Recent studies have shown that about 80% of the worlds population still depend on traditional herbal medicine for their well being This is because these herbs are obtained from the purest natural sources and they have no artificial chemicals.
These herbal medications are still very popular in west africa today, they are used mostly in the rural communities due to several reasons that will be explained later on in this post. One of the most popular traditional medicine in Nigerian is ‘Agbo’. This drug is one of the oldest traditional medicine in the country.
Agbo is a native herbal drug that consist mainly of roots gotten from specific trees. This herb is very affordable and it said to have various benefits. The drug is popularly called Agbo or Agbo Jedi Jedi by the Yoruba tribe and is hawked mostly in the rural areas of the country. Women who sell Agbo are referred to in Yoruba language as ‘EleweOmo’. Many still partronize sellers of this herbal medicine because the strongly believe its keeps them healthy.
Traditionlist who make Agbo, seek for purest roots and bark of specific trees. They are then thoroughly boiled and soaked for days in a bottle before it can be used with the prescriptions given by the expert.
Agbo is sometimes mixed with alcohol for the youths and elderly, this method is mostly preferred.
Ailment Cured with Agbo
Agbo has been used by traditionalist to cure several ailments for many years, this is one of the reason why many still prefer the herb to western medicine.
Some of the ailment that cured with Agbo are;
Herbal doctors in Africa rely solely on their form of medication and have all natural remedies to most of the common ailment. If the symptom where to still persist, after treatment another form of medication will then be prescribed.
Method of Usages.
Agbo can either be drank or used to bath depending on the type of ailment. However, most people prefer to drink Agbo because its believed to be very effective that way.
Agbo is also a very bitter medicine. This is a known fact by all who take the drug. It leaves a harsh taste in the mouth. Nigerian Mothers who give their children this herbs say they often cry at the sight Agbo because of the taste.
Why People Prefer Agbo
For many years they have been several testimonies on the benefits of Agbo leading to why many prefer this herbal drink as a first choice of home remedy. Some of the major reasons why people still prefer this native drink because its very affordable and its also has a lot of health benefits.
The believe is based on the fact that herbal medicine had been in existence before the introduction of western medicine and it made the fore father very healthy.
Traditionalist also say that drugs that undergoes industrial and chemical processes sometimes times have negative side effect on the body, therefore they should be avoided. This is why people should rely more on herbs for good health.
The use of herbal medicines among Nigerians and the tendency by patients to combine this class of medicines with allopathic drugs while on hospital admission is on the increase .
The combination of modern drugs and traditional herbal remedies is a fast growing practice among many Nigerians as many people believe in their efficacies. These herbal remedies, popularly known as “agbo” among the south-west locals of Nigeria, are employed in the treatment of many common diseases. They include typhoid fever, malaria, and less common diseases, of which are the sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea and staphylococcus. The reasons for this include affordability of these remedies as well superstitious beliefs commonly spread by the traditional herbal medicine practitioners, and their patrons alike, contribute immensely to the increase in consumption of these herbal remedies [2-4].
This is despite the availability of modern drug formulations . Traditional medicine is still the predominant means in the third world for the preservation of health of the rural majority who constitute over 70% of the total population . However, adequate knowledge of the methods of preparation, the possible toxicological effects of some chemical species present in the ingredients and the side effects of the various mixtures are usually unknown to many who patronize herbal medicines (since herbs contain hundreds of plant chemicals in varied concentrations) which if not properly utilised can pose a threat to the health of the consumer and could lead to the damage of vital organs such as liver and kidney that are involved in the metabolism and evacuation of toxic chemicals in the body.
Unfortunately the belief in the efficacy of herbal remedies by an average Nigerian outweighs individual knowledge of the pharmacological effects of these medicines and this could prove fatal in many cases.
The study was therefore carried out to determine phytochemicals present in some locally produced herbal remedies in Lagos, Nigeria and to evaluate antioxidant properties of common herbal remedies locally prepared in Lagos, Nigeria and the probable toxic effects of these herbal remedies.
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