DILIMAN, Quezon City—Highlighting the benefits of “medicinal farming” in the country, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) held a free seminar on the production and processing of herbs and spices.
Dr. Mechelle Palma, lifestyle medicine specialist, served as resource person during the seminar. Palma is also the CEO of Remnant Institute Inc., an ATI-certified extension services provider.
In her lecture, Palma talked about herb utilization and processing, as well as culinary herbs and culinary medicine.
“Culinary herbs is using herbs in cooking, but you can also add something to food for medicinal purposes,” she said. One example is adding cinnamon, mint, or turmeric to a ginger drink (salabat) to add active constituents for a medicinal effect.
Likewise, Palma identified medicinal herbs for primary home health care utilization. These herbs are diuretic, antispasmodic, purgative, expectorant, and analgesic. She cited tarragon, mint, lagundi, and sambong as some examples.
When it comes to processing, Palma stressed the importance of timing. She encouraged the participants to start harvesting when plants are mature enough to withstand cutting.
According to Palma, the best time to cut herbs is in the morning before the heat of the day. She also recommended that at least 25 percent of the plant be left intact so that it can still grow after harvest.
The participants expressed their gratefulness for the seminar. One of them is Kristian Mark Tomaneng from Mandaluyong City who is working on establishing his own farm.
“I am a millennial fascinated by farming. It’s my first time to come here and I learned a lot. I am really grateful for this opportunity,” Tomaneng said.
Another participant, Melodira Cruz from Caloocan, appreciated the relevance of the topic and the important health-related information that was shared.
The free seminar on herbs and spices production and processing was conducted on July 26, 2019 at the ATI Rural Development and Education Center in this city.
Upcoming seminars scheduled on August 9 and 23 will feature production and processing of moringa and cacao, respectively. Interested individuals may visit the ATI and ATIng Gulayan ng DA Facebook pages for more details.