SAN CARLOS CITY—A warning to parents: Tell your children not to eat tagumbaw (jathropa) seeds.
Five children were brought last week to the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital (PPH) here after they were poisoned for eating seeds of a jathropa plant, called tagumbaw in Pangasinan and is known to local folks as having medicinal value.
Dr. Karlo Marco Orduña, chief of clinics at the PPH, said the five kids, rushed to the hospital on January 27, all male, aged 8 to 12, suffered nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Orduña said he has referred the victims to a toxicologist at the PPH for further medical examination and they were discharged from the hospital on Jan. 28.
Last year, three children were also rushed to the PPH for jathropa poisoning, according to Orduña, and one of them died before he could reach the hospital.
The doctor explained that jathropa seeds, when crushed, produces oil that contains toxic compounds.
A person who ingests it could suffer seizures, convulsion and cardio vascular collapse.
Jathropa oil, however, can be processed as biofuel for diesel engines.—Eva Visperas