African herbs offer alternative to Western Aids drugs

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Aids, Hiv

Traditional African healers are helping to fight Aids in Tanzania
by prescribing herbal medicines that boost patients' immune systems
and appetites, helping them to fight off infections.

Traditional African healers are helping to fight Aids in Tanzania by prescribing herbal medicines that boost patients' immune systems and appetites, helping them to fight off infections, according to a report by the BBC.

The healers prescribe the herbal medicines to people already diagnosed with the disease and are also distributing condoms and promoting safe sex to those who are free of the disease.

The BBC reports that officials working with an Aids group in the Tanzanian coastal town of Tanga claim the traditional healers are making a difference.

Levina Swai, a clinical worker at the Tanga Aids Working Group, told the news service: "We are seeing some patients who are getting better. That is because we are using the local medicine and herbs."

The report did not identify the herbs being used by the healers who apparently gather them from grassland just outside Tanga and then crush them before they are dispensed. Swai maintained the herbs are an alternative to Western anti-retroviral drugs.

"Western medicines are expensive and are not available but because these local medicines are helping patients to gain weight and prolong their life we are recommending them to our patients,"​ she told the BBC.

Related topics: Research

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