Pito-Pito

Common names

Alagao leaves
Anise seeds
Banaba leaves
Coriander seeds
Guava leaves
Mango leaves
Pandan leaves

Scientific names

Premna Odorata Blanco
Pimpinella Anisum
Lagestroemia Speciosa
Coriandum Sativum
Psidium Guajava
Mangifera Indica
Pandanus Amaryllifolius

Pito-Pito (literally, seven-seven) is a blend of seven seeds or leaves of seven traditional herbal medicinal plants, usually prepared as a decoction or a poultice and used in a wide variety of folkloric applications: headaches, fever, cough, colds, migraine, asthma, abdominal pains, diarrhea, etc. The ingredients vary according to availability and intended use. Seven (pito) is believed to be numerologically essential to the efficacy of the eventual formulation.

PitoPito

A traditional combination is: seven leaves of alagaw, banaba, bayabas, pandan, and mangga with half a teaspoon each of anis and cilantro, boiled for 30 minutes, strained and drained.

In the urban and suburban areas, it has become part of alternative new-age menu as a herbal tea blend. Commercial tea preparations substitute one or two ingredients with other herbal medicinal components. A popular substitute in herbal tea blends is Gotu-Kola (Centella asiatica); for wild-crafted use, pineappleand kaimito leaves.

Variations are both in contents and numbers; recent combinations adding two more herbal ingredients are called “siyam-siyam.”