Jamaica Observer:– A 2019 report by the World Health Organization (WHO) on traditional and complementary medicine reveals that 88 per cent of member states acknowledge use of traditional herbal medicine among their population.
In the Caribbean and Latin American region alone, that figure reaches above 85 per cent, according to Jamaican clinical researcher with the Scientific Research Council, Dr Lorenzo Gordon.
“This is supported by the Deans for the Latin America and the Caribbean Medical Schools of which I am a member. I attended a conference in May last year where we had a discussion about the fact that up to 86 per cent of us in this region still use traditional herbal medicine for treatment of common ailments. And we estimate that 80 per cent of the rest world of the world still use some form of traditional herbal treatment,” Dr Gordon told the Jamaica Observer in an extended interview last week.
With the urgency now to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), controversy was sparked recently around the use of herbal remedies to cure the disease when Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina announced in April that his country had found a cure.
COVID Organics, or CVO for short, comes in the form of a herbal tea not unlike many Jamaican herbal remedies, and is made primarily from a commonly used plant in that country — the Artemisia plant.
The WHO later warned that the drink remains untested and that “Many plants and substances are being proposed without the minimum requirements and evidence of quality, safety and efficacy,” as stated in a news release on May 4.
But already the drink is being used in other parts of Africa as a cure for COVID-19, with President Rajoelina claiming in an interview with France 24 on May 12 that more than 80 COVID-19 patients had been cured after ingesting the medicine.