Friday, September 19, 2008

How to prepare Ginger Lozenges

Medicated candies prepared from rhizomes of luya, Zingiber officinale, for sore throat, cough and as breath freshener, dissolved in the mouth as needed.


Ginger rhizomes, powdered;
confectioner’s sugar,
gum Arabic powder, USP;
water, mortar and pestle,
wax paper,
aluminum foil

Proportion: 2 tablespoon powdered ginger for every cup of confectioner’s sugar.


1. Mix powdered ginger, confectioner’s sugar, a little gum Arabic powder in a mortar and pestle.

2. Add water, a few drops at a time, enough to form a mass/ball.

3. Line a tray/plate with cornstarch lightly. Transfer the mass/ball to the starch-lined tray.

4. Flatten the mass/ball to desired thickness, or make a long roll.

5. Divide the flattened mass or roll, as the case maybe, into equal portions, as desired.

6. Allow the discs to dry (air-dry or place in an oven briefly); then wrap each one in aluminum foil.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Uses of Siling Labuyo (Capsicum frutescens)

Scientific name: Capsicum frutescens L.

Common names: Pasitis (Tagalog); silit diablo (Ilokano); lada (Bikol); katambal (Bisaya); African chillies, Cayenne., Chile (Sp.); chileng-bundok (Tag.); kasira (Mag.); katumbal (Bis.); kitikot (Bis.); lada (Sul., Bik.); lara (Sul.); paktin (IF.); pasitis (Tag.); rimorimo (Bik.); sili (most dialects); sileng-labuyo (Tag.); siling-palai (Tag.); Spanish pepper, red pepper, cayenne, chile pepper, chillii (Engl.).

Indications and preparations: Liniments from crushed fruits for muscular aches and joint pains.

Sileng-labuyo is ubiquitous in the Philippines. It is a native of tropical America, but is now pantropic.

This pepper plant is erect, branched, half-woody, and 0.8 to 1.5 meters in height. The leaves are oblong-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 3 to 10 centimeters long, and pointed at the tip. The flowers are solitary or occur several in each axil, and are stalked, pale green or yellowish-green, and 8 to 9 millimeters in diameter. The fruit is commonly red when ripe, oblong-lanceolate, and 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters long. The seeds are numerous and discoid.

The fruit has a very sharp taste and is extensively used as a condiment. It is mixed with or made into pickles, and is a principal ingredient in all curies in India. The leaves are very extensively used as a green vegetable. They have a very pleasant, somewhat piquant flavor. The leaves are excellent sources of calcium, and iron and a good source of phosphorus, vitamin B, and vitamin A.

The fruit contains an active ingredient, capsaicin, 0.14 per cent; and capsaicin, 0.15 - 0.5 per cent; starch, 0.89 - 1.4 per cent; pentosans, 8.57 per cent; and pectin; 2.33 cent. The fruit is official in the Argentine and United States Pharmacopoeias; and also in the British, and Indian Pharmacopoeias.

According to Drury Cayenne, pepper is believed to be wholesome for persons of phlegmatic temperament, being considered stimulating. When eaten fresh, it is an excellent promoter of ligaments in tropical countries. The bruised berries are employed as powerful rubefacients, being preferred to sinapisms in sore throats. They are also given, with the best results, as a gargle. Chilli vinegar (made by pouring hot vinegar upon the fruit) is an excellent stomachic. Chillies are employed, in combination with cinchona, in intermittent and lethargic affections, and also in atonic gout, dyspepsia accompanied with flatulence, tympanitis, and paralysis.

Warm fomentation of both leaves and fruit is applied for rheumatic pains. The leaves of some varieties are used as a dressing for wounds and sores. A strong infusion of the fruit of the hotter kinds is applied as a lotion for ringworm of the scalp.

Chillies are used in native practice in typhus intermittent fevers and dropsy; also in gout, dyspepsia, and cholera. Externally, they are used as a rubefacient and internally, as a stomachic.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Uses of Aloe vera (Sabila)

Scientific name: Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f.

Common names: Dilang buwaya, acibar (general); Curacao aloe, aloe.

Indications and preparations: Sap from fresh leaves for alopecia, falling hair, burns, psoriasis, complexion care. Pounded leaves poultice for contusions and localized edema.

Sabila is used for ornamental and medicinal purposes in the Philippines. The stems of sabila grow from 30 to 40 centimeters in height. The leaves are fleshy, mucilaginous, and succulent, 20 to 50 centimeters long, 5 to 8 centimeters wide; gradually narrowed and the base, pale green, and irregular, white-clothed, and the margins having weak prickles. The inflorescence is erect, and usually twice the height of the plant. The flowers are 2 to 3 centimeters long, yellow, with the segments about equal the oblong tube.

The leaves contain barbaloin 25 per cent, isobarbaloin 0.5 per cent, emodin, resin, and traces of volatile oil; in the Sicilian variety, with sicaloiu. It also contains cinnamic acid, d-arakinose and oxydase.

The juice of the fleshy leaves is usually mixed with gogo by the Filipino women to prevent falling of the hair and to cure baldness. The juice from the leaves mixed with wine preserves the hair, according to reports. Also the juice mixed with milk cures dysentery and pains in the kidney. The leaves are used by Filipino herbalist to poultice edema of beriberi patients. The alcoholic tincture of this inspissated juice is used in India and in the Antilles to cure bruises or contusions and ecchymosis.
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