DOST to register lagundi, tawa-tawa for use against COVID-19 'in three months'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 28) — Patients with mild symptoms of the coronavirus may soon have options for supplementary treatment.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it was eyeing to register lagundi and tawa-tawa with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an "added indication" for COVID-19 "in about three months."

Indication refers to the use of a drug for treating a particular illness. Oftentimes, a registered drug has more than one indication or can be used to treat several diseases.

"'Yung lagundi at tawa-tawa kasi, nagtatapos pa sila ng technical reports nila... Siguro, mga about three months, saka sila mag-a-apply," DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevarra told CNN Philippines on Thursday.

[Translation: They are still finishing the technical reports for lagundi and tawa-tawa. Maybe they will apply in about three months.]

The DOST said it was also working on the application for the use of virgin coconut oil against COVID-19, but added the process might take longer.

An earlier study by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute had found VCO can ease symptoms of suspected cases.

Meanwhile, the clinical study for lagundi, which ended in August, has shown the herbal medicine "can be safely used for symptomatic, mild COVID-19," Guevarra said.

Trials for tawa-tawa also yielded "positive results," with patients experiencing relief from symptoms within three to five days.