'Tawa-tawa' studied in fight against dengue

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Here's something to smile about: the tawa-tawa plant ( Euphorbia hirta L.) may contain a substance that could help prevent dehydration among dengue patients.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said at a forum on Friday that, based on initial research work, the local plant "appears" to have "some effects" on rehydration.

But in the same breath, Ona stressed that this was "very preliminary" and that the Department of Health could not and was not making any official recommendation about the plant for its possible dengue-fighting properties.

The DOH has asked the Department of Science and Technology to look into plants, including "tawa-tawa," that may help in the treatment of the mosquito-borne disease, which has downed hundreds of children nationwide.

Ona said researchers at the DOST have begun trying to "isolate" the substance in the local plant that have potential in fighting dehydration.

The health agency earlier said that dehydration, aside from hemorrhage, is one of the common causes of death among dengue patients.

"Initial results in terms of isolation shows that there is an active component... however, very preliminary," said Ona. "So let's hope. Maybe there really is [and] we should be very happy with that."

But instead of experimenting with "tawa-tawa"-some dengue patients have brewed and drunk "tawa-tawa" tea-Ona stressed the importance of immediately seeing a doctor.

"Don't depend on tawa-tawa," warned the health chief. "As much as possible, consult your doctor."

Last year, the health department raised concerns about the growing interest in the local plant as an alternative remedy for dengue. The DOH warned the public against experimenting with the plant in the absence of an official study on its reputed anti-dengue properties.

Instead of drinking "tawa-tawa" tea, the health agency advised patients to drink oral rehydration solution (Oresol) to prevent dehydration.

The DOH has so far recorded 321 deaths nationwide from January 1 to August 20, lower than last year's count of 517 fatalities due to the disease.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Ayungin dilemma Ramon Casiple - Parallaxis
    Ayungin dilemma

    China faces a dilemma in Ayungin Shoal and other contested areas. If it waits for the ITLOS—which may decide against it—it would have tacitly bound itself to UNCLOS and risk a rogue state reputation if it asserts its claim in the South China Sea. If its militarily acts now, it may face international isolation. …

  • 48 nabbed in biggest anti-trafficking catch in Bongao VERA Files - The Inbox
    48 nabbed in biggest anti-trafficking catch in Bongao

    By Jake Soriano, VERA Files Bongao, Tawi-tawi—A team of Marines and policemen intercepted around noon Thursday 48 people, 12 of them minors, believed recruited by a human trafficking syndicate for work in Malaysia. The arrest constitutes what advocates called the … Continue reading → …

  • Docs vow to pay right taxes, make peace with BIR VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docs vow to pay right taxes, make peace with BIR

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Leaders of the medical profession have made peace with their former adversary, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and joined forces in a campaign to get doctors to pay the right taxes. BIR Commissioner … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options