Investigations by The Reporter revealed that many people now take herbal concoctions in a bid to protect themselves against the virus. Herbal leaves mostly consumed are Dongoyaro, Guava tea leaves and lemon grass.
Nigerians, who spoke with The Reporter on why they consume these herbs, believed they are good to protect the body against germs and infectious disease like COVID-19.
Mrs Hannah Bankole told The Hope that “our forefathers never used tablets or went to any hospitals but they protected themselves against diseases through these herbs. These herbs have been working for us and it is good for one to protect himself or herself against this virus.
Similarly, Miss Temitope Sola also said she used to boil the leaves and drink every day. According to her, taking the herbs will fortify her body to resist the virus or kill it before it spreads to any part of her body.
A septuagenarian, Alagba James Orimisan stated that herbs are powerful against diseases of any kind and tablets used to treat people with COVID-19 are extracted from herbs. He believed that taking local concoction is the best way to protect against or treat coronavirus infection.
In addition to consumption of herbs, The Hope also gathered that the consumption of ginger, garlic and turmeric is now very high among Nigerians. It was revealed that people consume garlic in its raw form and also cook it (also ginger and garlic) with their food.
A condiments seller, Mrs Anabel Ugwochi told The Reporter that the demand for these items in her shop had tripled than what was obtained before the pandemic.
“People are really buying them because of the ‘coronavirus’. They said it is good to kill the virus and me too I have been eating and cooking it with my food. It is really good and I am happy my market is selling too”, she said with a big grin on her face.
Mrs Christiana Ojo, in an interview with The Hope, said that mixing garlic, ginger and turmeric with food is the best way to fight the novel virus. “I always add them to any soup or stew that I prepare and my husband and children like it that way. Sometimes, I eat the garlic raw but due to the smell, it is usually nice to cook it with stew”.
Meanwhile, despite several warnings from health experts against unhealthy consumption of Chloroquine, investigation revealed that the demand for the tablet has not subsided.
A visit to some of the pharmacists in Akure revealed that many people had been coming to purchase Chloroquine tablet without any prescription by medical experts, hence, the price of the tablets had skyrocketed and it has become a scarce commodity.
In view of this development, health experts have however warned that despite the fact that ginger, garlic, turmeric and herbs are good for the body system, they cannot prevent people from contracting the virus or cure it.
According to a biochemist and a laboratory scientist, Miss Oluwadamilola Adepoju explained that ginger, garlic and turmeric “have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and they can only make the immune system of the body stronger and resistant against invading diseases and infections”.
A medical expert, Dr Omomehin Babatunde, who also acknowledged the potency of the items in boosting the immune system, warned that people must adhere strictly to Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines as there is no known cure or vaccine for the novel virus.
“Maintain physical distancing for about two metres. Adopt wearing of nose masks. Wearing of faceshield without nosemasks is not proper. If you feel like wearing a face-shield, make sure you wear a nose mask. Ensure you wash your hands and use recommended hand sanitisers”.
“The virus is a novel one; it is still new. Scientists all over the world are still studying it and coming up with difeerent things every day. We just need to make sure we keep safe.
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