"One of the first Filipinos to take a scientific approach to unlocking the medical potential of plants in the Philippines was Dr. Alfredo C. Santos. Dr. Santos devoted much of his time, energy, and career to studying the chemistry of Philippine medicinal plants.
Dr. Santos was born on August 15, 1900 in Santo Tomas, Pampanga. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of the Philippines in 1923. Two years later, he completed his Doctorate in Pharmacy at the University of Santo Tomas. Dr. Santos then went to Germany, where he obtained his Doctorate in Philosophy from Westfalische Wilhelms Universitat Munster in 1929.
An accomplished academic in the fields of pharmacy and chemistry, he focused on phytochemistry, the study of chemicals derived from plants. He pioneered studies in the isolation and elucidation (or identifying the chemical structure) of chemical components from indigenous Philippine plants. In particular, he studied alkaloids, organic compounds that can be derived from plants and mostly contain basic nitrogen atoms. His findings showed that certain medicinal plants can address various health problems and symptoms, such as inflammation, high blood pressure, tuberculosis, gastric ulcer, dysentery, and diarrhea..."