Pomona, NY (PressExposure) October 16, 2009 -- When it comes to popular philippine flowers, there is nothing that can compete with Philippine's own national flower, the Sampaguita. So what makes these flower so popular, particularly around Asian countries? The one thing that made Sampaguita very popular among Filipinos and other people is its simple yet unique features.
What it looks like... There isn't anything very special with the flower. The flower usually grows 2 m in height. The leaves are ovate or rounded, glossy in texture, and 6 to 12 cm long, with short stalks, pointed or blunt tip, and pointed or rounded base. Its flowers are usually white. But what made the flower so popular is its fragrance. Although the flower doesn't possess any kind of unique features, let alone its simplicity, Sampaguita gained popularity because of its strong fragrance. For something so small, the Sampaguita philippine flowers possess a unique fragrance compared to other popular flowers such as roses.
Its uses... Sampaguita flowers are very popular in the Philippines, where they are 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. The garlands are also given to saints, whether in churches or altars at home. In some countries, the flowers are treasured for their distinct fragrance, and are even used in perfumery and tea-making, one of which is Jasmine tea.
In the book Medicinal Plants of the Philippines by Eduardo Quisumbing, it is reported that sampaguita philippine flowers are being applied as a poultice to the breasts of women to act as a lactifuge. The flowers also yield an essential oil similar to that of jasmine.
The roots present several uses. They may 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. The leaves are being used as a lactifuge, applied externally to the breasts. The leaves can also 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.
Other than the Philippines Although Sampaguita is known as the Philippine's national flower, the flower is also known for across the Asian countries. Aside from the name Sampaguita, common names used for the flower is Arabian Jasmine (Arabic), Bel/Beli (Bengali), Mogra (Hindi and Marathi), Mallikā (Sanskrit), Kampupot, Melati (Malay and Indonesian Language), Mallepuvvu (Telugu), Mallikaipu (Tamil), dundu Mallige (Kannada) and Kaliyan (Urdu).