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WHO cautions against untested COVID-19 traditional remedies

14 Comments

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that medicinal plants such as Artemisia annua, touted as possible treatments for COVID-19, should be tested for efficacy and side effects.

The WHO said it supported scientifically proven traditional medicine, adding that complementary and alternative medicine had many benefits.

The race to find a cure for COVID-19 has sparked renewed interest in plants such as Artemisia annua, also known as sweet wormwood.

Madagascar's president, Andry Rajoelina, is promoting a cure based on the plant. Although the herbal mix has not been scientifically tested yet, the heads of several African countries have announced placing orders, or received consignments of it.

"Even if therapies are derived from traditional practice and natural, establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical," the sub-Saharan Africa regional office of the WHO said in the statement.

The WHO said it was working with research institutions to select traditional medicine products that can be investigated for clinical efficacy and safety for treatment of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

It said caution must be taken against misinformation, especially on social media, about the effectiveness of certain remedies as efforts were under way to find treatment for COVID-19.

"Many plants and substances are being proposed without the minimum requirements and evidence of quality, safety and efficacy," it said.

It added that the use of products that have not been robustly investigated could put people in danger, give them a false sense of security and distract from preventive measures.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments
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For some reason many people think that if something is natural then it is automatically safe, so they can try whatever they are told it works and the worst thing that can happen is that they remain the same. The problem is that there are a huge lot of things that are natural and poisonous, from arsenic to belladona.

Then there are the unknown chemical interactions with medicines that can make usual treatments extremely dangerous, people that could have been saved developing unusual complications because the remedies they took potentiate or negate the effects of the treatments.

And finally as mentioned in the article the false sense of security is very dangerous also, people may avoid proper treatment when the disease is light because they think some natural remedy will heal them, and wait until is too late to seek help from the hospital.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Here's what i say, fwiw. Let them try. Chances are they're doing so because there's no alternative. They're all traditionally proven so they should know of any side effects by now. Unlike what the WHO is claiming, they have been robustly tested, probably for many generations. If the WHO is interested in peoples welfare then they'll let tradition have a voice.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Of course WHO objects. On the other hand, what's the harm of people trying natural remedies that are already in use? Side effects are already known, so there isn't much danger. Besides, WHO hasn't offered any effective treatments so far. The only prescribed treatment, a ventilator, is only for extreme cases, and it turns out that the vast majority of people put on ventilators die. It may even be ventilators killing them. WHO hasn't gotten anything right so far about this pandemic.

Many other viruses, such as colds and the flu, tend to congregate most heavily in the soft tissue at the back of the mouth and upper throat. The lower the viral load, the less likely a person experiences severe symptoms. Natural remedies that make that area of the mouth and throat inhospitable to viruses could have a big benefit. By the time WHO completes double-blind studies, this pandemic will have passed. If people know something works against a cold (which is also a coronavirus) or the flu, they're perfectly sensible to use it now.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Using natural remedies has been part of my life since I was a teen.

I can guarantee that natural medicine is at least as effective and a lot less expensive than anything big pharma dishes up....

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"Using natural remedies has been part of my life since I was a teen.

I can guarantee that natural medicine is at least as effective and a lot less expensive than anything big pharma dishes up...."

Hope you're as confident if you were to ever get a severe case of bacterial pneumonia and you refuse antibiotics. Dead as a door nail without them.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There are many natural remedies I have used for decades. I have a little box of various ones. Chinese remedies which work for coughing. Tea Tree Oil for skin tags, but never on the face. Creams for rashes especially when the humidity goes up.

But they have a place and not a replacement for all medicines. With my health problems ths past year I have also taken quite a range prescribed by the doctors. At one point, about 10 a day.

Just be sensible with your health program which includes healthy eating and exercise.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Anything to stop people from getting better hey..

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If I lived in a traditional environment where traditional medicine has cured most our problems why would I want to sever what has worked for generations just to cater to some bully organization who doesn’t even have a proven record? They’re helping the world when it’s convenient and it suits them. How many millions have died because the WHO had little leverage to help those in more remote areas? Enjoy your traditional medicine, I say.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There many good remedies in Japan dating back more than 100 years. I use several of them. They have a track record.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The WHO played down the danger of the virus at first and allowed it to spread around the globe causing much death and economic disaster. There's a frantic search for a cure or a vaccine and now the WHO discourages people from trying possible natural remedies? Why? If someone is dying of the virus and there is no known or available cure and nothing is working what's the harm?

I've had ongoing extensive experience with medical insiututions and their system for decades now and one thing I can tell for a sure is that they have ALWAYS recommended medicine and NEVER traditional remedies even when proven helpful....there's no money in it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

According to the WHO, the only way to tackle disease is via drugs or vaccines. There's big money to be made by their sponsors and eventually they will try to force you to take them against your will. Look what is happening in Australia.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-06/coronavirus-prime-minister-nrl-flu-shot-bryce-cartwright/12219576

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Crisis time = Conspiracy theory time.

Reason gone, belief at its bests!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There's a frantic search for a cure or a vaccine and now the WHO discourages people from trying possible natural remedies? Why?

Because they don't want people to hurt themselves in trying to heal themselves of course.

Is it really that hard to understand?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've had ongoing extensive experience with medical insiututions and their system for decades now and one thing I can tell for a sure is that they have ALWAYS recommended medicine and NEVER traditional remedies even when proven helpful

That's pretty much their job. An important reason that doctors recommend medicine, beyond its mere efficacy, is that it's produced synthetically under controlled conditions: clean environment, trackable supply chain, measured level of purity etc.

I think I've been around one too many people boiling up a kettle full of skanky smelling Chinese herbs to have any illusions about its value as medicine. It's certainly not a very practical way of dosing yourself, either. We could go further into what's wrong with so-called TCM, but the list is practically endless. Basically, everything's wrong with it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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