How To: Prepare, Make Tawa-tawa Tea to Treat Dengue

In our continuing campaign to help in the fight againt dengue, we would like to present relevant information and audio-visual materials about the deadly virus.

GMA-7's news program “24 Oras” had a report on the Tawa-tawa herbal plant, known scientifically as Euphorbia Hirta (video available below).

We are also sharing to our readers an article from Dr. Willie T. Ong entitled “Treatment for Dengue” which was published on The Philippine STAR.
As you are probably aware of, there is no specific drug to kill the dengue virus. However, doctors can employ various supportive measures to strengthen the body so that it can recover from the disease. Here's how we do it:

1. Patients are encouraged to drink lots of water to keep the body's water at an optimum level. If needed, doctors give dextrose fluid to prevent dehydration.
2. Monitoring of blood count. Doctors check the hematocrit and platelet count regularly to see if there is a need to transfuse blood components.
3. Consider giving medicines to prevent ulcer, since bleeding is a possibility.
4. Encourage the patient to eat regularly, specifically soft, easily digestible foods. Patients are advised to avoid eating dark colored foods, because we need to monitor the stool's color. (Black stools means blood for doctors.)
5. Tawa Tawa plant might help.

In the Philippines, many patients are using Tawa Tawa plants to treat dengue. The Department of Health is still studying the effectiveness of this plant, and has raised concern over the possibility of toxicity with over dosage. However, doctors would usually allow patients to drink it if you ask their permission first.

Here's how to prepare Tawa Tawa:
(1) Take 5 whole Tawa Tawa plants;
(2) Cut off the roots, then wash and clean;
(3) Boil Tawa Tawa in a pot of clean water;
(4) Pour the liquid and then let cool;
(5) Sip 1 glass 3 to 4 times a day.

But remember, always consult your doctor first before undergoing any treatment. Our infectious disease specialists are still your best bet to get cured from dengue. Take care!
Please NOTE that the Department of Health (DOH) says tawa-tawa is “not enough for critical dengue patients, and urges oral rehydration therapy.”

It must also be noted that “there is a large difference between cases of dengue without hemorrhagic fever and those with, along with the 4 serotypes, recommended treatment may vary depending on the specific presentation of dengue.”

Scientific studies and tests, reports say, are being conducted to find out the health and medicinal benefits of Tawa Tawa.