We Should Listen to our Body


By Apolinario Villalobos


While I advocate the alternative herbal medicines which are already accepted even by licensed scientific medical practitioners, the “basic” prescribed drugs which are considered as beta blockers such as the “statins” (mine is atorvastatin) and losartan are still necessary. They have their own immediate effect, while those of the herbs have their own, too. Along this line, it is a fact that factory-produced drugs are clones of medicinal herbs, but enhanced with various chemicals to extend their shelf life. As regards the stroke or heart attack, in particular, there are many natural alternatives for its prevention, many of which have already been packed in gel, capsule and tablets, as well as, made more palatable in the form of syrup.


It is important that we “listen” to our body by being sensitive to manifestations of what is wrong with our system. Our intestines, for instance, grumble if we have overeaten for the job that they could not undertake effectively, so we either have loose bowel movement (LBM) or constipation, and worse, we vomit or puke. If we feel constant pain in certain parts of our body, by all means, that particular area must immediately be examined by a doctor. If our skin shows tell-tale signs that suggest cancer, we should see a doctor immediately. If we experience regular chest pains, dizziness, numbness of any of our legs or arms, we might already be experiencing the onset of a mild stroke, etc.


For those who are fond of uncontrollably quaffing alcoholic drinks, they should minimize their intake soonest as they feel signs of high blood pressure (HBP) after downing 5 bottles of beer or more. Other indications for the inception of HBP are redness of the face and appearance of red spots all over the body, but most especially, dizziness.


For the health buffs who are fond of jogging or doing strenuous workouts, they should immediately see a doctor if they experience unusual shortness of breath and chest pain which they have not encountered before. They should not treat them as simple signs of fatigue.


To stay alive and healthy, we should shake off arrogance from our person and accept the fact that there is no perfect body, even if it is pampered by health drugs….not even by high-tech therapies, one of which is stem cell intake by injection or orally. If we have to believe what is said in the Bible, the Godly-decreed life of man is supposedly until before he reaches the age of 70. We should therefore, take care of our body to make the most out of life by being sensitive to its manifestations.




Turmeric Relieved me of my Long-time Fear of Cancer



By Apolinario Villalobos


Due to my awareness of cancer that stalks our family due deaths caused by the said disease, except for one, I became apprehensive when I learned about the unusual level of cancer cells in my blood. I was also aware of the state of my prostate, but I just endured the dread for the rapid development of the big C. I made researches on herbals and alternative medications which made me try practically everything, even expensive capsules, supposedly powdered and extracts of foreign-sounding plants. When I had a problem in pissing comfortably at night, my fear worsened. That was until I learned about turmeric.


When I got hold of a thick reference book on alternative medication using herbal remedies, I pored over the pages that listed diseases and their herbal remedies. Diseases that involve inflammation, cancer, weak immune system, sensitive skin, diabetes, cholesterol, weak intestine and problem in passing of urine, included turmeric as among the remedies. The rest of the herbal remedies are foreign-grown and only finished products in capsule and tablets can be found in the local outlets. If inflammation is the initial manifestation of a disease that attacks prostrate and which can even lead to cancer, then, turmeric is the answer to my problem, I surmised. Turmeric is supposed to block the way of the “food” of the cancer cells to flow towards them resulting to their “starvation until they die. Inflammation and cysts, in most probability, are indication of growth of cancer cells in any organ of our body, although, as sometimes they may just be benign.


Initially, I painstakingly pounded turmeric roots before boiling them into a concoction but which I find messy. Fortunately, during one of my passing through a side street of Divisoria, I discovered a hole-on-the-wall sort of store that sold powdered turmeric imported from India. The price was reasonable enough so that, from then on, I switched to using the powder form – a teaspoon of which is stirred in a mug of coffee.  Every morning I would prepare two mugs – one taken before breakfast, and the other mug ready for taking at noon or afternoon. I also stir in two pinches of cinnamon powder for prevention of diabetes. For water, I use tea from boiled leaves of guyabano and a few pieces of star anise. The star anise is to boost the property of turmeric in strengthening my immune system.


Ever since I went through the above-mentioned regimen, I began to comfortably pass “abundant” urine twice in the evening, compared to the trickles before, that practically made me uncomfortable till morning. In other words, my prostrate may no longer be inflamed or if ever, to a lesser degree, as clearly, my urethra is no longer badly compressed.  I have also stopped taking “maintenance” drugs such as Atorvastatin and Losartan. But perhaps, my being a vegetarian could have also contributed to the improvement of my health. I always see to it that “saluyot” is part of my daily fare, as it is also a strong deterrent for diabetes. Observable improvements after more than five months of taking turmeric and other mentioned herbs are my no longer developing of allergy resulting to long bouts of colds and slight fever, and disappearance of the bean-sized growth in my colon.

The versatility of turmeric is such that it can add color to foods to make them more delectable. The expensive “java rice” served in high-end restaurants is yellowed by turmeric. Pounded fresh roots are used in Muslim dishes such as “langka in coconut milk”, fish curry, vegetable curry, chicken curry, and lentil soup. The popular delicacy, arroz Valenciana also derives its yellow color from powdered turmeric. In some Visayan dialects, turmeric which is also considered as preservative, is called “dulaw”, “kalawag”, and “kalwag”. It is a relative of the ordinary ginger and “langkawas” or Thai ginger.


In Manila, capsulated turmeric is very expensive just like the widely-advertised tea and powder from mangosteen. But fortunately, I learned that my former teacher in college, Mr. Morito Parcon who is based in Davao City sells this product, so that I have made a plan to drop by his place for my supply the next time I take the flight to Davao for my land trip home. The capsule can take the place of the powder form, and which can be comfortably carried around.  One capsule per meal is enough. For the benefit of friends who are interested, they can get in touch with Mr. Parcon by checking his facebook, “Morito Parcon” and send him a message for more information. He can also be contacted through cellphone, 09233783012.




Walang Pambili ng Gamot Pero Namumutiktik sa mga Herbal Medicine ang Paligid ng Bahay

Walang Pambili ng Gamot Pero Namumutiktik

sa mga Herbal Medicine ang Paligid ng Bahay

ni Apolinario Villalobos


May isa akong kaibigan na namatayan ng mga miyembro ng pamilya dahil sa iba’t ibang uri ng sakit, kasama na ang kanser. Mahirap lang daw kasi sila kaya hirap sa pagbili ng gamot at walang pambayad sa doktor. Nasa bandang Montalban (Rizal) sila at bulubundukin ang tinitirhan kaya presko. Ang hindi ko maintindihan ay kung bakit hindi man lang niya nalamang ang mga tanim sa paligid nila ay pwedeng pang-iwas sa mga sakit basta tuluy-tuloy lang ang pag-inom ng pinaglagaan at pagkain ng kanilang prutas. At, imposible ding hindi niya alam na ang ibang mga dahon at damong panggamot na tinitinda sa Quiapo ay galing sa Montalban.


Noong pasyalan ko siya ay panahon ng tagbunga ng mangga. Subalit dahil Indian mango ang uri, ay hindi nila pinapansin kaya ang mga nahinog sa puno ay nagkakalaglagan na lang. Ganoon din ang guyabano sa likod ng bahay nila na ang mga nalaglag na mga hinog na bunga ay nilalangaw lang. Sa tabi ng kanilang poso ay napakakapal rin ang tubo ng luyang dilaw at tanglad. Sa gilid ng maliit na kanal na dinadaluyan ng tubig galing sa poso ay makapal rin ang mga kumpol ng “lupo”, “takip-kuhol”, at ulasiman. Ang “makabuhay” namang pumupulupot sa puno ng langka ay kumapal na rin ang mga ugat na nakabitin. May alogbate sila pero ang turing nila ay pangdekorasyong halaman.


Ang mangga daw ay itinanim nang ipinanganak siya. Ang langka  at guyabano ay basta na lang itinanim ng kanyang tatay. Ang tanglad daw ay itinanim para may magamit sila kung mag-litson ng manok, at ang luyang dilaw ay basta na lang din daw itinanim ng kanyang tiyahin. Ang “makabuhay” naman daw ay itinanim upang magamit na “panglatigo” sa kanila tuwing Biyernes Santo.


Namatay daw ang nanay nila dahil tinubuan ng bukol sa bahay-bata nito. Ang nakababata naman niyang kapatid na babae ay tinubuan din ng bukol sa suso hanggang sa ito ay pumutok at na-impeksiyon na ikinamatay niya. Ang tatay naman niya ay namatay dahil sa alta-presyon. Ngayon, ang bunso nila ay hirap sa pag-ihi at pagdumi kaya lumubo na ang tiyan. Ang kaibigan ko naman ay may diabetes.


Noong madalas akong mamasyal sa kanila na halos apat na beses sa loob ng isang buwan, napansin kong ang ulam nila, kung hindi sinampalukang manok ay ginisang sardinas sa itlog at miswa, di kaya ay pata ng baboy na inadobo. Ni minsan man lang sa aking pamamasyal ay wala akong nakitang gulay na niluto nila. Ilang beses na akong nagpayo sa kanila tungkol sa mga biyaya ng mga halaman na pwedeng pang-iwas sa mga sakit, na nasa paligid lang nila at panay naman ang kanilang pagsang-ayon…yon pala ay hanggang doon lang, hindi nila ginagawa. Noong huli ko siyang pasyalan ay naghihintay ang kaibigan ko sa perang ipapadala ng kanyang anak na domestic helper sa Hongkong, upang pambili ng gamot niya sa botika sa bayan.

Take Note of the Signs and Reminders About Diseases

Take Note of the Signs and Reminders

About Diseases

By Apolinario Villalobos


What we do normally is to take the necessary steps only when we are already feeling the effect of a disease or sickness. What most people forget is that signs and reminders are also manifested by other bodies, especially, the first-degree relatives. Their suffering from a certain disease or sickness should remind us that the same can happen to us. If for instance, our mother, or father, or brother, or sister, or first cousin, or uncle, or aunt, are suffering from or worse, died of cancer, hypertension, or complications triggered by diabetes, then most likely, we can have the same fate because the same diseases are in our blood. The signs pointing to them should immediately caution us to be very extra careful…at least, to delay the effect if we want to live longer…or, at least minimize the pain of the effect upon their occurrence.


All kinds of diseases are inherited, although, the “amount” varies according to the genes. It is for this reason that prevention for the onset or worsening is very necessary. This is also the reason why blood sample is taken from the newly-born infant to determine the stages of its life when certain diseases may occur and the parents are counseled what precautionary measures to take or when they should go back to the pediatrician so that necessary prescriptions could be made.


Those who were born before the blood sampling for newly-born has been popularly practiced, rely on the time when diseases occur. When a member of the family succumbs to the heart attack, for instance, he is brought to the hospital which could  already be late.  Of course “maintenance medicines” are prescribed after check- ups done usually at the age of 50 or 60. But such may be considered late, as the disease could have fully developed to become well-entrenched in the person’s system….arteries have been clogged, diabetes has reached uncontrolled level, inflammations in the organs have occurred and developed into cysts, kidneys have been damaged, etc.


What I am trying to say here is that parents themselves should remind their children about “family diseases” as shown by deaths in the family. At a young age, the children should be counseled on what food to avoid or at least eat in moderation. Each one of us should also open our mind for inputs from other people and what are gathered from the media, especially, the internet. WE SHOULD NOT ONLY READ BUT ACT ON WHAT ARE BEING SHARED. The inputs should not only be appreciated but put into practice. They should not only be made as “conversation pieces”, but emulated.


There is always resistance every time chili, garlic, ginger, ampalaya, turmeric, saluyot, okra are mentioned- foods that are beneficial. They would say, it is hot, slimy, bitter, etc. And, those who have read or heard testimonies about their healing effects, express their appreciation …and it ends there, nothing else is done by the person who appreciates.


When an acquaintance died of cancer or complications brought about by diabetes or stroke, friends ask questions….but I doubt if the unfortunate incident has ever made them think if their lifestyle, especially, their diet, will also lead to such, or it made them curious about deaths in their family which necessitates asking their elders about their family history, so that preventions can already be taken.


Again, I say…regrets comes always at the end.

My Kitchen, Backyard, and Neighbors’ Yard are my Pharmacies

My Kitchen, Backyard, and Neighbors’ Yard are My Pharmacies

By Apolinario Villalobos

Today, it is back to basics for ailment remedies, a practice that the modern medical community is beginning to tolerate and respect. Preventive medicine is now being promoted instead of the reactive medications that are given to patients upon the inception of diseases. By “basics” and “prevention”, I mean herbal medications, clean and free from synthetic elements that are used to preserve extracted medicinal substances from plants.

One story I love to share among friends who are willing to listen is about the lowly “saluyot”, an indigenous vegetable in the Philippines that healed the open wounds of my former landlady, due to diabetes. She was not healed by many notoriously-priced and prescribed drugs that practically depleted her bank account. She was at the verge of despair as the latest doctor that she consulted prescribed amputation, when her former laundrywoman paid her a visit and upon seeing her sorry situation, immediately suggested “saluyot”. For several months, she forced herself to eat the said vegetable with her meals, three times a day, until the wound finally dried up and healed.

Anybody can have a pharmacy of sort in their home, particularly, in the kitchen. Shelves can be stacked with vitamins that can be eaten, and “drugs” that can flavor foods. The following are some of the few and their use that I am sharing, as I have proved them to be effective in my case:

TURMERIC – this spice can be purchased in powder form from groceries; known among Filipinos as “luyang dilaw”; a teaspoon can be diluted in mug of coffee in the morning and another at noon; the powder can enhance the taste of fish cooked in vinegar or vegetables cooked in coconut milk; it practically eliminated the cyst in my colon after five months.

STAR ANISE – I boil several of these with guyabano, mango leaves, and tanglad (lemon grass), and the concocted tea I use for my coffee with turmeric; it eliminated my sinusitis.

OLIVE OIL – a spoonful of this oil is mixed with practically everything that I cook even boiled rice, as it is good for the heart; it made my bowel movement comfortable.

VIRGIN COCONUT OIL – I take one spoonful of this oil with raw honey everyday; it reduced the level of my bad cholesterol; I add one spoon to a glass of water that I gurgle and drink the gurgled water to remove bad breath, especially in the morning.

GARLIC – I steam one whole clove or several on top of the simmering boiled rice; pungent smell is eliminated; I eat them with my meals; it normalized my blood pressure.

ONION – a very important ingredient for dishes as well as curing colds, especially, if eaten raw in salad or cooked as soup.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR OR PURE COCO VINEGAR – aside from its use as preservative of cooked foods and raw vegetables prepared as “achara”, it can also be concocted as a home-made refreshing drink, by adding two spoons to a glass of water sweetened with honey; the vinegar neutralizes acidity of the stomach. As information, during the Biblical time, vinegar which perhaps could have been derived from grapes, mixed with water, was considered as a refreshing drink; mixed with myrrh, it was used as a pain killer, reason why Jesus while suffering on the cross was made to drink such mixture…it was not part of his punishment, but to somehow to relieve some pain.

GINGER – the root can give a spicy flavor to fish dishes, and can add a piquant taste to salads and dips; as a medication, it can eliminate flatulence.

CHILI – it can make foods “hot” but can also strengthen the immune system; I eat not less than six pieces every meal.

BANANA – nobody can dispute the fact that it is a good source of potassium, and can relieve one of “loose bowel movement” or LBM.

GUAVA LEAVES – the tea made from boiling them removes bad breath aside from strengthening the gums; it has been accepted as an effective antiseptic and anti-bacterial. I prepare the tea in another kettle and drink at least 3 mugs every day, aside from the tea prepared from the boiled leaves of guyabano, mango and lemon grass.

GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES – I need not elaborate their importance; they are the manifestations of the vitamins that can be eaten; their fiber makes my bowel movement easy and comfortable.

If I want guyabano leaves, I just take a few steps to my backyard and pick a few from a drooping branch of my tree, and for the mango and guava leaves, I just ask from my neighbors for them. But the coffee, I buy from the grocery…

I invest on local fruits in season, as for the imported ones such as apples and pears I buy the blemished and old that come cheap and cook them in brown sugar and cinnamon powder into “apple sauce”.  I also buy green leafy vegetables in bulk to be half-cooked and apportioned in small containers, and keep in the freezer for scheduled use. Tomatoes that are cheap when in season, I douse with boiling water for easy peeling and stored in ref to be used when I cook pasta. The peeled tomatoes also go well with poor man’s salad that consist of onions, radish, raw pechay, shredded green papaya, chili and sprinkled with fish sauce (bagoong) or toasted dried anchovies (dilis) and vinegar. Those are my multi-vitamins served in plate and coffee mug…not in capsule or tablet, the non-soluble residues of which can get stuck and accumulated in the kidney and liver.

Understanding the Dietary and Medicinal Values of Herbs and Vegetables

Understanding the Dietary
and Medicinal Values of Herbs and Vegetables
By Apolinario Villalobos

I cannot understand how herbal medicine can be viewed as an “alternative”, when in fact, such has been thriving even before the so called civilization made life comfortable for man.
Herbal medicine has been part of the early earthlings’ way of life long before drug laboratories came into being. In other words, the herbal medicine should be considered as the “original” medicine, and the laboratory-processed ones as the “alternative”, and not the other way around. The laboratory-processed medicines with attributes cloned from the plants are understandably with longer shelf-life and more convenient to use as they are in the transportable forms such as tablet, capsule or in small bottles as syrup and infused with preservatives. For the sake of fairness then, the word “alternative” should be taken out of the drug dictionary, and we just stick to “herbal”.

The pampered attitude of man should be blamed on why the use of herbal medicine had a lull in the past. Fortunately, today, the practice is picking up again because the civilized world has realized that most laboratory-processed drugs are not safe enough to be taken without proper supervision or strictly followed prescription. Modern medical practitioners blame “overdose”, “underdose”, and even “abuse” for any untoward result from the “misuse” of laboratory-processed medicines.

The only problem with the herbal medicine is that, it requires patience as regards its preparation which is akin to a ritual. A realistic example is how I do it: first, I have to have a dedicated kettle that I can use in boiling leaves, barks, and spices, and then I have to look for those that I need to boil. I have to do the concocting when I wake up, as I also use the concoction to dilute my coffee. I have to do that every morning! Compare that with just gulping down tablets or capsules with a glass of water.

Sacrifice is the keyword if one has to be serious in making herbal medicine part of his life to prevent the onset of diseases. In my case, however, it is a must because my blood has cancer cells, as the disease is the scourge of our family.

I employ resourcefulness in my effort to gather what I need by bringing with me plastic bags every time I go out to do my rounds of random sharing. During the season of mangosteen, I would hand out plastic bags to people eating the said fruit, so that I can gather the rinds which I dry at home. Also, I would buy the blemished fruits, considered as rejects, though fresh, as they come cheap. With those, I am able to dry rinds that can last me for many months. It saves me substantial amount of money, as compared to buying the laboratory-prepared MX3 capsules and preparations with coffee.

When I found out that watermelon can prevent rapid enlargement of the prostate, during its season, I would ask watermelon rinds from vendors who sell the fruit by the slice. I would bring home a grocery bagful of them to be pickled in brine or cooked in brown sugar and cinnamon powder. During the corn season, I would also ask for the “hair” from the vendors who just throw them away. At home, I boil it as the concoction helps eliminate gall and kidney stones.

Another problem with the medicinal herbs is that they must be eaten, too, as vegetables. This is an unfortunate requirement which those who have no heart in acquiring the taste, will really find difficult. Every time I share with others how I cook unpeeled squash and green papaya, I would notice eye brows rising. Eye brows would rise higher, if I mention how I would prepare my own “arroz caldo” with vegetables instead of chicken. Then I would notice some holding on to their throat if I mention about cooking alogbate or chinese spinach, saluyot and okra in plenty of tomatoes and onions. They cannot just imagine the slimy broth that would result!

If I begin mentioning to my friends about rarely- heard names of herbs and spices and their uses, I would see blank stares, as if they cannot believe what I have said. If I tell them about star anise as being effective in preventing the onset of allergies, or softening the phlegm, the more that they become stupefied. And, when I mention about cloves as part of my concoction, they would wonder aloud “what the hell is that”. With the climax of my share which is telling them that always part of what I cook as food are turmeric and powdered chili – plenty of them as in spoonful, I would see many listeners shudder, especially, if I tell them that I also include them in my coffee.

So, those are the difficulties of having herbs as part of diet, or as medicine. Some people cannot imagine them to possibly become part of a healthy diet. They would rather play dumb to the saying that prevention is better than cure, and instead, prefer the convenient though expensive tablets, capsules, and visits to the physician, at the onset of a disease, later on.

Home Remedies

Home Remedies

by Apolinario Villalobos

I am having a second thought on what title to use for this short essay. I know some readers would raise their eyebrows for the “remedies” that I find safer than “cures”. But I got no choice but to go ahead.

Deaths in our family are caused by cancer. It is for this reason that I practically research on this disease every time I have an opportunity, including talking to people who suffer from such, and taking their testimonies seriously. When a friend told me about the benefits of some condiments such as turmeric, cinnamon, anise, herbs like lemon grass, oils like virgin coconut oil, virgin olive oil, and lately, guyabano and garlic, I immediately tried them. My interest is triggered by my worry about lymph nodes in my underarms, lower lip and rectal area. In three weeks, the small cysts in my underarms are gone. The one in my lower lip is fast reducing in size, also the one in my rectal area.

Here is how I am doing it: Using a l.5 liter, I boil 10 pieces of guyabano leaves (fresh or dried), 1 teaspoon of turmeic, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 3 stalks of lemon grass, and five pieces of star anice. I use the concoction for my coffee in the morning which I sweeten with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. I use a big coffee mug because I also include 3 spoons of oatmeal, 2 spoons each of virgin coconut oil and virgin olive oil. After pouring the concoction into the coffee mug, I cover it and set  aside for about 10 minutes before drinking. I stir the content of the mug before drinking to ensure that nothing is wasted. The remaining concoction is practically my “water” for the whole day. Before the day ends, I add 2 mugs of water to the kettle for slight boiling. On the second day, I add water to what are left in the kettle, but add the same amount of turmeric, cinnamon and anise for boiling. I change the content of the kettle every third day.

For the garlic, I put unpeeled 2 whole pieces in the kettle just when the concoction starts to boil. I remove them from the kettle after about 5 minutes and eat 1 whole piece with my meals (lunch and dinner). The garlic losses it smell and sharp taste in the process mentioned. I just peel the garlic, clove by clove while enjoying its buttery texture during the meal. Aside from the fresh garlic, I also take two 500mg. garlic capsules with my lunch and dinner.

Here are their uses: the garlic is anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-diabetis, in fact dubbed as Russian antibiotic; the anise clears the bronchial tube of phlegm; the turmeric is anti-cancer, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, lowers harmful cholesterol, anti-diabetis; the cinnamon is anti-diabetis; both lemon grass and guyabano are anti-cancer.

In my case, there is a noticeable immediate result because I am a vegetarian, though occasionally eats fish and eggs. For those who eat meat, I would suggest a moderation in this diet.

With each meal, I also drink a concoction of 1 spoon of apple cider vinegar and 2 spoons of honey diluted in one mug of water. Ever since I started this, my hyperacidity is gone.