Herbs for your edible landscape

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014


LAST year I was requested by the regional organization of the Women Missionary Society in Western Visayas Region to talk about herbs and their benefits.

It was a fruitful experience for me. I learned they wanted to have more of the things I talked on the radio in my “Gardening Tips” segment in the “Kapanimalay” program over dyVS.

It was a wonderful time meeting my listeners face to face all over the region, and some of them wrote their names written in my notebook for me to greet them sometimes.

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What I taught them I also want to share to you my dear readers.

Department of Agriculture Region 6 has come up with a booklet to help the people how to be healthy without so much expense since most of the medicinal plants/crops are just around us to explore.

The booklet is entitled: “Mga Tanum nga Bulong (Medicinal Plants)." It features 134 kinds of plants--from herbs, to vegetables, to wild crops, to fruits, and even to weeds to be used by man according to its purpose.

Some of them are, of course, in our garden already intercropped with the horticultural crops that we sell for those who want to avail of these kinds of plants.

Many of you may have such crops also in your own gardens. One example is gumamela, or locally known as "tapulanga." Have you tasted already the tea out of it? I tasted it years ago straight from the US from a friend. But you know what? A client from Salvador Benedicto has gone to the office (Office of the Provincial Agriculturist) last week and wow! She has her own way of packaging the Hibiscus rosa senensis (scientific name of gumamela) into a tea.

She has her own testimony of its value also to the members of her family. It is, of course, good for the kidney, and known to cure nervous breakdown, baldness, sore eyes and gonorrhea.

But I have tasted gumamela in the most exotic way--as a salad made of its flower together with other “not so common ingredients” of green salad that you taste only at Rapha Valley of Doctor Albert Jo at Salvador Benedicto also. You have not seen the best of ‘edible landscape’ if you have not visited the farm.

Another herb that can be found also in many gardens is "yahong-yahong." It is good for LBM and, some said, as memory enhancer (like you take 2 leaves a day for maintenance). Others are eggplant -- good for wounds, arthritis, and headache; chico -- good for fever, LBM, and menstrual disturbance.

Who has not heard of oregano? It’s not just good for cough but also for burns, indigestion and if you are bitten by millipede just chop the leaves and cover on the bitten area.

Who has not tasted their own brand of oregano juice by Nature's Village Resort at Talisay City and of malunggay shake by May’s Organic Garden? Of course, banana must always be in every corner of our garden as it is the most versatile fruit for all season.

Oh my! One page will not suffice in featuring the herbs from our edible landscape to satisfy your need. For those interested on more herbs and their benefits, visit me at the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.*

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 11, 2014.

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