Ambergris smoke harmful for Covid-19 patients: Health experts

KABUL (Pajhwok): Some social media users and Kabul residents say ambergris smoke is good for curing Covid-19, while doctors call it harmful and urge people to visit hospital if they have any symptoms of Covid-19 and avoid any arbitrary and traditional treatments.

Posts published on social media about the effectiveness of ambergris:

YasKabudیمیت السلطنه, a Twitter page, explained ambergris smoke as effective for Covid-19. The writer of the post wrote that he had contracted coronavirus for the second time, but he did not visit a doctor the last time and recovered by using ambergris.

Meanwhile, ‘sniperman’, the name of another Twitter account, in a post encouraged people to use ambergris for treating Covid-19.

“Covid-19 related cough damages the lung, so you should inhale something that should be anti-inflammation,” the post said.

Mizan News Agency also published an article titled, ‘Ambergris Nesara treats Covid-19.’

Ali Reza Abasian, head of medical department at Iranian Ministry of Public Health, is quoted in the article about traditional medicines as saying, “General researches have shown that substances which have pungent smell can be anti-bacterial and sometimes they are also antivirus.”

“For example, there are articles about the antimicrobial and antiviral specifications of ambergris, in some cases, it has been proved that the ambergris is powerful in fighting virus than peganum harmala,” the source said.

The report concludes that ambergris should be smoked in home twice a week.

Some Kabul residents also believe that ambergris smoke is useful in treating Covid-19.

Karim, a resident of Kabul city, told Pajhwok Afghan News that his sister was infected with Covid-19 and her mother-in-law gave her ambergris for curing her.

“There is a doctor in our family. He visited my sister and saw that there was ambergris in her room, but the doctor threw it away. But when my mother-in-law visited our house, she recommended smoking ambergris for my sister, she said that it is very helpful and can kill any virus,” he said.

Ambergris has long been used by some people, particularly by elders. Some people believe that ambergris smoke kills the virus, but some uses it as room perfume.

On the other hand, experts say that the smoke of both the mentioned things is harmful.

Dr.NoorulhaqYousufzai, a pediatrician, told Pajhwok Afghan News that smokes was not only not helpful for Covid-19 patients, but it harmed patients and even healthy people.

He termed lack of public awareness as one of the reasons people used ambergris smoke for treating Covid-19 patients, saying that the smoke inflames a patient’s lung which prevents inhalation of enough oxygen.

If a patient inhales ambergris or anything else, it causes respiratory problems and increases cough, he said.

He explained that the smoke of flammable substances is not good for Covid-19 patients but rather it is harmful.

He said that medical experts urge people not to listen to rumors and refrain from using smoky products as it could worsen a patient’s situation.

Dr. MeraniBratzai, in charge of the IPC department at Afghan-Japanese Hospital, told Pajhwok that chronically ill patients needed oxygen and should be kept in the open air.

He said that ambergris is not good for Covid-19 disease as air pollution and any kind of smoke causes shortness of breath and people should avoid inhaling the smoke of ambergris for their patients.

He asked people to visit a hospital if they notice any signs of Covid-19 infection and not to use ambergris and other materials for treatment of the disease.

Pajhwok repeatedly asked for comment from the Ministry of Public Health about the issue, but no one responded.


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