Lumad leader seeks help in promoting herbal gardening

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/20 December) – Local government units and other organizations should help in efforts to promote herbal gardening and to educate people about it, a Lumad leader said.

Bae Lumalambong Nupic Ayoc, a tribal leader in Barangay Canayan, Malaybalay Citys aid such support will make it sustainable and enable them to reach out to more people.

Bae Lumalambong Nupie Ayoc. MindaNews photo by WALTER I BALANE

Ayoc said if there are groups who are willing to support them, they will accept it not to make money but just to sustain it.

“I want others to learn so they too can reach these resources. This can lead to self-reliance,” she added.

They need to educate women and the youth about the use of herbs for immediate needs at home, she said in the sidelines of the 4th quarter meeting of the City Council for the Welfare of Children (CCWC) on Tuesday.

“People now resort to synthetic medicines right away. Even if they are cashless, they do it,” she noted She said people’s knowledge of natural remedies can help their families survive as they can just pick it from their yard whenever they need it.

Ayoc, 74, has been designated this year to represent the non-government organizations in the survival committee of the CCWC.

Farmers harvest citronella at a plantation in Malaybalay City. Citronella oil has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, among others. MindaNews file photo by ANTHEA M. MORDENO

She added that they needed support to gather materials to produce herbal products for demonstration purposes and family use.

“The herbs can be made available in the front yard if people learn to plant it,” she said.

But Ayoc said she decided not to make a business out of her knowledge and products.

“We learned from our elders that being a herbalist in the community is a gift. If you sell it, you may not be effective anymore,” she explained.

But she admitted that they would accept donations from people who return and thank them for benefiting from her herbal products.

She said she needed support because the craft has become less attractive among women, who are enticed to rely right away on drug stores and medical doctors.

She admitted, too, that doctors are also important but that it is good to know herbal options for ailments that can be cured with home remedies.

On criticisms that herbal plants used as medicines might be dangerous, she said they only produce ointments for external use.

She denied they are trying to promote alterations to medicine.

“We just want to make people understand that nature has provided for remedies to our ailments. Sometimes, we just turn our back on them,” she clarified.

She said if a government agency can support them, they are ready to organize the women to pursue this effort. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)