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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Tawa-tawa" - Antidote for Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever?


LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – A common weed named “tawa-tawa” has been said to be an effective cure for dengue.

Attesting to this are some villagers in Mindanao, who believe that decoction of “tawa-tawa” (scientific name: euphoria hirta) is said to be an antidote to dengue.

Is there any scientific evidence to such a claim?

Dr. Rafael Guerrero III, academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), cited the study of a research team of the University of Santo Tomas (UST).

According to Guerrero, Hazel Lopez and her co-workers at the UST College of Pharmacy have published a poster showing that laboratory mice treated with the decoction of “tawa-tawa” had an increase in blood platelets which are essential for blood clotting or anti-bleeding.

“Moreover, they found that the decoction was not toxic to the test animals even at a dosage of 483 milligrams per kilogram,” said Guerrero, who retired not too long ago as executive director of the Los Baños-based Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development.

In preparing the decoction, the research team washed and boiled 100 grams of fresh, whole “tawa-tawa” plant (including roots) in half a liter (500 milliliters) of water for 15 minutes.

[At the earliest sign of fever, take precautions...don't take it lightly. Strengthen the patient's immune system, let him/her drink IMMUNOL and VIRACARE.]

“After cooling and paper filtration, the decoction is taken by the patient at one glass every hour until the fever subsides,” Guerrero said in a published report entitled “The Farm as Pharmacy.”

In the old days when pharmacies were not yet heard of, forests, farms, and unmanicured gardens were the drugstores, said the academician of NAST, the country’s highest advisory and recommendatory body in science and technology.

“Except that nobody really buys the herbs and medicinal plants. They can just be freely picked from their stems as they grow in wild abandon everywhere,” he added.

Today, as the world screams for natural healing, plants, herbs, and weeds are slowly becoming alternatives for synthetic tablets and capsules.

“Sometimes, without us knowing it, what reside in our backyard or neighbors’ gardens can just be the perfect antidotes to your lingering illness,” he said.

Every year, Guerrero said thousands of Filipinos die of dengue or hemorrhagic fever caused by a virus transmitted by the Aedes egypti mosquito. The disease is characterized by rashes, high fever, bleeding, and drop in the blood platelet count of patients.

Can “tawa-tawa” eventually become an antidote to dengue? Over time, further research can provide the answer to this question.


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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Don't Ignore Fever, It May Be Dengue Fever!!

CEBU CITY -- A Cebu City Health official appealed to parents and the general public to take fever, especially among children, seriously as early detection of dengue fever can save lives.

A five-year-old boy from Guadalupe, in this city died Saturday while on the way to the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), after a few days of high fever.


Two other children who were admitted Friday at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) died less than six hours after reaching the hospital, from dengue shock syndrome.


[At the slightest sign of fever, take VIRACARE, then strengthen your immune system with IMMUNOL]


Eleodoro Mongaya Jr., VSMMC public information officer, declined to identify the two children without the parents’ consent. He only said one was a three-year-old boy from Barangay Botong, Dalaguete, while the other was a seven-year-old girl from Barangay Argawanon, San Remigio.




On Friday alone, 39 new dengue patients were admitted to the government-run hospital—in addition to the 86 already in its pediatrics department. The figures do not include 26 others who were discharged that day, after recovering from dengue fever.

Dengue fever typically peaks in August. Health officials have pointed out fewer deaths were recorded this year, despite the increase in the number of cases compared to 2009.

In Cebu City, assistant city epidemiologist Durenda Macasucol said those who suspect they or their children have dengue should immediately go to the satellite laboratory nearest them and get a free checkup.

The satellite laboratories are in Barangays Talamban, Luz, Mabolo, Parian, Punta Princesa, Guadalupe and Pardo.



Macasucol said she has yet to receive a notice from the CCMC regarding the death of a five-year-old boy who died on the way to the hospital.


Medical personnel have yet to confirm the cause of death, but they suspect it was dengue.

If it’s confirmed the child died of dengue, City Health will do a background check and, if he was a resident of the city, conduct mist-spraying in his neighborhood, Macasucol said.

From Jan. 1 to Sept. 8 this year, there were 1,424 dengue cases reported in the city, with 12 deaths (excluding the five-year-old boy).

Although the number of dengue cases has increased, there are fewer deaths this year compared to 22 casualties reported in the same period last year.

The CCMC had 52 dengue patients as of Saturday afternoon, though 14 of them were about to be released.

Dengue patients were still sharing beds despite Mayor Michael Rama’s order to enforce a one bed, one patient policy.

The pediatric ward has only 23 beds so the mayor ordered the use of the auditorium to accommodate more patients.

Mandaue

In Mandaue City, Barangays Basak and Casuntingan reported the most number of dengue cases from January to August this year.

Barangays Paknaan and Pagsabungan, which were second and fourth in the list, respectively, reported one death each during August.

The third casualty so far this year was reported this month in Barangay Paknaan. Barangay captain Oscar Mendoza said the barangay has stepped up its campaign against the mosquito that carries the dengue virus.

City Health records revealed that by the end of August, there were already 130 dengue cases in Mandaue City, with two deaths: a seven-year-old girl in Barangay Pagsabungan and a three-year-old boy in Paknaan. (EOB/ETB/OCP/Sun.Star Cebu)



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For more inquiries: 
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