The potential use of Mandi Wap Herba in Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
The Objective of this report to assess current available evidence on the potnetial of mandi wap herba (steam herabal bath) in COVID-19 management based on the following:
- Traditional and general use
- Efficaccy: Focusing on reported properties of 1: antiviral, 2: modulation of immune response, and 3: role as other supportive theraphy or management of disease related complications; and their respective potential mechanism(s) of actions.
- Safety of steam bath
Electronic databases were searched using pre-determined terminologies such as ‘steam bath’,’antiviral’, immunomodulatory’, ‘immune response’, ‘mechanism of action’ and safety’. All clinical and preclinical studies (both in vitro and in vivo) related to safety and efficacy or effectiveness of steam bath in treating viral disease were included.
Results and discussion
Based on the traditional use, the use of medicinal plants is mainly reported in herbal bath or water, rather than in steam bath for a wide variety of ailments. One randomized controlled trial on steam herbal baths reported improvements in sneezing, nasal itching, and nasal congestion for allergic rhinitis, though there is no evidence of antiviral effects. Due to heat application during baths, it is reasonable to expect increased heart rates and dilation of blood vessels. However, there is no evidence of steam herbal baths dilating nerves nor is there evidence of objective correlation between increasing heart rates, blood vessel dilation, and antiviral or immune enhancing effects. As for the chemical release of herbs, there is still limited evidence in terms of atmospheric phytochemical content or bioactive compounds released during water heating, method of preparation, and standardized evaluation systems. In terms of safety, majority reports show none or mild adverse effects although death cases have been reported due to concurrent alcohol intake and or in contraindicated cardiovascular conditions.
In conclusion, there is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of herbal baths in COVID-19. Research on efficacy and safety of herbal baths, in general and specific herbal formulations need to be conducted before it can be considered for traditional & complementary medicine services. These services should comply with the Acts available in the country guided by a practice guideline and conducted by qualified personnel.