The federal government says it is compiling a list of over 150 medicinal plants growing in Nigeria in order to extract their active ingredients for herbal compositions.
The Director General of the Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Professor Hussaini H. Ibrahim, made this known in a document on herbal compositions the council has developed in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
He said the council, in collaboration with GreenLeaf Herbal Product, developed Gasca D from natural plants to treat patients with diabetes mellitus.
The invention, he said, helps to control the blood sugar level, provides herbal health protection and serves as a supplement to manage the general health of people living with diabetes. He said the product has been duly registered with NAFDAC.
Ibrahim also said the council, in collaboration with Greenleaf Herbal Product, has developed Gasca N, a medicinal herbal composition for stress and blood pressure control.
The herbal compositions, he said, are developed from the fruit pulp of Hyphaenae thebaica (Duom palm) and powdered Gum Acacia, adding that the formulation has been registered by NAFDAC after necessary test.
“Extensive research and development have also led to the development of Phytoherb 5-VIT which is a medicinal herbal composition for boosting immunity. Phytoherb 5-VIT is developed from Tamarindus indica, Balanites aegyptiaca, Adansonia digitata, Ziziphus jujube, Hyphaenae thebaica extracts.
The formulations are non-toxic and easy to digest. It has health protective and immune boosting potential. After necessary tests and procedures, NAFDAC has registered the product,’’ he said.
The DG said the council also developed hytoherb phytobiotic which is a medicament for treating bacterial infection.
“Phytoherb phytobiotic is a stable herbal composition developed by Greenleaf Herbal Product in collaboration with the RMRDC. It is useful for the treatment of bacterial infections, and other conditions requiring therapeutic intervention and it has also been registered by NAFDAC,’’ he said.
He assured that if this momentum is sustained, it is expected that in no distant future, Nigeria will join the league of herbal medicines producers and exporters across the globe, thereby creating avenues for foreign exchange earnings, job creation and poverty alleviation.
It would be recalled that in view of the increasing trend in herbal medicine intake, the World Health Organisation (WHO), evolved guidelines to support the member states in their efforts to formulate national policies on traditional medicine and to study their potential usefulness including evaluation, safety and efficacy.