KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Kabul residents and social media users claim the use of Khak-i-sheer (mugwort seed) is beneficial for coronavirus patients. Medical experts, however, reject such posts and tweets as mere rumours.

A reliable and efficacious medicine for the pandemic is still being studied across the world. The use of the plant for coronavirus patients is recommended at a time when no medicine has yet been found to cure the disease. However, vaccines have been developed in some countries in recent months.

In the homeopathic medical system, Khak-i-sheer — a type of medicinal plant — is used to treat high blood pressure, low blood fats, constipation, bad breath and other ailments.

FB users: Corona cured by khak-i-sheer syrup

Some Facebook users have lately come up with posts on the efficacy of the mugwort seeds for the treatment of the Covid-19. Wase Afzali, one of them, posted on his page an article titled “Treating coronavirus with Khak-i-sheer syrup”.

He wrote: “Chinese university teacher Prof. Ji Yang says the best way to treat the coronavirus is to use mugwort seeds.” The golden grain miraculously attacked the virus and completely destroyedit in less than three hours, he claimed.

The article goes on: “The results obtained from the treatment of 300 Chinese patients with Khak-i-sheer are hopeful news and a way out for the countries where the coronavirus incidence is high.”

He explained Prof. Yang,besides adherence to medical guidelines, had underlined the need for taking the Khak-i-sheer syrup twice every six hoursfor the treatment of the coronavirus.

Another Facebook user, Mir Haider, also shared the post on his Facebook page.

Some Kabulis also stress benefits of the herb.

Khair Khana-III residentMobin, who visited a herbal medical store to buy Khak-i-sheer , told Pajhwok Afghan News his family had long been reliant on herbal remedies — especially mugwort seed, to treat various ailments.

Hailing herbal medicines as “harmless”,he and: “Since the coronavirus outbreak, we have been mixing mugwort seedwith lemon and drinking one jug of the syrup after another. By the grace of Allah, there has been no Covid-19 case in our family so far. ”

By the same token, Bibi Mehroarea resident Khalida also emphasised the use of Khak-i-sheer syrup, saying: “We drink this to treat a variety of diseases. My mother has been demanding kilograms of khak-i-sheer and makes syrup for us.”

She added: “My father and brother, too, had contracted the coronavirus. We gave them lots of mugwort syrup. Thank God, they recovered from disease easily.”

Mohammad Ibrahim, a homeopath in Kalola Pushta area, also stressed the usefulness of khak-i-sheer for the treatment of of the pandemic. The use of this herb was good not only for treating the virus, but also for various other diseases such as gall stones. It is also beneficial for people with diarrhea, weight gain, blood issues and several other ailments.

He explained after the outbreak of the coronavirus, the sale of the herb had increased significantly. He currently sells several kilograms of Khak-i-sheer daily. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, he would hardly sell five kilograms of the seed a week. Don’t sell milk.

Despite advances in the area of healthcare, traditional medicine and herbal remedies have not lost their value among members of the general public, especially adults.

Not efficacious for Covid patients: Experts

Health experts say so far there has been no scientific evidence to prove the usefulness of Khak-i-sheer for the treatment of Covid-19. These reports are all rumors spread by certain people, they insist.

Nabil Paktin, an associate professor of internal medicine at the Rabia Balkhi Hospital in Kabul and a cardiovascular and respiratory diseasespecialist, told Pajhwok Afghan News there had been propaganda about the effectiveness of Khak-i-sheer as a remedy for the coronavirus treatment.

Such claims, even if confirmed by a foreign professor, could not be proved trueunless research in laboratories verified the efficacy of the herb. This propaganda would yield bad consequences, he warned.

At the same time, another health expertBaz Mohammad Sherzadsaid scientific studies had been going on around the world on the treatment of the coronavirus, but a completely guaranteed cure had not been found yet.

To him, the only way to get rid of the coronavirus is to get vaccinated against the disease. But he did acknowledge khak-i-sheer is one of the herbal medicines that has strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

He explained the plant could be used to treat gangrene and fever, as well as boost the body’s immune system, relieve constipation — so on and so forth. But its effectiveness in treating the coronavirus was yet to be proved, he pointed out.

Masooma Jafari, deputy spokeswoman for the Ministry of Public Health, agreed  khak-i-Sher had not yet proved to be beneficial for coronavirus patients.

“Covid-19 is a virus and so far no treatment for it other than vaccines has been found anywhere in the world,” she said, without elaborating on the role of the plant.

The Ministry of Public Health says since the outbreak of the pandemic, 55,560 people have been infected by the virus in Afghanistan, where 48,514 have recovered from the disease. At least 2, 428 individuals have lost their lives to Covid-19 in the country.

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