I have provided inputs to my colleague, Asanti Astari for her article in the Jakarta Post published last 18 April. Ms Astari recently wrote the article on “Jamu,” a traditional medicinal remedy in Indonesia, which is used to treat common ailments and boost the immune system to prevent illnesses. Such drinks are common in Southeast Asia, wherein various spices are boiled and drank for their medicinal properties. There has been a surge of their use recently because of the pandemic, and may people are looking at traditional remedies to aid in improving health as preventive measure to cough and colds. The creation of a vaccine for Covid-19 is still months or a year or two ahead and traditional remedies will not replace appropriate vaccines for the pandemic. However, it provides some level of active preventive measure to some people in Southeast Asia, aside from various advice from WHO on social distancing and hygiene protocols. However, these traditional remedies should not be considered as cure to Covid-19 and doctors do not advise that these be considered as miracle health elixirs.
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