The Medicinal and Other Benefits of Tuba-tuba
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The Medicinal and Other Benefits of Tuba-tuba

The tuba-tuba, also known as tubang bakod is in the list of the herbal medicines being recognized by the Philippines’ Department of Health.

The tuba-tuba with scientific name Jatropha curcas linn belonging to the Euphorbiaceae or spurge family is a poisonous shrub that originated in Central America and has spread to other countries having tropical and subtropical climate such as the Philippines and India. The tuba-tuba, also known as tubang bakod because it is being commonly used as a fence in most Philippine houses has medicinal benefits and is in the list of the herbal medicines being recognized by the Philippines’ Department of Health. It was in the news a few years ago as the oil that can be processed from its seeds was discovered as an alternative to fuel and is now being cultivated as a rich source of biodiesel.

A grown tuba-tuba or jatropha plant reaches up to 3 meters and can even grow up to 8 meters in height. It has large green or pale-green leaves that are lobed and are arranged in a spiral pattern. Its flowers are clustered in the axil of a leaf and are formed individually at the tip of the stem. The tuba-tuba or jatropha is a low maintenance plant and can grow almost any kind of soil, whether ordinary, rocky, sandy, or gravely soil and can easily adapt to any kind of weather.

As an herbal medicine, the sap of the jathropa includes among its components an alkaloid called jatrophine which is believed to have anti-cancer properties. The leaves can also be used as a liniment to treat stomach ache and can also be used as a natural insect repellant. The roots of the jatropha are used as an anti-dote for snake bites. The bark from jatropha roots on the other hand can be used as treatment for sores while the decoction of the roots together with the leaves can be used to treat diarrhea.

More Health Benefits of tuba-tuba

  • Reduces cholesterol levels: Eating a diet high in fat and animal foods can raise cholesterol levels.
  • Healing uric acid levels: A high uric acid level in the body can come from eating certain rich foods and a high uric level in our body is the main cause for the health condition, gout, which is a painful condition that mainly affects the big toe.
  • Healing diabetes: Diabetes type II can be caused by a high level of sugar and can be cured by tuba-tuba.
  • Curing cancer: Some studies have shown that tuba-tuba is 100 times more powerful than chemotherapy as it is powerful to diminish the growth of abnormal cells and facilitate the normal cells to grow well.
  • Lowering high blood pressure: It is well known that hypertension or high blood pressure can lead to many other health problems, and tuba-tuba could lower high blood pressure.
  • Asthma
  • Curing ulcers
  • Curing acne
  • Curing a mild cough
  • Curing back pain
  • Curing eczema and rheumatic
  • Curing hemorrhoids
  • Curing liver problems
  • Helps to diminishing lice
  • Eradicating inflammation and tumors

When using the tuber-tuber leaves, it is always important to completely wash the tuber-tuber leaves. For more information about how to prepare and take tuber-tuber, you can read more

Aside from the tuba-tuba's medicinal properties, there are also other benefits that can be derived from this plant. These are:

1) The oil extracted from the plant's seeds, aside from being an alternative to fuel can also be used in the process of soap making.

2) Extract from the plant's roots can be processed as yellow dye while the extract from its barks can be processed to produce blue dye.

3) The seeds can be pounded and used for tanning.

4) The plant itself can be used to prevent soil erosion.

With these benefits and its promise as an alternative energy source, it is no wonder that the cultivation of the tuba-tuba plant is being encouraged in the Philippines.

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Comments (4)

Nice work.

I learned a lot from you well presented article.Voted up.

Thanks much for the comments:)

Great. I love hearing about the health benefits of plants I had never heard of, and this is one.