Panel Probes Herbal Cure Claims For Ebola Virus, Others
Thursday, 07 August 2014• Scientists identify antiviral plants
• Why bitter kola can stop the disease
A Scientific Committee on Verification of Herbal Cure Claims set up last year by the National Agency for Food, Drug and Control (NAFDAC) have begun probe of herbal cure claims for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes.
There is no cure for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), says the World Health Organisation (WHO). But local studies by Nigerian scientists and several foreign kinds of research indicate that plants or rather herbal medicine hold the hope for a globally accepted cure for EVB.
Indeed, researchers have identified asthma herb (Euphorbia hirta), pawpaw (Carica papaya), neem tree (Azadirachta indica), lemongrass (Cymbopogum citratus), bitter melon (Momordica charantia) and guava (Psidium guajava) extracts as potential cures for viral infections.
In fact, a member of the committee inaugurated by the Director General of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, to champion the development of herbal medicine through scientific validation of all the cure claims, Dr. Ben Amodu, says he has the cure for EVD.
Amodu, a pharmacist, and his team of researchers from Halamin Herbal center, Abuja and Department of Histopathology and Cytology, Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) Jos, Plateau State, found that the polyherbal preparations strengthen the immune system through many cytokines and chemokines regulations.
The pharmacist said his team is a step closer to a universally accepted cure for Ebola virus, dengue fever and leishmaniasis and that the herbal preparation has also been successfully used, in clinical studies, to treat hepatitis B and C, cancer, diabetes and tuberculosis.
Amodu told The Guardian yesterday: “Base on the fact that our products have been peer reviewed for denque fever and other similar viral fever and published and currently the combination of our products SAABMAL, DAABS 2 & SAAAB are currently undergoing peer review for EVD for publications. Our products have lots of positive effects on Ebola virus.”
NAFDAC DG also confirmed to The Guardian yesterday that Amodu has samples of hispoly herbal preparations for the treatment of EVD to the Scientific Committee on Verification of Herbal Cure Claims.
Also, the executive director of the Bio-resources Development and Conservation Programme, Prof. Maurice Iwu, has given reasons why bitter kola (Garcinia kola) can stop EVD. Iwu, a professor of Pharmacognosy from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) said that an extract derived from the seeds of bitter kola could inhibit Ebola virus in cell culture at non-toxic concentrations.