LEGENDS’ IN HERBAL MEDICINE : SUPERSTITION, SCIENCE AND THE ROLE OF FDA

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29/05/2021 Written By Ethel Tekpor

I had a funeral to attend at Nkonya in the Oti region of Ghana. I traveled from Battor to Ho so that I could continue my journey to Nkonya.

At the Ho station, as we waited for the the vehicle to get full, herbal medicine sellers came to sell their medications as usual. The one that caught my attention was a woman who sold medication that can prevent Scorpion sting and snake bites. She said when you are stung by a Scorpion or bitten by the snake, the medicine renders it non- poisonous and painless.

Active ingredients- Roots of a certain plant (Name not mentioned) mixed with white bentonite clay populary known as ‘Ayilor’.

I enquired of the dosage: 1 clay mixed with the herbal preparation to chewed yearly.

The interesting thing was that she had a scorpion with her which she held freely without any harm to prove the effectiveness of the medication.

The medication was being sold at GHC 2.00 and GHC 3.00

What is the way forward?

I am interested in the kind of herbal medications that was used so that research can be conducted and also the herbs tested in the lab.
Sometimes we run out of anti-snake venom in our hospitals.
If this is tested and approved by the FDA, it can be adopted and this will help reduce mortality caused by snake bites in the country.

About Author

Ethel Tekpor is the Nurse in Charge of the Cervical Cancer Prevention and Training Centre (CCPTC) in Catholic Hospital, Battor in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region of Ghana.

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