October 20, 2021
Rongoā helpful but no cure for COVID
Your rongoā is not going to save you from COVID.
That’s the advice of Māori pandemic response group co-leader Dr Rawiri Jansen has to those who want to use traditional Māori medicines to ward off the virus sweeping the world.
He says it’s a question that comes up as he tries to help people over their uncertainty about vaccines, and the answer is the same as for colonial diseases like diabetes.
“COVID’s new to the whole human race. Everybody around the world is going ‘this is a new disease,’ so there aren’t any traditional medicines to protect us from it. But there is a place for rongoā. If you are unwell and you are into rongoāthen you will have some rongoāthat help you with being unwell., I think both things are kind of true. For some people that is really helpful because they can have their rongoā and they can have their vaccine, sweet as,” Dr Jansen says.
He says questions of spirituality are not for mere doctors.