By Shannon Najmabadi
When Chinese officials suggested herbal remedy ban lan gen as a preventative safeguard against the H7N9 avian flu, they were met criticism and ridicule from netizens. Despite online skepticism however, the herb has flown off pharmacy shelves, with many stores reporting to be completely sold out of the natural remedy.
And it seems that ban lan gen’s reputed remedial powers are not limited to humans. The Shanghau Daily reports that a Suzhou zoo has been feeding its animals with ban lan gen in an effort to prevent infection.
Chen Daqing, an official in charge of the zoo, said that several hundred of its wild birds,including parrots and peacocks, have been fed with Banlangen in their drinking water, in order to help them resist the H7N9 flu virus, Modern Express reported on Thursday.
“It will last for at least two weeks. After that we will decide whether or not to continue according to the situation,” Chen said.
None of the birds have so far been found to be behaving abnormally, Qian Xiaohong, head ofthe zoo’s animal management department, told the newspaper.
In addition to herbal supplements, the zoo has also altered the diets of its animals, now feeding them beef rather than chicken.