Authors: Rowena Natividad S. Flores-Genuino, MD, FPDS, MsC


Background: Herbal medicine is commonly used in dermatology in the Philippines. There is a need to assess the content of locally published herbal research.

Objectives: To describe the herbal studies published in the Journal of the Philippine Dermatological Society from 1992-2017
Methods: We screened the titles and abstracts of primary and secondary research studies and included herbal studies. We extracted data from the full texts as to study variables. We used descriptive statistics for continuous outcomes and frequency distributions for categorical data.

Results: We included 27/405 (6.7%) herbal studies. Majority of studies (25/27) had resident trainees as main authors, who were mainly affiliated with MMC (4), UERMMMC (4), UP-PGH (4), and UST (4). The 2nd decade (2001-2011) had the highest number of published herbal studies. Most of the studies had unstated source of funding (13), and none had any study registration. Majority were randomized clinical trials (18) on infections, infestations and bites (19) and in-vitro studies (8). The most common study population were adults (21), and the most common setting was the dermatology clinic (16). Median sample size was 45 (range 1, 272) and duration of follow-up was 2-4 weeks (14). Calamansi (3) and coconut (3) were the most commonly studied plants, while leaves (13) were the most commonly part of the plant used. Creams (10) were the most commonly used type of preparation.

Conclusion: Herbal studies made up 6.7% of all research studies published in the JPDS. Majority were authored by resident trainees, published between 2001-2011, medium-sized 2- to 4-week duration, randomized controlled trials involving adults with infections, infestations or bites in dermatology clinics. The most common plants were calamansi and coconut, with leaves being the most common plant part, and creams being the most common preparation.





herbal, botanical, journal review

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