Dangla, which is the Pangasinan term for lagundi (Vitex negundo), has been a trusted natural home remedy for many ailments in the provicnes even before it was thrust into the country's consciousness by the introducion of a cough medication made from the leaves.
Elders boil several kinds of leaves that include dangla and pour it into clean, empty chamber pots. They sit on the steaming decoction to ease pre-menstrual and post-natal cramps, and episodes of flatulence. Whenever I gave birth I was made to use this tea-colored decoction as my bath water for weeks, and it was wonderful on the skin, making it smooth and silky.
The dangla bush grows in the wild. The paper-thin leaves look inconspicuous, and can be mistaken for a weed. People in the provinces are very superstitious, and the star-shaped leaf with its five components may have aided in its discovery. But its herbal potency is no superstition. It is a powerful cough and asthma antidote, effortlessly making episodes of these ailments disappear like magic.
Dangla leaves are boiled, resulting to a pale yellow brew that is drunk throughout the day. But this is no mild drink. The unassuming leaves, which do not exude any aroma, give out a sharp, stinging, bitter essense. It's taking quite some time to make the kids take to it. The husband would rather cough to kingdom come, and I myself detest the taste. Good thing the effect is immediate, and only a day or two is needed to drink the brew.