Published Date: 2018-01-03 Michelle B Ducusin
Michelle B Ducusin
Department of Science and Technology, Philippine Science High School, Ilocos Region Campus, Republic of the Philippines.
Received date: September 18, 2017; Accepted date: October 10, 2017; Published date: October 17, 2017
Citation: Ducusin MB. Ethnomedicinal Knowledge of Plants among the Indigenous Peoples of Santol, La Union, Philippines. Electronic J Biol, 13:4
With today’s younger and more educated populace, knowledge or information of these traditional herbal medicines is no longer valued as being useful. Further, with the advent of modern medicine and technology, the indigenous knowledge of herbal medicine and practices handed down from forefathers has been threatened to extinction. Thus, this research identified the types of medicinal plants used by local people and investigated the extent to which the plants are used. A total of 40 informants were interviewed, allowing for Calculated Informant Consensus Factors (ICF), Use Value (UV) and Fidelity Levels (FL) for each medicinal plant species used to cure various ailments. This helped to establish a consensus on which species are effective for a particular ailment, as well as the species’ relative importance, and enabled us to understand the extent of potential utilization of each species. The therapeutic effects of 109 plant species used medicinally against 13 categories of ailments. The highest ICF values were cited for diseases of the eye and adnexa and for genitourinary system. High FL values were found for gatas-gatas/tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta L.) and malmalukong/takip-kuhol (Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.) used for the treatment of sore eyes and inflamed ears, respectively. The highest UV (1.00) was for guava (Psidium guajava L.) and lagundi (Vitex negundo L.). All plants with high UV were used for exogenous diseases, diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissues, respiratory and digestive system. There are different modes of preparations of the medicinal plants. For instance, immediate treatment for cuts was demonstrated by using crushed leaves of Pantalyon/suob-kabayo (Hyptis suaveolens Poir.). This study demonstrated that many plant species are important in local healing practices and that knowledge of traditional medicine is utilized and plays a significant role in Santol, La Union. The documentation of this rich traditional enthomedicinal knowledge has paved way for novel information for pharmacological investigations to improve health care for a range of ailments.
Ethnomedicine; Informant Consensus Factor (ICF); Fidelity Level (IF); Use Value (UV); Bago Tribe; Kankanaey Tribe.
The connection between man and plants is enormously important because plants affect every aspect of man’s existence by providing an incessant source of varying materials i.e. food, timber, fibres, dyes, tools and many others. Medicinal plants have been used for treatment since ancient times and are still in use all over the world. Of the 422,000 flowering plants found globally (Govaerts  as cited by Abe et al. ) more than 50,000 are used for medicinal purposes . The practices of plant-based traditional medicine are based on hundreds of years of belief and observations which predate the development of modern medicine .
Medicinal plants and herbs have been used for many centuries as a source of people’s medicines for the prevention and treatment of diseases and still provide the first line of primary health-care even in the present age to major segments of the population worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (2003), it is estimated that up to 80% of the population depends exclusively on plants for their health and healing.
Indigenous knowledge refers to the cumulative and complex bodies of knowledge, know-how, practices and representations that are maintained and developed by local communities, who have long histories with interactions with the natural environment. With the growing threat of losing traditional knowledge in the modern time, many efforts have been made to record and publish this knowledge. In the past few years, a renewed interest on the natural method of treatment or traditional medicine arose worldwide. In recent years, work on ethnobotanical knowledge worldwide has dramatically increased especially in some parts of Europe, Asia and Africa (Pieroni et al.  as cited by Balangcod ). Despite many ethno-medicinal studies that were performed all over the world, a relatively few documentation on ethno-medicinal plant is done in the Philippines, with some focusing only on well-known indigenous peoples including the Pinatubo Negritoes and their use of plant resources; the Tasadays in Mindanao, who have been a subject of various studies; the Itawes of Cagayan and the Ibaloi of Benguet province and their utilization of forest resources .
The information and folk knowledge regarding the medicinal and therapeutic uses of these indigenous plant materials have been handed down from generation to generation through verbal communication [8,9]. Studies in the ethnobotany of cultural groups that rely on the oral tradition to pass on traditional medicinal plant knowledge from generation to generation indicates that in addition to the great wealth of knowledge of economically useful plants, these cultural groups also have an extensive knowledge of economically useful plants and the traditional techniques used to manage, harvest and conserve these species [10,11].
There is no specific history record as to how Santol got its name but tradition speaks of two accounts which are tied up to a tree called Santol. The first version states that this place was once a favourite hunting ground of people of the Ilocandia, notably the people from San Vicente, Ilocos Sur who were very much interested in sculpture especially in the making of images. They came to see a big tree which is now called as Santol tree and from then on made it their main material in making images. During those days then, idols/images locally termed as “Santo” were made out mostly of said tree. In the same manner that the tree got its name ‘Santol’, because of its common use as material for making “Santo”, the municipality also got its name from that historic tree, hence, Santol.
According to the second version, the more popular one, it was during the Spanish-American war that Santol got its name. It is said that when the Spanish soldiers pass by the place, they met women carrying baskets full of ripe santol fruits. The soldiers asked the name of the place, but, the women did not understand Spanish and just though that the soldiers were asking the name of the fruit they are carrying. They answered, “Santol, Apo.” The soldiers did not understand the local dialect and all they remembered was the word Santol, hence the name of the place.
During the early settlement of the Spaniards, the ancient inhabitants were Igorots and new Christians. The Igorots lived in the formerly virgin forests along the deep streams when a group of new Christians came. Slowly, they pushed the Igorots to the remote mountain sides. Intermarriages between Ilocanos and Igorots soon followed. From this, more and more people adopted Ilocano as their dialect. As of 1995 census, 70% of the population speak llocano. Other dialects spoken are kan-kanaey by 31.20%, Bontoc by 0.15% and Tagalog by 0.33%.
Santol considered being formerly a part of the municipality of Balaoan becomes a township in 1908 under the sub-province Amburayan, Mountain Province. In 1922, Mountain Province relinquished Santol to become a part of the municipal district of La Union.
The town of Santol is considered a safe harbor for there had been no distinct destruction of lives or properties during the historic events regarding wars and calamities. Such was true during the Spanish regime and Japanese occupation. Evidence of this is that Barrio Mangan was set aside as the place of the military emergency hospital. It was also here where the center of distribution of food supplies for army personnel was located while Barrio Banbanaba was site of message center directly in touch with all the barrios of Balaoan, Santol, San Gabriel and Sudipen.
Most of the residents are farmers who live near/on mountains, plains and farmlands. Based on the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, out of the 12, 007 residents, 5016 are considered to be indigenous peoples of Kankaney and Bago origin. The indigenous peoples in Santol exhibit a remarkably high degree of cultural and environmental interdependence.
The use of plants by indigenous peoples all over the world has been underreported and this prevents the scientific community from benefiting from traditional knowledge which has taken centuries to develop in the form we know them today. Nowadays, indigenous knowledge on medicinal plants is fast diminishing because as more plants are lost, so is the knowledge of their value to humanity. In the study, the relationship between the Kankanaey and Bago and plants will be demonstrated. This study aimed to document the indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants among the indigenous peoples of Santol in terms of the (a) plants they used to combat disease, (b) parts of the plant used, (c) modes of preparation, (c) how such knowledge is obtained and transmitted, and (d) frequency of use. It also defined the previous and current status and cultivation practices pertinent to the plant utilized for medicinal purpose and provided insights on some possible threats to their traditional knowledge. The conservation of ethnobotanical knowledge is becoming increasingly important; thus this research aimed to document the use of medicinal plants and healing practices in Santol, La Union, identify the most important species, determine the relative value of species and calculate the informant consensus factors. Finding of this research will provide a data base for future research and potential source for the development of new drugs.
2.1 Study area
Santol, the site of the study, is a fourth class municipality in the province of La Union. It is located 16°46′N 120°27′E with a total land area of 93.70 km2. It is situated in the eastern mountainous area of La Union at the boundary of Ilocos Sur (Figure 1). It is bounded on the north by the Municipality of Sudipen, on the northeast by the upland Municipality of Sugpon in Ilocos Sur, on the south by the Municipality of San Gabriel, and on the west by the Municipality of Balaoan. Santol is politically subdivided into 11 barangays. Santol comprises mostly of hilly and mountainous areas and a small portion of alluvial plains.
There are nine barangays in the municipality inhabited by indigenous peoples namely Lettac Norte, Lettac Sur, Mangaan, Poblacion, Puguil, Ramot, Sapdaan, Sasaba and Tubaday. The ethnic groups are predominantly Kankanaey and Bago. There are health centers in every barangay and one Rural Health Unit (RHU) located in the town center. Typically, local people utilize plants to address their health concerns. Only when they cannot be treated that they choose to visit the health centers. Not all residents have accessed to sanitary toilet facilities and safe drinking water.
2.2 Data collection
Preceding the conduct of the study, approval and endorsement of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-ROI was sought. Upon approval by the NCIP-ROI, a prior informed consent was pursued through several consultations with the community. Data regarding ethnobotanical knowledge were gathered through extensive survey, focused group discussions and semi-structured interviews with residents and informal conversations with Medical Personnel from the RHU. The information gathered through interviews was consolidated by field observations. A total of 40 individuals (16-90 years old) were interviewed including the elderly and Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), who were identified by the local administrators and community leaders. Several visits were conducted for validation purposes. Field visits involved direct contact with the community. Ethnobotanical surveys to the forest areas were accomplished with the help of several key informants. At same occasions, plant samples were collected and brought to the communities for identification, local names and the ethnomedicinal uses.
The informants were about their knowledge of the plants they used to combat disease, parts of the plant used, and modes of preparation, and details concerning how each plant are administered to patients, how such knowledge is obtained and transmitted and frequency of use. The previous and current status and cultivation practices were also investigated.
The plants’ vernacular names were collected with the help of the local people. Scientific names were determined by identifying herbarium species and checked against references in the Dictionary of Philippine Plant Names . Scientific names of plants were determined using The Plant Names Index .
The gender, educational background, occupations, monthly cash incomes and PhilHealth membership of the informants were also recorded.
The medicinal plants were identified based on the information obtained from the informants in the study area, and the reported applicable ailments were classified into 13 categories based on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) by the World Health Organization. The categories are infectious and parasitic diseases; endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases; diseases of the eye and adnexa; diseases of the ear and mastoid process; diseases of the circulatory system; diseases of the respiratory system; diseases of the digestive system; diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue; diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue; diseases of the genitourinary system; diseases during the postpartum period; undefined pains or illness; and injury and poisons from external causes. Moreover, information on plants that have a medicinal use but that also used for food or other economical uses will also be noted. Every time a plant was mentioned as being used to any extent, it will be considered to be one use-report. If one informant used a plant to treat more than one ailment in the same category, it was considered a single use-report . However, a multiple use-report was considered when at least two interviewees mentioned the same plant for the same ailments.
Informant consensus factor
To determine the agreement between informants over which plants should be used for each category of ailments, the Informant Consensus Factors (ICF) was calculated (Trotter ) using the formula: ICF=(Nur– Nt)/(Nur–1), where Nur refers to the number of usereports in each category and Nt refers to the number of taxa used for a particular category by all informants. The ICF provided a range of 0-1, where high values (approaching 1) are obtained when there is a welldefined selection criterion in the community and/ or if information is exchanged between informants, and values are low (near 0) when plants are chosen randomly or if there is no exchange of information about their use among informants.
The use values for plants (Philips et al. ) was calculated to provide a quantitative measure for the relative importance of species known locally: UV=(ΣUi)/n, where Ui is the number of use-reports cited by each informant for a given species and n refers the total number of informants. Use values are high when there are many use-reports for a plant, implying that the plant is important, and low (approach to 0) when there are few reports related to its use. The use value however, does not distinguish whether a plant is used for single or multiple purposes.
Because many plant species are utilized in the same use category, the most preferred species used for the treatment of a particular ailment must be determined by calculating Fidelity Levels (FL) (Friedman et al. ): FL=Np/N, where Np is the number of use- reports cited for a given species for a particular ailment, and N is the total number of use-reports cited for any given species. High FL values (near 100%) are obtained for plants for which almost all use-reports refer to the same method of use (that is, the plants were considered the most preferred species for a particular ailment category), whereas low FLs are obtained for plants that are used for many different purposes.
2.4 Statistical analysis
Descriptive statistical method was employed to analyse and summarize the ethnomedicinal data on the reported medicinal plants and associated knowledge (Tables 1 and 2).
|Category||Diseases or ailments||ICD- 10||No. of use- reports||% of all use- reports||No. of species||% of all species||ICF||Most frequently used species||FL (%
in this cate gory
|Diseases of the ear and mastoid process||Earache, mumps||VIII||9||1.04||4||1.84||0.63||Malmalukong
/takip-kuhol (Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.)
|Diseases of the respiratory system||Asthma, nasal congestio n, pneumoni a, cough, sore throat||X||128||14.81||24||11.05||0.82||Five leaved chaste tree; lagundi (Vitex negundo); Oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus Lour.)||11.7
|Diseases of the eye and adnexa||Red eyes, sore eyes||VII||3||0.34||1||0.46||1||Gatas- gatas/Tawa- tawa (Euphorbia hirta L.)||100|
|Diseases of the circulatory system||Anemia, high blood pressure||IX||44||5.09||14||6.45||0.7||Garlic; Bawang (Allium sativum L.)||14|
|Injury and poisons of external causes||Allergy, burns, cuts and wounds, dislocation/Fracture, sprain, insect bites, poison||XIX||117||13.54||29||13.36||0.76||Pantalyon/su ob-kabayo (Hyptis suaveolens Poir.)||26|
|Diseases of the genitourinary system||Urinary, chronic cystitis, kidney||XIV||143||16.55||22||10.14||0.85||Sambong (Blumea balsamifera (L.) DC.)||11|
|Undefined pains or illness||Abdominal pain, headache, body pain, cough, fever, backache, stunned||XVIII||83||9.61||28||12.9||0.67||Turmeric; Luyang dilaw (Curcuma longa L.)||6.02|
|Diseases during the postpartum period||Abortive, menstruati on, newly delivered||XV||40||4.63||10||4.61||0.77||Herbaka (Artemisia vulgaris L.)||13|
|Infectious and parasitic diseases||Ascariasis, chicken pox, head lice, herpes, ringworm, scabies||I||33||3.82||9||4.15||0.75||Bayabas (Psidium guajava L.)||45.4
|Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue||Boils, skin eruptions,||XII||86||9.95||24||11.06||0.73||Hibiscus; Gumamela (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.)||17.4
|Diseases of the digestive system||Constipati on, diarrhea, inflammati on of
rectum, ulcer, toothache, mouth sore
|XI||134||15.51||38||17.51||0.72||Bayabas (Psidium guajava L.)||15|
|Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases||Diabetes, nutrients, tonic||IV||21||2.43||5||2.3||0.8||Horseradish tree; Malunggay (Moringa oleifera Lam.)||24|
|Diseases of the musculoskele tal system and connective tissue||Arthritis, rheumatis m, swollen muscles||XIII||23||2.66||9||4.15||0.64||Turmeric; Luyang dilaw (Curcuma longa L.)||22|
Table 1: Categories of ailments and informant consensus factor (ICF).
The relative importance of different plants was computed based on the consensus of informants' responses. It was calculated from the proportion of informants who independently reported knowledge on a given use against a particular disease or disease category following the approach used by Phillips et al. . The informants' consensus was used to examine the effectiveness of medicinal plant/s to treat a particular ailment.
In the Philippines, ethnomedicinal knowledge is intrinsic among ethnic groups and is inherited from their great ancestors by oral communication. In the study, the relationship between the indigenous peoples of Santol and plants are demonstrated. A total of 109 medicinal species distributed to 20 genera and 15 families were cited to treat different kinds of ailments. Based on responses and personal observations, the common health problems are respiratory diseases and stomach ailments.
3.1 Knowledge of medicinal plants
Differences in occupation or educational background did not influence the reported knowledge of medicinal plants. Additionally, those aged over 60 were more well-informed than the younger generation and the use of medicinal plants decreased with decreasing age. Although almost all informants reported that knowledge of medicinal plants was inherited form their ancestors through oral tradition, the number reporting this varied by age, which implies that knowledge of the use of medicinal plants may be threatened gradually.
3.2 Frequency of use of medicinal plants
Most people in the upland barangays used medicinal plants. They are isolated from the town proper by towering mountains. Further, public utility vehicles are only available during Mondays and will cost them one hundred forty pesos (Php 140.00). With that, people in the upland barangays namely Sapdaan, Sasaba, Mangaan, Tubaday, Puguil and Ramot do not have opportunity to buy over-the-counter medicines and geographically prevented from having access to professional healthcare compared with residents of the lowland barangays.
3.3 Characteristics of medicinal plants
The data obtained from field surveys are summarized in Table 2. Both the scientific and vernacular names for the medicinal plants are given by taxonomic category and family. In this survey, 109 plant species were recorded for their medicinal use, and these belonged to 15 families and were used to cure ailments in 13 categories. For three (3) out of the 109 species, only the local name was documented. In terms of the number of species used, of the 109 plant species identified, Solanaceae with four species, followed by Poaceae and Asteraceae with three species, respectively are dominantly used. The Solanaceae family contain a large variety of phytotoxins, mainly alkaloids, diterpenesm esters, glycosides and ricin-type toxins .
|Pla nt No.||English/Co mmon Name/ Scientific Name||Family||Local Name||No. of Use- Repo rts||Use Value s (UV)a||Diseases or Ailments||Parts Usedb||Preparation and Administrationc|
|1||Gouania javanica Mia.||Rhamna ceae||Rungo-rungo||5||0.13||Mouth Sore||Sp||E Apply|
|2||Oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus Lour.)||Labiatae/Lamiaceae||Oregano||14||0.43||Cough Sprain||Lf||I Roast partly and squeeze; drink the sap or juice thrice a day|
|Lf||E Fastened pounded and heated leaves with coconut oil|
|3||Lemon grass; tanglad (Cymbopog on citratus DC. Stapf) Syn: Andropogo n citratus DC.||Graminae/Poaceae||Baraniw||1||0.25||Inflammation of Lower Limbs Menstruation Abdominal pain Difficulty of urination Profused sweating UTI; difficulty of urination||St||I Drink decoction|
|1||Lf||I Drink decoction|
|1||Lf||I/E Drink decoction of stems Apply pounded leaves on abdomen|
|5||Whole Parts||I Drink decoction|
|1||Br||I Drink decoction|
|1||Lf||I Drink decoction thrice a day|
|4||Hibiscus; Gumamela (Hibiscus rosa- sinensis L.)||Malvaceae||Kayanga; Gumamela||15||0.38||Boils||Lf, Fw||E/I Apply pounded leaves or flowers on affected area. Drink decoction of flowers|
|5||Mahogany (Swietenia mahogani Jacq)||Meliaceae||Mahogany||3||0.08||Diarrhea||Sd||I Drink decoction of seeds or chew and swallow the juice or sap|
|6||Grass; Kogon (Imperata Cylindrical L.)||Graminae/ Poaceae||Pan-aw/Kogon||1||0.25||Menstruation Difficulty of urination Productive cough||Rt||I Drink decoction|
|8||Rt||I Drink decoction|
|1||Lf||I Drink decoction|
|7||Horseradis h tree; Malunggay (Moringa oleifera Lam.)||Moringaceae||Marungga y/malungg ay||3||0.8||Skin eruption, cuts and wounds Nutrients Anemia, high blood pressure Insect bite Induce lactation Swollen muscles Toothache||Lf||E Pound until soft and juicy, apply
directly or topically
|15||Lf, Sd||I Eat cooked leaves as vegetables|
|5||Lf, Sd||I Eat fresh or cooked leaves or seeds as vegetable.|
|1||Lf||E Apply fresh, heated leaves on bitten area|
|5||Lf||I Eat cooked leaves as vegetable|
|1||St||E Fastened pounded and heated stem or leaves with banana leaves and coconut oil|
|2||Lf||E Apply crushed leaves on affected tooth|
|9||Alstonia scholaris (L.) Poir||Apocynaceae||Dalipaoen/ Dalipaon||12||0.4||Diarrhea Malaria Abortifacient||Bk||I Drink decoction|
|10||Soursop; Guyabano (Annona muricata L.)||Annonaceae||Guyabano||3||0.1||Swollen muscles; rheumatism||Lf||I/E Drink decoction thrice a day. Apply on swollen muscles with few drops of oil|
|1||Stunned||E Smell crushed leaves|
body pains Cough Sore throat
|Rz||E Apply pounded rhizomes|
|2||E Fastened pounded and
heated rhizomes or leaves with coconut oil
|5||I Pound and squeeze, drink the sap or chew fresh rhizome|
|5||I cut into small pieces
and use as lozenges
(candy), allow to stay in
mouth for several hours
Diarrhea Scabies, skin
|Lf, Sp||E Apply sap directly.|
|Wash with decoction of|
|15||I/E Drink decoction of|
|Leaves. Chewed young|
|leaves or young fruits and|
|swallowed Apply leaves|
|on navel with oil|
|5||Lf||E Wash with decoction of|
|E Use decoction|
|(lukewarm) as an|
|13||Queen's Crape- myrtle; Banaba (Lagerstroe mia speciosa (L.) Pers.)||Lythraceae||Banaba||12||0.35||Difficulty of urination Flu||Lf, Fr||I Drink decoction|
|2||Lf, Br||E Chopped and boiled leaves for cold or hot bath sponges|
|11||Bougainvill ea (Bougainvill ea spectabilis)||Nyctaginaceae||Bougainvillea||1||0.03||Diarrhea||Lf||I Drink decoction|
|12||Sambong (Blumea balsamifera (L.) DC.)||Asteraceae||Subusob||5||0.88||Fever; headache; flu Difficulty of urination Cough||Lf
||E Chopped and boiled leaves for cold or hot bath sponges|
|15||I Drink decoction|
|15||I Drink decoction|
asthma Difficulty of urination
|Lf||E Chopped and boiled leaves for cold or hot
|15||Lf||I Drink crushed leaves diluted by water|
|4||Lf||I Drink decoction|
|29||Turmeric; Luyang dilaw (Curcuma longa L.) Syn.
|Zingeberaceae||Luyang dilaw||3||0.2||Arthritis||Rz||E Fastened pounded and heated rhizomes or leaves with coconut oil|
|5||High blood pressure||I Boil with water for 15 mins. Drink thrice a day|
|30||Wild spikenard; suob- kabayo (Hyptis suaveolens Poir.)||Rubiaceae||Pantalyon/ litalit||30||0.75||Cuts and wounds; bleeding||Lf||E Apply crushed leaves directly to wounds to stop bleeding. Rub on crushed leaves|
|31||String bean; sitaw (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. subsp.
|Leguminosae||Utong (shoots)||5||0.13||Difficulty of urination||Lf||I Eat tops as vegetables|
|32||Prayer beads; Saga (Abrus precatorius L.)||Fabaceae||Bugaiong||10||0.3||Cough; Asthma Bleeding||Lf; Rt||I Drink decoction|
|2||Lf||E Rub on crushed leaves to stop bleeding|
|33||Kullo- kullot||1||0.05||Insect bite||Lf||E Apply fresh, heated, steamed leaves on prick of poison fish, sea urchin, or insect bites|
|1||Difficulty of urination||I Drink decoction|
|34||Corn; Mais (Zea mays L.)||Graminae/ Poaceae||Mais||11||0.3||Difficulty of urination||Sk||I Drink decoction of young hairs thrice a day|
|1||High blood pressure||I Drink decoction of young hairs thrice a day|
|35||Jatropha gossypifolia L.||Euphorbiaceae||Tagumba w||10||0.25||Dislocation/fr acture||St||E Fastened heated stens with coconut oil for 3–5 s|
|36||Wild castor; Kirisol (Ricinus americanus Miller)||Fabaceae||Tagumbau||10||0.38||Bleeding, ulceration of wound||Lf Bk||E Use fresh leaves, 2 to 3 blades, remove petiole, pound and extract juice, decoct in water.|
|5||Snake bite||E Bark, slightly pounded, placed in the mouth as cure for snake bites; also applied to bites of various animals.|
|37||Snake weed; asthma weed; tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta L.)||Euphorbiaceae||Tawa- tawa/Gata s- gatas/Bot onis||3||0.43||Anemia Cuts and wounds High fever and dengue fever Abdominal Pains
Skin eruptions; scabies; local bleeding Snake bite Kidney stone Sore eyes
|Whole plant Lf||I Drink decoction thrice aday|
|1||Lf||E Apply crushed leaves on affected area|
|3||Sp||I Drink decoction thrice a day|
|38||Noni; Apatot (Morinda citrifolia L.)||Rubiaceae||Apatot||2||0.05||Diarrhea||Lf||I Drink decoction|
|39||Petroleum nut (Pittosporu m resiniferum Hemsl.)||Pittosporaceae||Dael||2||0.05||Diarrhea||Sd||I Eat fresh seeds|
|40||Malabar hoary; Palis (Callicarpa candicans (Burm.) F. Hochr.)||Verbenaceae||Anobrang||3||0.15||Cough Dysmenorrhe a||Lf||I Drink decoction.
|41||Kamatis (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.)
Syn. Physalis peruviana L.
|Solanaceae||Kamatis||1||0.025||Burns||Lf||E Apply pounded leaves|
|42||Lima bean; patani (Phaseolus lunatus L.)||Leguminosae||Patani||1||0.03||Scabies||Lf||E Mix leaf juice/extract with oil and apply liberally on the affected part|
|43||Melon tree; Papaya (Carica papaya L.)||Caricaceae||Papaya||2||0.15||Constipation Dog bite Appendicitis||Fr||I Eat a lot of ripe fruits|
|2||Fr||E Rub crushed unripe fruits on the bite area|
|2||Fw||I Drink decoction|
|44||Sweet tamarind; Kamatsile (Pithecellob ium dulce (Rorb.) Benth)||Leguminosae||Damortis/ kamatsile||1||0.08||Cuts and wounds Indigestion||Bk||E Apply pounded bark directly|
|2||I Drink decoction|
|45||Common resurrectio n lily;Dusol (Kaempferi a galangal
|Zingiberaceae||Dusol||1||0.05||Dog bite; Snake bite Wound||Lf||E Rub crushed or pounded leaves|
|1||Rz||E Apply crushed rhizome mixed with oil|
|46||Lead tree; Ipil- ipil(Leucae na leucocephal a Lam.)||Mimosaceae||Ipil-ipil||1||0.03||Intestinal worms||Sd||I Chew and eat raw seeds|
|47||Candle bush; Senna; Akapulko (Cassia alata Linn.) Syn. Cassia sophera Linn; Senna alata
|Fabaceae||Andadasi||0.5||0.2||Ringworm, scabies, eczema, tinea infections, itches, insect bites||Lf||E Pound enough fresh leaves; express (squeeze out) the juice and apply on the affected skin morning and evening. Improvement should be noticed after 2 -3 weeks of treatment.|
|48||Pigeon pea; Kadios (Cajanus cajan (L.) Huth)||Fabaceae||Kardis||2||0.08||Cough Ulcers of the Mouth||Sd||I Eat cooked seeds as vegetable|
|1||E Apply juice/extract from pounded seeds|
|49||Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei (Miq.) Koidz.)||Apiaceae||Asitaba||1||0.05||Diabetes High blood pressure||Lf||I Eat fresh leaves.
I Eat fresh leaves
|50||Flamingo lily; Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum Linden ex Andre)||Aracaceae||Anthorium||1||0.03||Kidney disease||Lf||I Drink decoction|
|51||Benghal day flower; bias-bias (Commelina benghalensis Linn.)||Commelinaceae||Kulkul-lasi||1||0.03||Boil||Lf||E Apply pounded leaves|
|52||Makahiya (Mimosa pudica L.) Syn.
|Fabaceae||Bain- bain/maka hiya||15||1||Difficulty of urination Tooth bleeding Cuts and wounds Abdominal pain Dysentery Dysmenorrhe a||Rt||I Drink decoction|
|5||Swollen muscles||Rt||E Apply juice/extract|
|2||Rt||E Apply juice/extract|
|2||Rt||I Drink decoction|
|1||Rt||I Drink decoction|
|1||Rt||I Drink decoction|
|1||Lf||E Apply crushed leaves on affected area|
ear; Bagambang (Macaranga tanarius (L.)
|Euphorbiaceae||Sabauil||3||0.08||Bleeding||St||E A handful of leaves are
salted and oiled, then heated over embers and stroked over the entire body, from head to foot
|54||Long pepper; Litlit (Piper retrofractum Vahl)||Piperaceae||Liwliw/Am aras||3||0.08||Postpartum fevers and chills||Lf||E Apply heated with oil or fresh leaves|
|55||Curranttree; Bignay (Antidesma bunius Linn.
Antidesma ciliatum Presl.
|Euphorbiaceae||Bugnay||3||0.28||Diarrhea Fever Urinary Tract Infection Kidney disease Cough
|Lf||I Drink decoction|
|56||Tiger grass; Indian pennywort; Takip-kuhol (Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.)||Umbelliferae||Petngag/ Malmalluk ong/laplap ayag||2||0.18||High fever||Lf||E Apply fresh leaves on a forehead|
|1||Difficulty of urination; UTI||I Drink decoction|
|5||Mumps; boils||E Apply juice/extract on affected area|
|57||Rice; Palay (Oryza sativa L.)||Graminiaceae/Poaceae||Pagai||1||0.03||Boils; Mumps||Grain||E Rice, boiled, drained and mashed, is made into a paste or moulded into balls. Apply in the affected area|
|58||Tobacco;Tabaco (Nicotiana tabacum L.)||Solanaceae||Tabako||1||0.03||Constipation||Lf||E Use as suppository|
|59||Betel leaf pepper; Ikmo (Piper betle L.)||Piperaceae||Gaued||10||0.25||Cough||Lf||E Rubbed fresh or heated leaves with coconut oil then heat for 3–5 s before apply chest and back|
|60||Chinese orange; Calamansi (Citrus microcarpa Bunge)||Rutaceae||Kalamansi||15||0.38||Dry cough and colds||Fr||I Roast partly and squeeze. Drink the juice|
|61||Herba Buena (Mentha arvensis L.
|Lamiaceae||Yerba buena||1||0.08||Body pain||Lf||E Apply crushed leaves on the temple, nape, back, arms, and legs. Cover the patient with
blanket to induce sweating.
I Drink crushed leaves diluted by water
|62||Seed- under-leaf; Sampa- sampaluka n (Phyllanthu s niruri L.)||Euphorbiaceae||Talta-likud||3||0.18||Abdominal pain Cough||Whole Plant Lf||I Drink decoction|
|4||I Drink extract/juice from crushed leaves|
|63||Wing stem grass; Sambong- gala; (Pterocaulon redolens (Forst: f.) F.-Vill||Asteraceae||Subusob; Subusob- a-balang||5||0.88||Fever; headache; flu Difficulty of urination Cough||Lf||E Chopped and boiled leaves for cold or hot bath sponges|
|15||Lf||I Drink decoction I|
|64||Areca nut palm; Bunga (Areca catechu L.)||Arecaceae||Boa/mama||5||0.38||Intestinal worms Strengthen teeth||Fr; Sd Fr; Sd||E Chewed and kept in mouth (betel chew)|
|65||Rosewood; Narra (Pterocarpu s indicus Willd.)||Fabaceae/Leguminoseae||Narra||1||0.03||Kidney stone||Heartw ood||I Drink decoction thrice a day|
|66||Painted nettle; Mayana (Plectranthus scutellarioides (L.) R. Br.)||Labiatae/Lamiaceae||Mayana||1||0.18||Sprain; cuts and wounds and bruises||Lf||E Pound until become soft and|
|6||juicy, apply directly or topically|
|67||Weeping fig; Balete (Ficus benjamina L.)||Moraceae||Balete||2||0.1||New delivered mother||Br; Lf||E Pounded and extracted juice from fresh leaves or decoction of bark, and use as shampoo for newly delivered mother Decoction as a hot compress|
|2||Hematoma; muscle pain||Br|
|68||Sweet elder; Sauko (Sambucus javanica Blume)||Caprofoliaceae||Galamat||2||0.05||Cuts and wounds||Lf||E Rub on crushed leaves|
|69||Niyog (Cocos nucifera L.)||Palmae/ Arecaceae||Niyog||16||0.55||Difficulty of urination Intestinal Worm Scabies; skin
|Fr||I Drink buko juice|
|3||I Eat the coconut meat|
|1||E Apply coconut oil directly|
|1||I Burn the coconut husk to ashes; dilute the ashes with water and drink.|
|1||Goiter||Fr||E Rub the ashes on the throat area. Fastened.|
|70||Black plum; Duhat (Syzygium cumini L. Skeels)||Myrtaceae||Lomboy/longboi||10||0.48||Sore throat; tonsillitis Diarrhea||Bk||I Drink decoction|
|9||I Drink decoction|
|71||Heavenly elixir; Makabuhay (Tinospora crispa (L.)
Hookf & Thorns)
|Menispermaceae||Makabuhay||2||0.15||Diarrhea Skin eruptions Cough Intestinal worms||St||I Drink decoction|
|1||Rt||E Apply extract|
|2||St||I Drink decoction|
|1||Rt||I Drink decoction|
|72||Maiden wort; damong- maria (Artemisia vulgaris L.)||Asteraceae||Erbaka||5||0.4||Menstruation Cough Headache Skin eruptions||Lf||I Drink juice/extract|
|5||I Drink juice/extract|
|5||E Apply juice/extract on forehead|
|1||E Apply juice/extract|
|73||Deadly nightshade; Kamatis- kamatisan; Lubi-lubi (Solanum nigrum L.)||Solanaceae||Mala- kamatis||1||0.03||Toothache||Sd||E Burn the seeds and apply on affected throat.|
|74||White silk cotton tree; Balios (Ceiba pentandra L.)||Bombaceae||Kapas sanglai||6||0.18||Diarrhea Toothache||Lf, St, Bk||I Drink decoction.
I Drink decoction
|75||Sarcandra glabra (Thunb.) Nakai||Chloranthaceae||Gipas/Gap as||3||0.3||Detoxification Diarrhea Cuts and wounds||Lf||I Drink decoction|
|6||I Drink decoction|
|3||E Apply crushed leaves on wounds|
|76||Lipstick plant; Achoete (Bixa orellana L.)||Bixaceae||Atsuete||1||0.03||Cough||Lf||E Rubbed fresh or heated leaves with coconut oil then heat for 3–5 s before apply chest and back|
|77||Common horsetail; buntot- buntotng kabayao (Equisetum ramossisimum (Roth.) Alston)||Equisetaceae||Putputod||10||0.28||UTI; Kidney disease Cough||Lf; St Lf||I Drink decoction thrice a day|
|1||I Drink decoction|
|78||Saging (Musa paradisiaca L.)||Musacaeae||Saba||1||0.03||Fever; headache||Lf||E Apply young leaves on a forehead with oil.|
|79||Chesa; Egg fruit tree; Tiesa (Pouteria campechiana (HBK)
|Sapotaceae||Tiesa||1||0.03||Diarrhea||Lf||I Drink decoction|
|80||White calachue; Temple flower; Kalachuchi (Plumeria acuminata L.)||Apocynaceae||Kalanuche||7||0.18||Skin eruption||Tk||E Apply sap from trunks with few drops of oil|
|81||Mango; Mangga (Mangifera indica L.)||Anacardiaceae||Mangga||1||0.03||Fever||Lf||I Drink decoction thrice a day.|
|83||Jackfruit; Langka (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.)||Moraceae||Langka||1||0.03||Diarrhea||Bk||I Drink decoction thrice a day|
|84||Aaron’s rod (Solidago virgaurea L.)||Compositae||Tantanduk||5||0.13||bladder stones, throat||Fw; Lf||I Decoction of leaves and/or flowers used as tea.|
|swelling and pain, tonsillitis, cough, cold, sprains, bruised|
|85||Rosas de Japon; Chrysanthe mum; Mansanilla (Chrysanth emum indicum L.)||Asteraceae||Mansanilla||4||0.15||Diarrhea; bloated stomach/flatu lence||Lf Lf||E Apply heated leaves on a stomach|
|1||Boils||E Apply decoction|
|86||Gali nut; Apunga; Komintana (Myrobalanus chebula Gaertn.)||Combretaceae||Bangles||1||0.03||Diarrhea; abdominal pain||Bk, Rt||I Drink decoction|
|87||Chayote; Vegetable pear; Sayote (Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw.)||Cucurbitaceae||Sayote||1||0.03||Hypertension||Fr||I Eat cooked fruit as vegetable|
|88||Arabian coffee; kape (Coffea arabica L.)||Rubiaceae||Kape
|1||0.05||Fever||Sd||I Drink brewed coffee|
|Sd||I Drink decoction.
E Apply decoction
|St||E Apply extract/juice|
|Bromeliaceae||Pinya||1||0.08||Detoxification||Fr||I Drink juice/extract|
|1||Fever||Lf||I Drink decoction|
|1||Constipation||Fr, Lf||I Eat fruits. Drink decoction of leaves|
|91||Comfrey; Komprey (Symphytum officinale L.)||Boraginaceae||Camprey||1||0.08||Diarrhea Cuts and wounds||Lf||I Drink decoction|
|2||E Apply extract/juice on affected area|
|92||Atchibar||1||0.05||Dysmenorrhea||Lf||E Apply crushed leaves|
|1||Boils||Lf||E Apply extract/juice on
|1||0.03||Cough||Rt||E Rubbed fresh or heated
leaves with coconut oil
then heat for 3–5 s
before apply chest and
|94||Cacahuati (Theobrama cacao L.)||Malvaceae||Cacao/kak aw||7||0.25||Fever||Sd||E Apply pounded seeds on forehead|
|3||Skin eruptions||Sd||E Apply pounded seeds on affected area|
|95||Wild teas; Tsaang- gubat (Ehretia microphylla Lam.)||Boraginaceae||Itsa/Icha- ti-bakir||6||0.15||Abdominal pain||Lf||I Drink decoction|
|96||Madre de cacao (Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth) Senna spectabilis (DC.) Irwin and Barneby||Fabaceae||Madre de cacao/kak awate||8||0.28||Scabies||Lf Lf||E Apply extract/juice on affected area|
|97||Soap pad; Acacia Acacia concinna ((Wllld)||Leguminosae||Acacia||1||0.03||Bloody diarrhea||Bk||I Drink decoction|
|98||Carrot (Daucus carota L. ssp sativus (Hoffm) Arcang.||Apiaceae||Carrot||1||0.03||High blood pressure||Rt (special ized)||I Eat as raw vegetable|
|99||Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Mill.)||Aloe vera/Sabil a||5||0.25||Alopecia||Sp||E Apply sap directly on the scalp. Let it stay for 5 mins and rinse.|
|5||Skin eruptions; cuts and wounds||Lf||E Apply crushed leaves|
|100||Loly fruit; santol (Sandoricum koetjape Merr.)||Meliaceae||Santol||2||0.38||Fever||Fr||I Eat fresh fruits|
|3||Diarrhea||Bk||I Drink decoction|
|10||Embalming||Bk||E Bark placed in the casket|
|101||Pamienta (Piper nigrum L.)||Piperaceae||Paminta||2||0.05||Cough||Lf||E Rubbed fresh or steamed leaves with coconut oil then heat for 3–5 s before apply chest and back|
|102||Gumbo; lady’s fingers; okra (Abelmosch us esculentus (Linn.) Moench.)||Malvaceae||Okra||1||0.05||Hypertension||Fr||I Eat cooked fruits as vegetables. Drink juice/extract|
|1||Constipation||I Eat raw fruits 1 h before and after meals.|
|103||Sugar apple; Atis (Annona squamosa L.)||Annonaceae||Atis||2||0.08||Skin eruptions; scabies||Lf||E Apply decoction while still lukewarm|
|1||Fever||Lf||E Apply on head as cold compress|
|104||Rose balsam; kamantigi (Impatiens balsamina L.)||Balsaminaceae||Kamantigi||2||0.05||Athlete’s foot||Fw||E Rub extract|
|105||Stink grass; lantana; Kantutay (Lantana camara L.)||Verbenaceae||Bangbagsit||2||0.05||Mumps||Lf||E Apply crushed leaves|
|106||Alugbate (Basella alba L.)||Basellaceae||Alugbati||1||0.03||Boils||Lf||E Apply extract/juice directly on affected area|
|107||Jute; Saluyot (Corchorus olitorius)||Tiliaceae||Saluyot||1||0.05||Kidney stones||Rt||I Drink decoction|
|1||Constipation||Lf||I Eat cooked leaves as vegetables.|
|108||Sweet potato; Kamote
(Ipomoea batatas (L.) Poir.var. edulis (Thunb.)Ku ntze)
|Convolulaceae||Kamote||5||0.13||Anemia||Lf||I Eat tops as vegetable|
|109||Panama Cherry; Mansanitas (Muntingia calabura L.)||Elaeocarpaceae||Mansanitas/Aratiles||8||0.2||Diarrhea||Br||I Drink decoction thrice a day|
a UV is the sum of the number of use-reports cited by each informant for a given species divided by the total number of informants.
b Bk, barks; Fr, fruits; Fw flowers; Lf, leaves; Rt, roots; Rz, rhizomes; Sd, seeds; Sk, silk; Sp, sap/juice; St, stems; Tk, trunk c I, internal; E, external.
Table 2: Medicinal plants used by indigenous peoples of Santol, La Union and Use Value (UV).
The Department of Health (DOH) has recommended Sampung Halamang Gamot in its traditional health maintenance program namely Blumea balsamifera, Cassia alata, Psidium guajava, Allium sativum, Momordica charantia, Vitex negundo, Mentha sp., Peperomia pellucida, Quisqualis indica and Carmona retusa. The pharmacological effects of these plants have been clinically proven to be significant. Of these ten medicinal plants recommended by the DOH, the first eight species mentioned were reported in this survey. The utilization of these plants is higher than for any of other plants.
3.4 Collection sites
Medicinal plants are collected in the wild by individuals or their family members. Five percent of medicinal plants used were cultivated for medicinal purposes, and 15% were cultivated as vegetables, with 80% found growing wild in fields, backyards, or forests. Most plants could be easily found near homes, reflecting that the current study area is rich in natural resources allowing for the collection, rather than cultivation, of medicinal plants. However, in the future, to stem the loss of knowledge regarding medicinal plants and prevents the eradication of these resources, it is necessary to consider intentional cultivation of these useful plants. One must consider that the medicinal properties of plants, as well as the secondary metabolites produced under stress and competition, are not always expressed in fastgrowing monocultures. Rather, higher levels of active compounds may be present in wild populations where plants grow more slowly [2,19]. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct further investigation into the components of medicinal plants and to conduct chemical analyses.
3.5 Plant part used
All parts of various plant species are used against a variety of diseases. The most frequently used part is the leaves (55%), followed by bark (15%), stems (10%), fruits (5%) and sap or juice (5%). The utilization of the underground organs, both roots and rhizomes (5%) were also observed. The fact that leaves are the most frequently used part corresponds to similar results reported in many other ethnomedicinal studies in Asia [2,20]. It was also observed that residents have been using leaves to identify medicinal plants. Additionally, leaves are the main photosynthetic organs in plants, and photosynthates are translocated to other parts, such as the roots, bark, fruits and seeds. These can act as toxins for protection against predators and some are of medicinal value to humans.
3.6 Preparation and administration
The main method of preparation was use of the intact plants (31%), followed by pounding or crushing (21%), decoction (20%), heating (15%), boiling (6%) and steaming (4%), while burning and drying represented the least used preparation methods. In other words, 52% of the plants were used fresh and 48% were heated somehow. Both internal and external methods of administration were used to cure ailments. External application is safer because external application results in indirect yet immediate local effects on the area and allows for easier regulation of dosages depending on the concentrations of beneficial or toxic compounds.
Sap/juice from crushed leaves has been used for cuts and wounds, and large, thick leaves have been used for hot or cold compress to relieved pain, headache, rheumatoid arthritis or fever. The leaves are sometimes pretreated by applying coconut oil before application to the afflicted area to facilitate adhesion of the leaves to the affected area.
3.7 Use value
UVs, representing the relative importance of plants, were high for Vitex negundo (1.00), Mimosa pudica L. (1.00), Psidium guajava L. (1.00), Moringa oleifera Lam. (0.88), Blumea balsamifera (L.) DC. (0.88), and Hyptis suaveolens Poir. (0.75). These were the most frequently used plant species for each ailment category: Vitex negundo for diseases of the respiratory system, Mimosa pudica L. and Blumea balsamifera (L.) DC. for diseases of the genitourinary system, Psidium guajava L. and Hyptis suaveolens Poir for diseases of the digestive system and injury of external causes and Moringa oleifera Lam. for endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases.
3.8 Informant consensus factor
ICFs were calculated using the reports in each of the 13 categories. The results ranged from 0.63 to 1.00 (Table 1). The highest ICF value, 1.00, indicates that people use a particular plant consistently in that category. However, the number of use-reports (Nur) in these high-ICF categories was extremely low. After excluding categories with a Nur of less than eight (0.5%), the highest remaining ICF category was for diseases of the genitourinary system (0.85), diseases of the respiratory system (0.82) and endocrine, nutritional and metabolic problems (0.80). The most frequently used plant species in each category were those plants with high UV. Blumea balsamifera (L.) DC. for genitourinary system diseases, Vitex negundo and Coleus amboinicus for respiratory illnesses and Moringa oleifera Lam. for endocrine, nutritional and metabolic problems. The low ICF for some plant species may be explained by the availability of easily accessible pharmaceuticals that provide alter- natives to traditional medicine. These pharmaceuticals may reduce the use of some traditional remedies
The ailments with the highest ICF values were Urinary Tract Infection and kidney stones predominantly considered by difficulty of urination. The following plants were utilized for the said ailments: Imperata cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv, Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers., Blumea balsamifera (L.) DC.), Vitex negundo, Persea americana Mill., Zea mays L.) and Cocos nucifera L.). Leaves of such plants were commonly utilized, boiled in water for 30 minutes and decoctions were taken internally for thrice a day.
3.9 Fidelity level
FLs for plant species for specific diseases varied widely, ranging between 6.02% to 100%. Most of the plants with high FL values have pharmacological effects that have been proven scientifically. On the other hand, the lowest FL indicated less-preferred species for treating specific ailments. In contrast, these plants have been widely used for several diseases. High ICFs and FLs for specific species suggest that the plants might contain valuable phytochemical compounds. These traditional medicines, handed down despite their traditional back- ground, have high ICFs and FLs because of their efficacy and safety.
This study confirms that plants are still a major source of medicine for the local people in Santol, La Union. Modern healthcare systems in this area are not adequate, and some parts of the population have limited means to buy modern medicine. Thus, traditional medicine remains the most popular solution to health issues. Most of the recorded plants grew in the wild. Notably, the uses of some plants have not been reported in the literature. The results also reveal the urgency of collecting ethnopharmacological data because knowledge of medicinal plants is vanishing. Residents use several plants against conditions such as hypertension and urinary disorders. This study suggests that detailed pharmacological evaluation of these plants is required because the pharmacological basis for the activity of some plants has not been determined. Further research can encourage the continued use of medicinal plants.