He listed the antibiotics as goat weed (Imiesu-yoruba), Christmas bush (Èpa-Yoruba) and clove (Kanafuru-Yoruba), blue gum tree (eucalyptus oil) and aloe vera.
According to Ezengige, sufferers of contagious diseases, sexually transmitted infections, airborne and water borne diseases require anti-microbial herbs.
He said: “When meals are prepared with herbs, such as garlic, ginger, thyme, clove andxylopia aethiopica (Eru in Yoruba, Uda in Igbo), consumers may not be conscious of their healing potential in helping them to ward off infectious diseases. When they take fruits, such as lemon, grape, and melon (elegede in Yoruba; Anyu in Igbo), cashew, African star apple (agbalumo in Yoruba, Udara-Igbo), these beef up their immune system in prepraredness to combat harmful invading pathogens.”
Explaining the causes of infections, Ezengige said: “Some infections are caused by harmful microorganisms (germs that can be seen only with the help of a microscope); others by organisms that can be seen. In some infection there are mixtures and interplay of micro and visible pathogens, which include bacteria, viruses, fungi protozoa and worms amongst others. For instance, antibacterial herbs for bacterial infections, such as typhoid fever and cholera, antiviral herbs for combating viral diseases such as common cold and herpes, antifungal herbs for treating fungi such as candida and athlete’s foot, anthelmintic or vermifuge herbs for expelling or killing intestinal worms abound in our environment.”
Ezengige canvassed good personal hygiene and environmental sanitation, warning that without these, illnesses caused by harmful parasites and microorganisms will abound.
He said: “The World Health Organisation (WHO) says infectious diseases are responsible for about 17 per cent of death yearly. They are also the second leading cause of death; number one is heart disease.”
He continued: “Goat weed (Imiesu in Yoruba) can prevent diseases, such as sinusitis, e-coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. It is also used for dressing wounds. Goat weed is potent against stomach ulcer, pneumonia and dysentery. Christmas bush is used to treat urinary tract Infections, cough and parasitic worms; sore throat, venereal diseases and dysentery. Garlic bulb is used for treating infections caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites and for the treatment of respiratory infections.
“Garlic inhibits helicobacter pylori that causes stomach ulcer, pinworms and ear infections, Aloe vera is used on infected or purulent wounds worm infestation, bed sores, eye irritations and infections. It is also effective against staphylococcus aureus and herpes and typhoid fever.”
Blue gum tree (eucalyptus oil), he said, is an anti-microbial against staphylococcus aureus, candida albicans, helicobacter pylori, eschericia coli and salmonella.
“It is for treating respiratory infections as it works as antiseptic and antifungal. People with pyorrhea (gum infection) and catarrh will find it useful. Clove is good for curing acute toothache and gum infection by applying the oil on the affected parts. This can also help to provide relieve for bloating, intestinal gas and bronchial catarrh as well as controls bad breath,” he added.
Clove, Ezengige said, has antiseptic properties, which kill bacteria, round worms and fungi. “It is an anti-parasitic plant, which has herbal components for curing athlete’s foot,” Ezengige said.