Mexican higher education body the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) will sign an agreement in July with the Beijing-based China Medical University to cooperate in medicinal plants research as part of the efforts to contain the A/H1N1 flu outbreak.
Guillermo Perez Ishiwara, the IPN's head of postgraduate studies and research, said Monday that herbal therapy could work alongside conventional therapy to fight the new flu strain that has killed 83 and infected 4,541 people in Mexico.
IPN is already seeking plant-based anti-viral medicine in a bid to tackle the H1N1 flu virus, Perez said.
"We are seeking to find in the two herbal traditions plants that serve as anti-virals. Some of the components of the herbal formulas may stimulate the immune response, which mean they could become an alternative in preventing any outbreak that may come in winter," he said.
"This is a virus that will emerge in a recurring manner and not just in the next winter season," Perez said, urging researchers and scientists from several institutions to work harder and join hands to fight the virus.
Javier Grandini Gonzalez, director of the IPN's National Medicine and Homeopathy School, said both Mexico and China are excellent in herbal medicine study.
The key elements of Chinese medicine is herbal medicine, followed by acupuncture, energy developing exercise Qi Gong and then massage therapy, he noted.