37 COVID-19 patients qualified for lagundi clinical trials — DOST

Christian Deiparine - Philstar.com
37 COVID-19 patients qualified for lagundi clinical trials â DOST
Photo shows the lagundi or chaste tree, vitex negundo, now being tested as treatment for COVID-19.
The STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines now has 37 qualified persons to undergo clinical trials for lagundi which is being eyed to aid in treating coronavirus patients, an official reported Thursday. 

The science and technology department in August began the said trials for the medicinal plant, targetting at least 200 mild COVID-19 patients. 

Executive Director Jaime Montoya of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development said that they have screened 150 patients so far for the lagundi study, with 37 individuals making the cut.

"Itong lagundi, tinitignan natin kung puwede maging karagdagang gamot para sa mga may sakit na COVID-19 para sila ay hindi maging complicated o mag-progress into the severe form," he said at a Laging Handa briefing. 

(We are looking at lagundi as an additional cure for those with COVID-19 so they won't progress into severe cases.) 

The lagundi, also known as Vitex negundo, is a widely distributed plant in the Philippines that is seen to cure cough, sore throat and fever, to name a few. 

Trials for virgin coconul oil have also shown progress, with target participants reaching almost two-thirds of the department's target. 

Montoya said a community-based study has also been conducted for this, with studies centering on patients at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila. 

In July, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña reported "very promising" results in the VCO preventing and managing COVID-19.

The tawa-tawa plant is also expected to be tested for virus treatment, with its review for approval still at the ethics review board level. 

Montoya, however, said trials for it could begin as soon as second week of October upon certification. 

The PCHRD has cited a study by pharmacy students from the University of Santo Tomas showing that the tawa-tawa plant (Euphorbia hirta) possesses properties that also help treatment of dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Virus cases in the country are now at 331,869 as of Thursday, October 8. The death toll has hit 6,069, while recoveries are at 274,318. 



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