NAKURU, KENYA: A Chinese medical researcher Prof.Tian Shengxun who specializes in herbal medicine has welcomed the move by Egerton University to partner with China’s Confucius Institute to promote usage of traditional medicine locally.
The Chinese don, who is renowned for the invention of Tian Immunity Booster (TIB) that has the ability to cut down the replication of HIV virus, said the collaboration will help Kenya make use of its biodiversity for the benefit of its people.
“This is a move that will help train and nurture local herbalists on the safe usage of herbal medicine to treat diseases across the country and also help them benchmark with their counterparts in other nations especially in Asia and Europe, “says Prof Tian.
Egerton University, which has a Confucius department within its main campus in Nakuru County, recently held a three day workshop on safe methods of utilising medicinal plants at St. Mary’s Pastoral Centre-Nakuru County.
Both the university and the Confucius Institute have been holding training workshops for the natural medicine practitioners since 2014.This year’s training involved practitioners from Nakuru, Baringo, UasinGishu, Bungoma, Embu and Kajiado counties. The trainers include Egerton University researchers and practising Chinese doctors.
Among the new treatment methods covered this year was moxibustion which is very effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
This treatment combines traditional Chinese medical moxibustion and modern technology. It is an improvement from the earlier form of moxibustion. In this practice part of the body to be treated is identified (acupoint).
The moxa is lit up using a matchbox or candle and then placed on the part of the body to be treated (acupoint). It is left to burn for about 10-15 minutes after which the moxa extinguishes and cools off.
Once the burning process is done the ash is collected and the base of the moxa removed from the acupoint.
This kind of treatment is simple and affordable to many people since it uses a common multipurpose herb called mugwort.
The mugwort is a perennial herb with pinnate or bipinnate leaves and numerous small paniculate flowers. This species is found in many parts of the world including Europe, Asia, America, and many African countries.
It is one of the plants that has been introduced and conserved in the Egerton University Botanic Garden.