Gugo | @natmuseumph

The National Museum of the Philippines featured a plant species commonly used for washing hair in the early times – the “Gugo”.

You might have already encountered a shampoo brand with “gugo extract”. “Gugo” or Entada phaseoloides is a native woody vine from the legumes family and is native to the Philippines.

Its bark has long been used to wash the hair and is made as a hair tonic. The bark is soaked in water and squished to obtain a foamy liquid (sud) which is then used as a shampoo to improve hair growth. Filipinos in the earlier times who used “gugo” as their shampoo often had shiny and thick hair.

The plant produces giant pods which grow up to a meter or more. Studies also suggest that parts of “Gugo” plant also have antidiabetic, analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. You may check out the actual gugo pod specimen exhibited in the Gallery VI of the National Museum of Natural History building during your next visit.

Text by Botany and National Herbarium DivisionPhoto courtesy of Dailun Shi (licensed under

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