Caution Claims Herbal Products as Covid-19 Healers


The development of herbal medicines is more on supplements, not healing drugs.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA – In the midst of discussions about the ‘COVID-19 herbal remedy’ made by Hadi Pranoto which has caused controversy, Indonesia is also actually conducting development of immunomodulators derived from herbal plants native to Indonesia for COVID-19 patients. The two herbal products made by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) are Cordyceps military and a combination of herbs consisting of ginger, meniran, bitter, and sembung leaves. Both are considered to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties.

The two immunomodulator candidates are currently in the clinical trial phase at the COVID-19 Emergency Handling Hospital Wisma Atlet Kemayoran Jakarta. The process has started since June 8, involving 90 test subjects.

Herbal products to be used as supplements
Masteria Yunolvisa Putra from the LIPI Biotechnology Research Center who is also the Coordinator of Clinical Trial of Immunomodulatory Candidates for Herbs for Handling COVID-19, explained that the clinical trials of the two immunomodulator candidates were conducted to see several things. These include the time needed to achieve improvement in non-specific clinical symptoms, the time needed to achieve negative RT-PCR results, and changes in cytokine levels in patients.

But even though so far 72 of 90 test subjects have finished undergoing clinical trials, the results are not necessarily known directly considering the clinical trial system used.

“The results cannot be known yet because the clinical trial system is blinding, so we do not know which patients can get the test or control drug, it can only be known after 90 subjects have finished,” Masteria said, Tuesday (4/8).

Masteria explained that the clinical trial method for immunomodulatory candidates was carried out in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to prevent bias in the study. A placebo is a type of empty drug that does not contain active substances and does not have any effect on health. There were 2 test products and 1 placebo given randomly and evenly to 90 test subjects. Thus, there were 30 test subjects for each group.

“Because a double disguised blinding system was used, neither the subject nor the researcher knew that what was given to the subject was one of the test products tested or a placebo,” Masteria said.

Even so, the clinical trial of this immunomodulator candidate is expected to be completed on 16 August. This test is then reported to the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) as the regulator who will decide whether the clinical trial is successful or not.

“Later it can be used as a supplement to increase endurance for COVID-19 patients,” said Masteria.

Don’t claim origin
Epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia Pandu Riono said that the presence of herbal medicines in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic was deemed not very important. Because, it often appears that understanding as if the herbal products being developed are drugs to overcome COVID-19.

“It’s okay for them to research as long as it’s really done openly and don’t claim an effect that actually has no effect,” Pandu said, DW, Tuesday (4/8).

He then reminded that the trial of immunomodulator candidates should not give the impression that herbal products could replace drugs or be able to cure COVID-19. Moreover, patients treated at the emergency hospital are mild symptomatic patients who according to him even without treatment can recover from COVID-19.

“Later you can provide false information like many people, Oh has been tested at the athlete’s guesthouse. At the athletes’ homestead people who do not need hospital treatment, are generally asymptomatic or mild. Without given anything will recover. No one died at the athlete’s guesthouse, “said Pandu.

According to Pandu, if herbal medicines are claimed to cure or help cure, then it must first be through serious testing. “It must be compared with those who did not get drugs, so they had to be a randomized clinical trial, they had to use a randomized clinical trial and double blind, should compare with those who can not drug (placebo), “said Pandu.

The public is asked to be smarter to filter information
Head of the Molecular Biology Institute (LBM) Eijkman Professor Amin Soebandrio also said the same thing. The government, according to him, supports the development of herbal medicines in its position as a supplement not “as a specific anti-COVID-19 drug”.

“Herbal medicines are not intended to cure, so if there is a claim that the drug can cure patients with COVID-19, then it is definitely not true,” Amin said when interviewed. DW, Tuesday (4/8).

According to Amin, if herbal medicines are claimed to be able to cure COVID-19, it must be proven through clinical trials and microbiological testing. “In the sense of if microbiological outcome“The virus must be tested,” he explained.

He also reminded the manufacturers of herbal medicines to avoid excessive claims related to healing COVID-19. While he asked the public more careful filtering valid information related to herbal products.

“If it is claimed to be a healer, we must be careful we better accept that herbal products function more as supplements, improve health and endurance,” he said.

source: careful- caution-claim-product-herbal-as- healer-covid-19/a-54434508

sumber : DW

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