CPUT research helps herbalists

2017-11-02 06:00
Members of Inyangi Forum members sing during the seminar held in Mfuleni last Friday.PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Members of Inyangi Forum members sing during the seminar held in Mfuleni last Friday.PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Traditional healers and Academia brought heads together to find ways of convergence towards cooperation.

It is hoped this will improve the use of herbs for better cure and treatment.

The meeting was held at Afrika Tikkun in Mfuleni.

Members of Western Cape Inyangi Forum used the seminar as part of the Indigenous Knowledge System to discuss ways to improve traditional medicine usage with the Cape Peninsula University Technology (CPUT) Horticultural Sciences Faculty of Applied Science.

John Ngxowa, the Deputy Chairperson of the forum, said this does not mean any replacement for the medicinal herbs they use.

“There is a myth surrounding our medication, which some believe is dirty. We want to disprove that perception.

The institution will do the research ... That is not going to mean we will divert from our origins as traditional healers. The aim it is to heal people and fight against disease,” Ngxowa said.

Professor Learnmore Kambizi, of the Horticultural Sciences Faculty of Applied Science at CPUT, said the suggestion to form a working relationship was good.

“We will analyse the medicine in our lab. They (traditional healers) provide primary health care, which is useful.

We also help them to conserve their knowledge in documents to ensure that it does not get lost in future.

We also going to ensure that we conserve the plants they use for medication.

They help mostly people who do not belong to medical aid schemes.

This forms part of our Indigenous Knowledge System. It is going to work,” Kambizi said.

Ngxowa added that other challenges in their field of work include lack of land to grow their medicine, which forces them to travel as far as the Eastern Cape to harvest the medicinal herbs.

“We want land so we can plant the medicine. We want infrastructure where we will be able to conduct our meetings and other events. We want to have our muthi markets. We do not want our calling to fade away.

The Department of Health should also work with us,” he added.

The forum and the institution started their working relation about a year ago.

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