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Mhlonyane! The Rejected Covid-19 Hope

Article by: Londiwe Mlotshwa

South Africa’s well known healing indigenous herb Mhlonyane, had been tested in a KwaZulu-Natal lab for its possible use in the fight against Covid-19 in the country.

This came after a bell of hope was sounded by African county Madagascar, when it announced it was using the natural plant as a method to successfully combat the Coronavirus.

Umhlonyane/wormwood is well known as a traditional remedy for flu’s and cold’s, the plant also includes benefits such as traditional treatment for respiratory health and healthy fluid balance.

The plant also known as Artemisia annu/afra is originally from Asia, but also grows in many other parts of the world with sunny and warm conditions.

The herb whose potential to cure the virus was first touted by Madagascar after it was corroborated to be the first effective treatment against Corona virus, however the drink is being promoted.

President Rajoelina of Madagascar announced that trials conducted on the Covid-organic drink which uses wormwood showed its effectiveness against the disease.

But no evidence had been shown or supported by the World Health Organization for reason yet unknown.

South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Twitter that Madagascar had contacted South Africa for help in studying the plant, artemisia, as a possible treatment for the new coronavirus.

The request came after the country’s president Andry Rajoelina has publically endorsed the unproven treatment.

On 4 May 2020, the WHO in a statement said that medicinal plants such as Artemisia annua “are being considered as possible treatments for COVID-19 and should be tested for efficacy and adverse side effects”.

The World Health Organisation affirmed that these should be properly tested. “As efforts are underway to find treatment for COVID-19, caution must be taken against misinformation, especially on social media, about the effectiveness of certain remedies. Many plants and substances are being proposed without the minimum requirements and evidence of quality, safety and efficacy.”

“Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world. Even if therapies are derived from traditional practice and natural [sic], establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical.” – WHO

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