Ashgabat [Turkmenistan], December 26 (ANI): Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has bizarrely claimed that the herb licorice has miraculous medical properties with the ability to cure Covid-19, the pandemic illness that has caused loss of millions of lives across the world, but which Turkmenistan says has not affected it so far.
"Scientists from all over the world search for efficient means against this dangerous infection at present time making numerous studies. The licorice root could be one of them," Turkmenistan State News Agency reported quoting Berdimuhamedov during a video conference session with his Cabinet of Ministers on December 25.
While speaking on the treatment and medicinal products from licorice, Berdimuhamedov said, "Today, scientists note that glycyrrhizic acid, which is a part of the composition of this plant, prevents the development of new coronavirus, which the whole world is combating."
Stressing on the benefit of licorice, the President said, "Neutralizing effect is achieved even with a small concentration of water solution of licorice root. This fact speaks of the necessity of detailed study of antivirus effect of glycyrrhizic acid."
He also pointed out that Turkmenistan, a former Soviet Union republic, has "sufficient reserves of this plant for production of medicine".
The Turkmen president, a dentist by training and served as health minister under the previous president. He has authored several books on herbal medicine.
According to a report in the New York Times Berdimukhammedov had gone on television to recommend burning the herb harmala, claiming that it could ward off a variety of viruses that are "invisible to the naked eye."
"Our wise ancestors strictly followed tradition," he was quoted as saying in the report. "They burned harmala on important occasions, whether moving to a new home, a wedding and at certain times when infectious diseases arose."
This claim comes amid World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressing on the wearing of masks, social distancing and regular hand-washing to stop the spread of coronavirus.
According to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University, globally as many as 80,027,056 people have tested positive of coronavirus and 1,753,313 deaths have been reported so far. (ANI)