Kenyans embrace home-based remedies to boost immunity amid COVID-19 risks

Irene Kasyoka sipped a mixture of ginger and lemon as she watched out for customers in her vegetable stall located on the eastern edges of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Her son was drinking the same mixture with sniffling interjections during an unusually chilly day.

To Kasyoka and her child, the renowned home remedy is their holy grail when it comes to warding off cold and COVID-19 disease.

“I have been preparing this remedy since the start of the pandemic, my husband and our two sons take it regularly. Making the mixture fulfills me as a mother and wife because I am assured of my family’s well-being,” Kasyoka said.

The desire by Kenyans to keep COVID-19 at bay has compelled them to explore home-based remedies.

Currently, the use of ginger, a natural antioxidant, lemon and honey are commonly known as ‘dawa’ (medicine) is rapidly gaining momentum for its alleged COVID-19 healing properties.

Expressing deep faith in the natural concoction, Kasyoka said that if anyone in her family shows early signs of a flu or cold, the mixture is promptly administered and within hours the flu dies down.

With COVID-19 symptoms mimicking a common cold, the homemade remedy was the most obvious medicine she reached out for.

Josephine Mbondo, a pharmacist said that the use of ginger is essential in boosting people’s health as it protects against colorectal cancer.

Lemon on the other hand is rich in Vitamin C and great for detoxing, according to Mbondo.

Kenya’s ministry of health has emphasized on proper nutrition and adherence to prevention measures like wearing masks and maintaining social distance in order to reduce COVID-19 transmissions.

“I urge Kenyans to seek nutritional counseling before embarking on using home remedies. This can be accessed in the nearest health facility. A healthy balanced diet is highly recommended,” said Patrick Amoth, acting director-general in the Ministry of Health.

Like China, Kenya has also a long-standing history of using traditional medicine that has been confirmed effective in the treatment of many diseases.

Clinical evidence has affirmed that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a significant effect on the treatment of COVID-19.

Helen Atiwa, a mother of two boys, said that she was certain that a mixture of ginger and lemon a day would be an effective weapon against COVID-19.

In addition to that, Atiwa has taken more interest in vegetable intake and whole foods to boost her health.

She said that it may take scientists a while to come up with a drug or vaccine that is safe and efficient, but vowed to keep taking her fruits and natural remedies.

Currently, a definite treatment remains elusive as countries utilize what responds well with a patient. Whether honey and ginger is just a placebo, the jury is out.