Narra for Wellness


PH’s nat’l tree narra has antioxidant properties, study shows

Date Posted: 20 Feb 2023

BY JEL SANTOS, Manila Bulletin 

Narra, the Philippine’s national tree and is one of the hardest woods in the world, has been found to have antioxidant properties that can help improve the lives of millions of Filipinos, a recent study disclosed.

This was revealed in the study conducted by the De La Salle Dasmariñas (DLSU) College of Pharmacy during its research aimed at determining if narra could improve human health and wellness.

“Using the ORAC or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, a method developed by scientists at the National Institute of Health and Aging to measure the antioxidant capacity of different foods, the research team decided to measure and compare the ORAC Scores of each process combination. The ORAC Score is also the unit of measure of antioxidants which is the body’s natural defense versus harmful compounds that are linked to multiple illnesses, including weakened immunity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer,” read the statement from the team of experts.

The study, entitled Narra Extract Research Study, revealed that the ORAC scores of all methods tested displayed similarly high levels of antioxidant potency.

“There is a list by the United States Department of Agriculture and the narra extract, based on the ORAC score, ranks among the 10 percent foods that have antioxidant properties. That means to say that the narra extract is number one in the Philippines when it comes to antioxidant properties if we look at the ORAC score,” said Sigfredo Mata Professor Contributing Editor of the Narra Research.

Timothy Bengala, professor and primary investigator of the Narra Research, referred to the health benefits of pterostilbene according to the study by Xu et al in 2021. Based on the study, pterostilbene, a potent antioxidant, is proven to be effective as immune-enhancing, anti-asthma, anti-cancer, antifungal, antiulcer, and anti-allergy.

“As early as 2002, Narra has been found to have medicinal value and was used as the main ingredient of a dietary supplement to improve the quality of life of those with diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, bladder stones and infectious diseases,”the statement read.

Currently, narra food supplements are available at select drug stores and on e-commerce websites, according to DLSU Head of Marketing and Founding Dean Alicia Catabay.

“One company selling Narra supplements is Ecarma. For these companies like Ecarma, this study on Narra can really help their credibility. There are many other supplements on the market that have no studies showing their effectiveness. Ecarma will have similar characteristics in the study,” she noted.