Tue | Oct 26, 2021

Let herbal medicine be an option for COVID-19, say proponents

Published:Wednesday | August 25, 2021 | 12:05 AMChristopher Thomas - Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Martello Melville, chief executive officer of the Jah-Jireh Herbal health and wellness company, says the Government should examine all available nutritional treatment options in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as allow the proponents of herbal medicine to speak on the issue.

Addressing an online health seminar under the theme ‘Drink to life’, which was staged on Monday, Melville suggested that nutraceutical health, which involves the use of natural foods and herbs to treat disease, should be presented by medical authorities as a viable medical option.

“Most people cannot say how this COVID-19 vaccine works, but if herbs have been proven to work, why is it that we were not given a presence at the table? If we were in such dire need and people were dying, desperate, and seeking a solution, why is it that herbs or nutraceuticals were never an option? People have a choice, and it is their decision as to what they think is best for their own health and body,” said Melville.

“I do not know of any strain of COVID-19 that we cannot take on, because there are options out there for healing. But our Government needs to look at these options and help to stop so many persons from dying because we cannot be looking to one thing [solution] and not look at the options that are there,” added Melville.

Informed choices

Melville’s position was supported by Manchester-based herbalist Kevin ‘Biggathon’ Roye, who wants citizens to be empowered to make informed choices on whether to get vaccinated or to use natural remedies to treat COVID-19.

“Those who want to take the vaccine with informed information, that is your choice, and those who want to use alternative herbal products, give them the chance to use that as well. But everything cannot be focused on just chemicals alone,” said Roye.

“We are not saying people cannot use vaccines, but give them an alternative too. We are not saying not to wear the masks, or that there is no virus out there, but give the herbalists a chance to play a role in the society we are in, in the 21st century,” added Roye.

In May 2020, leaders of the Scott’s Hall and Charles Town Maroon communities had echoed similar sentiments in pushing for the use of traditional medicine.

At that time, Colonel Marcia Douglas of the Charles Town Maroons pointed to various plants, to include dandelion, avocado, garlic, and citrus fruits, as well as extracts from bushes and herbs as a means of strengthening the body’s immune system to fight disease.

However, it should be noted that Dr Melody Ennis, the Ministry of Health’s director of family services, sees things differently from the herbalists. In January this year, she said that there is no evidence to suggest that natural remedies are superior to COVID-19 vaccination.