covid 19 treatment with herbs

Herbs against COVID 19 – Can alternative medicine help fight the coronavirus

8 minutes, 45 seconds Read

The world welcomes another fourth wave of COVID 19 . The number of people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus is increasing again, and countries are making efforts and taking measures to limit the spread of the virus and preserve people’s health and lives. Vaccines are one of the main tools for solving and managing the second health crisis. At the same time, since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists and pharmacists have not stopped searching for drugs to treat COVID-19.

In a situation where the crisis is raging and there is still no cure, it is logical that many turn their attention to natural medicine . Interest in plants and their capabilities has never stopped, but apparently the pandemic has multiplied. Data from the analytical center “HealthNet” show that since the outbreak of COVID 19 , the demand for herbal medicines and nutritional supplements in the world has increased sharply. For example, from the end of March 2020. in Russia, the demand for medicines with the main ingredients garlic, turmeric, ginger for lung cleansing and lemon, as well as other products, increased by 80%.

The reasons are different, but most often their use is conditioned by the belief that supplements are “easier”, as well as distrust of drugs and fear of artificially synthesized substances. Last but not least, people believe that this type of supplement strengthens the immune system and is a good preventative.

It is a big question how proven the effectiveness of this type of treatment is and what is the real benefit of it, but also whether you can rely only on herbs and supplements in the fight against the disease. Undoubtedly, the intake of herbs does not lead to side effects characteristic of taking the drug, but at the same time it is clear that the effectiveness is too low.

The medicine that has been tested is effective

No one denies that plants are natural laboratories where many chemical compounds are stored and produced. The fact is that almost 25% of the drugs used are of herbal origin, and the healing properties of plants are used for many diseases. For example, St. John’s wort extract is used to treat depression, ginkgo biloba for memory problems, ginseng for diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

According to toxicologist Dr. Sergey Neverov, not all of them have been shown to be effective. Dr. Neverov is adamant that for the clarity of the drug’s effectiveness, it is necessary to see data from clinical trials. To compare the results of groups of people taking the drug with groups taking a placebo. The effect is also measured by the dose , emphasizes the toxicologist.

Similar information can be found. For example, the international organization Cochrane, which studies the effectiveness of treatment methods through medical evidence, regularly publishes data on the effectiveness of various drugs. It is clear from these reports that St. John’s wort can alleviate symptoms of depression in the same way as antidepressants, but the test did not confirm ginseng’s ability to prevent cognitive impairment.

Each test is a test of a certain plant and more precisely of substances extracted from it in certain doses. When their effectiveness is proven, it should be known that in other doses the effect can be completely different, emphasizes Dr. Sergey Neverov and adds that the concentration of substances in the plant depends on the season, rainfall, number of sunny days, composition of the soil, and even the day when was picked. Creating herbal medicines is a great responsibility for scientists. “Otherwise, anyone can pick the plant, dry it, cook it and make tea, but this is a personal responsibility,” says the toxicologist.

And more about inspections

The presence of a biologically active compound in a plant does not mean that the human body will definitely absorb it. Nutritionist Elena Motova explains that the results obtained after laboratory tests of cell cultures and animals should not be transferred to humans. An example that Elena Elena gives is curcumin (a substance extracted from the root of the turmeric plant). It is said to have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-parasitic effects.

It is used in diabetes, skin diseases and rheumatism. However, studies show that its bioavailability is low , which means that it is very difficult to penetrate the body.

Scientific statements of little value

Oft-cited research, especially in online commerce, when it comes to the antiviral effect of essential oils from some plants is of poor quality. This was stated by experts from the Belgian Society for Consumer Protection. The reason is that the tests were performed on cells grown in a laboratory. From such tests it cannot be concluded that essential oils can deal with the virus.

There is no serious scientific basis behind many of the miracle drugs that appear on the market. In his book Evidence-Based Medicine: From Magic to the Quest for Immortality, journalist Piotr Talantov reports that up to 82% of research in traditional Chinese medicine is of very poor quality. Lack of control groups to compare trial results and poor randomization (selection of people for an experiment) are just some of the violations. At the same time, positive results have a suspiciously high percentage – up to 99%. In Russia, it is common practice to register preparations based on plant raw materials as biologically active additives. This poses a serious risk, as nutritional supplements are not subject to the strict controls that drugs are subjected to. They do not conduct mandatory clinical trials of drugs. The only thing that is mandatory is the “declaration of conformity”, which is a confirmation of quality by the manufacturer. According to the scientific editor of the “Russian Pharmacy” magazine, toxicologist Dr. Aleksej Vodovozov: “There is a huge scope for abuse in this area, and the food supplement market is full of a large number of fakes and products with dubious raw materials.” “

All this leads to serious health risks. Elena Motova gives the following example: “There are additives with turmeric in which it is written that there is an excess of the permissible level of lead. On the other hand, curcumin can interact with anticoagulants, antiplatelet and chemotherapeutic drugs, which means that it interferes with adequate treatment, “says the nutritionist. Petr Talantov reports in his book that some people taking Chinese supplements with ephedra (ma huang) have had heart attacks and strokes, which led to the banning of this drug in the United States. There are also known cases of cyanide poisoning after taking the drug amygdalin, which is produced from bitter almonds. The scientific literature describes cases of persistent scarring and even disfigurement of plant-based ointments, as well as intestinal damage and even sepsis caused by coffee enemas.

Can COVID-19 be treated with herbs?

There is no current reliable research and scientific evidence to confirm that medicinal plants are able to prevent or cure COVID-19. Previous studies have shown that traditional Chinese medicine does not reduce mortality in those infected with SARS-CoV-1, the precursor to the current SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. A report by the international organization Cochrane states: “It is possible that various Chinese herbs combined with Western medicines improve quality of life, but the evidence is weak because the quality of the studies is poor.”

2020. In 2010, hydroxychloroquine, a drug originally used against malaria, entered the role of a candidate for an agent against COVID-19. It is produced on the basis of quinine obtained from the quinine tree (Cinchona). Early studies have shown that patients with moderate to severe conditions injected with hydroxychloroquine respond well and improve. After that, however, serious errors were discovered, and attempts to repeat the results were unsuccessful.

In July 2021 In 2010, an article appeared in the authoritative journal Scientific Report explaining that the substance artemisinin , contained in wormwood, can stop the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in cells. The experiments were performed only in vitro, in the laboratory and on different cell cultures. It should not be concluded that artemisinin is effective in disease development based on these tests alone. Scientists also note that these substances are able to help only if the virus directly enters the body. But we can certainly conclude that artemisinin has a promising effect on Covid 19.

However, the lack of evidence does not prevent the widespread use of wormwood tincture in some African countries.

In May 2020, the WHO approved a trial of herbal medicines for the treatment of COVID-19. The proposal was made by experts from the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Union Commission for Social Affairs. Then the director-general of the World Organization, Dr. Tedros Gebreyesus, said: “There are many types of traditional medicine that are useful. However, such means must be applied after very rigorous tests. “

Aleksandar Lukashev, director of the Institute for Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Communicable Diseases of Sechenov University, is one of the critics of this decision. According to him, it is the least strange to decide that such a product can cure the coronavirus infection.

One of the reasons for this decision by the WHO probably lies in the small number of medical professionals in African countries. Data show that there is one doctor for every 40,000 people. At the same time, for every 500 people there is one healer and specialist in folk remedies to fight disease.

Suspicious products and methods of their identification

When it comes to herbs, the maxim that if it won’t do us any good, it certainly won’t do us any harm is often recalled. This is not always the case, especially when it comes to supplements and medications.

The American Cancer Society is drawing people’s attention to how important it is to be careful when choosing alternative treatments and what warning signs to look out for.

Warning signs:

  • Be suspicious of any therapy that promises a complete cure.
  • Don’t trust treatments that have no side effects. Remember that even herbs and vitamins can have this.
  • If a drug is reported to have no side effects, it may not have undergone rigorous clinical trials.
  • Be wary when proponents of alternative therapies attack the scientific and medical community
  • Be especially careful when you hear terms like “miracle drug” and “secret ingredient.”
  • Beware of personal stories about amazing results that do not contain real scientific evidence.
  • Never forget that the only way to test drugs is through clinical trials.
  • Ask for the opinion of the medical community and patients about the drug or its ingredient from official sources – the Ministry of Health, scientific organizations and patient organizations.
  • Do not forget to consult with your personal doctor or nutritionist before doing this.
 

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author

Miko Lamberto

Ja sam nutricionista sa 10 godina iskustva, neke od svojih zapažanja sam preneo u naš blog. Za najnovije vesti i informacije o prirodi i pridonom lečenju nas pratite.

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