Zambo health office not recommending use of ‘tawa-tawa’ vs dengue

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/24 May) – The local health office here still does not recommend the use of tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta) despite numerous claims that it can be effective in treating patients with dengue hemorrhagic fever, which has already reached the outbreak level here.

Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, city health officer, explained that they refrain from recommending the use of tawa-tawa because they still do not know yet what could be the herb’s other effects to the human body. “It could be effective in the control of platelet count but we do not know its effects to other organs like kidney and liver,” Agbulos said.

Agbulos said a study is still being conducted on the effects of tawa-tawa and they are still waiting for the result to be released.

The study, he said, is being conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through its Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).

The study being conducted is focused on the anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties of tawa-tawa and its supposed ability to increase blood platelets.

Even though there are no scientific findings yet, tawa-tawa is being used by many to treat family members with dengue fever.

Tawa-tawa, which is common in the Philippines, is usually boiled and the water given to dengue fever patients.

The city government recently declared a dengue outbreak as the number of cases has been continuously increasing.

From January until May 21, the City Health Office has recorded a total of 864 cases of dengue, with a death toll of 12.

Agbulos advised the public to seek early consultation if and when a member of their family has high fever.

Agbulos also reminded the public to keep their surroundings always clean and wear protective clothing to help prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne disease. (MindaNews)