The Centre for Plant Medicine Research (CPMR) has recommended 17 herbal medications to the government as a supplementary treatment for the novel coronavirus.
Nine of the 17 recommended herbal remedies are registered products whilst eight others have not yet been approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
A letter from the CPMR, dated May 11, 2020, and addressed to the Health Minister indicated that 14 other herbal remedies did not meet the required standards for varying reasons.
The most controversial of the approved herbal remedies is the Centre of Awareness Food Supplement (COA FS), which was the first herbal remedy to get mainstream attention in the wake of the pandemic.
The period has seen the Ghana Association of Medical Herbalists advise against the misuse of herbal concoctions in attempts to boost one’s immune system amid the pandemic.
The other FDA approved products were Amen Depomix Powder, Herbetine Herbal Powder, Herbetine Herbal Mixture, Viva plus Powder, Ayisaa Opinto Herbal Tea, CD Capsules, Amen Fevermix Capsules and Amen Chestico Capsules.
The FDA ordered a recall of COA FS after some samples revealed E.Coli contamination.
The testing of samples of the product revealed excessive microbial, mould and yeast contamination.
The findings of the CPMR, however, do not fully corroborate claims by the Executive President of COA FS, Professor Samuel Ato Duncan, that the supplement could cure the novel coronavirus.
The remedies were generally recommended for use as immune support and supportive treatment for some coronavirus symptoms.
COA FS, in particular, was “recommended for use as immune support and supportive treatment for relief of some symptoms of COVID-19.”
The recommendation was based on the biological activities of the medicinal plants used in the formulation of the remedies, the status of the product as being FDA registered, the traditional uses of the plant constituents and some chronic toxicity studies and anecdotal clinical data available on the product.
The nine remedies were part of 33 herbal products submitted to the Ministry of Health for onward submission to the CSRPM by the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Associations (GHAFTRAM) to establish their efficacy for the management of COVID-19.
The Centre indicated that it was also working on testing other herbal products.