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DOH recommends Ampalaya for diabetes - Charantia (Ampalaya)
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DOH recommends Ampalaya for diabetes

Ampalaya is now being revalidated back to its original category: a plant that is beneficial to diabetics.

The Department of Health (DOH) is now advocating the use of Ampalaya for type-2 diabetes. Just recently, the Bureau of Food and Drugs approved the first Ampalaya tea in the country, Charantia Ampalaya Tea, as ideal for diabetics’ special dietary needs. In light of the unabated spread of diabetes around the world, the recent positive developments on Ampalaya further set the plant on the path of becoming a globally accepted herb for diabetes. This can bring the Philippines one step closer to reaping the full health and economic fruits of Ampalaya.

Leading the promotion of Ampalaya, along with other herbal medicinal plants, is the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), an inter-agency attached to the Department of Health. PITAHC was created after the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act was signed into law in 1997. Among others PITAHC is tasked to spearhead efforts to develop safe, effective and commercially viable herbal products.

Raising the standard
Ampalaya’s bright future illustrates how the government can take the lead to raise the standard of the local herbal industry. For starters, the PITAHC is promoting the “Sampung Halamang Gamot,” the DOH list of the ten herbal medicinal plants the health agency said to have enough scientific proof of their safety and efficacy for a particular disease.

Among the plants in the list, Ampalaya is the only medicinal plant approved for diabetes. It has the most number of scientific reports among plants for diabetes, one factor that convinced the DOH to recommend it. A review of these studies by Dr. William Torres (former Bureau of Food and Drugs Director) released last January 2004 concludes that “Ampalaya [Momordica charantia L.] fruits, leaves, seeds and other parts, when used as dry powders, extracts, decoctions, fresh or cooled, have clearly demonstrated hypoglycemic activity.” Researchers have identified the key compounds present in Ampalaya, notably polypeptide-P, a plant insulin found only in the Ampalaya. Similar to animal insulin, polypeptide-P lowers elevated blood sugar levels.

The Law That Breathes Life to PITAHC
TAMA was the brainchild of Sen. Juan Flavier, a known advocate of grassroots healthcare. The law aims to develop traditional and herbal medicinal practices in the country in the hope of giving Filipinos greater access to healthcare. While folkloric and herbal remedies have long been a staple in rural health care, its practice is largely unsupervised and seen as a ‘last resort’. But as more developed countries embrace herbal therapies, and amid the escalating cost of medicines, TAMA aims to upgrade the standards of this practice and integrate it into our health system for more affordable health care. Through PITAHC, the law is set in motion to develop the local herbal industry.

Going global
Chamber of Herbal Industry of the Philippines, Inc. (CHIPI) President, Lito Abelarde said that a robust herbal industry creates quality herbal products, and in turn, make health care more affordable. CHIPI is the organization of herbal companies in the country.

“Our herbal industry can rise from stupor to become competitive, and create health and economic opportunities for us,” Abelarde added. “Ampalaya is a good example of how we can achieve this vision.”

From being a traditional home remedy to a DOH-recommended herb for diabetes, Ampalaya has drawn interest from the private sector that transforms this plant into quality products for diabetics.

Ampalaya shows how the government, a strong national policy and ethical business practice of the private sector can help develop an indigenous plant into a true Filipino global product.

“We see Ampalaya as the medicinal herb that has a lot of promise here and abroad,” Abelarde said. “In fact, its probable success can prompt us to look into other herbs that our country can promote around the world.”

The local herbal industry is still an infant compared to those of other countries, Abelarde said; but with the full backing of the government, the industry can be a true global player as what Ampalaya is now proving.

11 Responses to “ DOH recommends Ampalaya for diabetes ”

  1. I belived that amplaya will help econ0mic problem soon.I have an agricultural land in our province.I want to plant amplalaya.Please help me ,is there any government program or seminars
    that will help us or guide us in developing an effective and viable herbal product.thanks

  2. Upon reading your ingredients on the charantia capsules I read that it contains povidone and magnesium stearate. Please advice me on what these are for. I would like to try this product but a bit concerned about these two chemicals. Thank you.

  3. charantia is really effective. i tested it on my father and husband who has type 2 diabetes. after one month of regular intake (following the prescribe daily dosage) their blood sugar is now on a normal level. now they take charantia on a regular basis.

    I would like to ask if you have other supplement recommended to those who has COPD. Ampalaya works, for sure you have other supplement that will help us with this sickness. Maraming salamat po.

  4. Dear Rose,

    Thank you for your time. Povidone and Magnesium Stearate are excipients – accepted neutral, inert elements used in the production of many pharmaceutical products like tablets and capsules. Povidone is a binder to keep ingredients together and magnesium stearate helps lubricate the ingredients during production. They are safe and do not interfere with digestion or the natural ingredients of the product.

  5. hello poh..
    salamat poh
    sa information..
    nakatulong poh ito
    para sa I.P. koh..
    salamat poh ulit.

  6. i wonder if u can help me to provide reading materials for d top leading herbal medicinal plants in the phils..????thank u .please

  7. hope to hear from u guys soon..thank u

  8. Hi Margharita,

    The Department of Health has published a list of the Sampung Halamang Gamot (10 Medicinal Plants) of the Philippines, which have been proven to be safe and effective for various illnesses. It should be on their website, but these same plants have long been used by traditional healers in China, Japan, India and the Middle East.

    For more information on the Ampalaya, I would recommend the book “Ampalaya: Nature’s Remedy for Type I & Type II Diabetes” by Frank Murray published by Basic Health Publications in the USA.

    Frank Murray actually came to the Philippines to research the Ampalaya, and Charantia to be specific as reports of the effectiveness have reached the export markets. I hope this helps!

  9. thank you for all the informations here…
    they help a lot for my research project…
    thanks again…



  10. good day

    we are medical students and currently, we are conducting a study on the antimicrobial property of ampalaya. we would like to know whether you have articles or researches about the topic of this kind. thank you very much.

  11. Im a type 2 diabetic who is now halfblind due to cataract and is also scheduled to be operated on, but to date i cant be operated bacause of high HBAIC level. I need help where i can get a copy of the sampung halaman.

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