The National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said it has received about 40 applications for the approval of herbal formulations for the treatment of COVID-19 from researchers in the country.
Speaking during an online news conference on Tuesday, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, said the 40 herbal formulations were currently undergoing review to ensure their safety for use.
According to her, if not well researched, herbal medicine could kill fast.
“In March 2019, we inaugurated the Nigerian Herbal Medicine Product Committee (HMPC) to bridge the gap often created between traditional medicine practitioners and researchers.
“COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity and we have been encouraging traditional medicine practitioners to submit their herbal formulations for evaluation.
“We also developed guidelines on how to register herbal medicine online and the labelling of the product.
“Prof. Maurice Iwu’s application for approval of a herbal medicine for management of COVID-19 is also part of the 40 applications we are reviewing for safety.
“We use animal for safety test to ensure the formulation will not kill anybody, “she said
Adeyeye noted that there is no cure for COVID-19 yet and warned that any claim of cure must be subjected to clinical trials following an approved clinical trial protocol.
“Until a clinical trial is done in a scientific manner, no herbal medicine manufacturer can claim cure or effectiveness to treat COVID-19 associated symptoms.
“I believe that Nigeria’s herbal medicines may be able to cure COVID-19.
“They have a lot of potential and it is time to translate research of herbs into products of proven safety and efficacy, for the benefit of our people,” the NAFDAC boss said.