The use of different parts of plants to treat diseases in Africa is no longer news. Roots, barks, leaves, stems or the whole body, medicinal plants have found uses for ages for many of us here. What have been missing so far are the full exploitations of these plants.
Growing up in Nigeria exposes me to many uses of plants to remediate infections and disease. From using mango leaves and barks to treat malaria, cashew leaves to treat sore throat and cough, bitterleaf to treat dysentery and pile and so on, I’ve witnessed the wonders of raw phytomedicine. Perhaps that was why the introduction of Moringa plant back then as a wonder plant for all ailments kind of irked me. I know many other plants that can serve similar purposes.
While many plants have been known, it is believed that millions of plants are yet to be discovered, and that it would take many years for them to be fully explored and categorized. Although the issue of acceptability of these medicinal plants is also an issue, there are other concerns I have that I believe are more important. First of this is availability.
Due to climate, weather and soil types, most known medicinal plants are not universally available. The types found in Africa are mostly those common to tropical regions. Other regions will boasts of other kinds of plants that we don’t have here. This creates some form of imbalance because of the popularity of these medicinal plants. For example, green teas from China are arguably the most hyped medicinal plants in the world, and rightly so because of their health benefit.
But the question that I’ve been asking recently is: don’t we have the equivalents of these plants here?
Despite the sheer number of plants that we use here, there are still hundreds of undiscovered ones which haven’t been researched at all. Even those known to ameliorate certain conditions have not been tested for other qualities as well.
That’s part of what MicroBiotics wants to address: investigating the medicinal potentials of available plants in Nigerian and African regions as well, and how to extract useful products from them. Even attempts would be made to investigate the synergistic effects of using multiple plants products to cure/prevent certain diseases and infections.
We are hoping to work with plant scientists, phytopharmacologists, pharmaceutical microbiologists, plant and pharmacological biochemists and host of others in affiliated fields. If your research interests align with ours in this area, fill the form below and join us. Cheers.