Akapulko: A DOH Approved Natural Remedy For Skin Problems

Akapulko (Cassia alata or Senna alata), also known as ringworm bush, is a shrub that can grow to only up to two meters tall, with flowers that take the shape of oblong sepals.

Akapulko As A Natural Remedy

Its leaves as well as its roots and flowers are used for herbal purposes and certain preparations with medicinal value. Akapulko extract is commonly used as an ingredient for lotions, soaps, and shampoos. It contains chrysophanic acid, a fungicide used to treat fungal infections, like eczema, ringworms, and scabies. In addition to this, Akapulko also contains saponin, a laxative that is useful in expelling intestinal parasites (1).

The flower, root, leaves, seed, and bark displayed diverse biological activities. These pharmacological activities include antimicrobial, antifungal, anticryptococcus, antibacterial, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antioxidant, wound healing, and antihelmintic activities (2).

In a review conducted, it was found that Cassia alata can treat scabies, fungal infection, athlete’s foot, tinea Flava, and ringworm. This makes the herb one of the approved medicinal plants by the Department of Health in the Philippines. Decoctions of the leaves, flowers, and bark are used to treat skin diseases such as eczema or pruritis (itching), while a decoction of the wood is useful in cases of constipation.  Leaf extracts from this species have shown several pharmacological, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic effects, and anti-hyperglycemic activities (3).

In a study, methanolic extract of the leaves of CASSIA ALATA was found to exhibited inhibition against MRSA with inhibition indexes of 1.03 +/- 0.16 and 0.78 +/- 0.07 at the concentration of 50 mg/mL (4). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body and is resistant to several antibiotics.

Detailed Ways Of Using Akapulko (5)

Akapulko Herbal Tea Or Decoction

Pound or cut a cup of Akapulko seeds, Akapulko leaves, and flowers into manageable sizes then let it seep in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes to create an Akapulko herbal tea. Let it cool and drink a cup three times a day. The potency of Akapulko herbal tea is good to last for one day. Make new Akapulko herbal tea as needed.

Akapulko Leaves

Pound and squeeze the juice and apply topically on the affected area twice a day until cured.

Akapulko Herbal Tea

As an expectorant and for the alleviation of asthma attacks, drink a cup of Akapulko herbal medicine tea (see above for the preparation) three times a day until symptoms improved. When it comes to mouth infection such as stomatitis, gargle the Akapulko herbal tea three times a day until symptoms improve. If symptoms persist and irritation occurs, stop the use and consult your doctor.


  1. http://www.philippineherbalmedicine.org/akapulko.htm
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7054808/
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2589377719300187#:~:text=Cassia%20alata%20(Ringworm%20Bush%20or%20Akapulko)&text=Almost%20all%20parts%20of%20the,useful%20in%20cases%20of%20constipation.
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18991205
  5. http://medicalhealthguide.com/articles/akapulko1.htm