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Home > Newsletters > October 2003

Philippine Church Turns To Traditional Cures

By Maurice Malanes

Trained health volunteers from the Episcopal Church in the Philippines are using herbal medicines, acupuncture and Chinese massage to treat and heal ailing parishioners.

"If each household or neighborhood has a trained health volunteer or paramedic and a small pharmacy of medicinal herbs, there is no need for my parishioners in remote villages to run to the hospital," said Bishop Alexander Wandag of the Episcopal (Anglican) Church.

Many of the remote parishes and mission stations under the Episcopal Diocese of Santiago in northern Philippines, headed by Wandag, have little access to public health facilities such as hospitals and clinics.

Parishioners have yet to appreciate that "the cure for a child's fever may just be a simple massage and the treatment for a stomach disorder is a common herb or weed in a family's backyard," said the diocesan ministry coordinator, Andrea Abellon.

The community-based health program includes health education and preventive medicine and information on "how to harness indigenous herbs so villagers need not rely on costly medicines," said Dr Vicky Clamor, executive director of the Manila centre.

Besides acupuncture and massage, trainees also learn about both the efficacy and the toxicity of medicinal plants and how to prepare medicines from plants in the form of syrup, ointment, tincture, decoction, and capsules or tablets.

The 15 trainees of the first group of volunteers are expected to train others in the various parishes and mission stations of the diocese, said Clamor.

This Month's Articles

October 2003
Volume 1, Number 8

Preventing Breast Cancer

Philippine Church Turns to Traditional Cures

Acupuncture Students Receive Complementary Health Scholarships

Recent Research

Ask The Doctor

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