‘Camote’ leaf tea can save blood platelets of dengue patients
A very recent front-page Inquirer article about tawa-tawa pills for dengue fever is dead-on accurate.
Our cook Merlyn says everyone in the barrio of Iloilo’s knows that you simply pull up the tawa-tawa plant, roots, leaves and all, throw it in a pot, boil, make tawa-tawa tea, and keep drinking it (cold is okay). The more you drink, the quicker you get well.
The other name for dengue is hemorrhagic fever—internal organs hemorrhage (doctors check for blood in the stool), causing not only blood platelets’ count to drop but fever as well.
Hospital patients are attached to an intravenous bottle to supply the body with electrolytes. Tempra or any fever medicine is also prescribed for the fever.
Just as effective as tawa-tawa—whether the weed, tea or in pill form—to raise the blood platelet count and avoid hemorrhage is P10 worth of camote leaves concocted into a tea. Just drop about 15 to 20 leaves in boiling water. When the water turns brownish, that’s the tea, drank cold (without the leaves), as much as the patient can take every 15 minutes or so.
A little bit of sugar or honey dilutes its effect, but makes it more pleasant for children—a bit of cinnamon mixed into it helps, too.
This writer is not a doctor, but her sister, Dolores O. Escobar, has a master’s degree in nursing and teaches. It was Dolly who first recommended it for Gabriel, the writer’s grandson who was struck with dengue fever not once, but twice. Religiously, Gabriel drank the camote tea every 15 minutes and was well in two days.
Maita Valero, the best friend of Dolly’s daughter Joy and a manager of Deals and Corporate Finance at Isla Lipana, was so sick that the doctors at the hospital put in a request for blood from the Red Cross
With a large kettle—about a liter of camote tea—Dolly got to the hospital at 6 p.m. By the time the “Red Cross” blood arrived at midnight, Maita’s platelet count was fine; she no longer required the blood transfusion.
Dolly, whose Christian name is Dolores Annabella—her best friend in school, Lourdes Jimenez Carvajal aka Inday Badiday, named her daughter, the Inquirer’s movie columnist, Dolly Anne—says she had heard that the De La Salle University medical school was testing talbos ng kamote on ongoing research to determine its effectivity as a cure for dengue.
This article is not written by a know-it-all, but by one stricken with a guilty conscience reading of so many (children especially) dying from dengue, who is moved to share information about P10 worth of camote leaves which could save so many lives.
“Camody tops,” said Uncle Chappy or Charles Corwin Chapman, an internee at UP Los Baños in World War II when the Japanese Imperial Army corralled all the Americans and other citizens of Allied countries in internment camps. “Camody tops,” he repeated, meaning its leaves, “saved my life in the war.” In Los Baños’ fertile soil, internees grew their own tiny vegetable gardens, as they were hardly fed by the Japanese.
Every Sunday lunch after the war, he showed up at his best friend Johnny Orendain’s place, for his weekly dose of “camody tops” salad.
That was another life saved, albeit 70 years ago, thanks to lowly camote leaves, which have turned out not to be so lowly after all.
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