Bolivia opts for herbal steam to combat COVID-19 - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Bolivia opts for herbal steam to combat COVID-19

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The authorities in Bolivia have permitted the use of traditional medicine to ward off the coronavirus pandemic with a focus on boosting the immune system.


Last month, Reuters had reported that the country’s senate approved a motion that allows the use of traditional medicine to combat COVID-19.

“The message that we want to give is for the Bolivian population to take up consumption (of traditional medicine) again because this strengthens the immune system and prevents against a variety of illnesses, especially coronavirus,” Felipe Quilla, deputy minister for traditional medicine, was quoted to have said.

“We have an immense array of medicinal plants of different ecological categories.”

With the approval, health authorities installed booths in strategic locations in the city of El Alto to create steam chambers filled with herbs.

In a recent video (below) by AP, residents can be seen on queues entering a full-body steam-based chamber where they get “disinfected” with a mist of natural herbs before leaving the installed booths.

Some of the herbs used include eucalyptus and chamomile, and the South American endemic Wira Wira.

The development comes despite no scientific evidence that traditional medicine can cure COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also warned people to avoid unconfirmed reports suggesting cure for the treatment of the novel disease, as search for vaccine continues.

According to worldometers, Bolivia has so far registered 1,110 cases of the virus with 59 deaths.

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to the introduction of several measures, including social distancing, to prevent further spread of the virus in the South American country.

The development also comes on the heels of growing calls for the experimentation of traditional medicine in the treatment of COVID-19.

Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, ooni of Ife, had also claimed that the virus can be cured using local herbs. The monarch added that the traditional cure would be made public soon.