Dubai: Swine flu fears have produced a slew of alternative prevention and treatment remedies, something health officials have warned may only drain the wallet with few benefits.
The US Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, supported by the dietary supplement and herbal industry, has warned the public against unapproved swine flu remedies or vaccines.
The only drugs approved for the prevention and treatment of swine flu are oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). No swine flu vaccine has been approved for use as yet.
Nevertheless, some homeopathy specialists in the UAE are touting the benefits of herbal remedies, which they claim prevents and treats all types of flu, including swine flu.
Dr Sulaikha Hamza, homeopathy specialist at the Gulf Medical Centre in Deira, told Gulf News that current homeopathic remedies could prevent and treat swine flu because "the symptoms are similar to regular flu."
"The only difference is that (the H1N1 Type A Influenza virus) is a combination of swine, bird and human flu so it causes deeper symptoms like pneumonia, ear infection, sinusitis and (opportunistic) bacterial infection," she said.
She added there were also homeopathic remedies that worked like a vaccine.
Dr Sulaikha said homeopathic remedies have an advantage over other medicines in the prevention of swine flu as they boosted the immune system without any side effects. She added their track record have shown a high success rate in the prevention and treatment of other flu strains.
"Homeopathy remedies are very effective. They saved 26,000 people (in Ohio, US) during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic," she said.
However, she stopped short of recommending that people only use homeopathic remedies to treat swine flu, saying she would prescribe anti-viral medicines along with the remedies.
Health officials have begged to differ.
An official with the Ministry of Health disagreed with the use of homeopathic remedies to prevent and treat swine flu, saying they were untested.
"It's a serious thing; people should not promote unapproved remedies to prevent and treat swine flu. They should not take advantage of people's fears," the official said. "Anti-viral is the only thing that works because they prevent the flu virus from replicating and spreading,"
The official also said boosting the immune system might not be the best way to deal with swine flu as the disease seemed to affect people with better immune systems, compared to other strains of flu.
The median age of patients in the US is 15, while more than half the patients in Mexico are aged 19 years and younger.
Latest World Health Organisation (WHO) figures put the death toll at 31, with 1,893 sick in 23 countries. The UAE and the rest of the GCC have not reported a case.
Do you believe in herbal remedies? Do you think they are more effective than traditional medicine? Which do you prefer?
No homeopethic or ayurvedic medicines can be tested or are tested as it's done by the alopathic medics, but that dont mean that they are not effective, I'm one of those who prefers these two treatment methods than alopathy as the side effects are negligible. In my experience many of diseases were cured by homeopethy, even some of the cancer cases which were ruled out by alopathy doctors.
Posted: May 10, 2009, 13:28
I prefer ayurvedic medicines as compared to allopathic medicines.
Posted: May 10, 2009, 13:16
I would request the concerned officials to kindly refer the European records of earlier Pandamics before commenting about the afficacy of Homeopathy. It was the most effective treatment during all the earlier Pandemics be it Cholera or Spanish Flu (very similar to Swine Flu) of 1918.
Posted: May 10, 2009, 11:52
I prefer ayurvedic medicines as compared to allopathic medicines. Especially for colds, flu and certain chronic problems like arthritis and other ailments ayurveda gives permanent relief to the patient. Though the treatment is more long drawn out, there are no side effects. But in severe cases of viral flu or swine flu, the recommended medicines like tamiflu might be more effective. Antibiotics help in destroying the virus but have side effects. In extreme cases allopathy is the best option. Herbal remedies are preferable in long term and chronic illnesses.
Posted: May 10, 2009, 10:45
Homeopathy can relieve the sign and symptoms of cold coryza. homeopathy treats the sick and not the diseases. homeopathy take whole person as a sick and treate accordingly and not only by the lable of diseases. Its better to take medication under supervision of specialist. Until and unless its proven that certain Homeopathic medicine are working better to avoid only to depend of one type of therapy.
Posted: May 10, 2009, 08:25
Homeopathy remedies are very effective; This statement is very true; I have seen elopath doctors opting for Homeopath treatments for there own sickness; Homeopath is much safer and covers almost all fields of treatment which are not available in elopath medicine.
Posted: May 10, 2009, 08:07
Yes, sure 100% i beleive in Homeopathic medicine, because it is the right medicine to cure every sickness which doesn't have in the helopethic. and homeopethic is the medicine of islam, and helopethic is created by people, if u tested it, it is having the same ingredients of homeopethic just some things are different. they use the same thing and fool people, doctors and the medicine are here to save human lifes not to thug them. homeopethic is the best medicine in the whole world, because it wont have side effects and it will cure your problems permanently not like helopethic it will come again after some time.
Mohammad Amanullah Khan
Posted: May 10, 2009, 07:52