudden body discomfort such as cramps, muscle pains, and strains. One of the main ingredients, methyl salicylate, is responsible for the cooling relief that soothes sore muscles. But just like Vicks, using Efficascent Oil should also be done with caution as it also contains camphor.

Those working at home can find refreshing comfort in the new Efficascent Relaxing Oil that comes in a smaller roll-on bottle. It carries the robust combination of eucalyptus and peppermint oil to clear mental exhaustion and increase focus.

A mother's love knows no bounds. And if it means potting medicinal plants in the garden or buying readily available liniments as swift preventive treatments for sickness, it's what she'll do. Now, MyPharma's also available to help you sort out your healthcare needs. Sign up now for a smoother and safer shopping experience. Get all the items you need to delivered to your front door with no hassle.

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