Health sciences university says 'herbal cure' for Covid must wait for test outcomes

Traditional healers' company trialled product before link to university

09 February 2021 - 08:04
By Iavan Pijoos
M5 MediGroup approached the university in 2020 to conduct tests to prove that their product presented a potential “alternative remedy” for Covid-19. File photo
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Thulani Mbele M5 MediGroup approached the university in 2020 to conduct tests to prove that their product presented a potential “alternative remedy” for Covid-19. File photo

The Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) says it will continue conducting tests on the safety and efficacy of a herbal product from the M5 MediGroup.

M5 MediGroup approached the university in 2020 to conduct tests to provide proof that their product presented a potential “alternative remedy” for Covid-19.

In January 2021, the traditional healers group handed over samples of their herbal product to SMU.

Last week M5 MediGroup spokesperson Mogale Mogale said that they had tested their herbal product on more than 500 Covid-19 patients from Rustenburg, Soweto, Boksburg and Limpopo and received positive feedback from their patients.

“This medicine is taken orally, it has to be warm. They’ve taken it, one cup in the morning and one in the evening. That’s how it works. We are quite confident that it clears the chest, you start breathing easy. It gives you energy when you don’t have an appetite,” he told the Sabc.

However, in joint statement released on Monday the university said the process to administer the herbal product had occurred before the establishment of the relationship between them and the M5 MediGroup and was “done within the scope of the practice of the group of traditional health practitioners”.

Mogale said the university would develop research protocols to be approved by the SMU research ethics committee (SMUREC) for testing the herbal product.

Mogale said the university would only administer the herbal remedies or products to patients once safety has been proven and efficacy subsequently established.

“The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) would also have to approve the tested product before further distribution.”

A report would be released once tests had been completed.

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