Friday, December 29, 2017

The Science and Technology behind Herbs

Philip Cruz, President of Herbanext Laboratories, Inc., awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for being a research speaker during the Annual Scientific Meeting of the National Research Institute of the Philippines last March 16, 2016.
Herbanext Laboratories, Inc. was launched in 2001 by aquaculturist and agriculturist Philip S. Cruz after his quest to better his  health. Mr. Cruz had concerns with high cholesterol and high uric acid that pushed him to study about the "King of Herbs" in traditional Chinese medicine, Ganoderma lucidum.

He was successfully able to cultivate the mushroom in 1997 and began to team up with natural product researchers and medical practitioners in developing the mushroom into a nutraceutical product.

Due to inefficient processing methods of harvesting and drying, the company desperately needed an upgrade. It availed of DOST's financial assistance through the Innovation System Support Fund (ISSF) amounting to Php 1.54 million that provided for its acquisition of new technologies, consultancy services on food safety and productivity enhancement through the Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEX) program, and training on current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP).

DOST's help resulted to reduced drying cost by at least 20%, increased production volume by 150% and a 200% increase in sales. Herbanext was also able to produce consistent quality products and expand product range.

The company currently studies 20 different medicinal herbs including Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa), Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia), Cat's whisker (Orthosiphon stamineus), Five-leaved Chaste Tree (Vitex negundo), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Green Chireta (Andrographis paniculata), Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), Wild Tea (Ehretia microphylla), and Turmeric (Curcuma longa). Likewise, it continues to work with DOST and other research institutions to create more herbal supplements and drugs under the brand name "Daily Apple".

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

NOVUHAIR turns favor with Holiday bash promo

So you’ve got your festive outfit set and the fancy gift wrapped for your “monito” or “monita”. All that’s left undone is a party season-perfect hairstyle. 

The fresh out of the shower look can be seductive yet temporary. Blame it to tropical climate, it can spoil your appearance, besides making you feel sweaty and stale. The heat and humidity brought about by extreme weather condition, likewise, dries out the locks easily and make it more fragile. 

Adding damage to your delicate strands are the chemical contents of various products on hand. From shampoo to conditioner and hair treatment, down to styling goods to groom it to your liking, their harsh synthetic materials jeopardize the natural oil and luster of your mane.

Because you are what you eat, the fate of your crowning glory is in the plate. Your diet must have the correct balance of vitamins and minerals to supply hair with all that it needs to become shiny and strong. So don’t overindulge, especially this time of the year when gastronomic feasts are spread almost everywhere you go. Be careful on what you take in, thinking that it’s also what you feed your ‘do.

Even stress can wear off the beauty and health of the tress. And that’s exactly what you should avoid this Yuletide season. Never put pressure on yourself just to please everyone. Just take it easy, let your hair down and party all night long. 

In this time of gratitude, NOVUHAIR makes everyday “a good hair day” for its valued patrons like you with its Christmas and Year-End Promo. Get an extra NOVUHAIR Herbal Shampoo 200 ml. worth P1,040 for FREE if you buy a NOVUHAIR 3-in-1 pack at participating WATSONS stores nationwide (DOH-FDA CCRR Permit No.: 967 s. 2017).

Packed with 19 natural ingredients—mostly standardized herbal extracts, essential oils and co-factor nutrients—NOVUHAIR Topical Scalp Lotion does not only help prevent the hair fall malady, but also aids in stimulating hair growth. NOVUHAIR helps prevent hair loss, improve overall appearance, promote nourishment and rejuvenation. It is clinically-tested and proven safe and effective.

Opt for the best with this Christmas and Year-End promo. Whether it’s a luxury gift for your loved ones, or a self-indulgent treat for you, NOVUHAIR has the perfect gift to inspire and keep you party-ready this Holiday season, while providing you with the ultimate styling result.

For inquiries, please call 413-6570 or 0922-8830575. You may also visit or Novuhair’s Facebook page – Novuhair Official.

Why you need to wash kangkong longer

Vegetables are known as healthy food. However, not all of them are. Some vegetables may contain heavy metals and bacteria that may cause sickness when ingested.

In the study Lead, Cadmium and Bacterial Determination in Kangkong Sold in Selected Markets of Bacoor, the results show that there are fewer bacteria in kangkong (water spinach) sample that has been washed longer.

Image from the web
Vegetables are known as healthy food. However, not all of them are. Some vegetables may contain heavy metals and bacteria that may cause sickness when ingested.

In the study Lead, Cadmium and Bacterial Determination in Kangkong Sold in Selected Markets of Bacoor, the results show that there are fewer bacteria in kangkong (water spinach) sample that has been washed longer.

The study investigated the levels of lead, cadmium, and bacterial contamination in kangkong (Ipomoea aquatic) sold in selected markets in Bacoor City. The researchers randomly collected fresh kangkong. The samples were tested after being washed for one minute, three minutes, and five minutes. Bacteria were cultured and incubated for 24 hours. The findings show that there are fewer bacteria on sample that has been washed for five minutes.

"The study is very interesting bacause kangkong is consumed by most Filipinos. However, further studies and more samples are needed, so we can determine if what we are consuming is within acceptable limits," Joselito A. Carteciano, head of the information section of Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines, explains.

The results of these studies were exhibited in the last 17th Conference of the Science Council of Asia which was jointly organized by the DOST-NRCP, the Science Council of Asia, and the Science Council of Japan. (By Geraldine Bulaon-Ducusin, S&T Media Service).

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Have you ever experienced a day wherein nothing seems to go well, that no matter how you try to choose the right path, you keep making the wrong turn? Just like having a bad hair day, no matter how many times you comb your hair, it just would not budge.

Life can be challenging at times but there will always be a way to resolve these challenges and come out victorious. Having this in mind will be easy to keep your patience and continue to move forward.

Just like losing strands of your hair due to factors beyond your control, you too can do something. 

· Eat healthy – Eating the right food can alter your mood. Having low-level of folic acid in your body can cause anxiety, hence, food such as asparagus, avocado, salmon, and almond are recommended to fight stress hormones.

· Stay calm – Listen to comforting music and reading feel-good stories can help switch you to a calm mood.

· Exercise – Exercise releases endorphins that can relieve you from stress and anxiety.

· Supplement –Taking in Vitamins such as B-complex can alter mood swings.

Don’t let your stress factors contribute to your hair loss. Letting yourself succumb to anxiety will definitely show up to your follicles and this can lead to more hair loss.

Hectic schedules and pressure from work, not to mention the pollution and filth outside easily make you feel unease and, at times, irritable. Slow down a bit, have fun and relax. There’s no better way to begin with your mane. 

Tip 1: The stroke of a comb can give you a soothing feeling while, at the same time, help unleash the natural oil of your hair.

Tip 2: Stay away from getting pigtails, hair weaves, braids and tight hair rollers, which can pull and stress your hair.

Tip 3: Avoid perming, straightening or coloring because they contain toxic chemicals that could cause damage to your locks.

Tip 4: Choose natural. Use NOVUHAIR topical solution. Apply liberal amount on to your scalp and hair. Massage it gently for -10 minutes to help permeate deeply from root to tip. NOVUHAIR is packed with 19 natural ingredients that help promote growth, nourishment and rejuvenation of your tress.

NOVUHAIR is available at Mercury Drug and other leading drugstores nationwide. For more information, please contact hotlines 4136570 and 09228830575 from Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm or visit

Friday, December 1, 2017

Senate passes bill institutionalizing 'Balik Scientist' program of DOST

The Senate on Monday, Nov. 27, approved on final reading a bill which seeks to institutionalize benefits and incentives for scientists, engineers, and innovators of Filipino descent residing overseas to encourage them to stay in the country and work for national development

Senate Bill No. 1533, also known as the Balik Scientist Act, was principally authored and sponsored by Sen. Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV. It was approved on third and final reading with 13 affirmative votes, no negative vote and no abstention.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Joel Villanueva, Richard Gordon, Grace Poe, Sherwin Gatchalian, JV Ejercito and Cynthia Villar also served as co-sponsors of the measure.

Aquino said the measure would institutionalize the Balik Scientist Program, which was first launched in 1975 "to bring back Filipino scientists, engineers, and technology entrepreneurs to work in various fields, including heath, food and agriculture, information and communications technology (ICT), and even alternative energy."

"It is about time that we institutionalized and strengthened the Balik Scientist Program so that more brilliant Filipino minds residing abroad can help our nation move forward into prosperity," he said.

Among the benefits, incentives and privileges to be made available to Balik scientists under the program are tax and duty exemptions to importation of professional equipment and materials, exemption from licensing or permitting requirements, free medical and accident insurance "covering the duration of the engagement awarded by the Department of Science and Techonology (DOST), reimbursement of expenses for baggage related to scientific projects, and even exemption from "renouncing their oath of allegiance to the country where they took the oath."

Grantees can participate in Grants-in-Aid (GIA) research and development projects of the DOST with an initial lump sum research subsidy of P500,000 for short-term program, P500,000 to P2,000,000 for the medium-term program, and P2,000,000 for the long-term program, in accordance with relevant government rules and regulations and the need of the program involved.

The benefits also include special working and non-working visas, a round-trip business class airfare from a foreign country to the Philippines "exempt from local travel tax," and DOST-subsidized visa applications.

Aquino said the bill sets different incentives and benefits for Balik scientists who would either work for the Philippines under a short-term program (minimum of 15 days to maximum of 6 months), a medium-term program (more than 6 months but not exceeding 1 year) or long- term program (1 to 3 years, subject to DOST renewal).

The bill also mandated additional benefits and rewards for "long-term" Balik scientists, such as the grant of special non-immigrant visas to the scientist, his or her spouse and their dependents as well as exemptions from requirements like immigration clearance certificate, alien employment permits, and payment of multiple entry fees.

Under the bill, long-term Balik scientists awardees would enjoy relocation benefits, such as support in securing job opportunities for the spouse of the awardee, and admission support for the children of awardees in preferred schools, relocation allowance and monthly housing or accommodation allowance, and funding for the establishment and development of a facility or laboratory.

According to Aquino, the array of benefits and incentives aim to help address the lack of scientists working in the Philippines, caused by their exodus for greener pastures abroad.

During the public hearings held by the committee on the bill, it was discovered that the Philippines has only 189 scientists per million population, far from the ideal target of 380 per million population.

Aquino said that the country "pales in comparison" with other countries. For instance, he said, South Korea and the United States have 5,300 and 3,500 scientists per million, respectively, while Malaysia has 2,000 scientists per million.

"We cannot stress enough that science and technology, engineering, and innovation can help solve some of our nation's biggest problems, like disaster preparedness, effective delivery of healthcare and other social services, hunger and nutrition, poverty and unemployment," Aquino ended.