The Philippine’s National Flower

Published: 18th October 2010
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There are many popular flowers sold in the Philippine flower markets such as roses, tulips, orchids, and many others. These types of flowers are popularity used as gifts for many occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, a couple’s wedding anniversary, as well as in non-occasional events such as gifts in courtships, welcoming gift, a "get well soon" gift, as well as offering for saints.

However, other than these flowers, there is also many species of Philippine flowers which is widely sold in the market. And unlike those flowers found in flower markets, these Philippine flowers are normally found sold in the streets, usually around churches. These popular Philippine flowers are known as the Sampaguita Flower.

A National Symbol

Though simple as the flower may look like compared to roses and orchids, the sampaguita is still considered as one of the most widely known flower all over the Philippines. Part of the reason is because of its distribution, in which the flower is almost found in all provinces in the Philippines. However, the main reason why the sampaguita flower is widely recognized is because the flower is national flower of the Philippines.

Popular Usage

Other than being a national symbol, the sampaguita is also known as a popular ornament used for many purposes. These flowers are usually strung into necklaces and sold in the streets of Manila. They are usually given to tourists, new graduates, and competition winners either as traditional welcome offerings or as honorary symbols for their achievements. Garlands of sampaguita flowers are also widely known as offerings for saints, whether in churches or altars at home.

However, one of the most popular usages of the sampaguita flower is its use as a main ingredient in a very popular tea available in almost every Chinese type of restaurant all over the world, the Jasmine tea.

Medicinal Value

Other than its popularity as a gift, these species of Philippine flowers are also known for its medicinal purposes. According to the book of Eduardo Quisumbing, the book Medicinal Plants of the Philippines, the sampaguita flowers can be used as a lactifuge, especially if made into poultices.

Its roots and leaves are also known for its medicinal value. While its roots can be used to treat venereal diseases when given fresh, while a tincture made from them is reported to be used as sedative, anaesthetic, and vulnerary. As for the leaves, these can be given internally in decoction for fevers. If boiled in oil, they exude a balsam which is used by the natives to alleviate eye complaints. The dried leaves, on the other hand, are soaked in water and made into a poultice, then applied to indolent ulcers.

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