Tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta) may be used as a medical treatment for dengue, a regional Department of Health (DOH) official said.
DOH assistant secretary Dr. Maria Laxamana said Wednesday that it is not prohibited. She also said that it still depends on the person if they will use it.
“Nasa kanila ‘yan kung gagamitin nilang panggamot, kung sa tingin naman nila ay nagagamot sila doon o wala kaming pwede ibawal doon. Wala naman problema ang DOH basta depende sa kanila kung gagamitin nila ang tawa-tawa na sinasabi, it is still a herbal plant,” she said.
On August 11, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Philippines approved the herbal capsule made from tawa-tawa as a food supplement that helps alleviate symptoms of the dengue virus.
Based on an Iloilo Today report, tawa-tawa herbal capsules are produced by Herbanext Laboraties Inc. in Bago City, Negros Occidental.
The capsules, with FDA Registration Number FR-4000003953662, was made from “spray-dried extracts” of tawa-tawa, a small herb that is widely recognized in Philippine traditional medicine as a treatment for dengue and its related symptoms.
Tawa-tawa capsule was only categorized as a food supplement and is yet to be approved as a cure for illnesses such as dengue.
Laxamana, however, refused to give comment on the approval of FDA of tawa-tawa as a herbal supplement. She said that it should have a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR).
“I can’t comment on that na, hindi ko pa nakikita pero kung FDA approved na sya ay dapat may CPR sya. Basta naman may CPR sya ay walang problema pati ‘yong pagamit sa kanya nan a nilalaga lang ay wala naman problema sa part ng DOH, it is a herbal hindi naman sya pinoprocess, maliban nalang doon sa sabi na approved ng FDA ay dapat may CPR,” Laxamana said.