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Catholic nuns promote use of herbal medicines

SOME Roman Catholic nuns in Domboshava are seeking to eliminate the use of drugs considered toxic through the establishment of herbal gardens meant to provide alternative medicines.

BY DALPHINE TAGWIREYI

The Little Children of our Blessed Lady (LCBL) sisters recently opened a herbal processing plant built at a cost of US$20 000 with the assistance of the US embassy and other partners. The processing plant at Makumbi Mission also has a counselling and consultation room.

Chairperson of the project, Glover Madzima, said the processing plant was a significant milestone which would go a long way in providing quality herbal medicinal products and services.

“In recent years, we witnessed and recorded notable success in reaching out to many, especially the poor and marginalised in the communities. Even so, we still have a long way to go, and only through a joint effort will we be able to reach our fundamental goal,” he said.

Madzima said the project was working with support groups of people living with HIV and Aids.

He said many activities for the support groups have been supported to ensure that members live healthy and positive lives.

LCBL’s Sister Yullita Chirawu said the processing plant was a culmination of work that began in 2006.

“This project was started when one of our members realised that many people were dying prematurely with prescriptions in their hands due to shortage of drugs while for some it was due to financial constraints,” she said. “Hence we thought of revisiting the issue of herbal medicines because they are available, user friendly and cost effective.”

Sister Chirawu said most of the herbs were taken as teas and vegetables. She said the dividing line between herbs and food was very thin with herbs also being considered as nutritious.

The Catholic nuns grow, harvest, process and do the packaging of the herbal plants. A garden of various herbs such as aloe vera, wormwood, yarrow and others is tended to by volunteers as well as support group members who also help in the final processing.

Siphiwe Ngwerume (51) used to experience sore legs and constant headaches and tried the herbs after learning that they boosted the immune system.

She said after using herbal tea and soap as well as cream, the pain was now a thing of the past.

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