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Tawa Tawa as Cure for Dengue Fever

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Chapter I: The Introduction

A. Introduction
Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that has become a major international public health concern. Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world, predominantly in urban and semi-urban areas.

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF), a potentially lethal complication, was first recognized in the 1950’s during dengue epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand. DHF affects most Asian countries and has become a leading cause of hospitalization and death among children. There are four distinct, but closely related, viruses that cause dengue. Recovery from infection by one provides lifelong immunity against that virus but confers only partial and transient protection against subsequent infection by the other three viruses. Sequential infection increases the risk of developing DHF.1

1 “Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever,” World Health Organization, March 2009,
15 Oct. 2011 <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs117/en>.
2
There is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat DHF. For typical dengue, the immediate concern is the relief of symptoms. Adequate fluid intake for proper body hydration and rest is important. All else will depend on the person’s immune system. However, since the Philippines is abundant with herbal medicines, the Tawa Tawa is being touted as an alternative cure to DHF.

The Tawa Tawa is described as having numerous flowers which measures about 5 to 8 centimeters each with sepals and petals that are obovate-oblong, yellowish-green and covered with large, reddish-brown blotches. The plant has been attested by DHF survivors and herbalists as treatment of DHF.2

The researcher aims to study the possibility of curing DHF by the Tawa Tawa plant. The weed may contain a substance that enables the body to produce more platelets which are essential for blood clotting or anti-bleeding.3

2 Marie Antoinette, “The Tawa Tawa Plant against the Dreaded Dengue,” Factoidz, 21 Oct. 2010, 15 Oct. 2011 <http://www.factoidz.com/the-tawatawa-plant-against-the-dreaded-dengue-3>. 3 Bhaby See, “Foods That Increase Blood Platelets,” Journal Online, 22 June 2011, 15 Oct. 2011 <http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php/lifestyle/health-a-wellness/7803-foods-that-increase-blood-platelets>. 3 B. Statement of the Problem The study about Tawa Tawa corroborates its bearing as herbal medicine, making headway into developing other cures of DHR. While it is still uncertain whether Tawa Tawa is truly an effective cure for dengue fever, the researcher attempts to undergo a study on the effectiveness of Tawa Tawa as a potential cure for DHR. Furthermore, the researcher aims to elaborate the following questions: 1. What is Tawa Tawa? 2. How can the Tawa Tawa cure Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever? 3. What are the side effects of the Tawa Tawa? 4. How effective is Tawa Tawa as cure for Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever?

4 C. Importance of the Study The Philippines is home to many different varieties of both plant and animal species and cultures. These biological and cultural diversities have not failed to propose alternative herbal medicines to cure some of today's existing epidemic diseases, one of which is Dengue. Filipinos' resourcefulness and rich natural endowment make it realistic to discover cures which can serve as replacements to commercially available drugs. Recently, a weed called Tawa Tawa has been proven to cure fever associated to Dengue, an acute disease caused by a bite from a particular species of mosquito, which may bring internal hemorrhaging to a point of death. Dengue fever cases have been infesting the Philippines almost every year, with some regions always having "outbreaks."4 The inevitable development of Philippine alternative medicine may be recognized as a people's response to today's inaccessible, unaffordable, commercialized and non-sustainable cures offered by the field of bio-medicine.5

4 Willie T. Ong, “Tawa Tawa For Dengue Needs Urgent Study,” The Philippine Star, 31 Aug. 2010, 15 Oct. 2011 <http://mind.pinoy.md/?p=535>. 5 Yfur Porsche Fernandez, “Tawa Tawa Plant, Latest Dengue Fever Cure,” Suite101, 23 Aug. 2010, 15 Oct. 2011 <http://yfur-porsche-fernandez.suite101.com/tawa-tawa-plant-latest-dengue-fever-cure-a277733>. 5 D. Scope and Delimitation The study holds the primary purpose of proving the efficacy of Tawa Tawa as cure of DHF. There were no subjects being subdued upon the study, all facts were reviewed and studied by the researcher. The study was heavily based on other researches and from the most credible sources of information on the field of medicine: The Philipines’ Department of Health (DoH) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The researcher made an easy-to-follow instructional guide on how to extract Tawa Tawa for the reader. This study is conducted for almost four months, from August 2011 to November 2011. The research paper covers such topics as: 1. The definition of Tawa Tawa 2. Medicinal properties of Tawa Tawa 3. The extraction process of Tawa Tawa 4. The ways on how Tawa Tawa can cure DHF 5. Benefits of Tawa Tawa research in the Philippines 6. Various ways on how to prevent DHF 7. Brief history of DHF cases in the Philippines

6 E. Method used The researcher employed research methods such as library consultation, Internet connection, and newspaper reading for the completion of the study. In the extraction process of Tawa Tawa, the researcher made use of the decoction method.

7 F. Definition of Terms To facilitate the understanding of the different data and analyses being used throughout the study, the researcher enumerates below the terminologies deemed important to the study, but whose usage may be different from their denotative meaning. 1. Aedis Aegypti A disease-transmitting mosquito. A mosquito that can transmit serious diseases such as yellow fever and dengue. 2. Alternative Medicine Alternative medicine is any healing practice that does not fall within conventional medicine. It is based on historical or cultural traditions, rather than on scientific evidence. 3. Antibiotic An agent that destroys bacteria. A naturally produced substance that kills or inactivates bacteria, but has no effect against viruses, used as a medication. 4. Biomedicine Biological science applied to medicine. The employing of the principles of biology, biochemistry, physiology, and other basic sciences to solve problems in clinical medicine. 5. Clot A mass of thickened blood. 8 6. Decoction An extracting process. The extraction of an essence or active ingredient from a substance by boiling. 7. DHF a. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever b. Tropical fever. A tropical disease caused by a virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes and marked by high fever and severe muscle and joint pains. 8. DoH a. Department of Health b. The principal health agency in the Philippines. It is the executive department of the Philippine Government responsible for ensuring access to basic public health services to all Filipinos through the provision of quality health care and the regulation of providers of health goods and services. 9. DoST a. Department of Science and Technology b. The premiere science and technology body in the Philippines charged with the twin mandate of providing central direction, leadership and coordination of all scientific and technological activities, and of formulating policies, programs and projects to support national development. 9 10. Epidemic A fast-spreading disease. An outbreak of a disease that spreads more quickly and more extensively among a group of people than would normally be expected. 11. Hemorrhage Excessive bleeding. The loss of blood from a ruptured blood vessel, either internally or externally. 12. Herbalist Somebody knowledgeable about herbs. A grower, collector, or seller of aromatic herbs, especially those considered to have medicinal properties. 13. Herbal Medicine Herbal medicine, also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine refers to using a plant's seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. 14. Hydration To provide water for somebody in order to re-establish or maintain a correct fluid balance. 15. Mosquito A small slender biting fly that feeds on the blood of mammals, including humans, and transmits diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and dengue. 10 16. Outbreak Outbreak is a term used in epidemiology to describe an occurrence of disease greater than would otherwise be expected at a particular time and place. It may affect a small and localized group or impact upon thousands of people across an entire continent. Two linked cases of a rare infectious disease may be sufficient to constitute an outbreak. Outbreaks may also refer to epidemics, which affect a region in a country or a group of countries, or pandemics, which describe global disease outbreaks. 17. Platelet This is a blood particle involved in clotting. A tiny colorless disk-shaped particle found in large quantities in the blood and playing an important part in the clotting process. 18. Virus A submicroscopic parasitic particle of a nucleic acid surrounded by protein that can only replicate within a host cell. Viruses are not considered to be independent living organisms. 19. Weed A plant in an undesired place.

11 20. WHO a. World Health Organization b. A specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations.

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