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GARCIA, JUSTIN ALBERT A.

MEB21
ETHNOBOTANY LECTURE

REACTION: PAST AND FUTURE USES OF HERBAL MEDICINE IN THE


PHILIPPINES

Herbal medicine is one of the underrated sectors of medicine. It is one


of the sectors that dont receive much funding because the mainstream
drugs used are synthetic drugs.

There are lots of herbal drugs that went

undetermined because of lack of funding. Some say that the large


pharmaceutical companies and other large influential organizations prevent
the study of herbal medicine due to business concerns, projecting that
synthetic drugs, where pharmaceutical companies profit, may be overtaken
by the growing herbal drugs sector.

Dr. Tan, a resource speaker from the University of the Philippines,


explained the importance, past, and as well future uses of herbal medicine.
He also talked a lot about the growing sector of herbal medicine and the lack
of support by the national government, saying that the 10 herbal drugs that
he and his co-doctor contributed during their stint as the Department of
Health secretary of President Ramos, remains without change and with
nothing new added.

The past governments much relied on the booming

economy produced by synthetics rather than underfunded herbal medicine.


The lack of support caused the lack of development and research on
medicine plants in the Philippines.

I believe that giving importance to herbal drugs will contribute to even


more effective medicine, who knows what might be discovered in the
phytochemicals of these plants, who knows what cure might be lying ahead
for long term diseases such diabetes, cancer, and many more other. Aside
from discovering the uses of these plants, the indigenous people can profit
from producing their plants, create jobs for the manufacturing, and instigate
even more researches.

We have relied much with our abilities to create synthetic drugs, there
will come a time where researches will come to a hiatus due to lack of new
discovery, and we will go back in search for phytochemicals found in plants.

Other countries like Indonesia have invested much on these, and are
doing well with their research.

I hope in the days to come, that the national

government would give importance to herbal medicine, so that our country


would not rely on buying patented drugs produced by other countries, for the
reason that we would be producing our own drugs here without paying for
the patent, and we might also be the one exporting these herbal medicine to
the whole world.

Filipino researches are full of passion and determination, the lack of


support from the government dissuaded them from continuing research here
in our country, thus working for companies owned by power-house countries
like Japan or other countries in Europe. As I take a path of medically inclined
career and education, I have the optimism that I might be able to contribute
something with significant importance that will be part of the ongoing
support of herbal medicine.