In a sad note, most indigenous informants keep herbal knowledge, especially the actual preparation methods, strictly secret. Luckily, an aged medicine man from Gatundu in Central Kenya, whose great knowledge of medicinal plants facilitated the write-up of this article.
In part one of this article, plants are grouped according to their medicinal use. According to the aged medicine man, simply boil the leaves, roots or the bark; add honey or milk or soup to sweeten the concoction. He recommends taking a glass in the morning and in the evening for preventive measures.
He cautions on their medicinal uses which should be considered as neither preparation methods nor dosage prescription are provided. This is a topic that would require much more time and I have decided to leave it for part two of this article.
I have grouped their medicinal uses in three parts which are,
- Alternative medicine for preventive measures
- Herbal plants to treat cancer, rheumatism and Aids
- Alternative medicine for external use and beauty
- Mucagatha - African satin wood: Bark and leaves are used in the treatment of severe colds and stomach-ache.
- Mugucua: Roots and leaves are used for the treatment of severe cold and pneumonia.
- Muthiga - Kenya Greenheart: The bark is used in treatment of chest pains, fever and tooth-aches.
- Mutathi: Roots are used for the treatment of after birth pains, headache and colds.
- Itet: Peanut Butter Cassia (Senna dydimobotrya) It's used to preserve and flavor African healthy drinks such as mursk. The drink is made from milk, charcoal and sometimes animal blood, a secret behind longevity and the speed of Kenya's athletes or runners. The plant's leaves, roots, back and stem have medicinal values. A decoction of the leaves is used to heal stomach upsets, treat ringworm. A mixture made from boiled roots and bark is used to treat malaria and various fevers. Fresh roots and leaves treat inflamed tissues of the skeletal muscle and venereal diseases. The plant also heals bacterial and fungal infection, sickle cell anemia, hypertension, hemorrhoids and a range of gynecological illnesses such as fibrosis, backache and inflammation of the fallopian tube, as well as to stimulate lactation
- Muiri - Red stinkwood: The bark are used to induce treatment of prostate cancer.
- Muhindahindi: Roots are used in soup for the treatment of rheumatism
- Moreton Bay chestnut: Although exotic, extract from the nuts is used in AIDS treatment
- Mutomoko - Custard apple: It is known that eating a single fruit is equivalent to ten chemotherapeutic treatments.
Alternative Medicine for External use and Beauty
- Muratina - sausage tree: Extracts of the fruits have medicinal properties and are used in treating skin conditions.
- Kiruma - Aloe sps: leaves are used in the treatment of burns and skin disorders. Extract from the pulps is much used in healthy preparation to soothe and heal the skin.
- Mahuithia: Leaves are used for massaging aching or swelling muscles
- Mugariga: Carissa spinarum - Bush plum: leaves, roots and fruits are eaten to treat skin diseases, malaria, gonorrhoea, epilepsy, heart problems, and it can be used as a general body cleanser and as an antiviral agent.
- Mukura: Roots are used to treat leprosy and to induce abortion