1. Poultice made of moss heals wounds and relieves pain.
This is a common practice in the highlands where moss is plentiful and luxuriantly growing. Fresh moss is crashed into a pulp and directly applied on a fresh or infected wound, loosely wrapping it with gauze or cloth strip.
Lourdes V. Alvarez in her masteral thesis at the
demonstrated the effectiveness of moss (Pogonatum neesi) against Staphylococcus bacteria, the most common cause of infection. Moss extract contains flavonoids, steroids, terpenes and phenols, which are responsible for the antibiotic properties of this lowly, ancient bryophyte. University of Santo Tomas
2. Olasiman or Piperomia pellucida relieves arthritis.
This annual herb appears waxy and translucent for which it got its name, pellucidus. It is shallow rooted, its stem succulent and bears alternate heart-shaped turgid leaves that are transparent and smooth as candle wax. It grows 20 to 40 cm high, often in groups, and favoring damp and shady places in some nooks in the garden and around the house. It bears tiny dot-like flowers scattered along a stalk which develop into naked and dark seeds loosely attached to it.
After digging out an anthill or termite mound, the soldier termites (large headed) are carefully gathered, and ground into a paste which is then directly applied on the wound or skin sore. In some parts of
Africa, the United Nations for successfully treating thousands of residents in remote desert communities using the same ethnic remedy hailed a village healer (equivalent to our herbolario). Laboratory tests revealed that termite poultice contains antibiotics more potent than commercial antibiotics.
4. Kakawate or madre de cacao poultice relieves inflammation and hematoma.
Old folks simply make a poultice from the leaves of this leguminous tree, Gliricida sepium. It is applied on the swollen area caused by hematoma, sprain, and infection until the inflammation subsides. This remedy is not popular because of the nauseating odor of kakawate. It is this characteristic odor that makes the plant an effective remedy for skin disorder (galis) in pets caused by licks, lice and flea.