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Experts in the pharmacognosy sector have urged Nigerians to consume herbal medicines for their efficacy in preventing and curing various ailments
At the African Traditional Medicine Day in Nigeria, a Professor of Pharmacognosy, Maurice Iwu said research has shown that natural medicines have therapeutic efficacy.
He spoke on “Herbs for health: application and development,” at the forum organised by the Model Herbal Clinic of the Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Iwu, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Bio-Resource Development Group, disclosed that herbal medicines have little or no side effects.
He said Nigeria should adopt and project its natural medicines as China and India, whose products are being recognised and widely used globally due to their effectiveness.
According to him, unlike the synthetic medicines that are produced from chemicals, which side effects are poisonous to the health, natural medicines are made from natural plants, fruits, vegetables and food the nutrients of which are highly beneficial to health.
Iwu, who experimented on Bitter Kola during the Ebola crisis said African food and herbs have shown to be more curative and preventive agents of diseases and should be projected and standardised in the country.
He explained that there have been several misconceptions about the toxicity, efficacy and quality of presentation of the local manufacturing of herbal medicines due to the lack of good manufacturing practices.
‘Traditional medicine has a lot to offer, the core of it being the use of herbs for treatment, which is different from western medicines that use chemicals for treatment. The advantage of herbal medicines is that it is from our natural environment, while the synthetic drugs have been isolated from the plants,” he said.
The professor condemned cultivated and processed foods outside the country, saying they pose a great risk to health, regardless of how good it may look, as they have been preserved with chemicals to avoid rot.