Distrustful of Swine Flu Vaccine, Many Go for Herbal Remedies

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Fears both
about swine flu and the safety of the vaccine against it have sent
Saudi housewives rushing back to traditional remedies in the hope
of protecting their families. Sales of oranges, lemons and especially
black cumin and honey have risen as a result. It is believed that
these items, consumed daily, can strengthen the body’s immunity
and protect against the H1N1 virus.

“I force
my children to drink lemon and honey every day so that they do not
get infected with swine flu. It has really frightened us,”
said Manal Saeed, a teacher.

A firm believer
in alternative remedies, she said mixing these natural herbs with
fruits and honey was better than medicines that might weaken the

cumin is a panacea for all ills,” she insisted, saying its
efficacy was lauded by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Apart from the drinks, she said she makes sure the children regularly
wash their hands and help keep the house clean.

She is by no
means alone in her confidence in the value of black cumin. “I
mix it with orange and lemon for my children to take every day to
protect them against swine flu,” said Asma Khaled, a nurse.

According a
local herbal merchant, Muhammad Al-Hussein, sales of black cumin
rose remarkably over the past few months. He attributed this to
popular belief that it would protect people against the H1N1 virus
and other illnesses. He said clients often asked if black cumin
was good for swine flu. He always answered by referring to a Hadith
in which the Prophet had said it cures all diseases.

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7, 2009

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