PMB clinic offers home cure for coughs

2019-06-06 15:00
The recipe. PHOTO: kerushun pillay

The recipe. PHOTO: kerushun pillay

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The Khan Road Clinic is giving some patients a recipe for a homemade cough mixture.

This week, a 75-year-old pensioner showed The Witness a recipe which calls for five “spoons of cooled boiled water, mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of either brown sugar or honey”.

One teaspoon is to be taken three times a day or when needed, and a new mixture has to be made daily, the recipe reads.

The pensioner’s wife, who did not want to be named, said her husband went to the clinic on Monday complaining of having the flu. “They told him to take the recipe and make it at home.

“It was so strange to us that they are prescribing herbal medication in a scientific atmosphere like a clinic. We make remedies like that anyway.

“Luckily I have a lemon tree. What about people who can’t get those ingredients? And if someone is struggling with [diabetes], how can they add one teaspoon of brown sugar or honey?” she asked.

“If my husband didn’t know better, he may have thought this was the cure for it: using the herbal approach,” she joked.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health explained that prescribing such a remedy was normal, since cough mixtures were not part of the inventory of any public health facility. “This is why healthcare professionals may advise on the use of a homemade remedy to treat the common cold. This is not new. However, patients who insist on using cough syrup are welcome to purchase it,” said spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda.

She said this is because the National Essential Medicine List Committee in South Africa does not include cough mixtures on its list of essential medicines.

Poonitha Naidoo, a spokesperson from the Medical Rights Advocacy Network (Meran) agreed, and said this homemade remedy would be viable for someone who had a mild flu. “Normally we’d advise people not to go to a clinic when they have the flu because they may get worse being around sick people. The best thing is to get rest and eat high calorie food,” she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  kzn health department

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