Many communities in the Teso sub-region had abandoned the use of herbal medicine until the discovery of Covidex, a complementary herbal medicine used in the treatment of Covid-19.
Eusuk, an ancient herb used to treat various ailments, was left to the elderly but is now used by younger people after locals discovered that Covidex is also made from natural remedies.
The grass comes from a thorny tree whose leaves, roots and seeds are dried before being powdered and taken in hot water.
Eusuk takes its name from the Usuk sub-county in Katakwi district where it is commonly found.
Mr. Samuel Etibot, a 90-year-old resident of Opeta parish in Magoro sub-county, says the herb has been used for years to treat ailments such as malaria, upset stomach, measles, cough and heart complications.
“Unfortunately, when modern medicine arrived, the introduction of religion by white missionaries, the use of some of these herbs was ridiculed as being evil and backward, leaving it to the elders, while the younger generation began. to use modern medicine, ”says Etibot.
“Our elders often used Eusuk leaves to deworm animals. Instead, we buy modern veterinary drugs, but we still have them growing, ”he adds.
He says they also use other herbs such as Abac and Asimiri to treat malaria.
“We were therefore rich medically, we had natural remedies for various diseases, including syphilis, but all this knowledge is buried because the younger generation does not want to use it,” he adds.
Mr Etibot says he is grateful that Covid-19 has changed people’s perception of herbs.
Ms. Veronica Apolot, resident of Opuyongo Village, Abokodia Parish in Usuk Sub-county, says people from as far away as Bugisu sub-region have come to Katakwi to buy Eusuk for sale.
She says demand has doubled as many people buy the herb as a cure for Covid-19.
“When I saw an influx of people trying to dig the roots and harvest the seed of Eusuk, I also tapped into the demand. I earned 160,000 Shs by selling two kilograms of Eusuk powder, each spoonful goes from 1,000 Shs to 3,000 Shs, while in the regions of Mbale district, it is sold for 5,000 Shs ”, explains Ms. Apolot. .
The mother of 11 says that whenever one of her children gets sick, she uses local herbs.
“I am fortunate that in this village we are endowed with a number of herbal plants,” says Ms. Apolot.
Mr. Vincent Okello, retired high school teacher and former member of the Iteso Cultural Union, says traditional knowledge is eroding because no one passes it on to younger generations.
Mr. Okello also says population pressure has made some of the weeds disappear.
“Even modern drugs are derived from plants, they only seem scientific because they can only get one cell from a plant and multiply it into a trillion cells for use in modern medicine,” he says.
Profitable. “When I saw an influx of people trying to dig the roots and harvest the seed of Eusuk, I also tapped into the demand. I earned 160,000 Shs by selling two kilograms of Eusuk powder, each spoonful goes from 1,000 Shs to 3,000 Shs, while in the regions of Mbale district, it is sold for 5,000 Shs ”, Veronica Apolot, resident of Katakwi