Kalabo is a perennial herbal medicine which is not only used by the local people in healing their coughs and colds but also using the leaves in their cooking. The leaves are very aromatic and they have balsamic flavor.
|My Kalabo Plant|
I was in my home country for a few months last year. The weather was so hot and humid. I think I was no longer used to the tropical weather that I thought my childhood asthma was coming back. There were days when I was okay and there were nights that I kept on "barking". It usually happened in the middle of my sleep. Water was always nearby to consume.
One evening when I was attacked by my coughing, I remembered my herbalist late grandmother. She had always chopped herbs packed in wilted banana leaves just in case one of her children and grandchildren got sick. The packed herbs were then roasted in an open fire in our "dirty kitchen". We cooked with coconut firewood and charcoal at that time. No electricity yet.
|Kalabo, Philippine Oregano|
How my grandma made Kalabo / Oregano tea:
I remembered how my grandmother made Kalabo / Oregano tea. She prepared every afternoon wrapped Kalabo/Oregano in a piece of wilted banana leaves for emergency purposes.
1. She got a handful of Kalabo or Oregano from her packed herbs, washed them and put them in a mug.
2. Then she poured boiled hot water from the thermos in the mug.
3. Left the Kalabo leaves in the mug for around 15 minutes.
4. Remove the leaves from the mug.
5. She then added brown sugar from sugar cane she bought from the market.
6. Then she gave the Kalabo tea to me and I had to drink it.
After that drink, I was able to sleep well. It reduced my coughing and it was very calming to me that I could rest the whole night. Kalabo was and still is the best organic plant remedy for my coughs and colds.
Remembering the sleepless night when I had an asthma attack, I saw my grandmother in me now, collecting Oregano leaves in our backyard. How I wish she is still here beside me. I have a lot of herbal questions to ask.
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Some parts of this post were published before on Niume site in 2016, which is now gone forever.
Here are some beautiful plants in my tropical garden:
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