Clinical trials for lagundi as COVID-19 therapeutic near completion

Published March 26, 2021, 9:35 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Clinical trials on the use of lagundi (Chinese chaste tree) as a  coronavirus disease (COVID-19) therapeutic or supplement are expected to be completed soon.

This was disclosed by Dr. Cecilia Nelia C. Maramba-Lazarte of the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila that is conducting  the clinical trials.

She explained that the clinical trials have two stages —the dose-finding and safety study, and the placebo-controlled clinical trial. 

The clinical trial expert said the dose-finding and safety study was already conducted at the Quezon Institute and at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Camp Bagong Final Special Care Facility. 

“‘Yung Stage 1 na ‘yung dose finding trial eh mukhang very promising naman po, very well tolerated po ang lagundi at maganda po ang feedback ng mga patients na nagiginhawaan sila dun sa pagbibigay ng gamot ( The result of the Stage 1 or the dose finding trial seems very promising, lagundi is very well tolerated and the feedback from the patients is positive that they are relieved when the medicine is given to them)  ,” Lazarte said on Friday, March 26,  at the sidelines of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña’s weekly report. 

She noted that adverse effects from the lagundi treatment among COVID-19 patients were minimal. 

“So mukhang very promising po sya kaya nagproceed kami sa Stage 2. At the moment, nasa halos three-fourths ng Stage 2 at malapit na namin matapos para talagang ma-analyse ang data (So it seems very promising, that why we proceeded to Stage 2. At the moment, we competed almost three-fourths of the Stage 2 and we can finish it soon so that we can fully analyze the data)  ” Lazarte said. 

In July 2020, it was announced that the clinical trials for lagundi  were approved by DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). In April last year, the DOST started looking into the effectiveness of certain herbal medicines against COVID-19.

Lagundi is widely used as a cough remedy. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the clinical trials for lagundi as a supplemental treatment against COVID-19 in August 2020.