Does Sudanese Traditional Medicine Harbor A Cure For Coronavirus Somewhere?27 March, 2020
Khartoum(Sudanow) - Alhajja Buthayna Mohamed Rajab is an elderly woman living in one of the old neighborhoods of Omdurman City. As a young girl she used to cure her siblings suffering from colds, fever, respiratory system inflammations, soar throats, tonsillitis and even malaria and typhoid with a concoction of sunut tree fruit powder, sesame oil and a little black cumin powder and salt.
As she grew up she applied the same prescription to her sons and daughters and then to their children.
Hajja Buthayna remembers that one of her sons had used to refuse this treatment since when he was a child.
But one day this boy, who matured and became a college student, had a malaria attack and with it he contracted a sharp pneumonia that kept him in bed for about a month. He used to stay awake all night out of fever and coughing. The medicines he took did not do him any good.
One night when he was battling with coughing, headache and fever, the mother stealthily approached his bed her concoction in hand. Without any prior notice she rubbed some of her medicine on his head, his neck and his chest. He got up in panic and refused what she was doing. She left him but she noticed that he then fell asleep and did not get up until after sunrise.
The first thing he did when he got up was to ask about the medicine she applied on him which he said gave him great relief.
His mother then repeatedly rubbed his entire body with the concoction. In three days he became very well and returned to college.
This blend of sunut tree (the acacia vachellia nilotica) fruit powder with sesame oil had been part of the Sudanese traditional medicine for a long time. The sunut tree fruit is known in Sudan as ‘garadh’. In some cases the garadh is burned and its smoke is inhaled to drive away the ailments of the respiratory system.
Scientific research has confirmed the medical value of garadh, black cumin and sesame oil.
And with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the social media is flooded with advice to return to the sesame and garad prescription and the inhalation of garadh smoke against this plague, that originally grips the respiratory system.
Coronavirus was first diagnosed among persons carrying symptoms of pneumonia in district of Wuhan in China in December 2019. Those symptoms are fever, dry cough, short breath and respiratory distress; nearly the same symptoms of pneumonia.
The media debate about a possible local cure for this deadly disease is justified and understood if we consider the poor situation of the country’s health system.
One of those messages aired on the media was an audio recording by Sudanese Microbiologist Dr. Jalaleddin Hussein who advised a frequent rubbing of all parts of the body (the neck, the chest and the back in particular) with a blend of sesame and garadh powder for three to four days. Dr. Hussein, who lives and works in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, says this treatment can cure the disease and can also guard against it.
Popular medication with what mother nature gives is universal. The use of sesame oil is also known in China, the World’s major sesame producer, as a treatment for the respiratory system problems. Sudan ranks third in sesame production, after Tanzania that ranks the second.
Last February a medical team from the University of Hubei in Wuhan District, where coronavirus has originated, and Fudan University in Shanghai conducted what they called a theoretical study on the viability of traditional medicine used in the treatment of pneumonia in the treatment of coronavirus: They used sesame oil as nasal drops to treat coronavirus that so far infected more than half a million persons and killed thousands around the World.
Result of the study was made public in a lengthy report. Sudanow hereunder publishes excerpts from it:
“Based on our previous studies on colloid and interface science, we think there are some theoretical reasons to support the sesame oil method for preventing viral infection by considering the physical-chemical properties of sesame oil, such as low surface tension, high-boiling point, high viscosity, immiscible with water and antivirus activity.”
The team suggested “examining some possible mechanisms to inactivate the COVID-19 in the victims’ bodies by adding sesame oil to their nostrils and mouth, applying sesame oil to the surface of frequently contacted objects, spraying sesame oil into the air and using a napkin containing sesame oil to cover the nose and mouth before the wearing of a mask.”
They, however, stressed that “this sesame oil method should not be used until it has been verified and approved by future experimental and clinical study.”
Towards the end of their experiment the Chinese researchers called for more attention to traditional medicine. Their argument here is that as long as some of the medical drugs were based on the findings of traditional medicine, why don’t researchers work on it to save humanity, given the fact that these products are cheap and available in nature around us.
This can also protect humanity from the greed of drug companies who seem at war against traditional medicine; in some cases sending killing threats to those who try to propagate it.
Medical and Aromatic Herbs Specialist, Dr. Ehsan Mohamed Alhadi has confirmed Hajja Buthayna’s successful experiment with the mixture of sesame oil and garadh.
She said: The garadh contains astringents, hydro-carbonates, rovonoids, phenol, gum, fibers, calcium, phosphorus, protein and ashes. It also contains a group of minerals and unsaturated fats.
By those definitions garadh has a lot of health benefits: It maintains the health of the respiratory system and the mouth. It is also useful in the treatment of tuberculosis, soar throat, tonsillitis, coughing, chest inflammation, mouth ulcers, colds and headache.
Adds Dr. Ehsan: The garadh was studied by several scientific groups. It was found to contain tannin that kills microbes, in addition to tannic acid which was in use in the tanning of hides for a long time.
“If garadh was useful in tanning hides, it is sure to tan out viruses, bacteria, fungus and many microbes,” said Dr. Ehsan.
“The mix of garadh and sesame oil was proved as an effective cure for many types of bacteria, fungus, many microbes and, “why not coronavirus,” said Dr. Ehsan.
Similarly, various studies have confirmed the health benefits of sesame oil. In addition to its other unusual characteristics, sesame oil is available in big quantities because of the high oil yield in sesame seeds of 48-60 percent.
Sesame oil is palatable, its specifics are stable and durable (long shelf life), because of its content of antioxidants. It is also easy to mill out, process and purify.
“Humanity has nothing to lose if it tries garadh as incense and a gargle or as a liniment for the treatment of coronavirus in the absence of a confirmed cure for this disease,” Dr. Ehsan said.
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