Years ago when people were dying due to HIV-related illnesses, a herb/plant called the African Potato surfaced, hit the streets, and sold like hotcakes as people believed that it cured HIV. Another one called fungus also came into the market and was used by many.
Though it was never scientifically proven that these herbs have any positive effect on one’s health, people still continued to use them.
And now with Covid-19 cases rising sharply with each passing day while more continue to lose their lives, another craze has hit us as people turn to traditional remedies and medicinal plants to combat the virus.
On Monday, Zimbabwe had a record high of 60 deaths and 689 new infections bringing the country’s death toll to 773.
A plant called Lippia Javanica (Bokhukhwane in Setswana..according to pza.sanbi.org ) has suddenly become a much sought-after plant/herb as word has spread that it can somehow cure or at least keep the Coronavirus away.
We have plenty of the herb in and around the farm as it grows naturally and has used it before for flue by boiling the leaves and drinking or steaming when the flue is bad, the same way people are suddenly using it against the Corona Virus
Interesting how a herb that didn’t really mean that much is now thought to be life-saving muti and suddenly being sold in towns. Maybe I might as well consider selling it to friends and relatives who are asking for it, surely if other people are making a quick buck from it, why can’t I really?
As people spoke about it on social media and how it has suddenly become famous, one Vafunzi tweeted, “It should be declared an endangered plant…the way people are harvesting it is not sustainable.”
Who can blame the masses though as Covid-19 continues to keep us on edge? And although it has not been scientifically proven that this herb does kill the Corona Virus, knowing Zimbos they will continue to use this herb, and I must say, I am guilty as charged as I will now also regularly use it for steaming.
Lippia Javanica also called fever tea or lemon bush is well known medicinally to many African people and too many avid herbalists and herb gardeners. The herb is effective against fever in cases of malaria, flu, and measles.
Smoke from the herb has proven to be effective if inhaled against asthma and chronic coughs.
The Xhosa people are known to drink it in a weak infusion as a tea substitute and in a stronger infusion for the treatment of coughs, colds, and bronchial problems in general. They use the leaves and stem and drink it with milk or water.