Kapihan forum dissects Filipino herbal industry

Two healthcare industry experts vouched for the importance of herbal against traditional medicine in promoting health.

Gemiliano Aligui, chairman of the institutional research ethics committee of Food and Nutrition Research Institute at the Department of Science and Technology and Evenson Sian, founder and chief executive of Nattural Quality Corp. were guests at the recent Kapihan sa Manila Hotel where Aligui said universal health should not be contingent to medicine but rather on food itself.

Aligui said food has ingredients considered essential for sustaining life and maintaining health like protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Kapihan sa Manila Hotel
Nattural Quality Corp. founder and CEO Evenson Sian (left) and Food and Nutrition Research Institute  institutional research ethics committee chairman Gemiliano Aligui show a plate of ginger and eggplant.
He said herbal medicine and food supplements create a synergy that can combat diseases and help improve health in general.

“Herbal medicine, or herbs in general, are safe,” he said, while food can help heal by building stamina and maintain health and well-being.

Aligui pushed for a designated subject in schools focusing on herbal medicine and its properties; or at least lessons on herbal medicine added in the academic curriculum to empower consumers.

Meanwhile, Sian discussed the herbal medicine industry from a legal standpoint, expressing dismay on the local regulatory issues regarding legal therapeutic claims of herbal medicines; that brands can’t announce certain claims even though the products actually do what they are supposed to do.

Sian said the Philippines is one of the most bio-diverse locations in the world with the long use of natural and herbal plants as source of traditional medicine.

“We should recognize the indigenous know-hows,” he said, by promoting the use of herbs as natural remedy and first-aid use due to the lack of health centers and clinics at many barangays.

He cited Thailand’s herbal industry where they adopt all forms of alternative (mostly herbal) medicine including Chinese medicine. It’s called “Thai traditional medicine.” Sian is urging the Philippine government to do the same by opening opportunities for the herbal industry to provide options against conventional medicine.

Aligui is a medical doctor with a Master of Public Health and a PhD in Biology from Brown University.

Sian is the founder of Nattural Quality Corp., a 100-percent Filipino-owned corporation established in 2002 that aims to be a leader in the “natural food supplement industry” and bring about a consciousness for better health and improved quality of life.

The Kapihan sa Manila Hotel is a local media forum relaunched on Oct. 26, 2015 by the Association of Philippine Journalists, also known as Samahang Plaridel—composed of media practitioners and communications specialists founded in 2003 by veteran journalists with at least 20 years of experience.

Topics: Filipino herbal industry , Food and Nutrition Research Institute , Department of Science and Technology , Nattural Quality Corp. , Kapihan sa Manila Hotel
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