Togolese doctors are set to begin a series of tests to assess the efficacy of traditional herbal medicine for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Professor Majesté Ihou Wateba, dean of the University of Lome’s Faculty of Health Sciences, cautioned that these remedies won’t cure the disease or kill the virus, but they might help to strengthen the immune system by helping the body to produce antibodies that will fight the virus. Clinical trials are set to begin over the coming days.
A Caution Against Wild Claims
Togo’s approach is more measured than that taken by Madagascar, where President Andry Rajoelina has touted Covid-Organics herbal tea—which contains the dried leaved of sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua)—as not only a treatment but also a cure for the disease. The drink quickly grew in popularity and attracted interest from several other African nations.
The World Health Organization issued a warning not long after Raojelina’s announcement, urging vigilance when using traditional medicine but still recognizing the potential of traditional remedies as viable treatments.