Lagundi (scientific name: Vitex negundo) is
a shrub that grows in the Philippines. It is one of the
herbal medicines endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health as
an effective herbal medicine with proven therapeutic value.
Commonly known in the Ilocos region as dangla, lagundi has been clinically
tested to be effective in the treatment of colds, flu, bronchial asthma,
chronic bronchitis, and pharyngitis. Studies have shown that Lagundi can
prevent the body's production of leukotrienes, which are released during
an asthma attack. Lagundi contains Chrysoplenol D, a substance with
anti-histamine and muscle relaxant properties. Even in Japan, lagundi is
becoming recognized as an effective herbal medicine, especially since
researches have shown that it contains properties that make it an expectorant
and it has been reported to function as a tonic as well. More than that, most
of the parts of the lagundi plant have medicinal value.
The roots of this shrub are also used as treatment for rheumatism, dyspepsia,
boils, and leprosy. The leaves, flowers, seeds, and root of Lagundi can all
be used as herbal medicine. A decoction is made by boiling the parts of the
plant and taken orally. Today, Lagundi is available in capsule form and syrup
for cough. For its part, the flowers are recommended as a cardiac tonic, as
cure for liver diseases, and other internal disorders such as diarrhea and cholera.
The lagundi plant also has anti-inflammatory functions, and its cooling effects
are ideal as treatment for skin diseases such as leprosy.
Plant Description: The Lagundi plant can grow up to five meters tall. It can be described
as a cross between a shrub and a tree with a single woody stem (trunk). One of Lagundi's
distinctive features is its pointed leaves with five leaflets set like a hand.