WHO warns against Untested “herbal remedies”
Despite warnings from the WHO Madagascar is producing what their President Andry Rajoelina is calling his countries “cure” for COVID-19.
Some African countries including Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Liberia have already reportedly ordered the product.
In fact Tanzania has began importing the beverage claimed to cure COVID and is full support of their fellow African country.
But the WHO warns that the drink hasn’t been clinically tested and that claims of a cure can’t be proven.
They say the tonic mix has not gone through clinical testing therefore can’t be substantiated.
The African Union is also asking for scientific data to prove it’s bold claims as a cure to COVID-19.
WHO met to discuss the role of traditional medicine during the pandemic with 70 African traditional medicine experts this past Tuesday.
“They unanimously agreed that clinical trials must be conducted for all medicines in the region, without exception,” a WHO Africa post on Twitter indicated.
Madagascars President Defends Homegrown Beverage
President Andry Rajoelina claims despite the lack of clinical trials “it works really well”.
Rajoelina claimed that if a European country had found the remedy people would not have been so skeptical.
“What is the problem with Covid Organics, really? Could it be that this product comes from Africa? Could it be that it’s not OK for a country like Madagascar?”
– Madagascar’s President Rajoelina
“No one will stop us from moving forward. Not a country, not an organization.” President of Madagascar
What is this beverage made From?
The Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA) has been attributed to developing the miracle tonic.
The drink is derived from Artemisia arrua, which is native to China, the president said.
Artemisia, a plant used in malarian cures, as well as other indigenous herbs make up the drink mix.
“It’s a very popular herbal medicine. It’s one of the most frequently used herbs in parts of the world,” said professor Chrisna Gouws, a biochemist from North-West University in South Africa referring to Artemisia.
“The scientific community became interested because it contains artemisinin, which is a recognized anti-malarial treatment.”
According to President Rajoelina, 80% of the population of Madagascar uses it.
Madagascar isn’t the only one interested in Artemisia arrrua and it’s potential use in fighting the coronavirus.
Last month an American company and the German Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces announced its partnership to test the plant’s possible effectiveness against COVID-19.
Currently, however, there is no evidence that the plant is effective in preventing or treating the new coronavirus.
“We would caution and advise against countries adopting a product which has not been taken through tests to see its efficacy against COVID-19,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti.
Those concerns, however, haven’t slowed down Madagascar’s president, who has been donating COVID Organics to other African countries. As of Wednesday, Madagascar had reported 212 coronavirus cases and no deaths.
“The vast majority of patients who were treated with this remedy are all the proof you need that it works,” said President Rajoelina.
His claim is that most patients who had received the herbal remedies improved within seven to 10 days.
“No one has died in Madagascar. No one has died,” he continued. Citing the lack of new deaths from COVID in the last few weeks.
We will see in the upcoming weeks and months if what he says is true and if Madagascar can be a blessing to the west with its traditional medicine tonic.