University of Philippines Manila

Harnessing Nature’s Bounty: NIH-IHM unveils 7th edition of the Guidebook on Medicinal Plants

In a momentous event marking the 50th Anniversary of the National Integrated Research Program of the Philippines (NIRPROMP), the UP Manila National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institute of Herbal Medicine
(IHM) revealed the 7th edition of the “Guidebook on the Proper Use of Medicinal Plants” during Day One of the 4th Herbal Medicine Summit on 18 January 2024 at the Sheraton Manila Bay.

IHM Director Dr. Cecilia C. Maramba-Lazarte expressed her belief that the 2024 edition of the guidebook is a testament to five decades of groundbreaking research and innovation in the field of herbal medicine.

What’s Inside

With the pharmaceutical landscape constantly evolving, the 7th edition of the guidebook reflects the dynamism of herbal medicine research. In the book, NIRPROMP/IHM introduces noteworthy updates, including expanded sections on the agricultural aspects of medicinal plant cultivation, tackling common
diseases and pests. The guidebook also features validated new herbal medicine products such as ulasimang bato tablets and tsaang-gubat syrup. Notably, lagundi is touted for its potential in addressing mild COVID-19 symptoms, while sambong gains recognition for its anti-hyperuricemic properties.
In Section 4, the guidebook takes a holistic approach by incorporating evidence-based recommendations for a range of symptoms and common diseases. From common colds to mild COVID-19 effects, cradle cap to lice, the guide presents a comprehensive compilation of medicinal plants with proven efficacy in addressing various health concerns.

Other Valuable Materials

The event also saw the introduction of two additional essential resources. The “Paggamit ng Halamang Gamot para sa Komunidad” manuals consisting of Part 1 and Part 2 were presented to the summit participants. Part 1 focused on “Cultivation, Propagation, and Harvesting” and “Community Health Worker’s Guide to Medicinal Plants,” while Part 2 – “Uses and Applications,” were crafted to aid community health workers in gaining a deeper understanding of thoroughly studied medicinal
plants as effective remedies for various ailments.

Significance and Future Visions

The manuals go beyond simply educating healthcare workers; they strive to promote the widespread use of medicinal plants, not only among health professionals but throughout the entire community. It is hoped that these resource materials will be a valuable asset for citizens who may face difficulties in acquiring conventional medicines due to financial constraints, geographical remoteness, or a lack of
public services.

Looking ahead, NIRPROMP/IHM envisions a future where Philippine Herbal Medicines seamlessly integrate into Universal Healthcare. In her message, Dr. Maramba-Lazarte emphasized the importance of basing medicinal plant utilization on research evidence rather than folklore, a mission NIRPROMP/IHM will continue to champion.

As IHM is poised to launch 10 new herbal medicines in the near future, it continues to build on its commitment to pioneering research that propels Philippine herbal medicines into the mainstream market.

To pre-order the Guidebook, please scan the QR code below:

Charmaine A. Lingdas

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