Prof Oluwole Banjo, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education Recommend HERBS to fight COVID-19Published on: 2020-04-22
By Prof. Oluwole Banjo
In this period of COVID-19 pandemic, people have propounded many theories and solutions towards the treatment of the Corona virus infection just as USA, UK and some developed countries are battling with insufficient test equipment, space and availability of vaccines to tackle the pandemic.
There is a compelling need to develop home-grown solutions to this scourge, especially considering that our physiology and environment differ from those of other temperate regions, such that it might require that we factor the components of local flora and fauna into attempts at resolution. Some of the prescriptions given may, however, appear dated, having been successfully employed in stalling some epidemics, especially the 1919 flu epidemic in India.
Some of the herbs and wild-life products like honey and other hive by-products are useful in curing, while some can be used for either prevention or to build up the immune system to produce antibodies against diseases.
With derived knowledge from research and experience in Wildlife utilization (wild medicinal plants and animals and their derivatives), one would like to suggest/prescribe some plants/animals or their derivatives that have been of tremendous use in treating and preventing common flu and boosting immunity in humans which should also be very useful in this period of the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of them are useful in the treatment of some of the symptoms of common flu and Corona virus infections, while some are for immune boosting. The typical symptoms are usually respiratory-related issues. These can include sneezing, coughing and more severe wheezing. In some cases, infected patients may experience a shortness of breath or tightness in their chest that impacts their ability to breathe. Fever is another signifier to look out for. Fever and respiratory issues can lead to fatigue and a high level of exhaustion if left untreated. They can degenerate into pneumonia. However, fairly mild symptoms like a light cough or a runny nose can be, by and large, dealt with at home with some herbs and over the counter medications for the symptoms. After these, it is better to stay home and not risk being further exposed or spreading the virus to more people, if your symptoms worsen, seek help, contact a doctor or call Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to prevent the worsening symptoms from developing into pneumonia or resulting in organ damage.
Hence, some of the prescriptions being proffered will be focused on attacking the symptoms with herbs and wild animal products and by-products. For better understanding, the symptoms will be taken one after the other with probable treatment procedure explained.
DRY COUGH/SORE THROAT
The dry cough (symptom) can be treated using pure honey and Garcinia kola (bitter kola).
The bitter kola can be chewed and the honey licked thereafter, or the kola can be ground and pure honey added to make a syrup/paste which can be taken 3 or 4 times daily. Hive by-products like propolis also have antiviral and antibacterial properties (Osmonagic, 1978). Royal jelly (a by-product of honey) is also a primer of the immune system.
A decoction of the whole plant of Phyllanthus amarus combined with honey is also used as a cough suppressant and to counter sore throat.
The leaves of Andrographis paniculata- King of bitters (Ewe-Eje) is used for the prevention and treatment of cold and flu; likewise Annona Muricarta Soursop (Igo Ekute). Those two plants also cure cough.
Usage: Boil clean leaves and drink half cup thrice a day.
SNEEZING /RUNNY NOSE
Boil the leaves of Andrographis paniculata, Phyllantrus amarus and Annona muricata in water, pour in a bucket and cover the head with thick clothing to inhale the steam coming from the contents of the bucket for 3 minutes (a little bit of menthol balm, e.g Kando, Aboniki, Robb, etc can be added). Repeat this two times a day, preferably early in the morning and late in the evening…This will also take care of cold and sneezing.
The bark and leaves of Guava (Psidium guajava), Mango (Magnifera indica), lemon grass (cymbopogon citrates) and lemon Orange could be boiled and drunk (½ cup thrice a day). A glass of bitter leaf juice is also a strong herbal medicine to reduce the effect of fever.
ANTIVIRAL PROPERTIES OF SOME PLANT/ANIMAL BY-PRODUCTS
Phyllantus amarus is a broad spectrum medicinal plant. It is called Iyin olube or fehinbisowo in Yoruba land and Ebebenizo in Benin.
Cassia fistula(Purigin cassia), Propolis (a by-product of beehives). All of these can be used to treat and prevent viral infections.
Fruits, especially those rich in Vitamin C, e.g. citrus like lemon, grape and sweet orange, pawpaw, pineapple, carrots and many varieties of vegetables, especially water leaf (Talinum Trianglarae) coriander (coriadum sativum) -ebolo,Dandelion (yanrin) etc.
Honey is equally good for boosting immunity in humans, especially royal jelly (hive by-product).
The curative properties of honey and other hive products have been reported by numerous researchers. The holy books also confirmed this: The Holy Bible (Proverbs 16 verse 24) and The Holy Quran (chapter16, Verse 68) Natural remedy is the best curative method for humans, but however, it is said that prevention is better than cure. Hence, during this period it is better and advisable to follow healthy habit tips in order to prevent coronavirus attack. It's better to:
Wash hands regularly with soap and water at least 20 seconds
Use hand sanitizer regularly
Ensure social distancing
Keep the environment clean
Support the immune system by:
Having enough rest each day- at least 7 hours of sleep so that the body will have the strength to fight any viral attack. If you have difficulty in sleeping (insomnia), there are various herbs that can be used, e.g. Mistletoe (viscum-album), bitter leaf (vernonia amagodalina), etc. Boil the leaves and drink. Honey is also good for curing insomnia by taking one or two spoonful every night.
Diet plays a vital role in boosting the immune system. Take a balanced diet which should include fruits and vegetables.
By following all these steps, we will be able to stay healthy and safe during this period of coronavirus.
Please stay home and do not risk being further exposed. If your symptoms worsen seek help, contact a doctor or call the NCDC.
* Professor Oluwole Banjo is the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.