Khoisan traditional healers say people are looking at them to help in the fight against COVID-19. Many want herbs to boost their immune system and ease symptoms of the virus.
Some of the medicines the Khoisan have been using for centuries are being used in Western medicines.
For thousands of years, the veld was Khoisan communities’ pharmacy for herbs to relieve symptoms, cure aches, colds and respiratory ailments.
With the COVID-19 sweeping the world and no cure or vaccine available yet, many are going back to their roots.
In the video below, some traditional healers pledge to join fight against COVID-19:
Griqua Traditional Healer Samuel Steenkamp says healers can treat a lot of illnesses.
“We can treat a lot of illnesses. We have seen so many illnesses like TB and Pox. We, as the Khoisan, survived because we use our herbs.”
Traditional healers, however, stress that the herbs are not a cure for COVID-19. However, plants like Artemisia Afra or Wilde als can help to boost the immune system and relieve the symptoms.
In the video below, the use of Artemisia Afra to fight COVID-19 is on the increase in rural areas.
Buchu and Leonotis leonurus or wild dagga can be used to treat some of the co-morbidities associated with COVID-19 deaths. Nama Traditional Healer Edward Booysen says some herbs can help with chronic diseases.
“If you suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure, you can take a bit of Leonotis Leonurus and it will make you feel better. Also for flu and colds.”
Nama Traditional Healer Lee-Ann Booysen says they make tea from some herbs.
“We make the Buchu into a tea and it builds the body’s immune system and protects against viruses, especially during winter.”
Khoisan communities say in the absence of a cure for COVID-19, scientists should look at indigenous medicines to assist in the fight, but they need to do it with proper consultation and reward indigenous knowledge.