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Tawa-tawa, also known as gatas-gatas or asthma plant, is a weed that grows almost everywhere. Because it is too common, we often ignore it and even consider it an unwanted plant. But who would think the weed with a funny name surprisingly has medical applications?
Tawa-tawa grows widely in the Philippines, other Southeast and South Asian countries, as well as other tropical regions around the world. It can be easily identified among the weeds in the open lawn for its hairy stems and forked dark-green or reddish leaves with purplish markings and lopsided bases. It has ‘flowers’ arranged into dense rounded clusters.
A clinical trial funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on tawa-tawa yielded good feedback from respondents with mild to moderate Covid-19. Tawa-tawa was given to them as a food supplement. The participants of the clinical trial reported their fevers, chills, body aches, and cough disappeared after they took the supplement.
There is also a local clinical trial being conducted at the University of the Philipines – Visayas. The study is yet to establish whether tawa-tawa is going to be an effective intervention for Covid 19.
Although studies are still being conducted on the efficacy of tawa-tawa against Covid-19, tawa-tawa has been used to treat other diseases for years. Its extract contains compounds that are found to have healthful benefits. Here are some of the uses of tawa-tawa.
Tawa-tawa wouldn’t be called an asthma plant for nothing. One of the oldest uses of the plant is to treat asthma. The plant has anti-inflammatory properties, which soothe the irritation in the respiratory passages. It is also used to cure cough and bronchitis.
During the rainy season, more people become infected by dengue fever. Dengue is a disease brought by mosquitoes that cause high fever and decreased blood platelet counts. Multiple studies have found out that tawa-tawa helps by increasing blood platelets and reducing bleeding in dengue patients.
Having diarrhea brings discomfort and increases the risk of dehydration. This disease is caused by consuming contaminated foods. The good news is, tawa-tawa contains quercetin, an active flavonoid constituent that has anti-diarrheic properties.
Tawa-tawa contains angiotensin enzyme, an anti-diuretic agent which helps conserve fluid volume in our bodies by reducing the amount of water passed out in the urine. Normal water levels mean normal blood pressure levels.
Drinking tawa-tawa tea can help treat or prevent urinary tract infections. This is due to the antibacterial and antiviral properties of this plant.
Our immune system fights bacteria and viruses. The antibacterial and antiviral properties of tawa-tawa help our immune system keep us away from diseases.
Tawa-tawa extract is found to be an antioxidant that prevents or slows cell damage caused by free radicals.
Malaria is a disease caused by tiny parasites brought by mosquitoes. It is characterized by fever, sweats, chills, headaches, malaise, muscles aches, nausea, and vomiting. Malaria can very rapidly become a severe and life-threatening disease. A study, though, shows tawa-tawa stops the reproduction of these tiny organisms.
Perhaps not surprisingly, nature can cure our health problems. All we have to do is to get to know more about our natural resources. A tiny weed we have been stepping on turns out to have amazing health benefits. Truly, tawa-tawa is amazing.
Tawa-Tawa Concentrate can be purchased online at echostore.ph.