Rainier Allan Ronda – The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — A 24-year-old doctor and coconut processing company executive has developed a combined virgin coconut oil (VCO) and lagundi mouth and nasal spray formula that can be a potent protection against – if not potential cure – for COVID-19.
Dr. Sterling Tiu, company doctor at his family’s coconut processing business Tropicana Food Products Inc. based in San Pablo City, Laguna, said that the combination of lagundi and VCO addresses both the cough symptoms and viral replication issues in COVID-19 cases.
“We’re in the process of applying for a patent,” Tiu told The STAR in an exclusive interview over the weekend.
To come up with the potentially new patented product, Tiu had added lagundi to their company’s patented VCO with menthol mouth spray and nasal spray which is enjoying phenomenal sales during the still persisting pandemic.
“We’re gonna market it as C-Shield. It’s still gonna be an all-natural product,” Tiu, who earned his medical degree at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and passed the board exams last November then took his oath in December at the age of 23, said.
“Basically the ingredients are all organic, but as far as certifying (it as organic), I do not think it’s necessary,” Tiu said, explaining that the mouth spray will be marketed as a cosmetic product.
The nasal spray, he admitted, will need approval from the Food and Drug Administration as a prophylactic.
Tiu pointed out that the results of separate clinical studies funded by the Department of Science and Technology on both lagundi and VCO as adjunct therapies for COVID-19 have successfully shown the efficacies of both in addressing respiratory difficulties and viral replication from mild to moderate cases of the coronavirus.
He pointed out that lagundi has already established its efficacy as a cough remedy.
“Because it is part of the 10 medicinal plants recommended by Department of Health, lagundi has been studied locally for its effects against cough, sipon (colds)… and many scientific studies has shown its good effects in relieving cough symptoms,” Tiu said. “It reduces inflammation, it has antihistamine effects. It relieves cough, it suppresses cough.”
And since the plant is readily available locally, they decided to add it for more efficacy to the spray.
“VCO, we know through recent studies last year, has been shown to prevent the disease from proceeding from mild to moderate or severe COVID, and also it has helped in the recovery of the mild to moderate COVID patients, to recover more quickly than the control (group) which did not receive virgin coconut oil,” Tiu said.
“So with that in mind, we believe virgin coconut oil had helped in fighting the COVID virus,” he said, stressing the importance of the spray’s formulation “because the COVID virus replicates in the upper respiratory epithelium.”
He said the product could be effective particularly against breakthrough infections.
“So, we wanted to have a product that helps to limit the viral replication in the upper respiratory tract, and thus, we have this new formulation,” Tiu said.