By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (ZINATHA) has cautioned the public not to buy, from the streets and other undesignated areas, traditional medicines sold by unregistered and “ignorant” herbal traders.
The warning comes amid growing reports that a high number of Zimbabweans has resorted to using traditional remedies for Covid-19 treatment and protection as new infections and deaths continue to rise everyday.
Taking advantage of the demand, some enterprising people have turned to selling of various herbs they claim cure and prevent coronavirus.
However, ZINATHA president George Kandiero told NewZimbabwe.com Friday that some of the Covid-19 herbs on the market were turning out to be fake products before warning people against buying the traditional remedies from unregistered traditional healers.
“Some of these herbs, which are said to cure Covid-19 are fake and some people are using the concoction without proper being informed of proper prescription, which is dangerous to the health,” he said.
“People should desist from buying these herbs being sold in the streets by fake traditional healers who are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to make a quick buck.
“Please stop buying these so-called herbs because you will have nowhere to report to if anything goes wrong, buy from registered traditional healers.”
In his statement, Friday Vice President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga said the health ministry’s traditional medicines department was working with various researchers to find natural herbs that could cure Covid-19.
“Someone asked me whether traditional medicines such as Mufandichimuka, Moringa, Zumbani, and other herbs can be used to treat Covid-19 or substitute drugs for Covid-19?” the VP said in his statement.
“Some Traditional Doctors were said to claiming that their patients recovered after administering herbs. My comment would be that; you might be aware that some modern medicines are actually derived from traditional herbs.
“Yes, it is possible that some traditional medicines can be used to treat Covid-19 however, there is need for scientific researches to be done to ascertain their efficacy. The Ministry of Health actually operationalised the traditional medicines department, which is pre-occupied with researches in this area.”
Recently, the Zumbani plant’s leaves, which have strong balsamic citrus-like scent believed to treat the coronavirus, have been selling like hot cakes in the streets across the country.
A 1kg packet of crushed Zumbani leaves is being sold for US$5.