Ethnobotanical Study – the Use of Medicinal Plants on Malpascua, Philippines


Wild plants have proven medicinal value for various diseases. Conservation of these types of plants is becoming increasingly important due to the recent surge of antibiotic resistance. Information regarding local healing practices using plants must be documented, before such valuable information becomes inaccessible and extinct. Due to limited information regarding plant use by the indigenous people of Malapascua Island, this research aims to investigate and document the traditional local knowledge of edible wild plants commonly used among the community.

Data on plant usage was obtained by means of a questionnaire, which was distributed in the northern and southern regions of the island. A total of 55 people were interviewed, they referred to 52 plants species from 34 families, the most commonly used plant species were: Annona squamosa, Origanum vulgare, and Moringa oleifera. These species had high use values, diverse use categories, and were abundant on the island. 56% of all informants preferred using medicinal plants, while 44% preferred using synthetic drugs. The north of the island preferred using synthetic drugs, but used medicinal plants more often; while the south preferred using medicinal plants, but used synthetic drugs more often. This study demonstrates that many plant species continue to play a role on the island of Malapascua, but that the availability of modern products such as synthetic drugs are influencing this use, and also contributing to the resistance of drugs on the island.

A study into the use of local plants for medicinal purposes in the Philippines

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