ILOILO City – The clinical trial on tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta) as a potential adjunctive treatment for mild and moderate cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is nearing completion, according to Dr. Philip Ian Padilla, vice chancellor for academic affairs of the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV).
Padilla, a professor of Microbiology, is the principal investigator of the trial – a collaborative effort of UPV, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City, Philippine Red Cross-Manila, and Quezon Institute.
“Ginatapos subong ang trial kon pwede gid man gamiton ang aton ginatawag herbal supplement nga tawa-tawa against COVID-19,” said Padilla over state-owned Radyo Pilipinas Iloilo.
The clinical trial started in late March this year.
Tawa-tawa, also known as “gatas-gatas,” is a hairy herb growing in open grasslands, roadsides and pathways.
Padilla said they were able to recruit over 100 COVID-19 patients in Negros Island for the trial but Red Cross-Manila and Quezon Institute were looking for more.
The trial may be completed by end of September this year.
“Aton i-analyze kon epektibo gid ini nga maka-relieve sang symptoms or maka-shorten sang quarantine stay (of COVID-19 patients),” said Padilla.
It would be a “breakthrough” if tawa-tawa is proven to alleviate symptoms of mild and moderate COVID-19. Padilla said it would lessen COVID-19 hospital admissions.
There are currently 10 clinical trials for COVID-19 itreatments in the Philippines, according to the Pharmaceutical Division of the Department of Health. These include the Favipiravir (Avigan), World Health Organization Trials for Treatments, Melatonin, Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), Lagundi, Convalescent Plasma Therapy, Intravenous Tocilizumab, Anti-Coronavirus Therapies (ACT), and Evaluation of Plasma Therapy.
A national steering committee oversees the clinical trials.
(This article, written by Glenda Tayona, was first published in the Panay News Website on August 17, 2021)