The practice of using medicinal plants by local herbalists in Cavite, Philippines
Medicinal plants are widely spread all over the Philippines and knowledge on its utilization are held by various distinct local groups. Due to rapid urbanization which could ultimately lead to the total loss of this oral tradition, there is a need for its documentation; hence, this study was conducted. This paper aims to provide documentation of the local knowledge and practices on medicinal plant utilization in the urban province of Cavite, Philippines. Ninety-four informants were identified and were interviewed. A total of 106 medicinal plants belonging to 50 families largely represented by Lamiaceae were reported. Most of these plants are cultivated herbs, in which leaves are the most preferred plant organ for use. Also, medicinal preparations are usually employed internally as decoctions. This study demonstrates the wide range of plant species of medicinal value in Cavite, and the role that this traditional knowledge and practices is playing in supporting the local health care system. More importantly, the medicinal uses reported in this study could be scientifically tested for safety and efficacy for possible pharmaceutical applications in the future.
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