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Are we Ready To Stimulate Indigenous Medicines?

MONITOR EDITOR
There is a story in this edition where a local herbalist is making inroads in the local scene with his concoctions. He vowed that the concoctions cured him of a mysterious sexually transmitted disease, after he had laid bed ridden for a long time.

He said  his father made him the concoction from known herbs in his Palapye area, resulting in him regaining his health. The story comes at a time when there is not a single commercialised Botswana herb despite abundant traditional knowledge on solutions to various kinds of healing. Ironically, our supermarkets are awash with herbs from neighbouring and far away countries, which continue to do well.

Colonialism taught us to despise any innovation of our own as Satanic, relegating traditional knowledge of healing and its herbs to the dustbins. Now we know that modern medicine, while we do not reject it, does not hold all the answers to our everyday health challenges. Now we know every culture, every human civilisation has its own unique and functioning medical response to certain ailments, and that such traditional knowledge has to be preserved and shared not only with the local people but

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with the rest of the world, just as western medicine has shared their penicillin to the whole world.

Our government must come out and boldly encourage the packaging of our traditional knowledge, as well as going as far as funding the start-ups intending to package and commercialise their knowledge of herbs.

Today one of the most profitable drugs is Viagra, that sexual stimulus, which has earned its manufacturers billions of dollars today. Yet, for generations Batswana have always prided themselves with numerous traditional concoctions and herbs that perform wonders,  perhaps even better than Viagra.

Interestingly, the local herbs appear to be performing their magic with little side effects, something that has to be commended. It is high time Botswana raised a generation of millionaires from its traditional knowledge of herbs, especially in the area of STD’s and libido enhancement, which appears to be the specialty of our herbalists.



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