Locally-made drugs “agbo’’ can damage kidney, says doctor

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kidney-diseaseA medical practitioner, Dr Adewunmi Alayaki, on Monday in Abeokuta cautioned Nigerians to stay away from consuming locally-made drugs, popularly known as “agbo’’, saying they could damage the kidney.

Alayaki told newsmen that such drugs made from several herbs contained toxic compounds which could be harmful to the kidney.

He said that there had not been proper research findings to find out how much of the herbs could be consumed.

“A lot of people just go ahead and use it because of their cultural beliefs. And, really, they may cause chronic kidney damage.

“Another thing about the `agbo’ is that a lot of them are alcohol-based and alcohol itself is harmful to health, especially in hypertensive patients,” Alayaki said.

He, however, said while there could be some benefits in the use of traditional herbs, researchers needed to research further to ascertain their composition.

“I don’t want to say those things don’t have any health benefit at all, because they are made from roots and herbs where the orthodox medicines are also made from. But the difference is in their composition.

“Some of the composition may be toxic to the kidney. Even the orthodox medicine, which have been researched, have some side effects which can be harmful to the body,’’ the medical practitioner said.

Alayaki advised state and local governments to establish ministries and departments of herbal medicine to complement orthodox medicine.

He said they would also be able to carry out more researches and documentation on how to improve herbal medicine.

“Hopefully, when this is done, we may be able to make sense out of it, reduce the harmful effects and increase the beneficial effects of traditional herbs,” Alayaki said.

However, an Abeokuta-based herbalist, who simply gave her name as “Iya Eleye’’, told NAN that herbs and roots were effective in treating major ailments such as cancer and fibroid.

The herbalist who said she had acquired over 30 years of experience in the trade, however, advised those patronising herbalists to always follow their “prescription’’ when consuming the herbs.

Also, a carpenter, Mr Jossy Adeola, who patronises the herbalist, said “it has worked wonders for me’’.

He said he had been using herbs since his childhood without any side effects on his health.

“I don’t see myself queuing up at the hospital to be given injections or that white chalk they call drugs,” Adeola said

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