VCO, lagundi, tawa-tawa no substitute for COVID-19 vaccines - experts

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2021 03:33 PM

Pasig residents are vaccinated against COVID-19 during the Pasig edition of the Office of the Vice President’s Vaccine Express initiative at the Manggahan High School on Aug. 21, 2021. Charlie Villegas, OVP
Pasig residents are vaccinated against COVID-19 during the Pasig edition of the Office of the Vice President’s Vaccine Express initiative at the Manggahan High School on Aug. 21, 2021. Charlie Villegas, OVP

MANILA — Despite the noted health benefits of virgin coconut oil, tawa-tawa and lagundi, these are still "no substitute" for COVID-19 vaccines, according to scientists doing in-depth studies on the efficacy of the organic products against the respiratory disease.

“Lagundi will not replace your vaccination. Please lang, do not use it to prevent COVID-19 and say 'di na ako magpapabakuna (I will not get the vaccine),” Dr. Cecilia Maramba-Lazarte, UP Manila’s Director for the Institute of Herbal Medicine, said in an online forum.

Other scientists—Dr. Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa, director of Department of Science and Technology–Food and Nutrition Research Institute, and Dr. Philip Ian Padilla, UP Visayas Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs—also made the same call.

Agdeppa and Padilla are conducting studies on VCO and tawa-tawa, respectively.

“Whether tawa-tawa is going to be effective or that significant for COVID-19, I still cannot say. We have to wait for the data we are crunching right now,” Padilla said.

Agdeppa emphasized that the public should consult their doctors before using VCO.

“I still cannot recommend it because if you have history of other illness, you still need the advise of your doctor,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Based on the latest results of their studies, it was concluded that lagundi “can be safely used for the symptomatic treatment of mild COVID” disease.

Meanwhile, VCO could be used as an adjunct supplement for suspect and probable cases of COVID 19.

Data on tawa-tawa research is still being analyzed.

To date, the Philippines has fully immunized more than 32.2 million people or 41.76 percent of the government's target.

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