December 15, 2012

Herbal Plants: Serpentina (King of Bitters)

I am a supporter of herbal medicine. I planted oregano, lemon grass, balbas-pusa (Cat’s whiskers), ashitaba, serpentina.

Healing Galing are selling serpentina tablet made from plant or known as King of Bitters. Why King of Bitters? Because of its extreme bitterness that a tiny leaf’s infusion (tiny leaf added with hot water) is 10 times or more bitter than the extract of a large ampalaya.  Adding a teaspoon of honey can reduce the bitterness.

Serpentina or King of Bitters Plant
(Andrographis paniculata)
What are the benefits that you can get from this plant?
From what I know, this is good for diabetic in regulating or lowering blood sugar. Furthermore it is also known for its antibiotic property. This is the reason why we took this herbal plant when we are having cough and colds.

Aside from lowering blood sugar and antibiotic properties, there are other benefits that we can get from this bitter plant:
Analagesic – pain killer
Anti-inflammatory – reduces swelling
Antibacterial – has a remarkable effect in reducing diarrhea and other bacterial infections
Antimalarial – helps prevent parasite infection and multiplication in the blood stream
Antihepatotoxic and Hepatoprotective – eliminates liver toxins and protects liver and gall bladder
Antipyretic – reduces fever
Antithrombotic – blood clot prevention. Helps prevent heart attack.
Antiviral – inhibits viral activity including HIV (further studies are being made)
Antioxidant – fights free radicals
Canceolytic – cancer fighter or better to say cancer killer
Cardiopotective – protects heart muscles
Choleretic – increases the flow of bile
Depurative – cleans the system especially the blood stream
Expectorant – releases mucus in the respiratory system
Hypoglycemic – lowers blood sugar and protect against diabetes
Immune enhancer – increases immune system
Vermicidal – kills intestinal worms

It can be used againts coughs, headaches, edema, earache, pain conditions, inflammation and muscular pain, arthritis, rheumatism, fibro myalgia, multiple sclerosis, depression, diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, candida, lupus, diabetes, piles, fevers, fatigue, hepatitis, herpes, leprosy, loss of appetite, swollen lymph nodes and other lymphatic conditions, jaundice, dyspepsia, dermatitis, eczema, burns, pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis, chicken pox, mumps; sluggish liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands; sleeplessness, vaginitis, and constipation.

On the other hand, cautions must be taken with this plant because there are records but rare cases of skin itching. Furthermore, it is not recommended for breastfeeding and pregnant women due to its abortive effect.

There are various ways to prepare and use this plant. It can be taken dried leaves or infusion. Most literatures suggest that you need to take 5 to 6 grams of dried leaves per day. Dried leaves can be placed in gelatin capsule (the one I made and give to Matt’s Tita to help reduce or better eliminate her breast lumps. I used 250mg per capsule) or infusion of 1:2 fluid extract taken 3-12 ml per day. The latter is quite good if you can stand the bitterness.

Serpentina has many uses that could benefit our health. The said plant has very low toxicity and no overdosage cases have been reported. Perhaps it is because unlike any other herbs, you won’t wish to have more than the recommended dosage due to its extreme bitterness.