Prophetess Nabaasa’s Herbal Medicine
Nabaasa’s herbs found to have “strong healing elements” by new MOH research.
Ministry of Health recommends the re-opening of prophetess Nabaasa’s herbal clinic.
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First published: November 7, 2005
Medicine and spiritualism have a link in the healing of diseases after all. This is what the findings and recommendations of a 2004 Ministry of Health research into the healing powers of Nabaasa Gwaajwa through her Ntutsi herbal clinic indicate.
A team of researchers from the Ministry of Health led by Dr. Grace Nambatya of National Chemotherapeutics Research Center has been carrying out a research on Nabaasa’s herbs. In their report, they have recommended that Ntutsi herbal clinic be promoted.
They are recommending that government, which closed the herbal clinic because of Nabaasa’s spiritual ways of treating patients, should instead extend support to Nabaasa in order to train her man power which give out herbs to patients.
Ntutsi herbal clinic was closed in May 2003 by the Regional Police Commander of Southern Uganda, following concerns from Sembabule district leaders over the hordes of people who were flocking prophetess Nabaasa’s herbal clinic.
The research team, which also included Con Amai, a senior researcher at the Ministry of Health, Nusula Nalikka, an enthnobotanist and Hood Serrunjongi, a botanist, collected over twenty species of herbs that Nabaasa uses in treating patients of all kinds of ailments. After classifying the herbs, documenting and analyzing them chemically to establish their medicinal values, these researchers from the fields of enthnobotany, botany and pharmacology and chemistry found the herbs to be having strong curing elements.
“The evidence of the medicinal usefulness of Nabaasa’s herbs in terms of solving most common health problems like malaria, diarrhea, cough and asthma, has been ascertained beyond any reasonable doubt,” reads the report dated April 2004.
Now from being hunted by police and local authorities, the researchers’ findings on Nabaasa’s herbs have led to a new inventory in the medicinal herbs that will be documented and added to the ethno botanic archives of Uganda, the report says. The research report notes that herbs used by Nabaasa are well known here in Uganda and internationally for being therapeutics (having medicinal properties). Some of the herbs Nabaasa uses were found to be the same as those produced from Western countries and used during colonial periods as ornamentals.
The researchers found that Nabaasa uses an herb called cardamom; to treat digestive problems in adults and colie, to treat nutrition related diseases common in children. Colie is an herb that was highly valued both as a spice and a medicine in Greece as early as the 4th century BC. Cardamom is used in India to treat asthma, bronchitis, kidney stones, debility and weakened bodies; and in China it treats urinary difficulties and bad breath, says Nambatya, quoting literature available on herbs. The report shows that Nabaasa also uses roots of black jack to treat chronic infections like HIV\AIDS. The report says that black jack roots is also used medically in central parts of the United States of America and world wide to treat HIV related problems. Nabaasa also uses an herb called Basil to lower blood pressure and Avocado leaves to relieve cough and promote menstrual flow, all of which have ever been used in developed countries.
So you may understand why Nabaasa’s former patients who have formed a group in Kampala are strongly protesting the government delay to re-open the herbal clinic.
Jackson Taremwa, who works with Family Supermarket in Ntinda, says he almost failed to do his senior six UNEB exams because of Ulcers but thanks to Nabaasa who gave him herbs in 1998, he was able to sit for his exams. Taremwa says that since then, he has never taken any tablet as a painkiller to ameliorate his ulcers.
Another member of the group, John Mugume says he was working with Uganda Electricity Board and lost his job because of abdominal pains. A year later, he went to Nabaasa’s herbal clinic and says he has never fallen sick again.
All these testimonies added to the research report findings are set to turn Nabaasa from villain to heroine, not only in her native district of Sembabule, but Uganda as a whole.
But many people will admit to you that Nabaasa is no ordinary human being.
Nabaasa Gwaajwa who is in her early twenties is said to have died and resurrected in 1996 when she was in primary seven at Ntutsi primary school. Ever since her ‘resurrection’, she has been curing different kinds of diseases using herbs. Nabaasa established an herbal clinic at her father’s home in Ntutsi sub-county, Sembabule district where many people with all kinds of diseases have been going to get healed. Nabaasa says she uses both divine powers and herbs to treat diseases like malaria, HIV related diseases, mental health problems, diabetes, debility, allergic conjunctivitis, rhinitis and abdominal pain among others.
In herbal medicine, it is believed some people become healers by virtue of dreaming about their medicine, others by inheriting powers from parents. But Nabaasa dialogues with the patient, then she professedly receives a vision about the right kind of medicine then she goes to the historical Chwezi bushes of Bigo-Byamugyenyi from where she gets most of the medicinal herbs.
Despite her evident healing powers, Nabaasa’s clinic has been under pressure from Sembabule district administrators because of the thousands of people all over the country going there, which raised suspicion in the some government circles who demanded a research into her healing abilities.
The area (Rwemiyaga County) MP, Theodore Ssekikubo says Nabaasa’s herbal clinic should not have been closed because many people have been cured of numerous diseases after being treated with Nabaasa’s herbs.
“Since the research shows strong curing elements in her herbs, so government should open the place as soon as possible,” says Ssekikubo.
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First published: November 7, 2005