Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuba-tuba (scientifically known as Jatropha curcas L.) is a drought-resistant perennial shrub with an economic life of up to 35 years and can even extend up to 50 years. Tuba-tuba shrub has a smooth, gray bark which exudes a whitish color, watery latex when cut. The size of the leaves ranges from 6-15 cm in length and width. It sheds leaves in the dry season and rejuvenates during the rainy season.
Tuba-tuba is one of the most promising sources of biofuel today. About 30 percent of the tuba-tuba nut is composed of oil which can be easily processed into fuel that can replace or mixed with petroleum based diesel to save on imported oil and most importantly increase local employment and help the economy to grow.
But tuba-tuba is not only known to be a good future source of biofuel, but it has also been used for quite a long time for health benefits. The leaves of tuba-tuba plant are used as poultices for sprains.
Another health benefit of tuba-tuba is to use its stems to extract excess water from the lungs. Watery lungs when severe requires medical suction which can be very expensive for most people. To save, we resorted to herbal remedies to treat my father's watery lungs. Below are the steps on how to prepare the poultice:
1. Cut two stems of tuba-tuba plant about a foot long.
2. Scrape the outermost thin skin of the plant until a green layer becomes visible. Disregard the scraped skin.
3. Scrape thinly the green and the fibrous white layers of the stem.
4. Divide the output into two and wrap the first half with a leaf of cardava plant.
5. Put it over a burning charcoal to heat. Please do not burn the poultice.
6. After it has been heated for about three to five minutes, combine it with the remaining unheated half mixing it together.
7. Put the mixed poultice evenly on the back right over the lungs area, then put a bandage to keep the poultice in place.
8. It is best to put tuba-tuba poultice before bedtime. You can remove it in the morning.