'Tawa-tawa' not enough for severe dengue cases

Posted at 09/05/2010 12:35 AM | Updated as of 09/05/2010 12:36 AM

MANILA, Philippines – A popular herbal medicine is not enough to treat dengue patients who are at a critical stage, the Department of Health (DOH) warned on Saturday.

Use of “tawa-tawa” is not enough to treat dengue cases that are in critical stage, said Dr. Eric Tayag, head of the Department of Health (DOH)-National Epidemiology Center.

Among the warning signs of dengue at a critical stage are persistent vomiting, severe abdominal pain and low platelet count.

Tayag said that dengue patients should see a doctor to ensure their recovery.

Former Health Secretary Jaime Galvez Tan has been pushing for the use of alternative medicines to treat dengue.

Tan is advocating "tawa-tawa," which is known by its scientific name Euphorbia hirta.
 
He believes that the government should step up efforts to improve research on alternative treatments.
   
"It's about time government invests. I agree with more honest labelling, but government should not just regulate but also put money in research," he said.
   
Tayag, on the other hand, encouraged dengue patients to drink fluids like oral hydration solutions (ORESOL), water, and juices.

ORESOL can be prepared at home. Its ingredients are a teaspoon of salt and 4 teaspoons of sugar mixed with 1 liter of water, according to the DOH. - with a report from Abner Mercado, ABS-CBN News