- February 24, 2016
- Posted by: emobile
- Category: Trending Issues
Emobileclinic Trending Issues
Where is Nigeria Herbal Medicine?
I described a stone-like natural product on one of my social media yesterday; hoping people will help to find the name to the stone in English. In my dialect the stone is called ” itanuroko” which means hot pepper from an ” iroko tree”. Metaphorically named after its ‘pepperish’ nature when cooked. Since I got no response I would like to call this stone ‘Yemijunite stone’ named after my grandma. The efficacy of Yemijunite stone for measles eradication whenever it occurs in children is known only to some certain tribes in Nigeria. Commonly used by people of the riverside of Ondo State (okitipupa,Ayede,Ikale,Ilaje,Ore,Igotako). As a kid back then, whenever I heard about life lost due Measles I would ask why Yemijunite stone was not used. I could not understand why common measles that will not take Yemijunite Stone 3 days would kill children.
There are other natural products my grandma knows for different illnesses before we started taken the easy way out-(Vaccines). Now we have vaccines for everything but the question still remains; where is our traditional herbal medicine? Are they going to be faced out? If you compare now and then so many illnesses, viruses, infections and what have you, are springing up every day. I am a fan of Chinese tradition because I love their originality. Acupuncture is so popular worldwide now. The traditional Chinese’s ”acupuncture applies needles, heat, pressure and other treatments to certain places on the skin to cause a change in the physical functions of the body”. Its used is dated back thousands ago ”to prevent, diagnose and treat disease”. This practice is based on the believe that ”q1 (vital energy) flows through the body along a network of paths, called meridians” Acupuncture is presently making waves into UK and America Studies. According to WebMD ” most acupuncturists in the United States practice acupuncture according to the traditions of Chinese medicine”. Acupuncture has been proven to help control cancer treatment symptoms, back pain, Fibromyalgia pain, helps reduce stress, helps to reduce blood pressure, ease neck pain, works for Arthritis, the lists are endless. The reason for acupuncture acceptability isn’t farfetched. Their doctors believe in acupuncture. A lot of Americans are presently receiving acupuncture shots and so many researchers are looking into the processes as alternative to most unsuccessful modern medical practices.
I am very sure in soonest time acupuncture will find its way to Nigeria Medical practice where it will be studied as a course. If we are studying other countries medical practice (for the benefits of our citizens) which ‘am not against why can’t we include some of our traditional herbal medicine into the study. In my opinion if there are researchers studying these products wouldn’t it be beneficial to the whole world just like acupuncture? Where are our indigenous pharmaceutical companies? Can’t they research some of these our natural plants? I stumbled upon an article on line by Tayo Olaleye .He also expressed his opinion on the subject as follows;
”Most traditional medicines are of plant origins. Nature has gifted us with so many medicines infused in the leaves, stalks and barks of plants. It’s amazing! Take for example, quinine, on which a lot of anti-malaria are based on, can be found on the bark of Cinchona trees native to South America. It is thought that South Americans, Peruvians in particular, would make some kind of concoction with the back of the tree and sweetened water. Quinine was found to be effective in the treatment of malaria and it was used as an antimalarial for decades. Although Quinine can be extracted directly from the plant, it was eventually chemically synthesized in laboratories around the world and formed a basis for quinine-related medications. Pigenil, a marketed drug in Italy used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, increased prostate size) is composed of extracts of the bark of a plant, Prunus africana, native to some parts of Africa. Also, turmeric a member of the ginger family and sometimes an ingredient in Nigerian or Asian fried rice, has a potential to be used as an anti-cancer agent as well as having anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory properties? Or that castor oil can be used in arthritis treatment?
As a child, my mum had a bottle of what I call ‘nasty bitter horrible stuff’ aka ‘agbo jedi’. I hated that concoction. Yet, a lot of people swear by its health benefit. Another plant whose health benefit is widely known in Nigeria is the ‘Dogon Yaro’ plant (Neem tree). The Neem tree (Azadirachta indica) is thought to have antifungal, antibacterial, anti-micriobial, anti-oxidant and anti-malarial properties amongst many others. As far as I am aware, the chemical components of the Neem tree are yet to be thoroughly explored.
We as a country are sitting on a vast amount of plant-derived medications. We can do some research, or send these medicinal plants to laboratories around the world that specialize in natural product synthesis. We can learn a lot about the key components in the plants that are responsible for the efficacy observed in sick patients, we can learn the doses, the mechanism of action and if all goes well, we might have another Pigenil on our hands”.
Food for thought!