Jamaican COVID-19 survivor says ‘traditional Caribbean home remedies’ helped him beat the virus

Mildred Europa Taylor April 09, 2020
The Jamaican survivor works at Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Photo: New York Post

A hospital worker at New York City who got infected with the coronavirus has been able to fight if off by looking to his Jamaican roots. Raeburn Fairweather, a respiratory therapist at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center, said that during his two-week battle with the deadly virus, he had a 104-degree fever.

“The Tylenol would not bring it down. My body felt like it was falling apart,” he told the New York Post.

“Headaches were immense. They were making my eyeballs feel like they were on springs.” The 47-year-old also coughed up “thick, white mucus” while losing his sense of smell and taste.

Respitory Therapist Raeburn Fairweather
Raeburn Fairweather is a respiratory therapist at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center. Photo: The New York Post

All these went on until he treated himself with traditional Caribbean home remedies made with turmeric, garlic and ginger, the New York Post reported.

The native of Jamaica used traditional Caribbean home remedies in addition to Tylenol and he has now recovered. Fairweather, whose work involves “inserting and removing ventilator tubes from the tracheas of coronavirus patients,” started experiencing symptoms after a triple shift at work on March 17.

He was tested on March 18 for COVID-19 and the results came back positive. The married father of five subsequently quarantined himself in an extra room in his family’s Canarsie rowhouse while using a bathroom that his wife and children stayed away from.

So far, no member of his household has shown any symptoms, he said.

He, however, admitted that while treating patients during the early days of the pandemic, the hospital staff did not use protective gear for patients who were not showing any symptoms.

“I’m going to be honest with you, the staff was still somewhat laid back about it,” he said.

Fairweather has since resumed work at the hospital and is positive that home remedies helped him recover even though the World Health Organisation has said that there is no cure for the deadly virus.

“While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease,” according to the organization’s website. “WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19.”

The novel coronavirus has affected more than 435,000 people in the U.S. and killed over 14,000. More than 6,000 of these fatalities have occurred in New York, widely considered the epicenter of the outbreak.

Authorities have urged people to stay inside and practice social distancing.

As people hold talks about taking a chance with traditional medicine that is not proven, the government of Zimbabwe is already allowing herbalists to treat patients with the deadly virus.

“Traditional medicine practice is older … than science and it is accepted by the majority of Zimbabweans,” said Tribert Chishanyu, president of Zimbabwe Traditional Practitioners Association.

“If modern scientists are given opportunities to try whenever there is an emergency disease (outbreak), why can’t we do the same to traditional medicine practice? We are treating symptoms related to COVID-19, so by (some) chance we may be able to treat COVID-19.”

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: April 9, 2020


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