SA to help Madagascar scientifically test herbal ‘cure’ of Covid-19

Herbal tea bottles in Madagascar filled with an artemisia remedy believed to treat and 'cure' Covid-19. Photo: Twitter @I_Chukwukadibia

The herb artemisia has dominated social media the past couple days with some claiming it can ‘cure’ the virus.

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mhikze has confirmed that they received a call from the Madagascar government to help them with scientific research on a herb they think helps the prevention of Covid-19.

The herbal tea, now marketed for mass consumption, consists of the ingredient of artemisia, a plant with proven efficacy against malaria, and other indigenous herbs, this according to the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, which developed the beverage.

The herbs have dominated social media the past couple days with some claiming it can ‘cure’ the virus. The herbal remedy has swept Africa as some governments have ordered the shipment of the herbal tea to their countries.

The effectiveness is still in question, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) cautioning people using the herbal remedies until evidence scientifically proves that there is a cure, but recognised the use of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine has many benefits.

Mkhize said they would only be involved in the scientific analysis of the herb but they haven’t reached that point yet.

Some Twitter users have strongly supported the use of the herbal tea, believing it can treat or ‘cure’ Covid-19 due to the lower number of infection rates in Madagascar and the high recovery rate.

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