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CONTRIBUTION OF AFRICAN BOTANICA TO HUMANITY

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					  CONTRIBUTION OF AFRICAN BOTANICA TO
               HUMANITY
         Plants are living organisms growing from the soil or water, having roots,
stem and leaves. Plants generally range from microscopic to macroscopic algae,
herbs, shrubs and trees.
         Plants generally respire, grow, move, excrete, feed and respond to stimuli.
Each plant is differentiated into roots, stem, leaves, flowers, (or cones) with each
plant having its own distinct features and medicinal values and uses in Africa.
         The use of plants has been recorded as early as 2500BC. Ancient clay tablets
found revealed that the ancient Sumerians use them. Ancient physicians and
philosophers used but plants to cure the sick. Even the very first and ever true
medicines used were those derived from the plants kingdom.
         Although there are other forms of medications – like Hydrotherapy
(treatment with water), Heliotherapy (treatment with the sun), Geotherapy
(treatment with mud and clay), plants houses the best medicines that nature can
offer for humanity.
         In the Bible it is written, “ ……for the leaves of the trees are for the
healing of the nations” (Eze. 47: 2 & Rev. 22: 1-2). In Biological science it is
being said and written “…. No plants, no life”. From these quotations it is
therefore clear that plants are of great importance to humanity and any neglect of
plants will be a grave mistake.
         Plants generally act as Acidifiers, Alkalinizers, Astringents, laxatives, tonics,
diuretics, Diaphoretics, Preventives, etc. Most often we are able to differentiate
three types of plants by taste: Acidic plants (sour in nature), Alkalinic plants (bitter
in taste, anciently known as true medicines) and neutral plants (neither bitter nor
sour).
         Plants over the years have been used in preventing and treating ailments, as
food, adding new zest and flavour to food and for cosmetic purposes.


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                              PLANTS AS FOOD
       Green plants extract carbon dioxide from air, combines it with water,
mineral salts and other elements from the soil and with the help of ultra violet rays
from the sun, carries out photosynthesis to produce carbohydrate, oxygen and many
other vital and complex products. The carbohydrate is later converted into starch
(eg Cassava, Yam), oils (eg palm nuts) or proteins (eg beans) and stored in storage
organs depending on the particular plant. They are therefore regarded as primary
producers of food for man and also a source of food for other organisms on which
man depends on for food.


                          PLANTS FOR MEDICINE
       Medicine is any substance which when consumed or used will not poison or
harm the system in any way, but will help to alleviate it from any physical, social
or spiritual disequilibrium (imbalance).
       One cannot deny the fact that herbal medicines and more especially those
used in Africa provide the bases for conventional or Orthodox drugs development
in a number of ways. Plants are the bedrock of all medicines on earth and still
remain the feature of all medicines. Unconventional plants medications generally
known as Traditional Medicine, is greatly contributing daily in a number of ways in
reducing mortality, morbidity and disability in the society.
       Plants have both Natural and Supernatural properties due to the radiations
they produce thereby exerting both natural and supernatural effects on man and his
environment. These radiations in Traditional Medicine are usually referred to as the
secrets of the plant and are inborn since they are determined by the genetical make-
up of the particular plant.
       The food and medicinal value of each plant changes with time each day in
response to the changing weather and its operating forces. For example the
carbohydrate content of a photosynthetic plant will be higher in the day especially
at sun time than in the early morning. This explains why in Traditional Medicine, a

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particular plant has to be harvested at a particular time, in a particular way for a
particular treatment for it to be effective.
       The practice of Traditional Medicine goes beyond conventional science
because it widens and extends beyond the narrow materialistic worldview, thereby
raising medicine to an act of healing. This explains why Traditional Medicine
Practitioners are being referred to as Healers. *The selection of remedies in
Traditional Medicine depends on the healing forces at work in nature and in
humans.
       It is true to say that any research and findings in Traditional Medicine that
are limited to the approaches and findings of physical or conventional science will
only reduce Traditional Medicine from a practice of Intelligence and Intuition to
a practice of Intelligence only.
       Traditional Medicine Practitioners (TMP), especially those with high
intuition exploit these radiations from plants to heal people from both multiple and
complex illnesses (diseases which are beyond conventional medicine practice).
       The above enumeration explains why Traditional Medicine (TM) has over
the years gone beyond the limitation of Conventional Medicine, by handling certain
health crisis believed to be incurable with drugs. Example of such ailments
includes Hernias, Appendicitis, Fibroids / Tumors. Conventional Medicine
Practitioners uphold that it is only operation that can remedy the situation.
       Traditional Medicine has also proven ideal in ailments such as Kidney
Stones, Cataracts, Hepatitis B, Asthma, Diabetes, Hypertension and Cardiac
Problems, Liver Problems, Epilepsy, Dental Problems, Bone fractures and so on.
       Infact we believe Traditional Medicine is a dynamic science – a
Supernatural science with its own Philosophy, Beliefs and Practices, Autonomy,
and its findings must not necessary be approved by another science (conventional
science) before it is accepted. I uphold our traditional meals, which are our basic
medicines, do not have to be approved by Conventional Scientists before we know
they are good for consumption.

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      WHO statistics shows that more than 80% of the world’s population depends
on Traditional Medicine for their health needs and this include plants and their
products. Even the remaining 20% who are mostly in developed world still
consume pharmaceutical products whose active elements are higher plants extracts.
      Owing to the fact that TM is easily Accessible and Affordable, Culturally
acceptable, Socially sanctioned and easy to prepare with little or no side effects,
most people in Africa and the world at large always prefer it to the exorbitantly
priced Health care services Conventional Medicine and Practitioners offer, let alone
the hazardous side effects of most of these medications. Their limitations in the
African concept of diseases and beliefs as far as holistic health is concerned is also
a case study.
      Traditional Medicine practice is a Supernatural science whether explicable
or not, used in the identification or observation, diagnosis, healing or prevention of
any physical, mental, social or spiritual imbalance and based mostly on social,
cultural, and religious knowledge and experience being handed down from
generation to generation either by word of mouth or writing.
      Health is being defined as a state of physical well-being, mental
alertness, social adjustment and spiritual development. Only Traditional
Medicine, which is a holistic practice, handles man in all of these planes.
      Because of the growing need for African Traditional Medicine, African
Heads of States declared on April 2001 in Abuja, Nigeria that research into
Traditional Medicine be made a priority amongst member states. This declaration
was followed up with another in Lusaka, Zambia in July 2001, designating the
period 2001 to 2010 as the decade for Traditional Medicine in Africa.
      Also recognizing the important contribution of Traditional Medicine to the
reduction of mortality, morbidity and disability in the population, the African
Ministers of Health adopted a plan of action for the decade of African Traditional
Medicine at their African unity (AU) sponsored meeting in Tripoli, Libya in April
2003. The AU summit of Heads of States and government, which took place in

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Maputo, Mozambique in July 2003, endorsed the African Traditional
Medicine Day - 31st of August to be commemorated each year to create a
greater awareness of African Traditional Medicine.
      WHO recognizes the importance of Traditional Medicine and has developed
various guidelines and model instruments, which are available for use for
institutionalizing African Traditional Medicine in the Health care system by
member states. In order to move the Health agenda forward with Traditional
Medicine, member states need to take speedy actions to create conducive
environment for the development of quality, safe and effective Traditional
Medicine. These actions include the development of appropriate National Policy,
Legal and Regulatory framework, and undertaking relevant research in
collaboration with Traditional Health Practitioners ensuring issues concerning
intellectual property rights to safeguard indigenous knowledge, registration of
Traditional Medicine, dissemination of appropriate information to the general
public and consumers with regard to the proper use of Traditional Medicine and
allocation of adequate resources both human and financial for the development of
Traditional medicine.
      There is therefore a growing need for safe and effective Traditional
Medicine therapies as an important tool to increase access to Health care
particularly in poor and marginalized populations.


                        OTHER USES OF PLANTS
      Plants do not only serve as food and medicine for humanity, but also
indirectly contribute to man’s health and wellness in a number of ways:
Plants through the process of photosynthesis produce oxygen (0 2) as a biproduct on
which man depends on for life. Plants help in reducing soil erosion, maintaining the
ozone layer, water table in the soil, provides shelter for man while some plants and
their products are used as Tars, Turpentine, Aromatic Oils, Perfumes, Timber /
Lumber, Resins, Tannins, Ornaments and for Decoration.

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                                   HIV / AIDS
      Quiet disturbing in this decade of 2000 is how the human population is
threatened by HIV / AIDS.
      HIV / AIDS has become the focus point of nearly all lectures and seminars
in Africa today by NGO’s, religious groups, schools, Government Institutions, etc.
      Because of our insufficient and inaccurate methods of fighting this deadly
pandemic due to Ignorance, Greed and Poverty, the tentacles of this deadly virus
has continued spreading rapidly and eating deep into the fabrics of many
communities and countries in the African continent.
      Over the years, insidious, criminal and potentially implosive practices such
as child trafficking and prostitution have gradually been mixed into this already
murky, grim, pediatric milieu in which over a million children, many of which are
AIDS Orphans, are being trafficked each year and exploited mostly as sex slaves
across the planet.
      Any meaningful combative strategies and research on this pandemic – HIV /
AIDS, should bring together all the different groups of people that govern the
society such as: Health and wellness orientated Practitioners, Religious groups,
Ritual ceremonial groups, Schools, Markets, and Village / Community leaders.
These groups of people should know the effect of this disease in depopulation of
labour force, disruption of leadership order and frustrating of Nations building.
      Infact using combined explanatory qualitative and quantitative approaches
by Medical Anthropologists, Policy makers, Bureaucrats and Others in observing
barriers to the pandemic’s prevention and treatment, are of paramount importance.
Unless all these is done and done fast enough, many talented men and women in
Africa, will die because of our inaction.
      It should be of our knowing that, viruses usually invade the system once the
immune system is compromised. This can happen through a number of factors such
as alcohol consumption, poor nutrition or dietary divergence, sleep deprivation,
pollution, poisonings, legal or illegal drug intake, negative radiations / energy,

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negative emotional states, low spiritual profile, and many other personal healthcare
products.
       The most appropriate and true cure for HIV / AIDS and other viral infections
requires a reversal of all the conditions that might have lead to the vulnerability of
the individual to the virus, including the respect of all the laws of nature.
       African Traditional Medicine being a Holistic practice stands a better chance
for the fight against HIV / AIDS. Traditional Medicine over the years has proven to
be ideal in the cure of viral infections such as Small pox, Chicken pox, Measles,
Herpes, etc, and today while not HIV?
       Over the years Garden of Eden Institute of Natural Medicine Cameroon
(GAEINAMED-CAM) has come up with about 12 complex plant medications or
drugs from more than sixty medicinal plants on research for the cure of HIV /
AIDS, which have proven to be more successful than other medications on a
number of patients who have been consulted and treated. We have medications on
HIV/ AIDS like Virocinone, Virovits, Immunone, Biodras, Candastick (CS) 2000,
CS2000A, CS2000AB, Nest Africa, etc.
       Despite the effectiveness of these medications in the fight against HIV /
AIDS, and other opportunistic infections, many, especially the authorities in place
still find it difficult to believe in the outcome of our research. Many conventional
Medicine Practitioners because of superiority complex even go extra miles to
blackmail and frustrate our works.
       If the huge amount of money our Governments spent each year in
subsidizing conventional ARVT was invested on research in Traditional Medicine,
we won’t have been crying the way we do today.
       I will therefore seize this opportunity to solicit for collaboration with the
state and Conventional Medicine Practitioners to seek the reality of what we
propagate, rather than criticizing and condemning our worth. If this issue is
amended, I believe the fight against the monster, HIV / AIDS will have a
remarkable success.

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      For more than eleven years of existence, and because of the growing need of
quality health, Garden of Eden Institute of Natural Medicine Cameroon
(GAEINAMED-CAM) has been carrying out research on different illnesses /
diseases affecting Cameroonians in particular and Africans in general.
      Last year, due to the quest for health for all, GAEINAMED-CAM went
ahead to carry out Social Scientific Research in different communities in the
Northwest and Southwest provinces of the country. GAEINAMED-CAM
successfully went through 42 villages with an approximate sample population of
about one thousand two hundred and twenty four persons (1224) whose age range
was between 15- 70 years old. The methods used in coming up with our results
were the random sampling technique using questionnaires, Interviews, and the
Participatory / Observatory Research method. Our focus was on the Living
conditions of the people, Health facilities, Economic status, Preference of Health
care services, and the common illnesses within these communities.
      Through our findings the following results for Health Problems were obtained:


       Specific Health Problems For The Southwest Province.

  HEALTH PROBLEMS           ABSOLUTE FREQUENCY          RELATIVE FREQUENCY
                                   (AF)                        (RF)%
      MALARIA                       244                         56.2
      TYPHOID                       269                         62.0
     GASTRITIS                       14                          3.2
  VENEAREAL/ VIRAL
    INFECTIPONS                       430                        99.1

DIARRHEA/ DYSENTARY
                                      11                          2.5

    SKIN INFECTION                     9                          2.1
        HERNIA                         4                          0.9
   GROWTH/ FIBROIDS                    4                          0.9
         GOUT                          0                           0
    OTHER HEALTH
      PROBLEMS                        70                         16.1


       The absolute and relative frequencies differ because some people were
suffering from more than one illness at a time.
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        Specific Health Problems for the Northwest Province.

   HEALTH PROBLEMS           ABSOLUTE FREQUENCY         RELATIVE FREQUENCY
                                    (AF)                       (RF)%
       MALARIA                       140                        17.7
       TYPHOID                       141                        17.8
      GASTRITIS                       40                         5.1
   VENEAREAL/ VIRAL
     INFECTIPONS                       270                        34.2


DIARRHEA/ DYSENTARY
                                       10                          1.3


    SKIN INFECTION                     22                          2.8
        HERNIA                          0                           0
   GROWTH/ FIBROIDS                     2                          0.3
         GOUT                           2                          0.3
     OTHER HEALTH
       PROBLEMS                        46                          5.8



       From the above table we realize that the absolute and relative frequencies do
not give the total because some of the individuals suffered from more than one
health problem.
       Looking at the results of our findings, we realized that the healthcare of the
people was at danger. Hence GAEINAMED-CAM was pushed into more intensive
research in which we successfully came up with more potent medicinal products,
amongst which are 10 herbal teas, which act as Body Builders, Immune Boosters,
Anti Poisons, Blood Cleansers, Body Regulators, etc, to combat the health
challenges in those localities.
       After our findings, as a means to help the people we came up with a program
known as “Mobile Health Delivery Service” subtitled “Operation Hellep the
People” which, we indulged in giving treatment to the grassroots at a very low cost.
Most of these villages are far off the towns and the people are mostly farmers’
hence very low per capita income for many. The few bourgeoisies who can afford

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for health services even die before reaching the hospitals in town due to very bad
roads.
         Through this program we realized a great change on the health situation of
the people in these localities. But due to financial constraints, distance coupled with
bad roads, we have been unable to continue with the program.
         However, we do hope some Macro and Micro financial Institutions will help
in financing the project, especially now that most people are beginning to
understand the value of plants medicine in healthcare. So that we might continue to
help these individuals who are in dieing need of health care especially at the
grassroots.
         GAEINAMED-CAM has not had interest only in treating persons when sick,
but also has been carrying out sensitization programs on health problems, by
educating these villagers on the preventive measures of some diseases like
Malaria, Typhoid, HIV / AIDS etc.
         Garden of Eden also has an Institute for the training of Traditional Medicine
Practitioners, which is the first of its kind in Cameroon. This Institute has as main
objective to harness and develop students to achieve their full potentials – Morally,
Physically, Psychologically and Spiritually. It entails teaching interested persons
Natural Medicine in order to foster competence, professionalism and cooperation in
Natural Health care. Two training programs are available at the Institute:
   - A Two to Three years training program, which requires that, a trainee should
         have at least First School Living Certificate. This program is open to all.
   - A six months training program for Cameroonians only. Here the minimum
         qualification is ordinary levels. On completion, Garden of Eden sets up the
         Practitioner by opening a Clinic to the individual which he / she later pays
         back in bits. Details about the training programs and our activities can be
         gotten through our website: www.candastick.org
         We have also been involved in the celebrations of National Health days such
as World Malaria Day, World AIDS Day, African Traditional Medicine Day,

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during which we also take the opportunity to give free lectures on common
medicinal plants and their value, free consultation, free screening, and treatment.
       In conclusion, I will seize this great opportunity once more to encourage all
the participants of this conference to keep on with the Research efforts, Promotion,
Protection and Preservation of African Botanica for Humanity.
       Hence I will call on the organizers of this conference to organize more of
such forums in other African countries so that those who could not make it to
Conakry today, because of financial constraints will have the opportunity to
participate.


               Done By: H. Hr. Dr. Richard FRU
               Founder / Chief Executive Officer
               Garden of Eden Institute of Natural Medicine - Cameroon
               (GAEINAMED –CAM)




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Description: CONTRIBUTION OF AFRICAN BOTANICA TO HUMANITY