Namibians embrace home remedies to boost immunity amid COVID-19 risks

Thursday, August 27th, 2020 11:15 |
A young lady prepares a concoction to use it in the fight against COVID-19 infection in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, August 24, 2020. (Xinhua/Demetilie Amupolo)

 At her apartment in the Namibian capital Windhoek, Elly Matias prepared a concoction of boiled water, ginger, lemon, raw honey and garlic.

"I turned to this home-made remedy for both prevention and treatment," she said Monday.

With COVID-19 symptoms aping flu and the common cold, the latter remedy is becoming popular for its healing properties.

As COVID-19 cases in Namibia escalate, residents are trying home-based remedies to ward off the symptoms of COVID-19.

Matias said that she also steams to open up pores. According to Matias, steaming helps clear nasals as well as improve breathing and circulation.

"When steaming, I add mint leaves, a practice I learned while growing up in the village," she added.

She is not alone. A score of people in Namibia recently revived the traditional methods such as burning elephant dung.

For Gertrud David, it is a suitable alternative to boost immunity and improve health amid COVID-19.

"Growing up, our grandmother would treat flu and other ailments by burning it, and we inhale the smoke. I believe it might help me ward off the COVID-19 symptoms should I have them," she added.

But health officials in Namibia warned that elephant dung, traditionally known for treating blocked nasals and headaches amongst other ailments does not cure COVID-19.

Minister of Health and Social Services, Kalumbi Shangula said the method is not scientifically tested.

"We encourage people to rather visit testing centres and verified information on COVID-19 to get medical advice once infected," Shangula said.

Moreover, experts say nutrition is vital in building a healthy body.

Nutritionist Charlotte Keyter urged individuals to indulge in a nutritious diet for a healthy body and strong immune system.

"This would entail a balanced diet, comprising food groups of fruits and vegetables, cereal, plant-based and animal-based protein as well as a small group of sugar and oil amongst others. Intake of such foods should be spread throughout the day," Keyter added.

Ben Schernick, a social worker and director of the secretariat of the Nutrition and Food Security Alliance of Namibia, advised that efforts should be complemented by physical exercise, wellness, meditation and mindfulness. (Xinhua)

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