INTRODUCTION Background of the Study Herbs are essential ingredients today. Different kinds of products made of it are now sprouting. Examples are herbal soaps for whitening the skin, herbal tea for cleansing the body, herbal hair supplements for hair growth, etc. But it is primarily used for medical and health purposes. An herb, as stated by the Microsoft Encarta Dictionaries (2007), is “a low-growing aromatic plant used fresh or dried for seasoning, for its medicinal properties. “ A common feature of Filipinos is their persuadable character.
Nowadays, because of the herb thing being shown in TV commercials and informative shows, many are starting to notice herbs and their useful properties for health purposes. Due to this increasing interest of Filipinos on herbs, the researcher chose to study about it but limited the topic to Filipino adolescents’ (ages14-19) view on herbs. The researcher is a teen herself. She wants to know if people her age have a common view and response on the subject matter. This is the main reason she limited the respondents to just Filipino teens rather than the whole age range of Filipino citizens.
Significance of the Study Studying the perspective of the young on herbs can benefit a lot of people. If proven that a larger part of the group would have a positive view on the use of herbs, meaning they are very open to the use of herbs, then there would be possibility that this study can convince: (a) foreign and local investors to invest in herb businesses in the Philippines; (b) the government to supply more herbal products for the poor and/or to support Filipino entrepreneurs who are into herb business; and (c) the medical researchers to study this topic on herbs further.
This study is interesting because herbs are in vogue today. Filipinos are now into herbal use and medication. Many herbal commodities are coming out in the market. This study, likewise, can have a hand in the prevailing knowledge of Modern Filipino lifestyles and Filipino Culture. It can also contribute to the studies of the behaviors of Filipinos on herbal products. It can negate or verify the hearsays that most Filipinos are using herbal commodities in their every day life. Statement of the Problem
Teens are willing to use herbs, a rising trend in the world, for their health and body care for reasons that their environment they have grown up influenced them and that the effects of their daily experiences also affects their behavior. Objectives of the Study This study intends to: • Enable readers to know about the Filipino Teen-agers’ attitude on the use of herbs for daily living. • Have knowledge of the factors that lead Filipino Teen-agers to be convinced or discouraged to use herbs. • Enhance people’s awareness on the issue of herbal use. Help in foreseeing the undesirable consequences of the use of herbs. • Encourage researchers to explore further the topic and research on the other applications of herbs. • Help in the economic environment of the Philippines. Review of Related Literature “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat…and to…everything…wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so,” stated in Genesis 1: 29, 30.
There are a number of texts in the Bible that can be references to the people’s use of herbs in that time. The above text is one of them. Herminia de Guzman-Ladion interpreted this text from the Bible. She said in her book Healing Wonder of Herbs that herbs were used in God’s dietary plan for man and His creatures (de Guzman-Ladion, 1985). This is an example of how people of the positive ways in using herbs. There can be a conclusion that man, in the time when the Bible had been written, already believed in the good effect of the use of herbs for their daily living.
As a relation to this, Winston J. Craig (1996) said in his article Herbs in the March-April 1996 issue of Health & Home Magazine that a number of herbal products (plants) have been found to be beneficial for people’s health (Craig, 1996). Yes, herbal plants can be very useful for a person’s health but cautions must be taken. In the article Herbal Supplements in the same issue of the same magazine, The Mayo Clinic (1996) asserted that lack of scientific basis doesn’t mean all herbs are hazardous for anyone, but taking them is uncertain (The Mayo Clinic, 1996).
As a result of the herb’s popularity caused by declarations or overstated bits of scientific evidence, people are spending millions a year for herbal remedies. These herbs are selling like hotcakes and promise to enhance one’s well-being naturally (The Mayo Clinic, 1996). An example of the popularity of herbs is the survey assessed by the World Health Organization. The result of the said survey is it revealed 65% – 80% of the world’s population uses traditional medicine as their principal method of health care (Drew, 1997). (Herbal use is a part of the traditional medicine. This survey like the surveys of the SWS has shown that not only Filipinos use herbs but also a lot in the world. Herbs are very useful, especially for helping cure diseases. Dr. Gerard Penecilla, a Filipino pharmaceutical scientist, found out that that 2 herbal plants, banaba and tsaang-gubat, found out that these plants contain ingredients that can fight the growth and multiplication of cancer cells. (Herbs, 2003) Many Filipinos like him want to expand and explore the applications of herbs in the scientific knowledge.
Former acting health secretary Jaime Galvez Tan said, “if only we could establish more herbal processing plants (in the Philippines), importing expensive drugs and medicines will become a thing in the past. ” (Filipinos, 1996) If only what Mr. Tan’s hope would happen, there would be more convenient medicines for the less fortunate. Medicines would be affordable that people would not experience the anxiousness they feel whenever there is someone stricken by viral diseases in their families. This could happen in the near future but there are still no implications that studies are already closer today than yesterday.
Methodology The researcher’s topic is about the behavior of Filipino teens on the use of herbs or health and body care. The most appropriate way to address this matter is by the method of a survey. Though it is very expensive and time-consuming, a survey would tell the concrete ideas of the participants regarding the topic. Besides from surveys, the researcher will research about existing data from the different libraries near her home. This would help her in proving or negating her interview results. This would also provide a better understanding of the subject matter. Participants
About 20 Filipino teen-age students (ages 14-19), living or studying in Pampanga preferably in the cities of San Fernando and Angeles, will be interviewed. This age range is very suitable for the study because the younger generation is very prone to technological and scientific changes. They have the capacity to adapt in such changes, yet they can be instruments to promote or obliterate these alterations. These made them a very suitable group in studying the above concern. They should be knowledgeable of the subject matter and can give critical answers to questions raised to them. Procedure
The researcher will conduct surveys with the participants. Before she will start the discussion, the researcher will request for the participant’s permission to answer the questions in her study and will guarantee the participant that his or her private identity will not be specified in the report. The researcher will explain beforehand the purpose and goals of her study. Then, she will hand to the participant the survey questionnaire and the respondent will answer them with his or her own opinion and idea about the matter as the researcher will explain some details in the questionnaire that the participant is confused of.
The survey will take place in the school or home of the participant and will last not more than 10-20 minutes. After the dialogues, the researcher will give her utmost gratitude to the participant for lending his or her time and sharing his or her views. All the data will be summed up and run through. The researcher will give a particular consideration to the outlook of the participants on herbal use. Related studies and literatures collected will be used in analyzing the data. They will be added to support or refute the present study.
Common scenarios will be pointed out and elaborated. Outline Thesis Statement: Teens are willing to use herbs, a rising trend in the world, for their health and body care for reasons that their environment they have grown up influenced them and that the effects of their daily experiences also affects their behavior. I. There is a rising trend of the use of herbal products and medicine in the world. A. The ancient world was using herbs for centuries. 1. Man and plant are complementing one another. 2. Chinese herbology is the most popular use of herbs in the world. . The Greek physicians collected and prescribed medicinal plants and their extracts for various illnesses. 4. Writings of Egyptians containing plants for the cure of diseases were found. B. The demand and trend for herbal products and medicines were reflected on certain economic issues of different countries. 1. Germany imports medicinal plants for its people’s use. 2. The herbal market is growing in the United States. 3. Asia exports a lot of herbal plants such as Indonesia’s Jamu and Korea’s Ginseng. 4. Canada consumes a lot herbal medicines for their health. 5.
Japan will work to regulate supplements as foods instead of drugs. C. Studies and surveys were conducted to prove the popularity and effectiveness of herbal products, medicines and supplements. 1. The world Health Organization estimated 80% of people in the world use herbal medicines. 2. Unity Maketing, Business Communication Company and National Marketing Institute researched separately the herbal market. 3. The dietary supplements sales on the internet reached $40 million in 1998. 4. Supplement companies have united to increase research and education on supplements. 5.
The PCCARD revives herbal use for their services. 6. An SWS survey showed that the Filipinos are using herbal medicines to cure illnesses. II. The environment where the teens are growing up is the primary factor for their positive attitude in using herbs. A. The familys lifestyle takes part in their behaviors. 1. Beliefs and practices regarding folk medicine were handed down from ancestors. 2. Safe and natural medications are now of primary concern. B. Friends are the one of the best source of information. C. Media is also a factor. 1. Most teenagers engage with media everyday. . Television ads on herbal products are aired. 3. Teens are reading a lot of publications and browsing the web in this stage of their growth. 4. Artists have been endorsing herbal teas and organic products. III. Another factor that affects their behavior is effects of their daily experiences. A. The increasing pollution in the teens’ society becomes disturbing. B. The teens’ lack of exercise adds to their need for an instant remedy to maintain good status of their health. C. Stress is very usual to students. I. FINDINGS OF THE STUDY The World’s View
Before, man used plants in two ways. First, plants were used in religious rituals and ceremonies. They were thought to be divinatory agents. Through offering plants, people believed that gods can hear and interact with them. They also believed that this is a way to please the gods. The second way is the medical use of plants. There are illnesses that are believed to be treatable by plants. These diseases included mental illnesses, diarrhea, worm infection, lung diseases, and diabetes. Plants were known to be the medical folklore of people. They were used for centuries (Lisca, 2000).
In their introduction in Medical botany: plants affecting man’s health, Walter and Memory Lewis (1977) stated that “Man’s survival has been dependent on his innate curiosity, his desire to examine by trial and error all aspects of his environment, and to conclude, for example, which materials are remedial, which ones are harmful and which give him the greatest nourishment” (Lewis, 1977). China is very popular with its great contribution to science. In the Chinese History, the legendary Empereor Shen Nung put together the Pen T’sao where he rated 365 herbs as superior, mediocre or inferior (Modell, 1980).
At present, herbology and acupuncture blended with cosmopolitan medicine form the new Chinese medicine which Chinese are proud of because of its therapies and concepts that treat men as a whole entity (Lewis, 1977). In the Ancient Greece, medicinal plants were also used to cure diseases. Some great physicians like Hippocrates, gathered and prescribed drugs that contain herbs and medicinal plants (Modell, 1980). In Ancient Egypt, the Papyrus Ebers, an ancient text (1500 B. C. ) containing 700 herbal remedies, showed how skilled the Egyptians were in use of herbal medicines (Herbs, 2005).
Not only in the ancient world are herbs used, but also in the present world. Plants do not only benefit our health but they also benefit the economical growth of a country. People are now having interest on using herbal products. This could have been the main reason for the growing interest on the herbal market. Countries such as Germany, France, Sweden, and Australia are now on the course of licensing herbal remedies. The European Commission had made a draft directive in licensing herbal preparations where in these herbal products will be given licenses if they passed the procedures in assessing their quality and safety (De Smet, 2002).
Germany is the home of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. But it is also the biggest importer and consumer of medicinal plants. An example of the Germans extensive use of herbal products is the high priced herbal laxatives. These laxatives cost 10 times more than pharmaceutical chemical laxatives (Escobar, Economic). In the United States, 60 million Americans used herbs in 1996, accounting $3. 24billion in sales. The US herbal market experienced unprecedented growth as herbal medicine sales increased by 59% in 1997 (Miller, 1998). Dr.
Herbert Loveless expected the US herbal market to reach $6 to $8 billion in 1998 with an annual growth rate of 25% (US, 1999). Now, the annual sale of drugs from plants is $10 billion. Investigations on new uses of plant-derived drugs are also growing. There are more than 200 organizations are experimenting and researching on plants today (Lisca, 2000). Asia has been the largest exporter of herbal products and supplements. According to Vicenta M. Escobar, Pharm. D. , Indonesia uses “Jamu” and Korea uses “Ginseng”. Both also created export markets for their herbal products (Escobar, Economic).
Governments also help in the use of herbal medicines and products. The Canadian government allocated $10 million to establish a natural product organization in response to the growing public demand for herbs and dietary supplements in Canada (Canada, 1999). Also, over 1700 retail outlets, with an estimation of $680 million annual retail sales, are classified as health food stores or supplements/ nutrition stores there (Schleich, Herbal). In Japan, the government will work for a reclassification of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other dietary supplements as food instead of drugs (Japan, 1999).
Aside from the government, various groups and companies do research for the development of the knowledge and use of herbs. As said by the World Health Organization, 80% of people worldwide are depending on herbal medicines for their healthcare because of the increasing cost of prescription medicines and the interest to go back to the natural remedies (Hart, 2002). The unity Marketing reported that doctors were the consumer’s best source of credible information on vitamins and herbs, followed by publications, product labels, and friends.
According to the Business Communications Company, there is an expected increase in the amount of botanical raw materials at a rate of 9. 7% annually through 2004. National Marketing Institute noted that in the next five years, the biggest sellers would be products that assist the immune system, followed by stress reducers and cognitive enhancers (Market, 2000). As stated by the Nutrition Business Journal, a $40 million supplement sales was reached on the internet in 1998 (Online, 1999). The Corporate Alliance for Integrative Medicine, composed of 10 major supplement companies, will focus on research programs at major American Universities.
It also aims to develop programs for medical professionals and consumers (Industry, 1998). In the Philippines, the PCCARD, or the Philippine Council for Agriculture Resource Research and Development, is reviving the use of herbs and medicinal plants for health care services. They encourage people by imposing simple instructions on how to grow these plants and listing the ailments that can be cured by these medical plants and herbs (Filipinos, 2008). There had been a study conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS) in 1994.
It disclosed that 78% of Filipinos were making use of herbal medicines to cure different kinds of common ailments (Filipinos, 1996). A previous survey presented that 66 of Filipinos are availing themselves of local herbs or medicinal plants when suffering from various illness or discomfort (Filipinos, 1996). These surveys show that, even before, there is an existing knowledge of the Filipino behavior on the subject of herbs. The Filipino Teenagers’ view The word ‘herbs’ is a common word heard from the conversation of most adults. They know a lot about it and its great contribution to the society.
But does the next generation know about it? The researcher wants to know the answer to this question. In her survey, she asked if the respondents know anything about herbs and its so-called ‘natural healing powers’. The teenagers’ response was not surprising. 90% (18 out of 20) confirmed that they knew about it. Some of the respondents’ views were: “They are plants. Some of them have soft stems and can be used in cooking, medicine and cosmetics. I learned many herbal medicines in our botany class. And well, (maybe because) I’m taking up Pharmacy. ” -Female, 17 “Herbs are medicinal plants.
They contain minerals that are proven to be effective by science. ” – Female, 17 The Filipino family is the family wherein each member is very much influenced by the culture, beliefs and practices of the family. Their lifestyle would have a great part in each member’s personality and views. In the survey 100% of the respondents affirmed that their families are knowledgeable on herbs. 85% (17 out of 20) of the respondents assumed their families believe in the ‘natural healing powers’ of herbs, 10 %( 2 out of 20) answered their families wouldn’t believe, and 5% (1 out of 20) didn’t respond to the question. 0% (14 out of 20) of the respondents stated that their families use herbs, 25% (5 out of 20) stated that their families are not using herbs, and 5% (1 out of 20) didn’t respond to the question. Philippine culture is rich with beliefs and practices in folk medicine. A lot of them are still passed on from generation to generation. One of them is the belief of the herbolario’s (albularyo) capacity to cure different illnesses. From the encyclopedia of Philippine Folk Beliefs and Customs of Fr. Francisco Demetrio, S. J. , a herbolario is called as such because he uses herbs or some kind of grass in curing the sick (Demetrio, 1991).
But this belief was not very much seen on the survey. Only 40% (8 out of 20) stated that their family consulted a herbolario at least once, 35% (7 out of 20) said no, and 25% (5 out of 20) were uncertain. Many families use herbs for it is natural and safe. According to the survey, 65% (13 out of 20) said that their families use herbs due to its natural properties and 55% (11 out of 20) said their families use herbs due to its safer properties than synthetic drugs. Aside from the families, the next factor that builds the personality of a teenager is his/ her friends. They are with him or her most of the time in this stage of his or her life.
Thus, they converse a lot of different topics which makes the ‘friends’ factor one of the primary sources of information. There had been a 50-50 result on the survey regarding the teens’ conversations with their friends about herbs. 50% of the respondents said that they had conversed about herbs with their friends and the other 50% said they did not. 60% (12 out of 20) of them presumed that their friends believe in herbs’ ‘natural healing powers’, 10% (2 out of 20) didn’t think so, and the others did not respond to the question. Teenagers engage with media, such as television, internet, radio, magazines and newspapers, everyday.
It is also a source of information where they can be knowledgeable of things easily. 90% (18 out of 20) of the respondents said that they know television advertisements of some herbal products, supplements, and medicines. 80% (16 out of 20) of them stated that they have read articles talking about herbs/ herbal products in some publications and over the net. 85% (17 out of 20) of them said that they know some local and foreign artists who endorse herbal products. But only 10% (2 out of 20) of participants believed these artists use the products they endorse and 45% (9 out of 20) supposed these artists do not use the products they endorse.
Pollution is brought about by the advancing technology today. Smokes from cars and other pollutants are everywhere. With this, most teenagers are alarmed for its harmful effects to their health and to the society. 65% (13 out of 20) of the respondents stated that they are currently alarmed of the danger of their health brought about by pollution. 55% (11 out of 20) of respondents said that herbs can help them be protected against pollution. A problem that also bothers the teenagers is their lack of exercise. 85% (17 out of 20) of them said that they don’t exercise regularly. 0% (8 out of 20) of them think that taking herbal remedies can help in maintaining a good status of their health, 25% (5 out of 20) of them said they don’t think so, and 35% (7 out of 20) of them are neutral about it. The respondents are also students. Most of them are stressed out and tired of school works and activities. But only 30% (6 out of 20) of them think that herbs can help them relieve stress and tiredness, 15% (3 out of 20) don’t think so, and 55% (11 out of 20), the majority, are neutral about it. 5% (13 out of 20) of the respondents said that they prefer to use herbals due to their natural and safer properties than taking synthetic drugs. 75% (15 out of 20) stated that they are not taking herbs at present and 65% (13 out of 20) of the respondents said they are planning to use it in the future. II. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION Teenage life is the stage of a person’s learning of the society and growth of personality through culture and environment. It is affected by different factors in which the attitudes and behaviors of the teenagers are being molded upon.
At present, the world is already in the stage wherein technology is advancing fast and the teenagers have the capacity to adapt in such changes, yet they can be instruments in promoting or obliterating these alterations. But behind these technological and scientific changes, the use of herbs has still been a major notion. Practical living is the system of living the society mostly needs now due to such changes that greatly affect the people’s daily living. And one practical way is to use herbal remedies for its safer properties but cheaper price than synthetic drugs.
The world, since the ancient times, uses herbs as medicinal cures for different diseases. Writings in the Ancients China, Greece, and Egypt of the use of herbs as remedies have been found. Presently, many countries, such as Germany and the United States of America, are extensively using herbal products and remedies. They have been researching and finding ways on how to prove and further enhance the healing ingredients of herbs. In the Philippines, programs and seminars were held by the government in encouraging Filipino families to grow medicinal plants and herbs and, therefore, use them for health and care purposes.
Now, considering that Filipinos have a persuadable character and the economic crisis happening in the Philippines, it is likely possible that they would use medicinal plants and herbs in attending to their healthcare services. And because the Filipino family is the family wherein each member is very much influenced by the culture, beliefs and practices of the family, it is possible that the Filipino teenagers’ attitudes towards the use of herbs are mostly affected by their families. The survey has shown that majority of the respondents’ families are knowledgeable and using herbs.
They also believe in the ‘natural healing powers’ of herbs. Aside from their families, the respondents’ friends and daily engagement with media affected their attitudes towards using herbs. It has been shown in the survey that majority of the respondents assumed that their friends are believing in the ‘natural healing powers’ of herbs and affirmed that they have watched commercial advertisements and read articles talking about the positive results in using herbs for healthcare. Other minor factors affecting the teenagers’ behavior in using herbs are pollution, stress and their lack of exercise.
As revealed in the survey, majority of the respondents affirmed that using herbs can help them be protected from the harmful effects of pollution, be relieved from stress and tiredness, and maintain a good status of their health. Clearly, Filipino teenagers accepted the concept of herb in their daily living due to the influences and knowledge from their families, their friends, their experiences, and the media. Most of them are already conscious of their health that they are also considering the use of herbs for their health and body care.
But still, some are not yet greatly bothered by it or concerned on the possible benefits or consequences they can get from using it. But because of what they hear and learn about it, they are, somewhat, expressing their interest on the subject matter. The research has shown how some of the Filipino teenagers address the issue of herbs for health and body care. But due to the limited time given and a small sample size used for the said research, the researchers does not recommend her research to be used in basing the whole standing of the Filipino Teenagers on the issue.
It is not suitable because, aside from being small to be relied on, the sample used in the survey consists of students, either living or studying in the cities of Angeles and San Fernando in Pampanga. It would have been better if a larger sample size consisting of both literate and illiterate teenagers from different parts of the Philippines should be used. But time and money has been very limited so the researcher opted to use the present sample. The researcher also recommends that if another research will be based from the said research, a wider range of factors should be taken into notice.
Aside from the factors used, other factors affecting Filipino teenagers’ attitudes and behaviors should be studied and pointed out. A wider range of factors would significantly help in showing the nature of general stand of the Filipino teenagers regarding the issue. Survey and library research are the two methods used in accomplishing the present research. These two methods are the most appropriate methods to be used because of the limited time given. But if time will not be a great consideration, the researcher recommends that the method of interviewing should be used instead of conducting a survey.
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