Launch of a book on medicinal plants from Ghana

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A book that aims to educate the public on the health benefits of plants has been launched in Accra.

The book, titled: “Common Medicinal Plants of Ghana,” contains 73 distinct species of plants and their medicinal value, as well as more than 100 various diseases that the plants could cure.

The 116-page book, co-authored by three plant researchers, namely Mr. Tonny Asafo Agyei, Dr. Kofi Bobi Barimah and Mr. Okyere Bonna, explores various plant species in Ghana and seeks to demystify public perception about medicinal plants to encourage their use.

Mr. Asafo Agyei, Head of Plant Development Department, Plant Medicine Research Center (CPMR), Mampong-Akwapim, Eastern Region, giving an overview of the book, said that plant medicine remained the oldest form of disease treatment by many in the country and sub-Saharan Africa.

He said that over the past two decades there has been an increase and acceptance in the use of herbal medicine in Ghana.

The impact, he said, could be attributed to the recognition of the role of herbal medicine in health care delivery by the government, the Ministry of Health and international organizations such as the World Health Organization. Health (WHO), as well as the application of science and technology in the production of medicinal plants.

“The World Health Organization reports that about 21 million or about 70% of Ghanaians depend on herbal medicine to manage or treat multiple illnesses,” he said.

Despite this, Agyei said, attempts to integrate plant medicine into the national health care delivery system have been slow.

Targeted action to ensure the use of medicinal plants has not been given the necessary priority, he added.

This, he said, was largely due to a lack of understanding and clear knowledge about plant medicine by many Ghanaians.

The book, Mr. Agyei said, was therefore aimed at disseminating knowledge about some common herbs in Ghana and their health benefits to encourage its use by modern doctors.

He noted that, as part of the efforts to accelerate the integration of the use of plant medicine in the delivery of health care, more than 40 herbal medicine units had been set up in some public hospitals in across the country to give patients the flexibility to choose their preferred type of treatment. processing.

Mr Agyei said, “a conscious effort has been made to draw attention to the potency and acceptance of plant medicine in the formal health sector.”

Mr Agyei lamented the impact that activities such as illegal mining, deforestation and climate change were having on the country’s rich plant diversity and urged authorities to do more to save forests from further destruction. .

Ms. Horma Anna Miezah, deputy chief executive of the National Lottery Authority, who launched the book on behalf of Mr. Samuel Awuku, chief executive of the NLA, said that the efficacy of the herbal medicines had been tested over the years, most recently during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said the book would add to the existing knowledge and practice of plant medicine in the country and preserve medicinal plants in Ghana and beyond.

She encouraged Ghanaians to accept herbal medicine as part of treating illnesses “There is nothing wrong with herbal medicine as is sometimes made to believe,” she said.

Dr Barimah, CPMR Executive Director and one of the authors, said the publication of the book would enable herbal medicine practitioners and individuals to easily identify and recognize various medicinal plants.

He urged herbal medicine manufacturers to embrace the book and use it as a guide to boost the effectiveness of herbal medicines.

Source: GNA

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Alvin J. Chase