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Seychelles catches up with African countries to develop medicinal plants

Seychelles catches up with African countries to develop medicinal plants (Forimmediaterelease.net) Seychelles has the lowest ranking of African countries developing its medicinal plants. Seychelles to date was ranked last. The rating prompted the National Heritage Research and Protection Section in Seychelles to become more pro-active in giving value-added to the island's medicinal plants.

Seychelles is no doubt blessed with a rich variety of medicinal plants, but the use of medicinal plants by herbalists to cure illnesses and ailments is still seen as somewhat “taboo.” The National Heritage Research and Protection Section remains convinced that although it will take time to change people’s mindset, Seychelles needed to catch up with other African countries to give true recognition to its medicinal plants.

On August 31 of every year, the National Heritage Research and Protection Section joins forces with other countries to commemorate African Traditional Medicine Day. This year, an exhibition and presentations on uses and importance of “Bwa Torti’’ (Morinda Citrifolia) was organized to mark the event.

The focus was on herbal teas. At “La Bastille,” earmarked as one of Seychelles’ national monuments, which houses the National Heritage Research and Protection Section, its doors were opened to visitors to learn more about herbal teas.

The exhibition took its visitors to research undertaken by the section on medicinal rituals and practices. Tony Mathiot on the other hand took the guests on a trip of discovery of the lesser-known and bizarre remedies which form part of Seychelles’ traditional culture. Jeamie Dogley, one of the islands’ established herbalists, put on display specimens of medicinal plants. He hopes his work will inspire young people.

“There’s a growing interest by our people to use medicinal plants. Young people on the other [hand] are not showing interest in the trade. I have a feeling that this practice will eventually disappear if we do not work to encourage more young people to appreciate this culture,” said Jeamie Dogley.

His concern was shared by Marie-Andre Contoret, another herbalist, who chose to put on display home-made juices of “Bwa Torti,” or what is commonly known as Noni.

In the compound of La Bastille, all eyes were turned to traditional rituals and practices staged by Joseph Madeleine. The National Heritage Research and Protection Section is convinced all its efforts to sensitize the general public on medicinal plants will eventually pay off to change mindsets.

The National Heritage Research and Protection Section is part of the Department of Culture in the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

MEDIA CONTACT: email: seychellesupdatednews@googlemail.com

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