Tairas

Family • Euphorbiaceae - Euphorbia dulcis Blanco - SWEET SPURGE - Hai bin da ji

Scientific names

Euphorbia dulcis Blanco
Euphorbia atoto Forst. f.
Chamaesyce atoto (G. Forst) Croizat

Common names

Tairas (Iv.)
Lamiñgo (Bag.)
Beach spurge (Engl.)
Sweet spurge (Engl.)
Hai bin da ji (Chin.)

Botany
Tairas is a slender, smooth herb, up to 36 cm in height, with ascending and prostrate stems. Leaves are oblong, 1.5 to 4.5 cm long, and 0.7 to 1.5 cm wide,, with entire margins. Inflorescence is very short and borne on the upper axil of the leaf. Capsue is small, ovoid, about 4 mm in diameter.

Distribution
A strand plant along sandy seashores throughout the Philippines.

Parts used
Whole plant, sap.

Uses 
Folkloric
Milky juice used as an emmenagogue.
Juice also used as abortifacient.
Cooked with honey over a water bath, used for tuberculosis.
In New Caledonia, malaxated plant soaked in sea-water used as purgative.

Study Findings
• Tumor Promoter Activity: In a Malaya study for long-term side-effects of herbal medications, 48 species of Euphorbiaceae were screened for tumor-promoter activity using a human lymphoblastoid cell line harboring the EBV genome. 27% (13/48) were found to be positive, and four, including E atoto, were found to have EBV-induciing activity at low concentrations in cell culture. The observation warrants study for an etiologic factor for the promotionn of tumors among rural Malaysian Malays.

Availability
Wild-crafted.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Tumour promoter activity in Malaysian Euphorbiaceae / A W Norhanom and M Yadav / British Journal of Cancer (1995) 71, 776-779