Lagundi or with Vitex Negundo as its Scientific name is a native shrub found in swamps in the Philippines. It grows up to 8 meters high and contains a thick and woody stem-like trunk with palmately-like leaves, consisting of 3-5 pointed leaves.
Lagundi flowers are lavender to blue. Also, they are found in Iran, eastern Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, China, Burma, Indo-China, Thailand, Japan, in the entire Malesian region, and are also cultivated in Asia, Europe, North America, and West Indies.
Lagundi has been used as herbal medicine in the Philippines, which was backed up by the Department of Health and some Philippine-based scientists who have conducted studies about its effectivity as a treatment for respiratory ailments. In general, lagundi is taken for the treatment of asthma, coughs and other respiratory concerns.
Health Benefits of Lagundi:
1. Pain Relief
Lagundi has been known to be quite effective as a pain reliever because of its analgesic properties and has been compared to drugs like aspirin in trials.
As a traditional remedy, people in the Philippines, Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia, and other Asian countries take lagundi as a herbal remedy for pain relief after dental extractions.
The Lagundi herb can also be taken for headaches. Aside from taking it as a decoction, you can apply the crushed lagundi leaves on your forehead or stuff the leaves in a pillow and sleep on it to relieve headache.
How to Use:
For relief from a toothache, boil six tablespoons of fresh or four tablespoons of dried lagundi leaves in two cups of water until half the amount of water evaporates. Divide the solution into three parts and drink it every three to four hours. When using this remedy for children, use fewer leaves to make the decoction.
2. Treatment of Respiratory Issues
The Philippine Department of Health has recognized the benefit of this herb for the treatment of respiratory complaints including cough, cold, flu, asthma, and pharyngitis. The Philippine government is promoting this herb as a natural remedy to Western cough medicines.
Lagundi herb has been found to contain anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It also contains a compound known as Chrysoplenol D with muscle relaxant and anti-histamine properties that help in relieving respiratory problems.
Also, it prevents the production of a group of chemicals called leukotrienes that accompany inflammation occurring during an asthma attack. Added to that, lagundi offers anti-asthma and antitussive effects due to its anti-inflammatory activity. Therefore, lagundi helps in reducing the severity of symptoms of an asthma attack.
How to Use:
- To relieve cough drink lagundi tea or combine it with other herbal remedies as well. Take 1 cup of tea at least 3 times daily for cough relief.
- Those suffering from asthma can boil 6 tablespoons of fresh or 4 tablespoons of dried leaves from lagundi plant in 2cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid and drink about 1/3 cup of this decoction for at least 3 times a day. Continue the treatment for a week.
3. Treatment of Digestive Problems
Lagundi is a good herb for digestive related issues. It helps improve your appetite and overall digestion process.
Flowers and roots of this plant are used to correct problems such as diarrhea, cholera, intestinal worms, dyspepsia, stomachache, colic, and other gastrointestinal issues. Root powder contains demulcent properties, therefore, it is great for treating piles.
Also, the hepatoprotective effect of the vitex herb is helpful in the treatment of liver-related troubles.
How to Use:
- Boil a handful of flowers and leaves with 2 cups of water.
- Boil until the quantity of water is reduced to half.
- Strain the liquid and have it thrice daily.
Note: This mixture can help in the treatment of your stomach problems.
4. Treatment of Rheumatism
Taking a tincture of lagundi root-bark is known to be an effective treatment for rheumatism. Also, a vapor bath that is prepared from the plant helps in the treatment of rheumatic affections. Also, the leaves of the plant can help in relieving swelling and inflammation in the joints.
5. Treatment of Skin Problems
The leaves and seeds of lagundi are filled with anti-histamine, cooling, anti-inflammatory, rejuvenating, analgesic, and anti-microbial effects. These make lagundi beneficial in preventing and treating problems such as itchy skin, boils, dull skin, chickenpox, insect bites, wounds, and skin infection.
How to Use:
- If you are suffering from eczema, boil some leaves and make a paste out of them.
- Apply the paste on the inflamed area for instant relief.