MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

The ‘Corona-Virus Quackery Club’ (CVQC) is getting positively crowded. You may remember, its members include:

Today we are admitting the herbalists. The reason is obvious: many of them have jumped on the corona band-wagon by trying to improve their cash-flow on the back of the pandemic-related anxiety of consumers. If you go on the Internet you will find many examples, I am sure. I have chosen this website for explaining the situation.

Herbs That Can Stop Coronavirus Reproduction

CoV multiplies fast in the lungs and the stomach and intestines. The more virus, the sicker you get. The herbs are in their scientific names and common names.

    1. Cibotium barometz – golden chicken fern or woolly fern grows in China and Southeast Asia.

      Cibotium Barometz

    2. Gentiana scabra – known as Korean gentian or Japanese gentian seen in the United States and Japan.

      Japanese Gentian

    3. Dioscorea batatas or Chinese Yam grows in China and East Asia

      Chinese Yam

    4. Cassia tora or Foetid cassia, The Sickle Senna, Wild Senna – grows in India and Central America

      Cassia Tora

    5. Taxillus Chinensis – Mulberry Mistletoe

Lectin Plants that Have Anti Coronavirus Properties

Plant Lectins with Antiviral activity Against Coronavirus

From the table above, all have anti coronavirus activity except for garlic. One plant that is effective but not listed is Stinging nettle.

Yes, very nice pictures – but sadly utterly unreliable messages. My advice is that, in case you have concerns about corona (or any other health problem for that matter), please do not ask a herbalist.

WELCOME TO THE CVQC, HERBALISTS!

7 Responses to Herbalists join the ‘Corona-Virus Quackery Club’

  • Perhaps you should have said you are including MDs, not herbalists?

    From the website:

    “I have been requested to return as a doctor in my previous emergency room and I plan to apply clinically what I have learned from my readings.”

    • herbalist
      noun [ C ]
      UK /ˈhɜː.bəl.ɪst/ US /ˈɝː.bəl.ɪst/

      a person who grows or sells herbs for use as medicine

      • That would make Amazon the herbalist. Jesse Santiano is an MD, apparently an emergency room physician at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, NY.

  • Although some of the items on that list are foods, some are known to be poisonous (hellebore and daffodils for a start) so there is a danger that people might try to prepare their own remedies from garden or wild plants. There have already been deaths from chloroquine poisoning where people have self-medicated.

    On the other hand I was out foraging yesterday collecting ramsons (wild garlic) and stinging nettles, both of which grow in abundance around the country house where my wife and I are isolating ourselves. The result was delicious soup (using a recipe from the BBC Good Food web site) but it never crossed my mind that it might have medicinal properties.

  • Why not ridicule the ‘official’ “Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment”
    from: The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine – “Compiled According to Clinical Experience”?

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339998871_Handbook_of_COVID-19_Prevention_and_Treatment

    Date of ‘Handbook’: 18 March 2020

    Any comments on that?

    > Therapy Based on Classification
    (1) Wet lungs Ephedra Herb 6 g, Semen Armeniacae Amarumg 10 g, Coix Seed 30 g, Liquoric Root 6 g, Baical Skullcap Root 15 g, Huoxiang 10 g, Reed Rhizome 30 g, Cyrtomium Rhizome 15 g, Indian Buead 20 g, Chinese Atractylodes Rhizome 12 g, Officinal Magnolia Bark 12 g.
    (2) External cold and internal heat
    Herba Ephedrae 9 g, Raw Gypsum Fibrosum 30 g, Semen Armeniacae Amarumg 10 g, Liquoric Root 6 g, Baical Skullcap Root 15 g, Pericarpium Trichosanthis 20 g, Fructus Aurantii 15 g, Officinal Magnolia Bark 12 g, Tripterospermum Cordifolium 20 g, White Mulberry Root-bark 15 g, Pinellia Tuber 12 g, Indian Buead 20 g, Platycodon Root 9 g.
    (3) Intermittent cold-heat
    Pinellia Tuber 12 g, Baical Skullcap Root 15 g, Golden Thread 6 g, Dried Ginger 6 g, Chinese Date 15 g, Kudzuvine Root 30 g, Costustoot 10 g, Indian Buead 20 g, Thunberg Fritillary Bulb 15 g, Coix Seed 30 g, Liquoric Root 6 g.
    (4) Internal block of epidemic toxin Use cheongsimhwan for treatment. (5) Qi deficiency of lung and spleen
    Membranous Milkvetch Root 30 g, Pilose Asiabell Root 20 g, Roasted Largehead Atractylodes Rhizome 15 g, Indian Buead 20 g, Fructus Amomi 6 g, Siberian Solomonseal Rhizome 15 g, Pinellia Tuber 10 g, Tangerine Peel 6 g, Wingde Yan Rhizome 20 g, Semen Nelumbinis 15 g, Chinese Date 15 g.
    Patients in different stages should take different approaches. One dose per day. Boil the medicine in water. Take it every morning and evening.

    • Why not ridicule the ‘official’ “Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment”
      from: The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine – “Compiled According to Clinical Experience”?

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339998871_Handbook_of_COVID-19_Prevention_and_Treatment

      Date of ‘Handbook’: 18 March 2020

      Any comments on that?

      I am happy to comment.

      The handbook is a 60-page document covering all aspects of caring for the coronavirus patient in an acute hospital setting, including the correct use of protective equipment, treatment of waste, indications and techniques for ventilation, infusion of convalescent serum to reduce viral load in sicker patients, antibiotic prophylaxis of secondary infections…

      Page 37 is devoted to Chinese Traditional Medicine and was presumably included for political reasons (or possibly light relief). The other 59 pages comprise a valuable resource for any hospital facing this problem for the first time. I am sure that healthcare planners and clinicians around the world will find it useful and will be able to adapt the protocols for their local setting; unless they, too, have a department of TCM I expect that they will ignore that particular section as being irrelevant to them.

      • Well, compared to the ‘herbalists’ in the above post, who claim to know not only herbs with perhaps a certain symptomatic relief in similar illnesses or even ‘lab demonstrated anti-viral effect’, but actually ‘lectin anti-corona herbs’, the authors of the Chinese manual claim to have actual hands-on corona experience with their concoctions. That kind of experience (I ignore here the EBM-science attack angle which I’d prefer Edzard would comment on in more detail), is something the ‘herbalists’ most certainly cannot claim for themselves?

        And that doesn’t even stop with herbs and raw or fried gypsum.

        What about the post-exposition recommendation of gargling with salt? (p13)
        Is that political as well? (Meaning: that argument doesn’t count for much in either way. If you’d bemuse ‘belief system’ or even ‘bias’…)

        The Chinese doctors claim to have a theory *and evidence*. The ‘herbalists’ above seem to have nothing but theory and marketing?

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