By James Muonwa
THE University of Zimbabwe (UZ), which has been leading research and innovation on Zumbani (Lippia Javanica), is on the brink of putting three products made from the locally available medicinal herb on shop shelves.
Obert Jiri, a professor at the UZ research and innovation directorate told NewZimbabwe.com, Zumbani products that have proven medicinal properties to manage Covid-19 and other ailments, were in the process of being registered with the medicines regulator, Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ).
“Research has produced some things that are helpful, such as Zumbani ointment, capsules, and tea which we are producing at the university,” he said.
“Tea is already being produced commercially as it doesn’t require special testing. As for the ointment and capsules, we are now in the process of applying to MCAZ to be allowed to trade in those.
“As a university, our duty is to test, we have done tests and now know that these products are fit for human use. So we have those products ready to commercialise. Processes for MCAZ and others are ongoing to ensure shortly we have them on our (retail shop) shelves.”
Jiri also highlighted that research was underway at the premier institution’s various faculties in order to understand the Covid-19 virus itself and how it mutates and its psychological impacts on society.
Zumbani is caffeine-free and is high in potassium, magnesium, and iron, making it ideal in regulating blood pressure.
Tea brewed from the minty lemon-flavoured wild herb, has therapeutic anti-oxidant properties earning itself the tag “fever bush tea.”
A UZ research team has previously discovered what it says is the first —that anti-oxidants found naturally in Zimbabwean herbal teas are more potent than those found in South Africa’s Rooibos, which has become a hit with tea lovers across the world.
Researchers found out Zumbani, Makoni Herbal Tea produced from the leaves of the fadogia ancylantha bush that grows mostly in the Eastern Highlands area of Zimbabwe, Mufandichimuka or Umafavuke (myrothamnus flabellifolius), Muwonde or Umkhiwa (Figtree), Moringa leaves and Baobab pulp and seed mix contained more anti-oxidant properties than most imported herbal tea brands.
Herbal medicines effectively treat an influenza infection, boost the immune system, build stamina, treat abdominal pain, including menstrual pain, backache and chest pains, coughs, and a variety of other ailments.
Studies have confirmed herbs, usually consumed in the form of tea, suppress the replication of bacteria and viruses.
In addition, some have been used as aphrodisiacs and to treat infertility in women.