Category Archives: Natural Remedies

Oregano leaves for cough | Natural Remedies

Oregano leaves for cough – I’ve seen my mama use it before, but i’ve never really tried it until now.

Manila weather is now transitioning from (relatively) cool to summery warm. And sometimes we’d get both in one day – cool mornings/evenings and uber-hot afternoons! Lately, we’d also get a bit of drizzling. It’s crazy weather we have!

The result: kiddie noses go haywire! And the sniffles so quickly turn into coughing. (Because of post-nasal drip, the doc says – mucus in the nose falls down the back of the nasal cavity and into the throat when one lies down during sleep so, voila, instant cough in the morning!)

I believe in modern medicine. But I also believe that taking too much synthetic drugs isn’t good for the kidneys and liver. So, I try to avoid giving meds to my kids as much as I can.

When the the lagundi cough preparation came out, I gave it a try and found that it works. (Nate gets skin rashes though, so I stopped giving him lagundi.)

There are a lot of natural remedies that we can turn to for simple colds and sore throat. Boiling ginger to make an ale is a common one.

I didn’t know I had a pot of oregano plant in the small garden. Apparently, ate Josie got a stem from a neighbor and  stuck it on some potted soil. The stem is now a full plant that’s healthily growing.

I remember reading somewhere about the use of oregano leaves for cough, so I gathered some leaves and boiled them to make oregano tea (for myself, I was unsuccessful into getting the kids drink it). It wasn’t so bad; I loved the minty taste. I would have added some honey if I had some.

oregano leaves for cough

Oregano leaf extracts/juices are said to be good for asthma, bronchitis, chronic cough and rheumatism. Oregano tea (a decoction  of oregano leaves) is taken to relieve sore throat and to prevent degeneration of the  joints (“rayuma” or osteoarthritis).

I haven’t attempted juicing oregano leaves yet. But I just might try it one day soon.

Natural remedies are safer options for simple aches and pains that parents can consider. Besides, being on-call nurses (will I dare say quack docs? haha) to our own kids is probably one of the more challenging health care jobs one can have.

What natural remedies do you have in your home “infirmary”?

My Salabat – ginger + pandan + kalimeris leaves

While sick last week, I discovered a wonderful concoction that I can make myself. Best of all, I get everything from my garden and kitchen.

It’s a basic brew similar to salabat or ginger ale. I learned from an auntie, however, that pandan gives the basic salabat such a wonderful, soothing aroma. And so I threw in a whole talk. Then I thought of adding a few leaves of my kalimeris plant, claimed to have medicinal properties that benefit the diabetic and hypertensive.

Voila – a nice, soothing brew. It’s perfect for sore throat. Or for any other day that I don’t feel like having coffee. 🙂


I’m not sure if my brew aids in weight loss or cleansing the colon. There are colon cleansing pills in the market and according to colon cleanse reviews, they work in varying degrees. Again, I cannot overemphasize the advantages and benefits of natural weight loss over “assisted” ones.

Home-cultured Kefir

Some time ago, a blogger friend, Jane, gave me some kefir grains. Prior to that, I have never seen, tasted or heard of kefir, except for occasionally reading her blog entries about it.

One of the benefits of kefir I was told about is the strengthening of the immune system against infections and allergies. Since I have one atopic son, those were enough magic words.

So, initially guided by Jane, I cultured my kefir grains and started preparing kefir shakes for the family. Pretty soon, it became routine, but unfortunately I got busy and neglected my culture.

In short, my kefir grains have been asleep in the ref for several months now. But this article by Jane on kefir is inspiring me to awaken the sleeping grains. One more wondrous benefit I learned through the article is kefir’s ability to promote relaxation and sleep, by virtue of its high content of tryptophans. Tryptophans are amino acids that are said to promote relaxation and better sleep – like a natural sleep aid!

Now sleep is something I’d love to have more of!

The wheatgrass buzz

I started seeing those green grassy plants at the gym’s juice bar last year. But I have never been tempted to try it.

Lately, my cousin has been posting his wheatgrass babies on Facebook. He even created a Facebook page solely dedicated to the green juice.

So what’s in wheatgrass? Why is it becoming such a hit among health buffs?

Wheatgrass is the young plant of the common wheat. Though there are a lot of commercially available finished products, more and more wheatgrass enthusiasts are cultivating the plant in their own homes.

Its juice is squeezed out with a juicer and often taken pure. Others prefer it mixed into a shake. The pure juice tastes like “grass – bitter, fresh grass,” as one friend put it.

That definitely did not make me a convert.

The supposed health benefits, however, outweigh the, uhmmm, taste… Continue reading The wheatgrass buzz

Ashitaba Plant and its benefits

Update (July 1, 2013): I think this is an Ashitaba plant. I saw some similar looking plants at Manila Seedling Bank on a recent visit there, and the vendor said they’re called Ashitaba. And yes, they’re supposed to have a lot of healing benefits. I also saw a post on Instagram by a mommy friend that confirmed this is ashitaba. Yehey, the plant now has a name. 🙂

Mama also took some leaves from my plants and planted them in her garden. Of course, she was able to propagate her ashitaba plant. She boils the leaves to make tea whenever she or Dad feels a sore throat or cough coming on. Ashitaba is also good for maintaining normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Update (January 17, 2010): I was finally able to remember to ask my Mandarin teacher yesterday. The scientific name of this plant is Kalimeris indica (Indian aster).

My Mandarin teachers at Dash Center gave me two small plants the other day.

They say the plant has medicinal properties. The leaves, when eaten raw one piece every two hours, are effective in arresting a cough in its early stages.

Knowing that I have an allergic child, my teachers gave me the plant. Its leaves are edible – I ate one and it has a mild nutty flavor. I think it would be perfect for salads! Unfortunately, my teachers do not know what they are –

Ashitaba plant
Can you help me identify this plant?

Anyway, the plants are small and I need to propagate them before I can make salads. The teachers say the plants grow easily. Hmmm… Wish me luck because I do not have my Mama’s green thumb!