A complaint has been laid against an ACC treatment provider who claims to sell herbal remedies which prevent and treat Covid-19.

However, a doctor from the clinic told the Herald there was scientific evidence to back-up their claims around the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine.

The Ministry of Health reported on its website there was currently no specific treatment for the potentially deadly virus but medical care could manage most of the symptoms.

The Natural Harmony website. Photo / naturalharmony.co.nz
The Natural Harmony website. Photo / naturalharmony.co.nz

ACC and MedSafe were alerted to Natural Harmony Acupuncture yesterday by watchdog the NZ Society for Science Based Healthcare.


Elsewhere, a homeopath shipping 'protection' for Covid-19 was roasted by health and science experts over their claims yesterday.

On its website, Natural Harmony said herbal medicine had been "widely used in both prevention and treatment" of Covid-19 with positive results.

It was selling two products - formula one and formula two - which were designed to help people with different health conditions.

Both were made from Chinese herbs, boiled, strained and sealed in plastic bags.

Formula one was for those with low immune systems, promising to strengthen "vital energy in the body to prevent the virus taking hold".

Formula two was for those in the early stages of infection, with coughs, fever, fatigue and breathlessness.

The second formula "not only resolves the symptoms but more importantly prevents the progression of the disease to the more severe stage".

People would find all the scientific evidence showing the impact Chinese medicine had on Covid-19, Dr Jenny Li of Natural Harmony told the Herald.


"We have listed all the scientific evidence that has been collected from clinical trials and research on our website," she said.

"You can find full details on our website with all the scientific evidence … of using Chinese medicine to help SARS and also Covid-19."

There were 89 new cases of coronavirus in New Zealand yesterday, the most recorded in a single day so far.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said it showed the country was not yet "flattening the curve" in terms of daily case rises.

Medical personnel wait to get a sample from a drive-thru patient at a Houston testing centre. Photo / AP
Medical personnel wait to get a sample from a drive-thru patient at a Houston testing centre. Photo / AP

It would be another week until the nationwide lockdown had observable effects on the number of cases, he said.

Asked whether it was accurate to promote the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 given there was no current cure, Li said we should "respect the scientific evidence".

"If we do have the evidence we cannot deny the effect."

Coronavirus: No sign yet that NZ has lethal virus under control
Coronavirus: Global cases pass 1 million
Coronavirus: No quarantine for 3600 people returning to NZ from overseas
Coronavirus: Primary school apologises for giving students false tips to prevent infection

NZ Society for Science Based Healthcare chair Mark Honeychurch said the claims were unproven and dangerous.

"These claims are unproven, dubious, and likely to be dangerous to the general public ... It's gobsmacking that some people think this is okay," Honeychurch said.

"It's extremely concerning to see people out there taking these kinds of risks with other people's lives, and we'd obviously like to see these companies stopped as soon as possible."

Natural health services were considered "non-essential" during the lockdown, a Ministry of Health spokeswoman told the Herald.

Anyone who stepped outside of governing rules around alternative products faced being investigated by Medsafe.

"People should not rely on products which claim to prevent Covid-19," the Ministry of Health spokeswoman said.

"Products making false claims about Covid-19 are concerning, unhelpful and potentially dangerous as the may give people a false sense of security."