Trials on lagundi as COVID-19 treatment show ‘positive’ results — DOST

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 5) — The country might soon have an additional supplementary treatment for COVID-19 patients as the trials for herbal medicine lagundi showed “positive results”, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said on Tuesday.

Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Director Jaime Montoya said the study on the use of lagundi for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms ended in mid-September and the result of the trial would be published soon.

“We’re looking at whether it can help alleviate or prevent progression to moderate or severe cases or allow early resolution of symptoms. The study has already been finished, the data has been presented to us but we are just finalizing results before the data release para ma-review ng experts ang results (so that experts can review the results),” Montoya said in a forum.

He added lagundi has anti-viral properties for cough remedy, and the study looked at whether or not this also works against COVID-19. The clinical trials involved 278 patients from seven quarantine facilities.

“Mukhang positive naman (It looks positive). I think it will be an additional medicine that we can give to COVID-19 patients,” Montoya said.

The DOST also has an ongoing study to know if herbal medicines virgin coconut oil and tawa-tawa can help COVID-19 patients.

Montoya clarified that herbal medicines are only considered as adjunctive treatment, and cannot substitute the standard care for COVID-19 patients.

“It’s not a standalone. It is only, kung proven to be useful, to be used in addition to all of the other medicines currently proven effective against COVID-19,” he said.

[Translation: It’s not a standalone. It will only be used in addition to all other medicines, if proven to be useful.]