Pasay, Philippines, June 10, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Philippine natural herbs and drinks took a different twist and turn as a group of church volunteers aimed to help a group of farmers improve their livelihood by manufacturing tea from locally available herbs such as malunggay, lagundi (five-leaf chaste tree), tanglad (lemongrass), and ampalaya (bitter lemon).
Thus became the social mission of the Manga Miyamaratiyaya Ki Isa, Inc. (MMKI) (Region 10). This church foundation has been helping hundreds of Maranao, Cebuano and Higaonon farmers in Digkilaan, Iligan City for more than a decade. In 2003, after using the herbs in their clinics, they discovered the commercial potential of the said products and started the Perfectly Natural Herbs.
"The growing demand of herbal teas in the market gave us an idea on sustainable funding we can create for our foundation. We started using herbal teas for our patients and we see great results so we start making more and selling them. And, ever since, we do not use inorganic chemicals and additives when making herbal teas and capsules," said Thomas O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer of MMKI. “The malunggay, lagundi, tanglad, and ampalaya are good to use because they have a long shelf life, can be grown organically, and are easy and light to transport.”
Recently, MMKI got their certification from the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines (OCCP) in time for the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines. “We are the only one in the Philippine market that is certified organic. The Department of Health also recognizes our products for providing relief from specific illnesses. Our teas are a blend of herbs. Each has malunggay for vitamins, plus lemon grass for taste, but have enough of the primary herb to cure patients,” added O’Brien.
To date, MMKI has penetrated the international market and currently exporting their tea products to countries such as United States and Japan.
Another local company, MLGS Herb Products, a company based in Region 4-A (Calabarzon) also capitalized on the use of malunggay and other natural herbs as their primary ingredient in their products such as tea, powder, noodle, and capsule.
“Malunggay is considered the most nutritious plant in the world and is very abundant in the Philippines. We decided to make powder, tea and capsules out of it because according to researches, consuming malunggay-based products regularly will help improve the immune power of a person and add vital nutrients to the body,” said Peter Petisme, owner, and general manager of MLGS Herb Products.
Described by scientists as "miracle vegetable," malunggay has been promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the past 20 years as a low-cost health enhancer in poor countries around the globe the reason why MLGS Company ventured in the use of malunggay as their primary ingredient in their herbal teas.
“Because of its nutritional content, malunggay offers many health benefits making it best for kids, lactating mother, and people suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure,” Pestime added. At present, MLGS products are being exported in countries like Japan.
Last May 6-8, these two companies along with other exciting homegrown food innovations from different regions of the country brought to the spotlight the healthy goodness of Philippine super food products at the 7th International Food Exhibition Philippines, an annual trade show led by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry.
More gastronomic and healthy products were also showcased from Regions IV-A (Calabarzon), V (Bicol), VII (Central Visayas), X (Northern Mindanao), and XIII (Caraga) at the Best of PRP pavilion at the World Trade Center Metro Manila.
For more information on IFEX Philippines, visit www.ifexphilippines.com.