MANILA - The Philippines will start by August clinical trials for lagundi or chaste tree as a supplemental treatment to COVID-19, the Department of Science and Technology said Tuesday.
Lagundi is known to have anti-viral properties that could help in the treatment of COVID-19 particularly mild cases, Science Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña said.
"Ang aim ng study na sisimulan sa August 1 or earlier kung mailalabas na 'yung FDA (Food and Drug Administration) clearance ay mapakita kung ito ay makakabuti para ma-address 'yung mga symptoms, guminhawa yung pasyente doon sa kanilang pag-ubo at lagnat at sore throat," he said in a virtual press briefing.
(The aim of the study which we will start by August 1 or earlier if the FDA could release the clearance is to see if it could help address symptoms such as coughing, fever, and sore throat.)
Lagundi is commercially used as medicine for cough.
Aside from lagundi, the DOST is also looking at tawa-tawa as a supplemental treatment for COVID-19 patients, Dela Peña said, but has yet to secure approval from the University of the Philippines Research Ethics Board.
The country earlier stated clinical trials on the efficacy of virgin coconut oil for severe COVID-19 cases.
As of July 20, the Philippines has 68,898 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 43,991 were active.
The Philippines saw an increase in infections again since last month after the government eased lockdowns across the country to stimulate the economy dragged down by the pandemic.