A medicinal plant that has been used for generations in the north may hold the key to the treatment of cancer.
Due to high exposure to sunlight and the prevalence of albinism, skin cancer is very prevalent in Namibia.
But a local researcher specialising in indigenous plants Michael Wenkavu says his research has established that a plant locally known as ‘odhingila’, scientifically known as Petalidium rautaneni, can heal certain types of cancer, including of the lungs, intestines, the liver, the brain and many others.
Most importantly the plant seems to destroy cancerous tumours without damaging healthy body cells. Tests conducted by the Biomedical Research Laboratory at the University of Namibia (Unam) have confirmed this plant indeed has cancer-fighting properties.
The thirty-six-year-old researcher says the plant has “been used by our great-grandparents in the northern part of the country in an ethno-medical setting for treatment of various ailments.”
He further said: “What drove me to do more research on this plant is that I experienced it from patients who were afraid to be amputated and when I used the herb on them it worked.”
Considering the astronomical costs involved in clinical tests before any herb could be cleared safe for human use, the ethno-medical researcher has made an impassioned appeal to government to help him fund his research project that could save countless lives.