By Fred ItuaAbuja
At On February 22, scientists, politicians and alternative medicine stakeholders in Nigeria gathered in Abuja to chart a new course for herbal medicine in the country, during the public presentation of Healing Plants of Nigeria: Ethnomedicine and Therapeutic Applications , authored by Rev. Fr. Anselm Adodo and Prof. Maurice Iwu.
Published in 2020, the 332-page book highlights the applications of herbal medicines for the treatment of malaria, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and opportunistic human immunodeficiency virus infections. /acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), among others. diseases.
The material offers comprehensive information on the use of herbal medicine in West Africa. Combining an evidence-based ethnobotanical perspective with a pharmacological and pharmaceutical approach to phytomedicine, the book bridges the gap between the study of the pharmacological properties of medicinal plants and active compounds for clinical drug development and community-driven approaches. , emphasizing on using them.
It demonstrates how the framework of traditional African medicine can be preserved in a contemporary clinical context. The book describes the history and beliefs surrounding the traditional use of herbs by local people as well as their application in contemporary herbal medicine in West Africa. It presents a critical assessment of the scientific rationale for the use of these plants in ethnomedicine and offers a composite catalog of herbal and wellness agents, detailing the safety profile, efficacy and scientific integrity of the plants used. to treat disease and optimize health.
During the event, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu; the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Iwu, and other scholars have reflected on the development of alternative medicine in Nigeria.
Onu, who was the guest of honor, said his ministry would soon unveil a cure for prostate cancer, revealing that the research had reached an advanced stage. He also urged researchers to work harder and ensure that alternative medicine is promoted on the world stage.
He said: “We are fortunate to have distinguished authors who look back and unravel what our ancestors did. They also show us the need to go back and use these things. We don’t need to import into Nigeria the things that we can produce ourselves.
“We have so many herbal medicines that can make Nigeria great. To be a leader in the world, we have to have something that will draw people here. We have to lead the way in an area. We can lead and others will follow. We can close the gaps that currently exist and in no time we will be overtaking.
“Today we know that in our forests we can cure diseases. We are doing something about prostate cancer and very soon we will tell the world what we have done. Nigerians are doing well across the globe. If they can do well there, they can do well here too.
“The insecurity will be much worse if Nigerians are hungry and cannot feed themselves. We need to start protecting our environment. Nigeria is a great nation and we will achieve great things together.
Event chairman Adewale Adebayo said, “I like the idea that we continue to challenge orthodoxy. We need to understand the importance of alternative medicine. Thought processes are what lead to many developments that we see in society.
“Medically, we have made progress. What this book has shown us is that we can retrace our steps. Now that the western world is beginning to realize that it has limitations in medicine, it’s time to up our game. I congratulate the writers and hope this is the start of greater things to come. Anyone who wants to look into medicine will find this book useful.
Guest speaker Professor Olabayo Kunle said, “Access to health care and conventional medicine is still poor. We need our people to trust alternative medicine. The issue of accessibility is important. Nigerians must be able to afford it. The use of herbal medicine is growing.
“Unfortunately, we don’t see the herbal medicine we produce here as an alternative, we rely more on conventional medicine. The economics around herbal medicine are not enough to fund research and development in the field. When COVID-19 has arrived, some claimed a cure has been achieved. Where are the treatments? Today we are all lining up to get the vaccine.
Iwu is considered one of the best pharmacologists and experts in tropical medicine in Africa. He is a member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene as well as the International Society for Medicinal Plant Research. He was Executive Director of the Bioresources Development and Conservation Program and a Principal Investigator and Associate in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington DC.
On the other hand, Adodo is a member of the Benedictine Order of the Catholic Church. He was ordained a priest in 1997. He received his initial philosophical training in philosophy at the monastery of Saint-Benoît d’Ewu. He is the founder and director of Nigeria’s leading herbal medicine research institute, the Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories popularly known as Paxherbals.