With a spike in local cases there has been a surge in the number of messages touting the Zumbani herb as a miracle cure. People are inhaling steam laced with the herb in a practice known as kunatira/kufukira locally. The practice has been so popular that sellers are making bucket-loads of money selling the herb which is now suddenly in short supply. Zumbani is not the only plant that has been in people’s conversations when it comes to coronavirus. Other herbs such as s Mufandichimuka, Moringa have also been presented by as miracle cures although there has been no definitive proof.

When quizzed about this the Vice President who also doubles as the Health Minister had this to say:

Before I conclude my Press Statement, someone asked me whether traditional medicines such as Mufandichimuka, Moringa, Zumbani and other herbs can be used to treat COVID 19 or substitute drugs for COVID 19? Some Traditional Doctors were said to claiming that their patients recovered after administering herbs. My comment would be that, you might be aware that some modern medicines are actually derived from traditional herbs. Yes, it is possible that some traditional medicines can be used to treat COVID 19 however, there is need for scientific researches to be done to ascertain their efficacy. The Ministry of Health and Child Care actually operationalized the Traditional Medicines Department, which is pre-occupied with researches in this area.

VP Chiwenga in his national update on COVID earlier today

That is a very important and responsible response. People should not be believing in miracle cures when there are none. The best way to beat COVID-19 is to flatten the curve and avoid catching it altogether. Countries like Madagascar have seen scores of people die after the leader irresponsibly claimed a local herb could cure COVID. Research has shown the herb to be ineffective.