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Doctor embraces herbs for healing, narrates experiences in books

By Chukwuma Muanya, Assistant Editor (Head Insight Team, Science and Technology)
12 May 2016   |   1:28 am
Oyelami said clinical botanical medicine is part of alternative medicine and deals with the use of herbs and related natural products to effect clinical cure.
Oyelami said clinical botanical medicine is part of alternative medicine and deals with the use of herbs and related natural products to effect clinical cure.

Oyelami said clinical botanical medicine is part of alternative medicine and deals with the use of herbs and related natural products to effect clinical cure.

A professor of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, and the Physician-in-Charge, Wesley Guild Hospital, OAU Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Oyeku Akibu Oyelami, has embraced local herbs for treating diseases and has narrated his experience with herbs that heal in three books: “A Clinician’s Experience With Herbs That Heal”; “Achieving Good Health Naturally”; and “The Magic of Aloe Vera.”

Oyelami is an allopathic medical practitioner schooled to a high degree in orthodox medical practice but has come to appreciate the power of plants to positively influence the quality of care, which he can give to his patients. He has through close observation and careful experimentation been able to put these books together for the benefit of not just his colleagues but also the general public.

Oyelami said clinical botanical medicine is part of alternative medicine and deals with the use of herbs and related natural products to effect clinical cure.

He explained: “The word alternative presupposes there must be a mainstream one and the mainstream medicine is what I was trained in as have many people who will read this book. The mainstream medicine is called Allopathy just like there are other alternative therapies like homeopathy, acupuncture, urine therapy, osteopathy and herbal medicine.

“Allopathy is the orthodox medical practice. This is essentially treatment of diseases by drugs (main synthetic) whose effect on the body is the opposite to that of diseases…”

A Clinician’s Experience With Herbs That Heal is a 125-page book with 16 chapters, which was first published in 2011 by Amkra Books Ilupeju Estate Lagos.

Some of the topics discussed by the chapters include: An overview of herbal medicine; Honey; Aloe vera; Grapefruit seeds; Pawpaw; Bitter kola; Avocado; Malaria; Diabetes mellitus; Cancer; HIV/AIDS; Common skin ailments; and Adverse effects.

Professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Adebayo Lamikanra, in the foreword to the book noted: “…Herbal medicine was standard practice all over the world until very recently as only sixty or so years ago when chemically designed drugs became available for the effective treatment of deadly ailments such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, anaemia’s to mention only a few conditions that undermined human existence. The fact that human kind survived in the pre-chemotherapeutic age is testimony to the power of herbal drugs. Professor Oyelami has observed the effectiveness of some plants in making his patients better but acknowledges that a great deal of work still needs to be done if the potential of herbal medicines is to be fully realized and he is a strong advocate for research not only into herbs that cure disease but those that maintain good health as well…”

Oyelami in his preface to the Book noted: “…Unfortunately, the mere fact that the plant is safe in animals does not guarantee safety in human beings. Hence even though it sounds paradoxical, the best ‘guinea pigs’ for drug trial of human being is human being himself. Secondly, while the isolate of a plant is toxic, the whole plant may not be… The time of harvest and method of preparation can alter solubility, pharm kinetics and other important factors in botanical medicine.

“These various factors highlight the limitations in writing any didactic work on the use of herbs. This book therefore needs to be seen as work in motion and a challenge to other medical practitioners who may need to add their experience to what is highlighted in this book.”

Achieving Good Health Naturally is a 71-page book with 12 chapters, which was first published by Amkra Book in 2009. Some of the topics discussed in the chapters include: Your woman and your health; Pregnancy and delivery; Breast feeding; Weaning; Beans; Fruits and vegetable; Lime; Onions; Water; Work for healthy living; Ageing human being; and Summary.

Oyelami in a Preface to the book noted: “It is becoming increasingly clear to most medical experts that more than 90 per cent of diseases can be traced to faulty life style, particularly the sufferer’s diet. Unfortunately, nothing much is taught about lifestyle in the Medical school. The major preoccupation in Medical schools is the teaching of diseases and how they are brought about rather than their prevention through natural living.

“…The aim of this book is to contribute to the present discourse on the role of proper diet and life style in the maintenance of good health is not so much of a gift but what each individual will need to relentlessly work. Good health cannot be a gift from the doctor; each individual holds the destiny of his hands. At least the doctor can only be an adviser and that is the important message each reader is supposed to take from this book.”

The Magic of Aloe Vera is a 69-page book with 12 chapters, which was first published by Amkra Books in 2013.

A professor of Botany from OAU, Julius Olaoye Faluyi, in his Foreword to the book noted: “The Magic of Aloe vera is a book detailing the results of the trials conducted using the plant Aloe vera to treat a wide range of skin diseases like scabies, ringworm, acne, wounds; other ailments like constipation, diabetes, Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and cancer. The method of presentation is empirical; they are case reports of patients who have undergone therapy in the classical tradition of drug trials. The reader is taken through the results of the trials including the side effects reported by the patients. The fact that no strict usage regimens were recommended seems to me a strength because there are definitive suggestions and guidance about how much a patient can take of Aloe vera and how it is to be administered.

“This book opens up with a chapter on the botany, chemical composition and cultivation of Aloe vera. The next chapter does a medical overview of the pathogenesis of disease setting the tone for the style of the write-up, which is to educate the readers about the body, especially its physiology in health and in sickness and the mechanism of drug action during therapy. The style is sustained in a simple language shorn of medical terminologies. The author has also exploited his indigenous knowledge of and wisdom from other cultures to educate readers about their responsibilities to nurture their minds in a-love-and-to-be-loved existence in order to maintain complete health…”

Oyelami in his Preface in the book noted: “…The aim of this book is to report the result of these limited trials to the general public so that they can benefit from what the plant has to offer especially since the plant has been certified safe in the United States of America as food supplement. The information can also be useful to scientists as well as medical doctors, who may want to experiment with the plant since it is cheap, readily available and it can be readily cultivated as will be highlighted in some of the chapters in this book.”

Oyelami in his introduction to the book added: “…I have been living with Aloe vera plantation for more than fifteen years but the work which my wife and I have been able to do on the plant is minuscule compared to what the plant is reputed to be able to do. Using the yardstick of evidence-based medicine, it will take us several earth lives to be able to unravel the mystery of this unique plant. Hence the purpose of this book is a cry for help, an invitation for other medical scientists to join us in unraveling what Aloe vera can do to bring succor to ailing human beings who can hardly afford the imported, synthetic Western medicine.”

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