Revolutionary organizations ramped up their anti-pandemic campaign with an animation video on how people with little or no access to mass-produced medicines or health facilities may fight Coronavirus-19 (COVID) symptoms.
Produced by underground group Silyab.Bikol, the video has been posted on web portal Yandex Disk as well as Facebook, You Tube, Instagram and Twitter.
The professionally-produced 5:34 minute film presents alternative and traditional ways of treating symptoms associated with the rampaging virus.
It says lagundi (scientific name: Vitex negundo), tawa-tawa (SN: Euphorbia hirta), virgin coconut oil (VCO), and acupuncture are some of what the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) recommend to its members and the masses in areas where health care and medicines are difficult to access.
“These have long been used by the masses and the NPA to strengthen immunity and as cure for common ailments such as coughs, colds, flu and others,” the video says.
The film says the concoctions and the procedure have already been thoroughly researched by members of the scientific community and may be used to address symptoms of COVID-19.
It says lagundi strengthens the lungs’ defense against various kinds of virus while tawa-tawa promotes healthy respiration. The latter is also good in fighting against bacteria, fungus and amoeba as well as a proven cure for diarrhea, it adds.
VCO meanwhile may be a food supplement for COVID-19 patients, the film claims. Its benefits include lowering of bad cholesterol and strengthening of the heart as well as weight loss for overweight and obese persons vulnerable to Covid 19, the video says.
The ancient Chinese healing system of acupuncture may restore normal balance of the body and fight ailments such as Covid-19, the video also recommends. It shows acupuncture points such as “Lung 1”, “Lung 7” and “Stomach 36” for strengthening ones respiratory system against the virus.
The video presents ways to prepare the concoctions as well as cautions and exemptions for those who are pregnant, obese, hypertensive and diabetic, as well as children.
It also recommends that acupuncture be administered by trained personnel in clean surroundings.
Asked about the video’s claims, community medicine expert and University of the Philippines College of Medicine faculty member Gene Nisperos said the concoctions and the procedures are acceptable as “supportive treatment.”
“Claims that lagundi and acupuncture may be used as supportive and symptomatic treatment are ok,” Nisperos said.
He also mentioned tea made out of bangka-bangkaan (SN: Rhoeo spathacea) as a possible alternative.
A website on Philippine medicinal plants reports it may be a cure for a variety of illnesses due to its reported anti-inflammatory, anticancer, insecticidal, antimicrobial, antifertility and many other properties.
The medical doctor added that anything that strengthens a person’s immune system is welcome, including vitamins, sunlight, exercise and acupuncture.
“What we treat are COVID’s symptoms, such as fever with paracetamol and cough with anti-cough medicines. Lagundi is known to have good effect on the lungs and for treating asthma. It helps a lot if used as supportive treatment. Initial research using lagundi on mild COVID shows faster recovery,” he said.
Nisperos said that herbal medicines may be used when there is no paracetamol to be had, but cautioned against “sweeping conclusions” that they are cures or prophylaxis (preventive medicines) to COVID. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)