SWITZERLAND, MAY 07 – As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the race for a therapeutic solution has intensified with many recommendations from various corners. Scientists have considered a number of substances that can potentially treat the sickness with the most popular ones being Chloroquine and Remdesivir. In Nigeria, a number of people have touted various herbal products as potential remedies. Many of these claims have been denounced as unscientific and distractive.
In Madagascar, another African country, herbal drink made from the Artemisia Annua plant has been endorsed by the government as a COVID-19 remedy. Initially the medical community had largely denounced this COVID Organic as fake, unproven, and untested.
However, there is a renewed interest in potential herbal remedies after Today’s Echo reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) is considering Madagascar’s herbal product as a potential treatment if subjected to scientific examination.
In a statement released a few days ago, the global health body said,
“WHO recognizes that traditional, complementary and alternative medicine has many benefits and Africa has a long history of traditional medicine and practitioners that play an important role in providing care to populations. Medicinal plants such as Artemisia annua are being considered as possible treatments for COVID-19 and should be tested for efficacy and adverse side effects.
“Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world. Even if therapies are derived from traditional practice and natural, establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical.”
Today’s Echo examines five sources of potential herbal remedies for COVID-19 in Nigeria.
- Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories’ CVD PLUS, Edo
Last week, a group of researchers in Edo state announced that they have produced a herbal drug for the treatment of COVID-19. According to Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories, the drug, named CVD PLUS, contains herbs and other constituents that can stimulate antibody production against coronavirus related diseases.
Catholic-Church affiliated Pax Herbal said the plant-based drugs, whether crude or refined, are seemingly the best alternative approach to the COVID-19 menace.
Today’s Echo gathers that Pax Herbal, which has been in existence for 24 years, is widely known in Nigeria for the production of organic supplements which many users have found beneficial to their health. Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) is currently carrying out research on the Pax Herbal product.
However, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) disassociated itself from Pax Herbal’s claims, saying its herbal product has not been registered nor listed for treatment of COVID-19
2. Ooni of Ife
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi is said to have been furious when he heard about Madagascar’s COVID-19 herbal medicine. This was because he had suggested a similar thing earlier.
Today’s Echo gathers that the monarch, in partnership with YemKem International, an alternative medicine company, is working to create a herbal therapy to be mass-produced and packaged for sale.
In a video shared on his social media page, he detailed how several natural herbs like onions, African pepper and neem tree among others can be used to treat COVID-19. The ooni added that the herbs can achieve the desired result when used individually or mixed together to produce an incense.
The monarch disclosed recently that his traditional cure for the virus had reached an advanced stage and would be made available to the public very soon.
3. Prof Maurice Iwu
Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Professor of Pharmacognosy, Maurice Iwu has often created controversy by presenting unorthodox therapies for public health threats. In 2014, he announced that he had a cure for the Ebola Virus, which was ravaging parts of West-Africa and had just been imported into Nigeria.
Recently, Iwu announced that his herbal-based COVID-19 drug is currently undergoing clinical trials with the national Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
4. Iris medical foundation drug and pharmaceutical
A few days ago, Dr Paul Olisa Ojeih, Managing Director of Iris Medical Foundation Drugs and Pharmaceutical, wrote an opinion editorial online where he claimed that COVID-19 is a curable viral infection that Nigerians should not lose sleep over or fret over.
According to Ojeih, Iris medical foundation drug and pharmaceutical has an authentic cure for the virus, calling it ‘a cure derived from the enzymes of plants which is pharmaceutically engineered to treat complex viral infection.”
He said he wrote a letter to the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and told him he would infect himself with the virus under 73 hours and the virus will be cured.
5. Federal Ministry of Health’s Herbal Cough Mixture
The Federal Ministry of Health’s Department of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine has written a letter to the Director-General of NAFDAC, informing her that the department has the formation of a cov-herbal cough mixture capable of treating COVID-19. The mixture was produced from local organic materials like Garlic, Ginger, Onion, West African Black Pepper and Baobab Fruit.
“These medicinal plants have documented scientific evidences of long use for the management of cough and other respiratory infections, with medicinal properties of mucolytic, antitussive, expectorant, soothing, demulcent, anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects,” the letter reads.