Submitted by: Jay Edniel C. Olivar 2017-10-10 00:00:00 Last Updated by: Jeverly Ann S. Principe 2017-10-19 09:11:01 Export to PDF
The SRM Project
Establishment of a standard reference material (SRM) herbal DNA barcode library of Blumea balsamifera (sambong) and Ehretia microphylla (tsaang gubat) for quality control measures in the Philippines
The Philippine Department of Health (DOH), as promoted by the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (TAMA) of 1997, recognized ten medicinal plants as effective and alternative sources of medicine. Among the ten, Blumea balsamifera L. (sambong) and Ehretia microphylla Lam. (tsaang-gubat) have gained popularity due to their accessibility and wide availability. In fact, the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) processed 10-15 million tablets derived from sambong and tsaang-gubat yearly. Tsaang-gubat is recognized to cure abdominal pains while sambong is known to cure colds, high blood pressure, difficulty in urination and headache. The traditional usage of both plants was confirmed by several scientific studies. Despite the increasing popularity of E. microphylla and B. balsamifera derived medicinal products in the Philippine market, there exists no standard protocol in assessing their authenticity. This poses a great threat to consumers, as they are not safeguarded from the ill effects of adulteration, contamination, and substitution.
In 2003, Hebert et al. proposed a species authentication system that utilizes a standard region of the genome. This system, termed DNA barcoding, is a reliable tool since genetic information is not affected by external factors. This study, therefore, aims to utilize DNA Barcoding to authenticate B. balsamifera and E. microphylla derived products sold in the Philippine markets. Specifically, this study aims to (1) establish the SRM for sambong (B. balsamifera) and tsaang-gubat (E. microphylla) utilizing ITS, matK, and psbA-trnH datasets and to (2) utilize DNA barcoding in the authentication of sambong and tsaang-gubat herbal products following BLASTn and Maximum-Likelihood Tree reconstruction criteria.
Duration in Months
Target Completion Date
Actual Completion Date
University of Santo Tomas, Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences
Private Higher Education Institution - Sectarian
Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology
Jay Edneil C. Olivar
University of Santo Tomas, Research Center for Natural Sciences
In this research the authenticity of sambong and tsaang-gubat herbal products sold in the Philippine market will be tested. Authenticity here is defined as a product containing the accurate starting plant material. Therefore, identity of the plant material will be tested using DNA sequence data as sole evidence.
This study aims to utilize DNA Barcoding to authenticate B. balsamifera and E. microphylla derived products sold in Philippine markets. Specifically, this study aims to (1) establish Standard Reference Material herbal barcode library for sambong (B. balsamifera) and tsaang-gubat (E. microphylla) utilizing ITS, matK, and psbA-trnH datasets and to (2) utilize DNA barcoding in the authentication of sambong and tsaang-gubat herbal products following BLASTn and Maximum-Likelihood Tree reconstruction criteria.
This project aims to stimulate necessary government agencies (e.g., FDA, DOST, and DOH) to include DNA barcoding as a key authentication protocol of herbal products to ensure the safety of Filipino consumers. Translation of the results of this project will be a law to incorporate DNA Barcoding to test the authenticity and effectivity of a herbal product.