Nyoni urges herbalists to collaborate with universities


Bulawayo (New Ziana) – Local herbalists should collaborate with local universities, researchers and scientists to ensure their medicines are tested and certified so that they can be sold on the global market, a cabinet minister said on Friday.

In an interview, Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister, Stembiso Nyoni said value addition and processing were key to ensuring that local traditional medicines competed on the global market.

She spoke after touring a small business expo here.

“When the colonialists came in our country, we had our own doctors and elderly people who knew herbs, leaves and tree roots which were good for our health. We had our own medicines and up to today they still work. We were then told (by colonial rulers) that our medicines are demonic and satanic,” she said.

“When I toured stands I saw some herbalists. I want to encourage you not to look down upon yourselves. Our medicines are still working till today and they don’t have side effects. Those who deal with natural medicines, I want to encourage you to go to the Standards Association of Zimbabwe so that your medicines are tested and certified. You should also work with scientists, our own universities and researchers so as to improve our own traditional medicines,” Nyoni added.

She encouraged herbalists not to be shy of their work, and the public to use traditional medicine more, saying in some cases this was safer than conventional drugs.

“Let’s call ourselves doctors or healers or any term that our government accepts. Let us not bury our knowledge and experience because the western medicine is taking over. For your own information, it has been proved that a lot of the prescribed medicine kill people slowly because in those medicines there are chemicals that have got side effects which they don’t tell us about,” Nyoni said.

New Ziana

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