The makabuhay plant is a clinging vine, and the name itself suggests the primary purpose of such plant. Makabuhay is a Filipino translation of the English term ‘pro-life or to give life’. It is commonly known as the paliahan in the Visayas region. The plant belongs to the family of Menispermaceae, and can grow, or rather climb, up to fifteen meters long. The makabuhay leaves are thin sheets that are heart-shaped, and its flowers look distinct as they only have three petals.
The makabuhay plant may be propagated by planting its stem, which contains a bitter sap. However, it is important to note that makabuhay can be found in most forests all over the Philippines. It grows in tropical areas, and it is of little wonder why it is abundant in a country like the Philippines.
Preparation – root soaking of rice seedlings in Makabuhay extract.
- Chop the Makabuhay vine into small pieces. Weigh 200 grams of chopped vine.
- Pound or crush the chopped vine with the use of stone or mortar and pestle.
- Add one liter of water to the crushed vine. Thoroughly stir the mixture. Then soak the rice seedlings into the mixture for 12 hours before transplanting.
Makabuhay is very effective against green leafhoppers, brown plant-hoppers and stemborers. (Approximately 10-15 kgs of chopped vine is needed to soak rice seedlings to be planted on one hectare.)
How to use – immersion of Makabuhay vine in the water runways to replace spraying
- Cut the Makabuhay vines to about 30 cm.
- Tie these on both ends onto a couple of bamboo stakes.
- Drive the stakes in canals where the water passes from one paddy to another.
Health Benefits of Makabuhay Plant
The stem of makabuhay plant is a primary ingredient used to concoct preparations that would prevent spread of malaria, and may be used as cleanser for skin ulcer and skin wounds. Clinical tests have shown that the decoction of this plant cures diarrhea, indigestion and scabies. Also, it is an effective ointment for pains caused by rheumatism. However, young children below the age of three, pregnant women, patients with typhoid fever, those who are suffering from pneumonia, and people diagnosed with heart problems, should not in any way take decoction that contains makabuhay, because their weak state will be in conflict with the strong medicinal effects that it manifests.
sources: dost.trc.gov.ph, philippineherbalmedicine.org