Life -saving camote leaves tea for Dengue Fever
By Penelope A. Domogo, MD
It’s rainy season. By now most people are aware that rainy season is dengue season. We have had dengue fever in the Cordillera for more than three decades already and yet, we seem not to have learned how to prevent it. Praise God at least we have discovered some remedies to overcome its deadly consequence which is internal hemorrhage. Before we go to that, however, let’s first review what we know about dengue fever in the hope that we can prevent its occurrence in the future. You see, folks, an ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure. Anytime, anywhere.
Dengue fever is caused by a virus. Viruses are not killed by antibiotics. Common symptoms of dengue fever are non-specific, meaning other diseases can have these symptoms – high fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, eye pain, tonsillitis, cough and colds and rashes which can be itchy or not. Many patients complain of severe headache and severe eye pain that they would rather close their eyes. Many also complain of back pain. Some patients don’t develop rashes. So when you have the above symptoms, we cannot say exactly that you have dengue fever. These symptoms are also found in other diseases like the ordinary flu (trankaso) or measles or typhoid fever. Usually, doctors think it’s typhoid fever (because the Widal’s test is positive) until itchy rashes appear. And many times the rashes appear when the patient already has gone home from the hospital so it is important for the patient to report this to the doctor so that you will not be counted under typhoid fever but under dengue fever. Both are reportable diseases so government counts how many.
Typhoid fever is caused by a bacteria so it is treated with antibiotics. We know that antibiotics have their disadvantages so it is wise to differentiate these diseases.
Because dengue fever is a viral disease, the treatment is just rest, drink plenty of water and eat healthy food. The disease will go away by itself after a few days or in one week. It is self-limiting. It cannot go on and on. That’s good news, isn’t it! So if you were told you had dengue last week and you have no fever now and have recovered your strength, then you are cured.
Why we are afraid of dengue fever is that it can drastically reduce the platelets in your blood during the course of the disease, usually during the time that the fever subsides. Platelets are components of our blood that prevent bleeding and we need to have millions of these. This is why patients with suspected dengue fever are tested for platelet count to make sure these are adequate. When platelets are reduced below a critical level, bleeding can occur. Usually bleeding is noted in the gums and nose. This is not serious. The doctors will now label the disease as dengue hemorrhagic fever. What is dangerous is when bleeding occurs inside or all over the body as this cannot be corrected by our present technology.
But our Creator will not let us be helpless. He gave us camote, even at the beginning of time. Here’s the good news: boiled camote leaves tea will increase platelet count! Isn’t that just amazing! Patients who had platelet counts going down were relieved to see these rise up to normal levels after simply drinking camote leaves tea. It is life-saving! Please spread the word around. Wonderful camote. Our forebears knew the value of camote and so they made sure every household had a camote patch near the house.
How to make this camote leaves tea: Just get a bundle of camote leaves, boil enough water and then put the leaves and continue boiling until the water is colored, that’s about 5-7 minutes. Then drink three times a day or more. You can add lemon or a pinch of salt. But plain tea is good. You can eat the leaves, too. This is regular food so there’s no overdose. That’s the beauty of this remedy, unlike western medicines.
You can also use tawa-tawa plant, same recipe, same effect. But I am promoting camote leaves because camote is found everywhere. If you are in the city, just go to the market and there is camote. Anytime of the year, you can find camote easily. And it’s effective so what’s the issue. Some people just don’t believe in the ordinary. But hey, camote is actually extra-ordinary. The Center for Science in the Public Interest 2013 ranked camote as having the HIGHEST nutritional value among several other foods. Beat that.
I also have heard that papaya leaves tea have the same effect. But we have more experience with camote leaves and tawa-tawa. Just a thought, perhaps it is the latex in these plants that have the magical effect.
Thus we should not be too scared of dengue fever. However, although there is a remedy when one gets dengue, it is still better not to get it, right?