Tuesday, June 14

Tawa-Tawa (Gatas-gatas) Natural Cure For Dengue Fever

We frequently use Tawa-tawa or gatas-gatas leaves as preventive herbal remedy for dengue fever. My mother used to make a decoction of the leaves of tawa-tawa plant (scientifically known as Euphorbia hirta Linn). Whenever my nephews experience persistent fever, my mother would then give them tawa-tawa decoction as their daily water intake which usually lasts 3 days after their fever subsided. Since we are living in a place where mosquitoes are present (despite efforts of cleaning the surroundings thoroughly), a persistent fever is considered as one of the early symptoms of dengue fever.


Tawa-Tawa (Euphorbia hirta Linn) is a slender-stemmed, bushy plant that grows with several tiny branches from the base to the top and usually has a height of 2 inches. It has several tiny flowers bunched together with opposite rhombus leaves blotched with purple and toothed at its edge. In English, it is also called asthma weed or snake weed.

In folk medicine, it is called gatas-gatas because of the healing property of the milky juice.Below are some of the other uses of tawa-tawa or gatas-gatas plant aside from being an alternative cure for dengue fever:
  • Juice used for colics.
  • Juice used as ophthalmic drops for conjunctivitis or ulceration of the cornea.
  • Infusion or tea of the plant, 4 glasses daily, for bronchits and labored breathing, asthma, chronic dysentery.
  • Used for boils and wounds.
  • Decoction of dry plant used for skin disease.
  • Decoction of fresh plant used as gargle for the treatment of thrusth.
  • Decoction of the root used to allay vomiting, chronic diarrheas, and fevers.
  • Root decoction also beneficial for nursing mothers deficient in milk: 4-5 glasses of tea.
  • The same root decoction as an enema for constipation.
  • Root used for snake bites.
  • Used in sores, wounds, boils. As ear drop for pustular swellings in the ear.
  • Leaves are mixed with Datura metel leaves and flowers to make the "asthma-cigarette."
  • Latex also prescribed for asthma.
  • Superficial bleeding: Crush leaves and apply on affected paret, as local hemostatic.

Despite many testimonies of people (including us) who have used tawa-tawa plant as alternative cure for dengue fever, extra precaution should be made to avoid accidents as herbal remedies have different effect to different people.

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