CHWs (130) What can Herbal or Traditional medicine treat?

5 July, 2019

From now I will be addressing issues concerning Traditional medicine practice.

I think it will be too elementary going back to defining traditional medicine this time around, over the years WHO has provided us with distinctive definition and definition for its practitioners. So for this report I want to address the above questions.

Herbal medicine can treat almost any condition that patients might take to their doctor. Qualify herbalists know when a condition is best seen by a doctor or another therapist.

Nobody is an island of knowledge, herbalists and other traditional medical practitioners do not relegate, discriminate other knowledge, idea or skill no matter how little or crude it may seem. Herbalist believes, and holds knowledge possess by other people in high esteem. The Yoruba language for medicine is a prove to this 'Oogun' - something extended, without end, or infinity. They even went ahead to propound that "where someone else knowledge about it stops, there begins another person" ibi ti teni kan pari si ibe ni ti elomiran ti bere. Eni to mo eyi ko mo eyi.

I recollect my father of blessed memory told me he had to treck 9 or more miles away to meet people whom he heard possess a type of document, skill or knowlege for a particular medication of a disease. He would go to them, exchange pleasantries, and been a staunch practitioner, they would exchange ideas.

Nature has provided us with all the solutions to our problems, we only need to look in more deeply to discover surrounding values, those values that are very essential for human health.

"Medical herbalists are trained in the same diagnostic skills as orthodox doctors but take a more holistic approach to illness. The underlying cause of the problem is sought and once identified, it is this which is treated, rather than the symptoms alone. The reason for this is that treatment or suppression of symptoms will not rid the body of the disease itself. Herbalist use their remedies to restore the balance of the body thus enabling it to mobilize its own healing power.

Many of the pharmaceutical drugs used today are based on plants constituents and, even now, when scientists are seeking new 'cures' for disease it is to the plant world that they turn. They find, extract and then synthesise in the laboratory a single active constituent from the plant (the active constituent is the part of the plant that has a therapeutic value), this can then be manufactured on a large scale.

However, people have always relied on plants for food to nourish and sustain the body. Herbal medicine can be seen in the same way. Plants with a particular affinity for certain organs or systems of the body are used to feed and restore to health those parts which have become weakened. As the body is strengthened so is its power and ability to fight off disease and when balance and harmony are restored, health will be regained.

Herbalists believe that the active constituents are balanced within the plant and are made more or less powerful by the numerous other substances present. It will be difficult to analyse completely the whole chemical constituent especially when dealing with natural healing, still lies hidden secret that only nature understands how it works. Herbal drugs, however are extracts from a part of the whole plant e.g leaves, roots, etc and contains hundreds, perhaps thousands of plant constituents". Journal of Christian CAM practitioners. UK

What really works in herbs are in the originality of it being natural. Psalm 104 vs 14 - And HERBS for the services of man. Nature has granted all our body required for its services and for better functioning, for the correction of every malfunctioning and management of it. The secret of the elements that works is limited to the scientific analysis. The mysteryr is in the WORD spoken by the nature that created them. The WORD will never end, it is eternity, and that is God. Science may believe in what they see and can analyse but still what is essential is invisible to the eye. Thunder don't just strike, a force controls it, forces scientific can not see.

Like attracts likes, iron sharpens iron, so is human and other natural gift, they can only complement each other. The word of Hippocratic still relevant - let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food. Vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs, palm oil, okra, water are the medicine for hunger, once you refuse to take them your body becomes restless, headache set in, loss of sleep, isolation with social well-being, because you nag often, but once, they are taking body becomes active then they are medicine. Once food is not taking in the correct proportion diseases set in, not blood tonic or chemotherapy is capable of restoring health, but adequate diet which are composed of HERBS, what are these herbs? Vegetables, melon, pepper, palm oil water. Humans are made from soil, so does vegetables originated from soil, they have affinity for each other and they are made to solve each others problems. Another fact is that, the vegetables, fruits, cereal and other food items when they are grown and ripe they are in problems if they are not eaten, eaten by man, they rotten and fails to fulfill the essence of creation, human being is their solution to their problems, to eat them as at when due, same goes for men who must eat them as food as medicine for man to fulfill the essence of its creation. It is the secret of the nature.

It is quite conceivable that some alternative medicine practitioners are using useful compounds or techniques which are not yet known to Orthodox medicine, researchers and those who make derogatory remarks. This is the skill, this is the secret of our fathers, Ohun ti agbalagba fi n jeko abe ewe lowa - the secret of the survival of our fathers remains sacred. You can not discover this, unless a reasonable provision is made for this practitioners to live a meaningful life like a Nigerian citizens.

No traditional medical practitioner set out to have products to kill, damage the health of his or her clients. But because the Nigerian system of health in the hands of 'acclaimed' Alfa and omega, they labelled the traditional medicine practice with all negatives. Sugbon nitori a ti pa Aja a n soo ni oruko buruku.


HIFA profile: Owolabi Sunday Adebayo is a Health Officer (CHW) with special interest in Herbal medicine at Ilera Eda Herbal World in Nigeria. Professional interests: Trained Community Health Extension Worker, has cert in Health Administration and Mgt and a Bsc in Health Edu. Professional interest in Traditional medicine. I operate a traditional medicine center, produce Herbal medicine.... currently treating patients with High blood pressure, stroke and breast cancer. Email address: oasisofcreative AT