healing herbs on wooden table, herbal medicine
healing herbs on wooden table, herbal medicine

A Kenyan scientist on Friday warned the public against falling victim to fake herbal medicine that has proliferated in the market.

Anne Mwaura, a research scientist at the Centre of Biodiversity, National Museum of Kenya (NMK) said that studies done at the institution revealed that the bulk of herbal medicines in the market is counterfeit.

“The sellers do not know even what they are selling yet the products, unfortunately, have side effects on the unsuspecting consumers,” Mwaura said on the sidelines of the heritage exhibition in Nairobi.

She said that studies have revealed that products of “azadirachta indica” commonly known as neem, food supplements, spices and aloe vera that are sold in Nairobi are fake and do not meet the required standards.

Mwaura said that through DNA brooding technology they have found that most herbalists sell fake and dangerous products to members of the public.

“Their originality and content are unknown yet sellers continue selling them daily,” said Mwaura.

She said that most original products are found in the wild where they have been over-harvested yet people could easily grow them in their farms.

Mwaura said the research that they have been doing in the past five years is helping the government identify the originality and effects of herbal products.

“We have also discovered that traffickers have resorted to trafficking powdery sandalwood instead of the wood product they use to sell, “said Mwaura.

She said that they are able to identify the origin of the products and help the police is prosecuting cases in courts of law.

“We have so far successfully helped in prosecuting four cases in court where the culprits were found guilty and jailed,” said Mwaura.

She said that they have also noted increased trafficking of sea fish, sea animals like sea horse, green turtle, snakes, eggs and love birds adding that bush meat, especially from baboons, donkeys and gazelles have also increased.

Mwaura said that to preserve heritage, people should start domesticating herbal products in their farms instead of over harvesting the ones in the wild.

The scientist cautioned Kenyans to be cautious of what they consume to avoid contracting diseases.

“Avoid processed foods and cosmetics and instead consult NMK to introduce you to the genuine suppliers, “said Mwaura. Enditem

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