Luzon: Kalabong, Kalimumog, Katdalugod, Maragued, Mara-mara,

Taglokot, Talibunog, Tst, Tsaang-gubat, Tsa-tsa

Visayas: Alibungog, Semente

Mindanao: Alangitngit, Alingitngit, Buyo-buyo


Tsaang-gubat is a low, woody plant with several stems. It is grown as ornamental or bonsai because of its attractive appearance. Its leaves are small and have dark, green and shiny upper surface. Tsaang-gubat is indicated or used primarily for diarrhea. But it is also advised for stomachache and colic.




A person has diarrhea or LBM (Loose Bowel Movement) when his stool is soft to watery and when he has to move his bowels more often than two times in one day. To treat diarrhea using Tsaang-gubat, follow these steps:


1. Determine the amount of Tsaang-gubat leaves to use. The amount of leaves to use varies according to the age of patient and the condition of leaves, as follows:


Condition of leaves

Age of patient Dried (crushed) Fresh (chopped)

Adult 10 tbsp. 12 tbsp.

7-12 years 5 tbsp. 6 tbsp.

2-6 years 2½ tbsp. 3 tbsp.


2. Boil corrent amount of leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes.


3. Let cool, then strain and divide into 4 parts.


4. Take 1 part every two hours (until stool becomes solid).


Boiling the Mixture


There are important rules to follow when boiling the leaves in water. Observe strictly the following:


— Use only enamelled container or claypot (“palayok”), never an aluminum pot.

— A standard glass or cup should contain 240 ml. or 8 fluid ounces of water. This

measurement is the same as the content of a bottle or regular size Pepsi or Coke.

— Mix leaves in water before placing on fire.

— As soon as the mixture boils uncover the pot and let boil continuously for 15 minutes.

Remember that the mixture should boil uncovered.

— Strain and let cool. You now have what is called “decoction.”


Storing the Decoction


For convenience, you may prepare enough decoction that you can use for several days. Simply adjust the amount of leaves to use according to the amount of water that  you will boil. When kept in thermo pot (“termos”), the decoction will last for three days  without losing its efficacy. When kept in refrigerator, the decoction will last up to four days without losing its efficacy. Keep in mind, however, that whether kept in thermo pot or refrigerated the decoction must not be taken anymore when its color has changed or when it has grown molds or fungus.


Oral Rehydration Solution


To prevent dehydration due to diarrhea, a person should take a solution of water, sugar and salt, known as Oral Rehydration Solution or ORS. ORS can either be bought from the drugstore, obtained for your community health clinic or prepared at home.


To prepare your own ORS, simply mix in a pitcher or jar 4 glasses of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 3/4 (three-fourths) teaspoon of salt. These are the basic ingredients of an ORS. An adult is advised to drink at least three glasses of this solution every one hour or after every diarrheal discharge. Children should take in one and one-half (1½) glasses. But a “more complete” ORS can be prepared by substituting some of the basic ingredients. If honey is available, use 2 tablespoons honey instead of sugar. Also, the three-fourth (3/4) teaspoon salt can be substituted with one-fourth (1/4) teaspoon

baking soda plus one-fourth (1/4) teaspoon salt.


In severe dehydration, a diarrheal patient is rehydrated intravenously with a solution,

more popularly called dextrose or saline. Only a medical personnel is allowed to administer this procedure.


Stomachache and Colic


To relieve stomachache and colic caused by indigestion, excessive air in the stomach or vomitting, Tsaang-gubat is prepared as follows:


1. Determine the amount of Tsaang-gubat leaves to use, which varies according to the age of patient and the condition of leaves, as follows:

Condition of leaves

Age of patient Dried (crushed) Fresh (chopped)

Adult 2 tbsp. 3 tbsp.

7-12 years 1 tbsp. 1½ tbsp.

2. Boil correct amount of leaves in 1 glass of water for 15 minutes.

3. Strain and drink when lukewarm.


If the pain is not relieved within one hour after taking Tsaang-gubat, prepare another glassful following the same steps above. If the pain is still not relieved, then see a physician. The cause of the stomachache may be something else.



Tsaang-gubat is propagated using either seeds or basal cuttings. Although using basal cuttings cannot assure that all cutting will survive, it is still preferred over the use of seeds. Its because seeds take very long to germinate, and germinated seeds need another long time to grow. For a basal cutting only the lower portion of a stem, which is also its harder part is used. For Tsaang-gubat, a basal cutting should be about 20 cm. (8 in.) long and must include at least three nodes. The nodes are where the new leaves will grow or come out.

Plant basal cuttings by inserting the lower one-third (1/3) of the stem, at least one node into the soil, in separate containers or pots. Water immediately after and place under shade. The cuttings will root six to eight weeks from planting. They may be transplanted to plots or retained in larger pots. Avoid using chemical pesticides because they might leave poison on the plants. It is best to harvest only the mature and healthy leaves. If you wish, you may harvest excess leaves and air-dry them for storing. Air-drying takes about four days on warm weather or about two weeks during the rainy season. Leaves are sufficiently dry if they crumble when crushed with the fingers. Dried leaves should be sealed in plastic bag or kept in covered tinted glass jar. Keep leaves in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight to extend their storage life.


Source: Phil. Council for Health Research and Development (DOST)

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