Herbal Lagundi Tea
Posted September 29, 2008on:
What is Lagundi?
Lagundi or Vitex negundo is a large shrub native to the Philippines which has been used as a traditional herbal medicine for centuries. It is commonly found in tropical, subtropical and also warm temperate regions throughout the world, especially in the Philippines.
Research on lagundi conducted by the Philippine Department of Health has suggested that the plant has a number of practical uses, and the use of lagundi is actively promoted by the government as a result. Outside of the Philippines, preparations of lagundi are sometimes available at stores which supply herbal medicines, or through practitioners of herbal and alternative medicine.
This plant is native to the swamps of the Philippines, where it can sometimes grow quite tall. It has a single thick, woody stem like a trunk, and the leaves appear palmately, in the form of five pointed leaves which splay out like the fingers of a hand. The leaves, root, flowers, and seeds of lagundi all appear to have medicinal values.
The use of five-leaved chaste tree for medicinal purposes has been known for a long time in China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines and other Asian countries. Today, pharmaceutical companies in Japan are importing wild vitex negundo from Philippines. The root is reported to be tonic, febrifuge, and expectorant. The root is also used in a great variety of diseases: dyspepsia, colic, rheumatism, worms, boils, and leprosy. The flowers are used in diarrhea, cholera, fever, and diseases of the liver, and are also recommended as a cardiac tonic. The seeds make a cooling medicine for skin diseases and leprosy, and for inflammation of the mouth. The leaves are used as a tea for conditions like coughs and asthma.
Preparations of lagundi have been used for a wide variety of complaints traditionally, although scientific research has concentrated on its use for respiratory complaints. Lagundi is generally accepted in the Philippines to be useful for coughs, asthma symptoms, and other respiratory problems, and the Philippine government actively promotes it as an alternative to Western cough medicines. Some doctors also prescribe lagundi to assist in the treatment of asthma, as regular doses appear to reduce the strength of asthma attacks.
As an analgesic, lagundi also appears to have some efficacy. It has been compared to drugs like aspirin in trials which show that lagundi may be useful in the treatment of things like pain after dental extractions. Some people like to take lagundi before going in for extractions, in an attempt to pre-empt the associated pain and discomfort.
Lagundi is prepared by boiling it, steeping it, and then straining it. At home, people make lagundi teas from the leaves, often producing a large amount and bottling the excess to use later. Commercially, lagundi can be purchased in the form of syrup or capsules to make it easier to handle. It is also blended in with cough medicines and other herbal remedies.
As with other herbal medicines, lagundi should not be taken without consulting a doctor, as it may potentially conflict with other medications or it may be contraindicated for a particular condition. If your doctor is resistant to herbal treatments, you may want to seek out a practitioner who supports complementary medicine so that you can get sound advice about whether or not lagundi is safe for you.
Colds & pain in any part of the body
Skin diseases & wounds- dermatitis, scabies, ulcer, eczema
Aromatic bath for sick patients
Put one glass of dried leaves or as desired in the pot or frying pan.
Fry the dried leaves until crisp. Frying prevents molds formation.
Crush the fried leaves using mortar and pestle.
The remaining fried leaves will be use for the tea.
Put one tbsp. of fried crushed leaves in the teabags.
Secure the teabags by sewing or staple and put a string.
Collect the healthy leaves or plants 500 m away from polluted area.
Collect on three consecutive sunny days from 7:00AM to 10:00AM.
Temperature, humidity, light and manner of handling during harvests affect the active constituent of plants.
Leaves are best collected when the plant is about to bloom or before the flowers open; and spare some leaves otherwise the plant will die.
Sorting- remove dirt, impurities and damaged portions.
Washing- most plants are washed to meet the standard cleanliness; clean in a big “batya” or basin.
Slicing- leaves are cut into fine strips, and whole plants into sections.
Maintain the moisture at 10%. This makes the medicinal components concentrated. The dryer the plants the more effective they are. Drying makes the herbs taste more palatable.
Place in a cool dry place and ventilated area to prevent stocks from insects, rodents, and micro-organisms such as fungus.
Materials (plants) rich in volatile oils are to be kept in air light containers away from light brown bottles are preferred to prevent photochemical changes.
Medicinal plants may also be stored in cloth bags or plastics.
If placed in bottles or tin cans, be sure to put charcoal or lime to act as moisture absorbent.
Label the medicinal plants to prevent misuse or mixed-up. Include the date prepared, indications, precautions and contraindications.
Regularly inspect for any growth of moulds or insect in filtration.
Expiration: Once moulds start, the medicinal components are destroyed.
As soon as plants have been collected, dry them immediately to prevent denaturation, decay and fungal attacks.
Ways of Drying:
Air drying or shade drying- appropriate for leaves and flowers.
a. Put the wash leaves in the air dryer in a shady area for 3 to 5 days or until completely dry.
b. Crush by using hands to about 2 to 3 mm in size.
c. Measure 4 tbsp. of crush leaves and place in a plastic container then seal.
d. Label: the name, date prepared, indications, etc. Keep in a cool dry place away from sunlight.
Adults: 1/2 cup, 3 times a day
Children’s: (Babies) 1 table spoon, every 4 hours
(2-6 yrs.) 1/4 cup, every 4 hours
(7-12 yrs.) 1/2 cup, every 4 hours
One tea bag can be used 3x within 24 hours.
1 cup of Lagundi infusion 3x a day.
V. INGREDIENTS and MATERIALS
Lagundi (Vitex Negundo) tea is made purely from dried mature leaves of lagundi. These leaves are processed into tea form following GMP standards as prescribed by BFAD.
Fried Crushed leaves
Tea bags (hard absorbent paper)