By Bulawayo Correspondent
SOME enterprising vendors in Bulawayo are now selling Zumbani plant leaves in the streets and in their cars.
The Zumbani plant, which has a strong balsamic citrus-like scent, is widely believed to treat Covid-19 although no confirmed medical assurance has been issued by government medical experts.
Some Covid-19 patients are said to have been healed after inhaling the plant’s steam with other users claim it possess anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Zumbani is also caffeine-free and contains some amounts of vital minerals such as copper, zinc and iron. It contains flavonoids and phenolic compounds which are water-soluble. These compounds possess antioxidant qualities, which are significantly higher than in rooibos tea.
The plant, which grows naturally in bushes, has become a much sought after traditional herb in the country.
NewZimbabwe.com this week spoke to a number of vendors in Bulawayo who reported making a brisk business from the selling the plant.
“I sourced the plant from Matobo where it is abundance mostly in the fields and along river banks. I am charging US$5 for a kg of the Zumbani leaves,” one vendor said.
“Since I started, business has been good, but the problem is how to transport the plant to town due to the Covid-19 lockdown.”
The vendor, who asked not to be named, was also covertly advertising the product to shoppers coming in and out of a supermarket located in the Bulawayo central business district.
Some traders are also now selling the herb from their cars at shopping centres in both the high and low density suburbs.
“I got the plant at my friend’s farm in Nyamandlovu. The plant is in high demand. People steam the herb together with lemon and ginger and then inhale the steam,” said Bruce Mabhena who was selling the herb at Paddonhurst shopping centre.
Some people also use Zumbani as tea leaves.
A lot of people in the country are now turning to traditional remedies and medicinal plants in treating Covid-19 patients as there is no scientifically proven treatment for the pandemic in Zimbabwe.
Health Deputy Minister John Mangwiro over the weekend revealed Zimbabwe was preparing to take delivery of Covid-19 vaccines procured under a global ground-breaking initiative led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) known as the Covax.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a spike in coronavirus infections and deaths, a development which has seen the declaration of the entire country as a Covid-19 hotspot.