Whilst herbal medicines arguably are said to cure every disease, the concerns of many are its unregulated measurement for intake and the combination of different medicinal tree species for its preparation.
For most local herbal sellers, their herbal products are packaged in unlabeled bottles and containers and sometimes tied in transparent rubber bags.
This means that a customer does not get the opportunity to know the ingredients that go into the preparation of a particular herbal product purchased.
More dangerously, the direction of use of the medicine is not at hand for the customer unless the seller orally gives out the direction.
However, there are herbal products on the Ghanaian market that has been tried and tested scientifically, well packaged with an inscription of ingredients used in preparing the medicine and the direction of use specified clearly.
As part of Crime Check Foundation’s (CCF) Health Check Series, we hit town to find out more about herbal medicines.
Speaking to a dealer in local herbal medicines known as Gifty, she touts the potency of her products and claims there are no side effects in taking the medicines as compared to exotic drugs.
‘Kraman koti’ and ‘dabodabo koti’ are some of the ingredients that she said have been used to prepare some of her medicines, which cure various serious diseases including gonorrhea, asthma, ulcer, typhoid, diabetes, stroke, etc.
“One particular medicine can cure about five diseases. The medicine can be a mixture of sometimes about fifteen different plants and it works perfectly even than exotic drugs. Doctors even patronize our medicines,” she bragged.
“We learn the prescription of the medicine from our grandparents and we also undergo some form of training before we are made to deal in herbal products. When a customer comes to us, we give them oral information on the use of the medicine after they have told us what is wrong with them,” she said.
The mother of three said she never attended antenatal or post-natal care when she gave birth to her children but depended solely on herbal medicines, which have not given her any complications.
She said she is able to sell some of the medicines at One Hundred Ghana cedis and above.
Many Ghanaians have made great strides with their knowledge in herbal medicines with their discoveries for cures for diseases such as HIV/AIDS.