The formulas with the ailments they treat in brackets are Artemisia (Malaria), Tumbo mixture (Stomach ulcers), Pumu syrup (Asthmatic problems), and Morizella juice (immune stimulant), according to the ITM Director, Dr Zakaria Mbwambo. Others are Prucan capsules (Prostate problems/impotence), Ini Mixture (Liver failure), and Aloe Vera cream (skin infections). The juice, he said, is the combination of Moringa leaves, rosella flowers and sugar (also available as sugar free for people with diabetes) proved to be the most successful product. A 500mil of the juice is sold at 500/- only. Packaged in syrup, capsules, and powder forms, most of the formulas are sold between 500/- and 3,500/-, except for impotence formula which sell at 20,000/- because of its higher demand and efficacy.
The drugs, according to the researchers, have no detrimental effects to health. Comparatively, the formulas which are currently dispensed to patients are cheaper than conventional drugs. They should thus be promoted for extensive use.
However, the ITM has for over a decade failed to obtain Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) and Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) approval due to lack of research laboratory.
Dr Mbwambo said MUHAS has intervened and approved 40m/- for advancing the laboratory renovation work.
The Swiss Development Corporation supported the first phase of renovation work by disbursing 80m/-. Besides, financial constraints have also stalled the maintenance of medicinal plant farms in Kibaha, Lushoto, and Lua Maua, as well as recruitment of more research assistants. However, the director was optimistic over the proposed joint initiatives for the incubation of Morizella juice production project, with Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) and the Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organization (SIDO).
The institute started to develop traditional medicines formulations in mid 1990s and ceased in 2000 due to financial constraints before resuming some three years later. In collaboration with the new partners, ITM intends to expand production with the target of developing two drugs annually. The institute has a collection of over 2500 medicinal plant species collected from different regions of Tanzania.
Please read the original, full and uncut story by clicking this link: Dailynews.co.tz