With local herbs, COVID-19 can be powerless

COVID-19 is killing humans and spreading, affecting more than 90 per cent of world’s population in various ways, and it is a priority for me as a physician to think and research about solutions. The population most vulnerable to Covid-19 are the elderly ones, people with immune system health problems, people with chronic diseases like diabetes, renal diseases etc. However, that does not mean anyone cannot be infected by the virus, hence taking preventive measures is very very important.Currently, recommended measures to prevent Covid-19 infection include frequent hand washing, maintaining physical distance from others (especially from those with symptoms), covering coughs, and keeping unwashed hands away from the face. In addition, the use of a face covering is recommended for those who suspect they have the virus and their caregivers.  Recommendations for face covering use by the general public vary, with some authorities recommending against their use, some recommending their use, and others requiring their use. The more scientists learn or discover about the virus, the more preventive guidelines because is  is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

Every human on earth consumes herbs either as food ( vegetables, spices ) or as medicine. The history of using herbs as food or as medicine is as old as human existence on earth. Is the first way humans rely on for health promotion and according to WHO, almost 80 per cent of world population still rely on them. Herbs are created by God for human consumption to survive, to keep living. Our life depends on them. Even if we don’t consume them as medicine, they have an important role to play in our ecosystem and without them, no life would exist on earth. In this critical period, I will urge our government to boldly step up to the challenge and make use of our local herbs quick solution to the virus because the more we linger on how finding solution, the more terrible the impacts will be on our nation.  For over 20 years, I have applied several herbal preparations on various chronic diseases with good results. Nigeria is blessed with thousands of medicinal plants that which majority can be harvested free of charge in various forests across the country.

We have several journals published by universities and professors on thousands of herbs and after the results, nothing more. Most of those journals are only kept in shelves. Implementation of those research findings remains a future plan, yet many are dying from diseases such herbs can cure them of. The health care system is one of the systems that involves human life and at such should be a team work between conventional medical practitioners and natural medical practitioners. We need to work together to take care of the health of our people. Millions of  individual Nigerians are visiting various herbalists for treatment and prevention of diseases and our people buy millions of dollars herbal products from abroad yearly on multilevel marketing platforms among others. Apart from improving our health care delivery, integrating herbal medicine into our health care system will also boost our economy and provide jobs for many Nigerians.

We have National Association of Traditional Medicine Practitioners, we have Nigerian Council of Physicians of Natural Medicine and Association Of Practitioners Complementary And Alternative Medicine with knowledgeable and qualified members who can handle various health problems with use of our local herbs. I urge our government to absorb them into the health care system to assist in our health care delivery.  We have several medicinal herbs that can cure Covid-19 and other viruses  threatening the life of Nigerians. One of such plant is Chenopodium ambrosioides ( Arunpale, ewe Imi in Yoruba, Wormwood in English). Powerfully packed with antiinflammatory properties,  antimalarial, antiasthmatic, antipyretic, ( this can really help reduce the feverish symptom found in Covid-19. This phytochemical will have great effects on respiratory distress symptom found in Covid-19 victims. These herb with all it’s medicinal properties can be steamed to help expel excess mucous from the respiratory tract. Tetrapleura tetraptera seed (aidan in Yoruba, Kalangon daji (H) can be cut to pieces, boiled and steamed too. This herb is also one of the plants used for respiratory diseases like asthma, pneumonia, cough and is also antimalarial and antipyretic among others when consumed orally.Nutritionally, Tetrapleura tetraptera also contains several minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc etc. Zinc will be seriously needed by people who are infected with virus, especially Covid 19 because zinc has potential to kill virus in a special way. It shut down cells copy machines ( inside the nucleus) cells has a duplicating machine in them which they use to replicate themselves, but viruses once in human system, enters into the cells and hijack the machine, use it to replicate themselves and attack specific tissue or tissues. But zink shuts that process off from them

Though zinc is Ion and it cannot get into cells due to their fatty layer, however, Chloroquine/quinine is a substance that can help transport zinc into the cells. So if we have enough zinc in our blood stream with chloroquine, the first stage of viruses, which involved hijacking healthy cells copy machines  and duplicate themselves will be difficult or prevented. Several herbs with quinine and zinc properties can really be helpful and we have several of them, there will be need for qualified herbalists to help with  combinations of those herbs and dosages though. Some research has shown the effectiveness of chloroquine in the treatment of Covid-19. We have several herbs with such phytochemicals like anthocleista djalonesis bark root (sapo in Yoruba) is a powerful antipyretic plant. Though it has laxative effect, it contains some phytochemicals that will be useful in battling Covid-19. For example, it contains Loganoside which plays an important role in the partial synthesis of alkaloids such as quinine. Enanthia chloranta another wonderful herb available for trials on Covid-19. (awopa in Yoruba ) Several studies of the stem bark of Enanthia chloranta has shown that it contains  berberine and protoberberine alkaloids possessing antimalarial, antibacterial, trypanosomicida anti-HIV, hepatoprotective, cytoprotective and ulcer healing properties.

The many benefits derived from morinda lucida is owed to the high contents of vitamins A, K and E, alkaloids and other phytochemicals which are powerful antioxidant bioactive components like flavonoids which are effective as free radical scavengers, have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, ANTI-VIRAL, anti-proliferative and anti-carcinogenic properties. Is commonly used in treatments of hepatitis viral infection, measles and HIV and it has immune-modulating effects which are very important in treatment of any viral infection. God has blessed us with many powerful herbs that can cure us of any disease, and since those herbs are a gift to us from God, using them to improve our health will always come with good results. We just need to be humble and open-minded despite our social, financial and educational status to use them, evidences are available that they are effective. I have isolated more than 15 herbs that can be combined in different ways to treat Covid 19 and all are available here in Nigeria. We have Macaranga barteri, Ageratum conozoides, Mistletoe ( on Garcinia kola tree), Nicotina tabacum, Nauclea latifolia etc and more we used in traditional medicine for viral infections with great success. Government can work with herbal medicine practitioners urgently to analyse how to combine two or three or four of those plants to get a remedy and am also very sure that many practitioners are in possession of several herbal preparations that can fight Covid 19.

  • Dr. Logbo is a chiropractor and herbalist



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