Rosas sa baybayon or apat-apat is now one of the salable herbal capsules in the local market. This had been popularized by the nuns in the late 1990s but lately there were other players who came out with their own, some still crudely packaged but others like the first ones in the market, have more attractive packaging.
The most common form of the supplement (we shouldn't call it medicine due to government rules on labeling) is the capsule which has several sizes too ranging from #00 to #1. #00 contains about 750 mg of the dried powdered leaves while #1 contains about 400mg. For those who don't want to invest in the capsules, the easiest way to take this is in the form of tea. Usually one small whole plant about 14-16 inches tall including the roots is boiled in 2-3 liters of water until the liquid becomes brown which takes about one hour. Some take 1-2 glassfuls once a day but according to an herbalist, for best results take 3-6 glasses per day especially for advanced stages of the malady. Those taking the capsule form can see results with 6-10 capsules daily, according to this herbalist.
Catharantus had been acknowledged by western medicine since the early 1990s as an adjunct therapy in cancer treatment. It contains about 70 kinds of alkaloids, many of which had been isolated and synthesized and incorporated as direct treatment for some kinds of cancers.
The inclusion of certain alkaloids isolated from rosas sa baybayon in cancer therapy reinforces the curative claim of local herbalists on the efficacy of the plant for many ailments which would otherwise need expensive treatments. Boiling is the simplest method of extracting the alkaloids. Drying the leaves removes the moisture and the powder becomes a concentrate.
In the local scene however, rosas baybayon has a wider range of application. Many are claiming that their gangrenous limbs due to advanced diabetes had been saved due to heavy intake of rosas tea or concoction for a few weeks. Some also claim that their myoma had virtually disappeared with religious heavy intake of the concoction for just a few months! For purposes of this article, we state the word “claim” to avoid controversy and the possibility of intense inquiry. Those serious about deeply inquiring about those claims may contact the author.
Rosas sa baybayon is an ornamental. Having several strains of differently-colored flowers, they are usually grown as hedges and as accent in landscapes especially in public schools as they are hardy plants needing limited attention. Being hardy with profuse root system may be the reason for it to uptake a wide range of soil nutrients helping out in creating a wide range of chemically-complex alkaloids that act against tumors.
Alkaloids are substances that contain nitrogen and are usually amines or building blocks of proteins. They are of plant origin and has a wide range of types and uses. Cocaine and nicotine are examples of alkaloids.
From the brisk sales of several small start ups during fairs and garden shows, one can deduce that indeed Rosas Baybayon is established as an herbal supplement. We interviewed one proponent sometime ago to ask how much she makes from rosas alone. Rosas, she said earned enough to pay for the booth and space rental leaving her other products as the net for the duration of the trade fair! That would be about P7,000.00 in a 4 day affair. Multiply that with 4 other participants and that would be a substantial figure of about P28,000.00 from the product alone.
Again like the ampalaya and lagundi, rosas sa baybayon may find itself the target of these big multinational pharmaceutical companies. They may even hire that idiot Vic Sotto to launch a direct attack just like what he is doing with lagundi. Like lagundi, rosas may yet exact a heavy toll on cancer medicines because this front yard plant has been proven as a poor man's supplement against a wide range of modern day sickness.