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Exploring the use of indigenous knowledge-based products in response to COVID-19

Publication Date: 
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Scientific studies into a traditional medicine that may help improve the body’s ability to fight off and recover from infection, may be helpful in the fight against COVID-19.

The Prijap Biolife traditional medicine has been in the market for 10 years and has been used to treat patients who have been infected by the human immunodeficiency virus. This South African patented product, with its unique preparation method, is claimed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, detoxifying and appetite, immune and energy boosting properties.

Contact Person

Dr Sechaba Bareetseng

sbareesteng@csir.co.za

Scientific studies into a traditional medicine that may help improve the body’s ability to fight off and recover from infection, may be helpful in the fight against COVID-19.

The Prijap Biolife traditional medicine has been in the market for 10 years and has been used to treat patients who have been infected by the human immunodeficiency virus. This South African patented product, with its unique preparation method, is claimed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, detoxifying and appetite, immune and energy boosting properties.

With expertise in advanced agriculture, food science and health, the CSIR collaborated with the University of Pretoria, combining their research and development capabilities to conduct in-vitro studies on a liquid extract of the product in 2019. Researchers from the CSIR and the University of the Free State are proposing further studies to ensure that the product is scientifically and clinically certified, and are preparing funding proposals.

The Prijap Biolife product offers potent activities that could potentially be effective in treating symptoms that are associated with the severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. These include activity immune-building, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, appetite-increasing and energy boosting activities.

These aspects have proven to be key elements that contribute to improving the body’s ability to fight off and recover from infections. However, further scientific and clinical studies are required to ensure the validity of some of the product claims.

While the CSIR continues to endeavour using its research and development capabilities on indigenous knowledge systems and the agro-processing sector to support government in the fight against SARS-CoV-2, it equally aims to support a competitive bio innovation industry through the valorisation of plant genetic resources and indigenous knowledge to develop new products and processes.