177 Global Journal of Medicinal Plant Research, 1(2): 177-183, 2013 ISSN 2074-0883
Assessment of the safety of tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta L.) decoction as alternative folkloric medicine
Sharon Rose M. Tabugo, 1Rolliebert B. Rampola, 2Edgar Vasallo Jr., 1Ma. Reina Suzette B. Madamba
Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science and Mathematics, MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology, Iligan City; 2 Capitol University, Cagayan de Oro City ABSTRACT Euphorbia hirta L., plant is a pantropic weed, widely distributed in the Philippines. Folkloric use of tawatawa (E. hirta L.), as alternative treatment and prevention for various ailments has been promoted and patronized due to ...view middle of the document...
Key words: Euphorbia hirta L., tawa-tawa, decoction preparation, disc diffusion method Introduction Since time immemorial, remedies known to mankind are herbal medicines. Several plants have been exploited including tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta L.), as alternative treatment and prevention for various ailments. Euphorbia hirta L. belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. It is an annual herb common to tropical countries. It has been known for its medicinal, cultural and ethnobotanical uses (Soforowa, 1982). Preparations made for treatment include decoction and crude aqueous/ ethanolic extracts. Traditionally, decoction preparation has been used in the treatment of asthma, respiratory tract inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders, bronchial and respiratory diseases, kidney stones, diabetes and in conjunctivitis (Wong-Ting-Fook, 1980; Kokwaro, 1993). It also exhibits anxiolytic, analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory activities (Nelofar, et. al, 2006; Kumar, 2010). Several studies revealed that ethanolic extracts proved to be effective against several bacteria tested in vitro but, the oral intake of decoction preparation is more commonly used. However, there are no studies conducted testing the safety of decoction preparation for oral use as it may alter normal microflora present in the gastrointestinal tract. The normal flora of humans consists of eukaryotic fungi and protists, but bacteria are the most numerous and obvious microbial component of the normal flora. In fact, not much is known regarding the nature of the associations between humans and their normal flora but there are thought to be more dynamic interactions rather than associations of mutual indifference. The associations for the most part are mutualistic wherein, the normal flora derive, from their host a steady supply of nutrients, stable environment and protection and transport. The host obtains from the normal flora certain nutritional and digestive benefits, stimulation of the development and activity of immune system, and protection against colonization and infection by pathogenic microbes (Todar, 2011). The known bacteria that are regularly associated with humans are: E. coli -common in the mouth, nearly 100% in the lower gastrointestinal tract (GI); is consistent in the small intestine; some strains are pathogenic that can cause neonatal meningitis, intestinal and urinary tract infections; S. aureus -common in skin, mouth, pharynx and nearly 100% in the lower GI but, can be a potential pathogen; P. aeruginosa -rare in the mouth and pharynx but common in the lower GI; can be an opportunistic pathogen in humans that can invade virtually any tissue; B. subtilis -is often used as gram positive equivalent of E. coli; is not a human pathogen but it may contaminate food but rarely causes food poisoning; its spores can survive extreme heat during cooking (Ryan, 2004; Todar, 2011).
Corresponding Author: Sharon Rose M. Tabugo, Department of Biological Sciences, College of...