Issue of September 13, 2020
     
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Expert shares use of pandan as supplement to medicine
by PNA

While pandan leaves are commonly used to give aroma and flavor to food and drinks, an academician from the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) shared that these can actually be used for medicinal purposes.

In the ExperTalk Online aired via DOSTv’s Facebook page, Maribel Nonato said she has been studying pandan for years.

She said there are about 700 species of pandanus, but there’s only one “pandang mabango (aromatic pandan).”

“We process the leaves and extract these with alcohol. The leaves have anti-microbial properties, diuretics, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties,” she said, adding that pandan’s anti-microbial property does not work on all kinds of microbes.

With these properties, Nonato said pandan can be used for diuresis (increased production of urine), for lowering blood sugar, and to treat swelling.

“Actually our ‘pandang mabango’is also being taken as tea because of its diuretic properties. If you are familiar with ‘pito-pito’, pandan is among its components,” she told the host.

Nonato said that pandan is not toxic but cannot be used to treat other diseases.

She also said pandan cannot be used as a medicine, but rather as a supplement.

“All the natural products are not curative, but are preventive,” Nonato said.

Nonato added that if the person is already sick, he or she needs to see a doctor.

She said pandan is easily accessible since this is common even in other countries.

“What’s hard to establish is the other species of pandan. You would need the help of a botanist (to identify these),” she said.

Right now, Nonato is studying the endemic species of pandan, and is documenting whether people in other countries are also using pandan leaves.


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