Herbal soaps and creams
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CTA. 2007. Herbal soaps and creams. Rural Radio Resource Pack 07/3. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/57196
Disabled and able-bodied people in Uganda are growing medicinal plants and making medicinal soaps and skin products.
Herbal soaps and creams Cue: Medicinal plants have a wide range of uses - they can be used as food supplements, or applied to the skin in the form of soaps or creams. In Uganda, the organisation NAMEDO offers advice on the best ways to cultivate and use certain plants. It also works with both able bodied and disabled people in the manufacture of medicinal products. Eric Kihuluka is a herbal practitioner at NAMEDO. He spoke to Eric Kadenge about using herbal medicines, and the way in which - with the right support and regulation - herbal products can be a good business opportunity. But he began by explaining the meaning of the name NAMEDO. IN: ?NAMEDO is the Natural Medicine Development ? OUT: ? medicine days and we celebrate this.? DUR?N: 4?57? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Eric Kihukula of the Natural Medicine Development Organisation in Uganda. The interview comes from a resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Kihuluka NAMEDO is the Natural Medicine Development Organisation. Our products are organically manufactured health products. We are producing creams, we are producing soap, we produce medicine for ulcers or stomach related problems. So we always refer the patients to the medical practitioners in the health centre to be diagnosed, then they come and tell us what it is and then we can have a formula or a combination of herbs that these people can use. Besides that we are also promoting nutrition through the medicinal plant gardens or the back yard gardening. Kadenge Now let?s go back to the health products. What are the plants that you use to manufacture your products? Kihuluka We have a wide range of indigenous plants. You find mangoes, you find jackfruits, you find the avocado whereby you eat it as a food for nutrition purposes, you use it for your skin or you use it for the coughs and so many other things. Moringa is very good. It has several minerals and vitamin supplements within it and at the same time, the same moringa has a very good oil which is equivalent to the olive oil, whereby we are making very good creams out of moringa. Neem trees also are good, from flowers to the seed, that we are also getting very very good oil. And neem tree actually right now is widely used for eczemas and bad, rough skins. We are teaching people how to extract locally, at the same time we are also developing rural, simple, adaptable and appropriate technologies for oil extraction. Kadenge Now how do you get these plants? Kihuluka Basically we are developing small gardens. At the same time within the reforestation or the replanting programme we have several plants we are advocating that people should grow for conservation purposes. Kadenge And who does the actual making of the soap or the creams? Kihuluka We have the team of people with disabilities, everybody has a stake or need. Behind the whole thing, I have the knowledge and I make the formulations. But at the end of the day you will find that at several stages we have, like at the mixing stage, the cooking or the heating stage, the able bodied people will come because it needs lifting and then pouring, when we are making our soaps because we do not have machines, we do the soap and creams locally. Then when it comes to making the pieces and packaging, the people with disabilities come in to complete the process. Kadenge Now speaking of marketing how do you get people to notice or to use these organic products in consideration that the markets are full of other kind of products which are also quite aggressively advertised? Kihuluka People, once they use your product once, they can act like multipliers. One person uses your soap or your cream and he will recommend it to another one. Then we go for also demonstrations; we demonstrate our products in workshops and seminars around the country and sometimes we go in for agricultural shows or trade shows. Kadenge What would you say are some of the challenges that you face? Kihuluka One of the biggest challenges is the funding because we do not have enough funds to move out. The other challenge is documentation. We need to document and multiply information via leaflets, booklets, but we do not have enough equipment. Besides that we are also trying to build up a team that in future, when we get a mobile unit for documentation and disseminating information, we shall have to move from one place to another showing people documentaries and educating them about their health in general. Kadenge And where did you get the knowledge on the formulations? Kihuluka The knowledge on the formulations, I have been working with a team of people around East Africa. We are teaming up with the National Drug Authority that our medicines are legalised. We are also going to the Uganda National Bureau of Standards so that our products are standardised, that they can go on the market without any interference. And at the same time we are also spearheading or we are advocating fair policy in place, that the traditional medicine or the natural medicine is integrated into the public health system of which we have at least 50% success that the government is in too for this. The World Health Organisation is supporting this and every year we have the Africa traditional medicine days and we celebrate this. End of track.
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