Former Nun Chemist Develops Herbal Products In Passi, Iloilo

Former Nun Chemist Develops Herbal Products In Passi, Iloilo
Tessie Sison Pagay, a chemist who is a former nun, shows herbs gathered by the rural people that she buys for her use. She is thus providing them a source of livelihood.

A former nun who is a chemist has been formulating herbal products using various herbs from the upland areas where indigenous people live as well as far-flung lowland areas where ordinary folks live. 

While spreading the word of God in the rural areas, Tessie Sison Pagay did her own research by asking what herbs the poor people used to alleviate their ailments, wounds and muscle pains. She found that the ordinary folks depended on many herbs to cure various common illnesses.

Former Nun Chemist Develops Herbal Products In Passi, Iloilo
Visitors like Annie Claridad, Cindy Villaluna and Jane Chen buying the Balanyos and other herbal products of Tessie Sison Pagay.

She made her own concoctions and used the people to try them to find out which worked and which did not. One liniment that she is very proud of consists of extracts from 15 herbs, including plants only known by their common Visayan names. Called Balanyos, it is used to relieve muscle cramps, muscle and joint pains, arthritis, minor sprains, insect bites, itches, fever, colds, headache, skin diseases, burns and other health disorders. 

Many of the herbs used in Balanyos have been found by  earlier researchers to possess medicinal properties like alagaw, dita, damong maria, cogon, lemongrass, lagundi, sambong, ginger, siling labuyo, eucalyptus, and herbs identified only by their local names such labnog, malawmaw, bangkal and others.

Today Balanyos is becoming increasingly known to people in urban communities. For instance, Tessie said that recently the Carmelite sisters in Quezon City made a bulk order for her liniment. Some have found their way to Europe, United States and the Middle East, thanks to Ilonggo OFWs.

Rosary Herbal Products has other products that are approved and registered with all licensing agencies, including the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD). Other products include Passi herbal vaporub, RHP skin disease ointment, women papaya herbal soap, women herbal bath soap and nature herbal lotion. 

Tessie is a member of the Panay Organic Producers Association (POPA) of  which she is the secretary. POPA is a well knit organization whose members help each other in pursuit of their advocacies. Rosary Herbal products can be contacted at CP 0920-891-2095. Email:

Former Nun Chemist Develops Herbal Products In Passi, Iloilo
Tessie Sison Pagay posing with her organically grown green tea plants.
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