Tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta) extract is proving to be an effective adjunctive coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment for mild to moderate cases, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) disclosed.
DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development (R&D) Rowena Cristina Guevara said the study team received positive feedback from the 172 participants who were involved in the randomized controlled clinical trial on the efficacy and safety of tawa-tawa extract as an adjunctive COVID-19 treatment.
She said the 172 random COVID-19 positive respondents were instructed to take two 1,950-milligram capsules of tawa-tawa extract three times a day for 10 days. The tawa-tawa capsules were given as a food supplement.
“Base sa data, yung symptoms nila nag disappear between Day 3 and Day 5 so yung mga nawala sa kanila yung fever, chills, body ache, saka ubo (Based on the data, their symptoms disappeared between Day 3 and Day 5 so the symptoms that disappeared were fever, chills, body ache, then cough),” Guevara said in an interview over DZBB.
She said after taking the tawa-tawa extract, a participant who experienced body malaise and fever felt improvement in general well-being.
“Yung iba nahihirapan na huminga, one day lang ha, ang kanyang paghirap ng paghinga ay nawala din (The other respondent who experienced shortness of breath, just for one day, with the use of tawa-tawa extract it disappeared),” she said.
Another respondent experienced increased appetite, better bowel movement, and alleviated cough after taking the tawa-tawa capsules, she added.
The project team is headed by Dr. Philip Ian Padilla of the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas.
The yearlong study seeks to assess the efficacy and safety of Tawa-tawa extract as an adjunctive treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients.
In May, the UP Visayas and Corazon Locsin Memorial Hospital signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the project.
Tawa-tawa is known as a supplement for dengue.