Nigerian researchers say there is no evidence Madagascar’s herbal drug cures and treats coronavirus.
The country’s president Mahamadu Buhari ordered health officials in the country to accept a consignment of the drug when Madagascar made a donation in May.
The consignment of the herbal tea came from President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina who had touted the remedy as very effective in treating and preventing the virus.
But the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) in Nigeria has said that its analysis of the herb did not show any evidence of efficacy.
Director-General of the agency, Dr Obi Adigwe told journalists in Abuja that “The Minister of Health gave us the mandate to find out if COVID Organics (CVO) can cure COVID-19, and we did not get any evidence that it can.
This is because our analysis shows there is no evidence that it can cure COVID-19.”
The herbal remedy called ‘COVID-Organics'(CVO) was developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research.
Dr Adigwe said Madagascar which touted the drug as effective has been hiding its analysis of the product.
“The analysis we gave in our report is more detailed than anything they had from their country. They are hiding the analysis of their own product. If you go online, you cannot get the level of analysis that we gave.
They are hiding a lot of things and I think it is possible that they know that they don’t have strong science backing up their claim. But our own analysis does not show any proof that it can cure COVID-19.”
According to a publication by the Daily Trust, “ COVID Organics- Green Pack (GPA) and Orange Pack (OPB) herbal products contain Artemisia annua as one of the components.
Both samples had the characteristic features of Artemisia annua. COVID Organsics (OPB and GPA) contains other plants in addition to Artemisia annua.
The findings by the Nigerian researchers showed that “Unlike the impression created by the labelling, the two COVID Organics products are not the same with GPA sweeter with a higher extractive value than OPB.
“Safety studies show that COVID ORGANICS (CVO) products do not alter the normal physiology of the animals.
“CVO reduced cough frequency with the maximum dose tested producing an effect equivalent to that produced by the centrally acting cough-suppressant, dihydrocodeine.
“While CVO dose-dependently reduced general febrile response, the effect was not sustained and was less than for indomethacin.”
Despite criticisms from the World Health Organization which warned that using traditional medicines that have not been tested and proven to be efficient scientifically can put the lives of people in danger, more countries in Africa ordered it.