“A study on the Mechanism of Platelet Increasing Activity of the Extraction of Euphorbia hirta L. as treatment for dengue.”

Pharmacy: Tawa-tawa leaves for dengue

Characterized by a sudden onset of high fever, nose bleeding, and low platelet count, dengue hemorrhagic fever is an acute infection affecting many Filipinos.

In a report released last April by the Regional Office for the Western Pacific of the World Health Organization, 39,620 dengue cases with 373 fatalities were reported in the country 2008.


To help solve the problem, Pharmacy students Jeriz Anne Natividad, Hazel Lopez, Toni Ann Marie Luna, Rachelle Manalo, Jeriz Natividad and Clarisse Ngo conducted “A study on the Mechanism of Platelet Increasing Activity of the Decoction and Ethanolic Extraction of Euphorbia hirta L. (Euphorbiaceae) as treatment for dengue.”

The researchers proposed a new treatment to increase platelet count, which is normally achieved through platelet transfusion from blood donors. Instead, the study used the extract of Euphorbia hirta, commonly known as tawa-tawa. The plant is believed to possess a property that increases platelets.

“We want (an) alternative that will not be expensive and time-consuming since platelet transfusion demands platelet compatibility testing prior to patient transfusion. Our alternative is cheaper and more natural since transfusion is no longer needed,” Lopez told the Varsitarian.

The researchers subjected tawa-tawa’s leaves to decoction, a method of extraction performed through boiling. Tawa-tawa’s platelet-increasing activity was tested on laboratory experimental rats, specifically Sprague-Dawley.

According to Lopez, results of the study showed that the tawa-tawa extract was effective in increasing the platelet count of rats without notable effects in red blood cell and white blood cell counts.

The group also concluded that the platelet increasing property of tawa-tawa works through the stimulation of platelet production in the bone marrow.

The project was submitted by the group to the National Research Council of the Philippines and won first prize in Cluster III-Division of Medical, Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences in the body’s 76th General Membership Assembly.

“We wanted our research to be timely, unique and public health-oriented (to) benefit the Thomasian community and the country,” said Lopez. J.A.G. Ambanta

Reference: http://www.varsitarian.net/sci_tech/20090630/breaking_new_scientific_grounds


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Study on tawa-tawa plant wins best HS student research paper

A total of eight teams from three high schools in the city – St Mary’s School, Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (MOGCHS) and Xavier University High School (XUHS) – performed their investigatory projects based on researchable areas identified by agribusiness industries.

The second best research went to XUHS for the study on the “Preliminary Screening of Tabon-tabon Fruit Extract (Hydrophytune orbiculatum) for Antimicrobial Activities, and third place was awarded to the “Production of Soil Moisture Detector” by the team from MOGCHS.

Dean Ravanera, in his message during the presentation of the researches, shared that “the outcomes [of the project] are very encouraging” underscoring the potential of high school students in communicating science to all.

The grand prize winners from St Mary’s School, namely Frances Mae Gumapon, Maria Kenosis Emmanuelle Lachica, Melissa Tamara Argayoso and Marlo Karlo Carrsco received a cash prize of P5,000.  The other winners from XUHS and MOGCHS received P3,000 and P2,000 respectively

One of the researcher of the winning team who conducted a study on Tawa-Tawa explained a part of their methodology, ” blood samples were taken from the mice but cutting off a part of their tails. Yes,…the vet herself suggested this method. Then, these samples were checked for platelet count before the mice took in the euphorbia hirta L. tea. Then, the mice were tested again for platelet count after they took in tawa-tawa three times a day for a month…The mice had an average platelet count before they took in tawa-tawa and they just produced even more platelets after they took in tawa-tawa.”

Reference: http://aggies.xu.edu.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=103&Itemid=68&cpage=10

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Thrombocytopenia and Asthma Weed “Tawa-Tawa”

Dengue fever can cause thrombocytopenia by direct infection of bone marrow megakaryocytes as well as immunological shortened platelet survival. Tawa-Tawa or Asthma weed  had been popular among dengue fever victims due to its profound properties on increasing low blood platelet count which is one of the symptoms of this serious viral infection.

Learn more about Dengue-Aid Tawa-Tawa Capsule and Tawa Tawa Herbal Plant

Often, low platelet levels do not lead to clinical problems; rather, they are picked up on a routine full blood count (or CBC, complete blood count). Occasionally, there may be bruising, particularly purpura in the forearms, petechia (pinpoint hemorrhages on skin and mucous membranes), nosebleeds and/or bleeding gums.

It is vital that a full medical history is elicited, to ensure the low platelet count is not due to a secondary process. It is also important to ensure that the other blood cell types, such as red blood cells and white blood cells, are not also suppressed. Painless, round and pinpoints (1 to 3 mm in diameter), petechiae usually appear and fade, and sometimes group to form ecchymoses.

Read more about Thrombocytopenia


TAWA-TAWA (Euphorbia hirta Linn) Herbal Plant


Increases Blood Platelet and Helps As an Aid for Recuperation for Dengue Fever Victims

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 traditional medicine, Tawa-Tawa had been used to treat respiratory ailments (asthma,bronchitis,etc), laryngeal spasm, ulcerated cornea and conjunctivitis. Further,in modern herbalism, it is used as a treatment for dysentery, worms, intestinal amoebic dystentery, bowel complaints and syphilis due to its antibacterial, anthelmintic and antiamoebic activities.

A few research study shows that subjects taking in Tawa-Tawa regularly reveals an increase in the their blood platelet count compared to conducted pretest which helps a dengue fever victim who normally has a very low platelet count  to recuperate quicker than others.

Scientific Name: Euphorbia hirta Linn

Genus Euphorbia

Family Euphorbiaceae

Other Scientific Name: E. pilulifera Linn. Chamaesyce pilulifera Linn. E. capitata

Common Names: Bobi (Bis.), Magatas (Pamp.), Australian asthma weed (Engl.), Tairas (Iv.), Golandrina (Tag.), Cat’s hair (Engl.), Tauataua (P. Bis.), Snake weed (Engl.), Tawa-tawa (TaG.)

Distribution

Tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta Linn) plant abundantly grows in the Philippines, Australia, South America and other parts of Asia.



Constituents

The intense phytochemical screenings on tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta Linn) shows the it contains the following: amino acids, alkaloids, shikimic acid , alkenes, triterpenoids, , phenolic acids, sterols, choline, Flavonoids (quecitrin, quercetol) and glycosides.


Properties

Tawa-Tawa (Euphorbia hirta Linn) possessed pharmacological activities and propertie. It is characterized as anti-asthmatic, anti-malarial, antifungal, anti-spasmodic, antibacterial, antidote,anti-inflammatory, expectorant, anthelmintic, antidysenteric, diuretic, pectoral, sedative, soporific  and hemostatic.

  • Leaves: Anti-dysenteric ,Anti-pyretic
  • Stem: Anti-asthmatic,Diuretic
  • Latex: Anti-septic
  • Roots: Anti-emetic,Cathartic

Pharmacology

An alcoholic extract of Euphorbia hirta leaves is effective against gram positive bacteria and moderately effective against gram negative bacteria.

The diuretic effects of leaf extracts were assessed using Acetazolamide (Diamox) and Furosemide (Lasix) as standard diuretic drugs. It produced time-dependent increase in urine output and electrolyte excretion was also significantly affected by the plant extracts. This study suggests that the active component(s) in the water extract of E. hirta leaf had similar diuretic spectrum to that of acetazolamide.These results validate the traditional use of E. hirta as a diuretic agent.

Researchers from the University of Santo Tomas conducted “A study on the Mechanism of Platelet Increasing Activity of the Decoction and Ethanolic Extraction of Euphorbia hirta L. (Euphorbiaceae) as treatment for dengue.” The researchers subjected tawa-tawa’s leaves to decoction, a method of extraction performed through boiling. Tawa-tawa’s platelet-increasing activity was tested on laboratory experimental rats, specifically Sprague-Dawley.


Results of the study showed that the tawa-tawa extract was effective in increasing the platelet count of rats without notable effects in red blood cell and white blood cell counts. Read more about the Study on the Platelet Increasing Activity of  Tawa-Tawa or Asthma weed (Euphorbia hirta) as Treatment for Dengue

Tawa-Tawa (Euphorbia hirta Linn) is now available in capsule form and can be purchased online Tawa-Tawa Capsule

Be Aware…For more information,Know the Symptoms of Dengue Fever and Dengue Fever treatment