The Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (CSRPM) at Mampong-Akuapem in the Eastern Region has recommended the use of Centre of Awareness Food Supplement (COA FS) as immune support and treatment of some symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
It further gave approval the use of eight other herbal products including Amen Depomix Powder, Herbetine Herbal Powder, Herbetine Herbal Mixture, Viva plus Powder, Ayisaa Opinto Herbal Tea, CD Capsules, Amen Fevermix Capsules and Amen Chestico Capsules to fight the disease.
This was contained in a letter dated May 11 and signed by the acting Executive Director of the centre, Dr Kofi Bobi Barimah, and addressed to the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.
The letter, which was also copied to the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, the Director of Traditional and Alternative Medicine Directorate and the President of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Associations (GHAFTRAM), accompanied the report on the evaluation work and recommendations on the products.
The recommendation was based on four major factors including the biological activities of the medicinal plants used in the formulation and the status of the product as Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) registered dietary supplement to support the immune system to fight a variety of diseases.
The others are the traditional uses of the plant constituents and some chronic toxicity studies and anecdotal clinical data available on the product.
The assessors also considered the various medicinal plants used in the preparation of the products, reviewed information available and the microbial load analyses on relevant products.
"Based on our preliminary evaluation, we submit our recommendations, as attached, for your necessary action," the letter to the minister stated.
The report stressed that "studies show COA FS has anti-viral activity against HIV. Anecdotal clinical data collected showed COA FS significantly reduced viral loads in HIV and Hepatitis B patients."
The COA FS, according to the report was registered by the FDA as a dietary supplement to support the immune system to fight a variety of diseases, and that chronic toxicity studies showed the drug did not have a deleterious effect in rats on prolonged administration.
The Centre's report further added that it was going to embark on the next phase of its assessment of the products.
"The next phase of our assessment will include chronic toxicity and anti-viral studies of products of interest. We will update the Minister of Health on the progress of the evaluation in due course," the letter indicated.
The General Secretary of GHAFTRAM, Nana Kwadwo Obiri, said that the federation was ready to manufacture the products for free for the treatment of COVID-19 patients once the government was ready to provide the raw materials.
Nana Obiri maintained that the submission for evaluation was based on the conviction that herbal medicine could be used in the fight against the COVID-19.
The nine medicines were part of 33 herbal products submitted to the Ministry of Health for onward submission to the centre to establish their potency for the management of the COVID-19.