Morehouse School of Medicine President and Dean Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice (center) (Photo credit: MSM)

Morehouse School of Medicine believes in the secret power of African healing. PROMETRA International, a global leader in African traditional medicine research, projects, and services worked with the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta conducting in-vitro viral research to determine if traditional African herbal extract treatments for Ebola were Africa’s answer to the Ebola crisis.

“We had mixtures of five plants that are commonly used by traditional healers to treat a variety of viral infections. We took the herbal mixtures they [provided] and use as a tea for patients. We made a water-soluble extract and extensively processed it to remove bacterial and fungi that are on all types of plants,” explains Morehouse School of Medicine professor and lead scientist Dr. Michael D. Powell.

Additionally, there’s the HIV research. HIV-1 affects over 1.2 million individuals in the US and over 36 million globally. Patients living with HIV and treated with PROMETRA’s herbal medicines at the Center for Experimental Traditional Medicine (CEMETRA) last year met with members of the delegation to share their stories and years of good health following treatment. A plant-based therapy was used to make herbal teas in many countries throughout Africa. They were given to patients over a period of weeks to months during a small study of 66 individuals treated with this herbal treatment only. The patients were shown to have a decrease in viral loads, a general increase in CD4 counts, and overall increase in patient health. Interestingly, in two follow-ups at about seven years and 15 years later, the patients continue to show benefits without continued treatment.

This research is a result of the continuing partnership between Morehouse School of Medicine, the Andrew J. Young Foundation and PROMETRA International.

“Viruses have been in Africa for centuries. Traditional medicine has been used to treat illnesses throughout Africa and I was just curious. I thought we should be open to anything that has worked in Africa. I was not surprised when the labs at Fort Detrick came up with the results that they did,” said Ambassador Andrew Young.

“For four decades, PROMETRA International has maintained close working relationships with healers throughout the continent of Africa, states Dr. Erick V. A. Gbodossou. “We conduct research and promote traditional knowledge and its use to improve humanity. At PROMETRA, our work is to look for answers, and we know who to ask. Our ancestors did not kill disease, they removed it. The difference is considerable and important.

“If the modern scientific world is willing to look, see and face the facts, we will be able to bring a serious change to the articulation of research hypotheses and healing,” he said.

“The goal of this research is to test the efficacy and safety of natural herbal extracts that can be used as a treatment for HIV and AIDS,” explained Vincent Craig Bond, Ph.D., MSM’s chair of the Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Immunology and principal investigator for the Research Centers in Minority Institutions.

Yvette Caslin

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