Curing Diabetes With an Old Malaria Formula

For years in the West African nation of Ghana medicine men have used a root and leaves from a plant called nibima(Cryptolepis sanguinolenta) to kill the Plasmodium parasite transmitted through a female mosquito’s bite that is the root cause of malaria.  A thousand miles away in India, a similar(same) plant with similar properties called maranta, or Cryptolepis buchananii (Indian sarsaparilla), is used by Ayurvedic doctors to treat an assortment of ailments from urinary tract infection to paralysis and ricketts.

The Noguchi  Memorial  Institute  for Medical  Research  in  Ghana is currently researching the pharmacological properties of the plant with hopes of producing an export drug.

In my opinion, this is being done to prevent the usurpation of their traditional healing formulas by global big pharma companies and is a shame as it is well known that plants in their purist forms have the least side effects.  The Noguchi Memorial Institute has formulated over 38 herbal remedies out of 78 plant types. According to an article entitled Nibima A wonder plant for malaria treatment written by Clare Banoeng for Eyes on Malaria Online :

“When  the  Centre  was  established,  it  was  given  the mandate  to  research,  develop  and  promote  traditional medicine practice in Ghana. It was also to collaborate in the collation, publication and dissemination of results of research  among  others.  This  is  to  the  extent  that  the Ghanaian public even today believes that it is a regulatory body.  Initial work  undertaken  by  the  centre was  to  go round and collect information from Ghanaian traditional herbalists  on  samples  of  plants,  recipes  and  herbal preparations,  dosage  and where  such medicinal  plants could  be  found.  Plants  so  revealed  now  have  been documented with prepared specimens after the scientists researched again to validate what had been found. Out of this the centre has been able to formulate about 35 herbal preparations from the 78 medicinal plants collected into liquids, powders, tea, ointments and capsules making the centre  a  wealth  of  knowledge  not  only  on  traditional medicine  but  also  on  information  and  particulars  of traditional herbalists  in Ghana.

One of the problems faced by African healthcare researchers is the fact that big pharmaceutical companies comes in buy up the ready available herbal source and supply thus driving prices up to the point the locals cannot afford their own home remedies.  The price of the plant from which Nimiba is derived, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, has risen five fold due to this phenomena over the past few years.

Cryptolepis buchananii Indian sarsaparilla – Found in Herbal Garden in Rangareddy District of Andhra Pradesh, India – Photo by J.M. Garg

Click here to read the PROTA database description of Cryptolepis sanguinolenta

Click here to view another photo of the Cryptolepis sanguinolenta plant

Click here to read a press release of innovative African medical ventures currently being undertaken in various nations on the continent.

Click here to read a study on the side effects ( or lack thereof) of Nibima

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The stupid speak of the past, the wise of the present, and fools of the future.

— Napoleon