These are the drugs believed to “treat” COVID-19 in China and are said to alleviate the patient of symptoms including cough, fatigue, and fever. Allegedly, these home remedies for COVID-19 also reduce the probability of a patient’s sickness worsening. However, no further details were discussed.
Risks of Herbal Treatments and Home Remedies for COVID-19
Before we discuss the problems behind these herbal COVID-19 “treatments,” it is important to remember that, as of writing, there are no drugs that have been internationally recognized by peer-reviewed scientific journals to be of high-quality or to have passed clinical trials.
This is to say that there are no drugs, herbal or otherwise, that have substantial evidence proving their efficacy against COVID-19.
In-vitro investigations, which is the administering of these herbal “treatments” done on consenting patients, and anecdotal investigations are the only standards of evidence for these home remedies for COVID-19.
Knowing that such a gap in current knowledge exists makes it irresponsible to market these as treatments for such a disease.
These may lead to adverse consequences considering no significant research has been made to evaluate the risks of using these drugs.
That is exactly what happened with Xiyanping, an injectable herbal drug that was greenlit by the Chinese Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol of COVID-19. After its release and announcement as a treatment against COVID-19, it was recalled for harmful side effects.
Flaws in the Treatment’s Reputation
Some may argue that these drugs are safe because of their wide adoption. However, this assumption is false considering all drugs that have a degree of efficacy also carry risks.
Additionally, the fact that these treatments have been used for decades doesn’t mean they are safe against a new disease. And COVID-19 is one of these novel diseases. In the end, these treatments are still unreliable and remain unproven.
The risk is especially high considering these home remedies for COVID-19 are sold over-the-counter as generic treatments. This means that anyone, given the wrong information, may self-medicate upon self-diagnosis.