Is tawa-tawa plant an effective treatment or cure for dengue?
Dengue is a prevalent disease in tropical countries which can be life threatening. Its virus is transmitted to human through an infected mosquito bite. At the onset of rainy season, dengue case increases. I live in the northern part of the Philippines where people mostly rely on plants for treatment of certain diseases. Dengue case is not high here but there are still some unlucky ones who got caught by the disease. Most of them said that tawa-tawa plant has actually cured them.
What is tawa-tawa? Tawa-tawa is just one of those grass or weed that grows anywhere here in the Philippines. I never thought such unnoticed plant has benefits.
When made into tea, they said it can actually treat dengue fever and increase platelet count in just 24 hours. So, how to make the tawa-tawa tea? Well, you have to get at least 7 whole tawa-tawa plant, cut the roots, wash and boil with 1 1/2 liters water for 1 minute. Drink a cup per hour for 1 day. I took a taste-test. It actually taste ok, just a little blander than green tea.
So, does it really work? There were researches made that tawa-tawa plant is not a cure for dengue. It does not fight dengue virus. Instead, it only promotes the development of blood platelet. It has enzymes that prevent internal bleeding. The Department of Health said that they still need to make further studies on this.
Do I recommend it?Although many assured of the effectiveness of tawa-tawa as treatment for dengue, I still believe that in emergency cases, where life is at stake, seeking help first from a professional doctor is still best. Paracetamol (avoid aspirin) is only used as supportive treatment, as dengue comes with high fever. At present, there’s no known specific treatment or vaccine for dengue. To combat dengue virus, make your immune system stronger by drinking lots of water, taking plenty of rest, and eating healthy foods, so your body could fight the dengue virus internally. If all else fail, if medicines and blood and platelet transfusions didn’t seem to work, I don’t see any reason, if by then, I’ll be using tawa-tawa plant as an alternative medicine in treating dengue.