If you listen to the local radio, especially AM bands, you probably hear so much about food supplements and herbal medicines. They’re also stacked in a nice-looking clutter in such an ubiquitous manner in virtually all major drugstores today.
There’s quite a lot of them – from capsules and tablets to syrups, teas and coffee mixes. All of them claim to have a wide range of health benefits, even the power to treat terminal diseases like cancer.
Ironically, at the end of every advertisement or at the bottom of every packaging is the obligatory reminder that these food supplements “have NO approved therapeutic claim.” But the increasing patronage of herbal supplements is a good sign for business (many are now selling worldwide!), and hopefully an indicator that people are actually healed.
Still, you can’t help but put some “faith” on food supplements particularly when they’re made of obviously healthy and nutritious ingredients. And of course, there should be at least one person you know who became well because of any one of these food supplements.
MX3 is one of the most successful food supplements today. It is made from Garcinia Mangostana Xanthone locally known as mangosteen. The fruit’s white flesh offers a unique blend of sweet and tangy tastes, while the hard purple skin were originally boiled in water to treat diarrhea.
A study conducted 40 years ago found that mangosteen is not just a delicious exotic fruit, but may be the source of general panacea for the people in Southeast Asia and the world. Xanthone, the potent compound, is highly concentrated in the mangosteen pericarp or skin, but is also found in the flesh and leaves. The good thing about MX3 is that it is safe for children and pregnant women, and does not have contraindications.
MX3 is developed by Living Tropic Fruiticeutical Inc. in Davao del Sur, Mindanao where most of the country’s mangosteen trees are cultivated. It comes in capsules, tea and coffee mix.
2. ATC Squalene
ATC Healthcare International Corporation is only in the business for 10 years, and yet it has reached milestone upon milestone in the food supplement industry. It has recently earned consumer’s choice, golden brand and seal of quality awards for its line of products including ATC Bittergo (ampalaya), ATC Fish Oil, ATC Grape Seed Oil, ATC LiverMarin, ATC Power Up, ATC Redoxfat, and ATC Men’s Supplement.
ATC Squalene is the company’s most popular product – a natural compound originally sourced from shark liver oil but is now obtained from plant sources. Squalene helps maintain the body organs and systems healthy, but by the age of 25, the body’s natural squalene gets used up due to exposure to pollution and unhealthy habits.
Yaki may be an odd-sounding name, but it sells. Yaki Herbal Laboratory is based in North Cotabato, Mindanao and is in fact an acronym for “Yaman Ang Kalusugan Ingatan.” It began as a backyard project and bloomed into a profitable pharmaceutical empire in Mindanao, manufacturing liniment, beauty soap, baby soap, kid’s syrup, and food supplement. It is now increasing its reach to Luzon after gaining popularity in Mindanao and Visayas.
The Yaki herbal capsule contains spirulina, ampalaya, malunggay, sambong, and garlic. It is designed to promote cleansing of the organs and blood. The Yaki kiddie syrup can be orally taken by kids as young as three months old for brain enhancement, better sleep, improved appetite, improved growth and development.
All coffee-lovers (or addicts) raise your hand! Yup, many Filipinos can’t live without a cup of caffeine every morning and throughout the day. We’ve heard about DXN coffee before, and it was quite popular, but not as much as Jimm’s having infiltrated the groceries and become a mainstay brand on the shelves. What sets it apart from other coffee mixes are the powerful ingredients it contains: ginseng, mushroom, spirulina, and reishi.
Jimm’s is a creation of Goldshine Pharmaceuticals Inc. a pure Filipino owned company in Quezon City that also markets other herbal food supplements and personal care products. The Jimm’s brand has diversified to include 3-in-1 mixes, 5-in-1, and 7-in-1, brown coffee, black coffee and creamer. The healthy coffee promotes higher energy, weight loss, healing, strong immunity, and long life.
Oh, that Robin Padilla transformation from bad boy to liver-lover boy is truly a catchy one. How can we ever forget? Liveraide manufactured by Herbs & Nature Corp. contains the powerful natural extract of milk thistle called silymarin, which has three flavanoid molecules that effectively treats liver diseases.
Milk thistle has been used medicinally for years in certain parts of Europe and Mediterranean. Its high levels of antioxidants and vitamin E are not only good for your liver, but for delaying the aging process, too. No wonder, Robin is able to retain his youthful looks and moves that got Mariel hooked.
4G is now one of the most popular food supplements in the country, thanks to Bea Alonzo’s charming endorsement. A product of Filipino-owned Herbs & Nature Corp., 4G is a concoction of (you guessed right) four main ingredients: garlic, grape seed extract, ginko biloba, and ginseng.
Although the supplement contraindicates with various medicines and supplements, it promises high levels of antioxidants that protect cells from oxidation damage, promote healthier immune system, and improves overall health and beauty. Who knows, taking a capsule of 4G daily can transform you into a Betty La Fea, este, Bea Alonzo.
7. Ampalaya Plus
Ampalaya or bitter gourd/bitter melon is known for promoting healthy pancreas by helping the organs produce insulin. Aside from fighting diabetes, ampalaya also helps treat cardiovascular diseases and degenerative arthritic conditions.
Diabetes is a hereditary disease that affects many Filipinos, and people all around the world, made worse by the proliferation of fast food and unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle. Thankfully, the benefits of ampalaya, combined with that of banaba and turmeric or luyang dilaw, are now concentrated in capsules and tea bags for added convenience. And if you believe in Matanglawin Kuya Kim, perhaps Ampalaya Plus by Nattural Quality Corporation is a credible product.
Moringga oliefera aka malunggay, miracle tree and tree of life is such a common vegetable tree in the country, used mainly for making chicken tinola or utan bisaya. But because of the popularization of its health benefits and nutrients, malunggay is now available in tea bags, powder, capsule and even bread and pastries (there’s literally a small malunggay bread store in every corner!)
Moringgana is just one of the many malunggay-based food supplement brands in the Philippines. Manufactured by Organics Asia Inc., Moringgana’s raw materials are sourced from an organic farm in south of the country. Their products include tea and capsules. Malunggay is a great source of vitamins and minerals that aid in pregnancy and lactation, as well as fight infections and diseases.
Herbs & Nature Corp. is the maker of Fitrum Green Tea Extract with L-Carnitin, a slimming food supplement in capsule form. Its formulate is based on the centuries-old tradition of tea drinking and the benefits of green tea to the body. Fitrum claims to contain powerful anti-oxidants that fight free radicals, and as a result, reduces cancer probability, lowers bad cholesterol, and enhances metabolism.
As more and more Pinoys want to have that sexy, toned body, they become more engaged with slimming and weight loss supplements such as Fitrum, especially since the product is endorsed by their favorite local celebrities.
10. Aldrtz Pau D’ Arco
Pau D’ Arco (aka Taheebo or Lapacho) is the Portuguese term for “bow stick” referring to a hardwood tree found in South America used by indigenous people for making hunting bows. But other than that, it was heavily used for treating various diseases. It is reportedly effective at treating infections from common colds, flu and to parasitic infections, sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, asthma, and even cancer. However, it should not be taken with other medicines and supplements, and large doses pose certain risks.
Aldrtz Corporation is one of the most popular brands of Pau D’ Arco food supplements in the country. A 100% Filipino-owned company, Aldrtz is headquartered in Bacolod, and distributes four kinds of Pau D’ Arco products including Pau Liniment and Pau D’ Arco Capsule. It has also diversified to marketing NatureCheck Lagundi tablets for treating respiratory infections and allergies.
What are your thoughts about Pinoy-branded food supplements and even herbal medicines in general? Are they really helpful and effective? Or are they simply a by-product of a really brilliant marketing strategy that has got many of us deceived?
Or perhaps they are indeed the super food (or super medicine) that the Philippines and the world needs. Maybe we don’t need to look so hard for that elusive panacea. Maybe the fountain of youth and healing is right below our noses – made in the Phililppines, tested by Filipinos!