Free Seminar on Herbs Underscores Wellness, Sustainability

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Dr. Mechelle Palma of Remnant Institute, Inc. shows the steps in making liniment with mint leaves as the major ingredient.

DILIMAN, Quezon City – In the face of today’s growing population, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) takes the opportunity to offer Filipinos more options to attain sustainability through its free seminars.

For July, the ATI, through the Partnerships and Accreditation Division, organized free seminars on Herbs and Spices Production and Processing which raised awareness on the correct medicinal and culinary uses of herbs as well as the farming aspects involved.

In her lecture on Medicinal Herb Production, Processing, and Utilization, Dr. Mechelle Palma, president of Remnant Institute, Inc., stressed that it is high time to recognize herbs as a source of natural remedy and preventive medicine. However, she said that it is important to make informed choices when using herbs.

“Do not believe in everything you find online. Ninety per cent of what you read are opinion-based so you have to evaluate carefully,” she said.

In her lecture, Dr. Palma discussed the different types of herbs which include those with carminative, laxative/cathartic/purgative, diuretic, analgesic, topical/antibacterial, antioxidant, expectorant, and antipyretic properties.

She likewise talked about medicinal farm tourism, basic principles of herbology and pharmacognosy, herb processing, planting, harvesting and drying, herb preparation, and entrepreneurship. She also demonstrated the process in making home-made liniment and ointment using mint leaves.

Chef Mary Queen Carillo-Biag of Kryz Vocational and Technical School also talked about the culinary uses of different herbs and spices, saying that these are “the friend of physicians and the praise of cooks.” She also discussed the processes in air-drying and microwave-drying these kinds of plants, stressing that there should not be too much sunlight or wind.

Learning Site Cooperator Concepcion Carillo of Connie Carillo Diversified Farm in Iloilo also shared some of her farming and landscaping techniques for herbs like ginger and turmeric that apply organic methods.

One of those who were amazed by the Carillo’s practices is 64-year-old Sonia Jiao who recently retired from government service. She disclosed that she attended the seminar to learn more about urban gardening as she realized that it is more economical and safe to grow your own food.

Around 400 individuals from different parts of the country attended the two seminars which were held simultaneously in the morning and in the afternoon. Among them are a group of Indigenous Aetas from Bataan including 49-year-old Imelda dela Cruz, “Because of this seminar, I realized that there are many herbs planted in our surroundings back home and we can use them for medicinal purposes.”

Both seminars were held on July 14, 2017 at the ATI Rural Development and Education Center in this city.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.