Traditional medicine, as defined by the World Health Organization, is the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement, or treatment of physical and mental illness.

National Food and Drug Agency (BPOM), based on regulations number 32 the year 2019 concerning traditional medicine safety and quality requirements, categorizes traditional medicine into several categories. Jamu is a traditional medicine made in Indonesia. It is a herbal drink made of plants and spices to maintain health, fitness, and to prevent and in some cases cure disease. It has been part of the Indonesian culture for generations. Then we have Standardized Herbal Medicines which specify as products that contain ingredients or ingredients in the form of plant ingredients, animal ingredients, mineral ingredients, galenic preparations, or mixtures of these ingredients that have been used for treatment from generation to generation and can be applied following the prevailing norms in society. whose safety and efficacy have been scientifically proven by preclinical testing and the raw materials have been standardized.

Lastly, we have Phytopharmaca (clinical-based herbal medicine) is a product that contains ingredients or ingredients in the form of plant ingredients, animal ingredients, mineral ingredients, galenic preparations, or a mixture of these ingredients that have been proven scientifically for their safety and efficacy by pre-clinical and clinical tests as well as raw materials and finished products have been standardized. In a more general sense, Phytopharmaca is a form of herbal medicines that can be aligned with conventional medicines, due to a standardized manufacturing process and support from clinical trial data.

as the current state of the world right now, we’re in the global pandemic known as COVID-19 or corona disease. that is spreading across countries that originated in Wuhan, China. the cause of this pandemic is a novel coronavirus, called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is the seventh known virus of the Coronaviridae family capable of infecting humans. this disease is mainly spread through close contact with infected individuals via respiratory droplets from either sneezing or coughing. Furthermore, there are two other ways of transmitting the virus, including contact and aerosol transmission. Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Furthermore, people in the community and researchers are trying to find the best way to cure or prevent the disease, including using herbal medicine.

Indonesia ranked 2nd in the world for biodiversity after Brazil. there are more than 30.000 plant species have recorded as Indonesia’s biodiversity. 9600 of them have greater benefits and around 300 are used as raw materials for drugs and standardized raw materials for drugs. so what kind of Herbal medicine we’re talking about that can help prevent COVID-19? Since the immune status of patients plays an essential role in COVID-19 infection, an herbal medicine, which has an immunomodulatory effect, could have the potential as a preventive measure and even therapeutic agent for patients with COVID-19 infection. This immunomodulatory effect including boosts the immune system and anti-inflammatory.

This agent, as mention before, can be found in some of the herbs for making Jamu or Empon-empon (some kind of traditional herb potion) such as turmeric, curcuma, ginger, lemongrass, guava, orange peel, and eucalyptus. Further research has shown that curcumin is an agent that can be found in Tumeric and Curcuma, contain extraordinary effects. They are Bronchodilator that helps to dilate the airways. antifatigue, Antinociceptive and Anti-Inflammatory, Antiviral that effective against viruses, antipyretic which reduce fever, antiemetic that reduce gag reflex. Curcumin already tested via in Silico against Covid-19.

So does traditional medicine works against and treat covid-19? Further studies on the efficacy and safety of Traditional Medicine for COVID-19 in humans and also its molecular mechanisms are needed.

Can we still consume Traditional Medicine to prevent covid-19?

the answer to that question is yes, but with a note. Furthermore to consume traditional medicine or jamu you have to consult with a professional medical practitioner or physician. Traditional Medicine only acts as a complementary supplement that helps to boost up your immune system, not to prevent, treat or cure covid-19. Since there’s no clinical trial or scientific proof that been release officially by WHO concerning medication or drugs to treat covid-19. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 you can follow this protocol :

  1. Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.

  2. Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

  3. Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.

  4. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

and of course, drink jamu a little bit as it mentions, even though it doesn’t cure or prevent covid-19, Jamu still helps boost up your immune system. A strong immune system is one of the key components to fighting covid-19. Besides some of Jamu taste delis. bottoms up!


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