Front-line modern herbal medicine producer, Dr Akintunde Ayeni, has called on the Federal Government to establish well planned and functional botanical gardens in the country for easy sourcing of plants and herbs.
Dr Ayeni, who made the call at the inaugural meeting of Herbal Therapy Society of Nigeria in Ekiti State, said most bushes where plants were sourced had been cleared and turned to residential and industrial areas. He, therefore, urged government to emulate countries that thrive in herbal medicine production like India and China, by putting in place functional botanical gardens.
The pathfinder, whose earlier experiments in herbal medicine packaging paved way for others in the herbal medicine business, pledged to support the up and coming members of the association to find their feet in the packaging aspect of the business since modern packaging opened the door of riches for him and his business.
He explained how he encountered many bottlenecks in his efforts towards acceptable packaging of herbal medicines in capsules and blistered forms.
These include rejection by pharmaceutical companies who saw his business’ rising profile as a threat to the existence of their own businesses.
He assured the up and coming herbalists of total support towards packaging their products in the best way possible once they get the approval of NAFDAC.
He warned the new members of HTSN not to bring religion into herbal drugs production business as that would cause confusion.
Chief Jimoh Aliu, the Oba Asa of Yorubaland, urged the herbalists to embrace love, unity and team spirit, and shun vices like backbiting, hatred, hate speech, bitterness, and envy, among others.
He recalled that Dr Ayeni pioneered modern packaging of herbal drugs about 21 years ago, and appreciated him for his foresight which ensured positive recognition for Nigerian herbal medicine, which many other people are benefitting from today.
Chief Aliu also noted that inauguration of HTSN in Ekiti marked the turning point of herbal medicine in the state.
Rev. Dr Obafemi, Chairman, Nature Hospital commended Dr Ayeni for uplifting other people in his trade. He foresees better days for herbal medicine business in Ekiti State with the inauguration of the HTSN, Ekiti branch.
Vice President of the Association, Dr Temitope Adeyemi said that the world had gone beyond presenting local herb medicine for sale in unhygienic manner and environment. He urged practitioners to embrace cleanliness and look up to the association for seminars and trainings that would ensure their progress in their chosen trade.
Lagos and Oyo State Chairmen took the new members through the ABC of doing successful herbal business through membership of HTSN.
The Lagos Chairman commended Dr Ayeni for taking herbal medicine in Nigeria to the level of recognition by NAFDAC. He also encouraged new members to key into numerous opportunities that the association has to offer, like cooperative and thrift, easy access to packaging equipment, seminars and training.