Editor’s note: He is an Organic Chemistry Researcher based in Nigeria, Mr. Boluwaji Adeniyi, had earlier unveiled a herbal procedure , which he claimed is potent enough to cure COVID-19 and not just treating the symptoms. In this interview, researcher who is a member of the Chemical Society of Nigeria(CSN) as well as member of National Association of Nigerian Traditional Medicine Practitioner(NANTMP), was emphatic that his herbal therapy will not only work but that the solution to the novel Coronavirus is within Africa as has been exemplified by Madagascar.
Good morning Doctor….?
Good morning,. My name is Adeniyi Boluwaji Mathew. Well, I am not yet a doctor, but already pursing a doctorate degree in one of the best universities in Nigeria.
Can you please avail us with your work experience?
Well, I am presently working for Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI). I joined the workforce of NSPRI in 2013 and was saddled with the responsibility to conduct research into reduction of postharvest losses under the supervision of the present day Executive Director, Dr(Mrs) Patricia Pesu who was the Lagos Zonal Director at the time. Luckily, NSPRI is the only Institute in Nigeria and Sub-Sahara Africa with the mandate to reduce post harvest losses. The present Director of Operations, Dr. Olayemi Foline and the Executive Director, Dr. Pesu are two great leaders I am proud to have worked with and I believe all NSPRI staff are proud of them for their effort to impact meaningfully on the research horizon of the institute. NSPRI has been able to develop some technologies that are useful in post-harvest lost reduction, especially the silos in Ibadan Zonal office and the headquaters which can store more than a tonne grains for up to a year in an inert atmopheric environment. There are other great technologies too that are blessings to Nigeria if only Nigerians can tap into them. Well, I believe there will be other avenue to really unveil most of the research work that have been done and published in my office and those that are ongoing.
Oh….that is good to know sir. Can we also delve into your academic background so as to know the university you rated as one of the best and the course you are studying in the school?
Sure. I am currently pursuing a PhD programme in Organic/Natural products Chemistry at Centre of Excellence for Food Technology and Research, Benue State University (CEFTER-BSU). The university is one of the best universities in Nigeria considering the array of lecturers that have taught me in various courses since the onset of my PhD programme. They are lecturers that know their onions and are always ready to bring out the best in their students. I can say I am lucky to have passed through some good lecturers in my academic journey to this present level.
Is it Benue State University you had your first and second degrees?
No. I obtained my first degree in University of Ado Ekiti, now changed to Ekiti State University where I studied Biochemistry. The present Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Eddie Olanipekun taught me Chemistry in my 200 level. Till today, I still refer to him as Ensemble because of my interest in that particular topic. I went through great lecturers like Professor Adanlawo Isaac, the then Dean of the faculty of Science, Professor Olaofe, the late Professor Yoloye who was on sabbatical leave to the school then, among other prominent lecturers of that great and reputable university of Ado-Ekiti. Coming to University of Abuja in 2008 for a Master degree programme, it was another interesting experience. I was also tutored by some great lecturers. Among them was Professor Simon Okwute, a former vice chancellor of Kogi State University, Ayingba who is also a professor of Organic Chemistry. Professor Okwute was like a father to me. He is well rounded in his field and very friendly to us all. Others were late Dr. O.O Efiom, Professor Aliyu( a doctor at the time), Dr. Mrs Dauda, and others. So for now,I am receiving training from great lecturers like Professor Obochi, Dr.Kyenge, Dr. Adejo and other great lecturers of Benue State University.
Having availed us with your academic journey, what inspired you to give out the local herbs you proposed for the treatment of coronavirus?
Hmm…my brother. Yoruba people will say anyone who ever witnessed where thunderstorm penetrated the earth like asteroid, will never join those that mock the god of thunder. Even if I have not seen covid-19 patient, but the news in Aljazeera and CNN on the death tolls caused by coronavirus each passing day should frighten any living soul. As you can see, Coronavirus popularly called Covid-19 is gaining popularity everyday by the amount of lives the virus sends to their early graves, not only in Nigeria, but in other parts of the world, the most badly hit for now is America whose death toll has surpassed that of Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom that colonised us. You can see that the whole world is in danger of unprecedented deaths if this evil virus is not contained now. If the powerful nation like America that has all the equipment, the technological advances, the human resources and the financial arsenal has recorded more than 68,000 deaths within a few months, I think developing countries like Nigeria should be on their toes to find lasting solutions to the ravaging covid-19. My motive for giving out the procedures for the local concoction of the herbs I proposed for the treatment of the covid-19 is nothing unconnected to the fact that as a Nigerian, the onus of the responsibility to use what I know to save lives fall within my purview as both an organic chemist and a traditional medicine practitioner. The work of using herbs to treat patients is a lineage thing. It is a work I inherited from my forefathers. I grew up knowing that as the work of my grand father which was passed orally to my father and he passed to myself and my siblings. The major advantage I enjoyed is that while I was waiting to secure admission to school in 1995, I used to follow my father to farm and he was always in the habit of teaching me one herb or the other and their traditional uses. I am not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but God has been so faithful to my family, we are not poor. At least in Nigeria of today, once you can feed yourself three or four times a day, u should be grateful to God. As you see me, I like food so much. My PhD course mates know that. I can eat even four times a day. But I drink herbs each morning to wash down my system after drinking a glass cup of water, and to God’s glory, I am hale, hearty and sound(mentally, physically and spiritually).
I think for now, we can attest to your sound academic credentials, but then you mentioned spiritually. Are u also a pastor or an Imam?
You are funny. I am not a pastor or an Imam. But God has been so kind to me. I say some things and they come to pass either instantly or later on in life. I can remember some time in Abuja when I used to go to a mountain to pray to God. That mountain is located in Kubwa Abuja. The spirit of God led me to the mountain. I was searching for another job then. That is a long story for another day. Though I was there to seek the face of God for divine intervention to enable me secure another good job, but sometimes in the month of August,2013, an Ebira woman came to that mountain to pray. The woman who was coordinating prayers on the mountain called on me to attend to the woman. Even though the woman was thinking of the bills we would give her , but I think she was surprised when she was only advised to join us in prayers after I have prayed for her. While narrating her past ordeal before getting to the mountain, she said she has been waiting for almost 10 years going to different pastors, Alfas and others in search of solution to her childlessness, wasting so much money and yet no result. On the said fateful day after I prayed for her in line with the prophesy of prophet Elisha who told a Shunnamite woman as reported in 2 Kings Chapter 4 that according to time of life and season, by this time next year, you shall carry your own child. So the same way I told the Ebira woman in August 2013, that if only you can believe, as the prophet of God Elisha said to the Shunnamite woman in those days, that in the name above all names, in the name of Jesus Christ that by this time next year, you shall carry your own child. It was like a magic. God answered instantly. So I advised the woman to join us in prayers every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 am to 1 pm and to just believe her prayers have been answered and that she should be using her own dialect to pray to God because we conduct prayers service in Yoruba dialect and occasionally in English. To God’s glory, the woman delivered a bouncing baby boy the following year in the month of September,22014.
Thank God for the miracle and sorry for interrupting …but how does this relate to the COVID-19 pandemic?
So, I strongly believe the solution to this covid-19 is within us in Africa and who knows through whose hands the solution lies. Madagascar has gotten solution through herbal therapy. Who says Nigerians are deficient of such ideas? I have presented my own herbal procedure in the article where I unveiled the procedures to follow for the treatment of the virus before Madagascar discovery started making waves. We are a nation God has blessed with numerous endowments. Name it! Is it gold or silver or oil or human resources? There is nothing God has not done for us in this country. We need to shun copy and paste lifestyle and also do away with our over reliance on the West and China for everything. What is bad if we have our own products that we can give to the world to save lives at this trying time? How many lives are we going to watch waste away into the abyss by the unsatisfied virus? The time for us to look inward has come. The appropriate time is here.
Since this is a novel Coronavirus, what do you know about the disease?
You see, my brother, virus is a very small disease-causing agent that is considered the lowest order of life. A virus is a small particle that contains DNA or RNA (but not both) surrounded by a coat of protein and that cannot reproduce without the aid of a host cell. Viruses do not possess the nucleotides, enzymes, amino acids, and other molecules necessary to replicate their nucleic acids or to synthesize proteins. Now let me tell you, for virus to reproduce, they must invade the cells of another organism and cause these host cells to carry out the reproduction of the virus (as it is happening to covid-19 patients). Such an invasion disrupts the normal operation of cells, causing diseases within the host organisms. The only function of a virus is reproduction; viruses do not generate energy. Many human diseases are of viral origin. For example, common cold, mumps, measles, small pox, rabies, influenza, infectious mononucleosis, hepatitis, and AIDS . You see, my brother, Viruses most often attach themselves to the outside of specific cells in a host organism. An enzyme within the protein over coat of the virus catalyses the breakdown of the cell membrane. The virus then injects its DNA or RNA into the cell. Once inside, this nucleic acid material is mistaken by the host cell for its own, where upon that cell begins to translate and or transcribe the viral nucleic acid. When all the virus components have been synthesized by the host cell, they automatically assemble to form many new virus particles.
Now let me give you the gist: if a virus contains DNA, the host cell replicates the viral DNA in a manner similar to the way it replicates its own DNA. The newly produced viral DNA then proceeds to make the proteins needed for the production of protein coats for additional viruses. That is one. Again, an RNA-containing virus is called a retrovirus. Once inside a host, such viruses first make viral DNA. This reverse synthesis is governed by the enzyme reverse transcriptase. The template is the viral RNA rather than DNA. The viral DNA so produced then produces additional viral DNA and the proteins necessary for the protein coats. It is worthy of note that the AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) virus is an example of a retrovirus. This virus has an affinity for a specific type of white blood cell called a helper T-Cell, which is an important part of the body’s immune system. When helper T-cells are unable to perform their normal functions as a result of such viral infection, the body becomes more susceptible to infection and disease.
Great insight into the world of virus but what of the vaccines?
Vaccine is a preparation containing an inactive or weakened form of a virus or bacterium. The antibodies produced by the body against these specially modified viruses or bacteria effectively act against the naturally occurring active forms as well. Vaccination has controlled many diseases such as polio and mumps (caused by RNA-containing viruses) and small pox and yellow fever(caused by DNA-containing viruses). Let me tell you,, the world must come to terms that viral infections are more difficult to treat than bacterial infections because viruses, unlike bacteria, replicate inside cells. It is difficult to design drugs that prevent the replication of the virus that do not also affect the normal activities of the host cells.
Thank you for enlighten us on the virus, and the vaccination. But sir, there have been many claims, how do we know which one is potent or which one is not useful?
We will continue to try our best till the solutions are found. Discovery of drugs is by trial and error with extensive research on the right combination of herbs. In Yoruba aphorism, there is a saying that If you have not died before and you are doubting the potency of a death antidote, there is the need for you to be asked whether you have died before to make you know that such drug is not the right antidote against death. Every plant God created works for one specific thing or the other because of the bioactive components they possess. In those days, what our parents used to give us very early in the morning before breakfast was this local concoction popularly called Agbo. A times, for years, you may not see any one of us coughing or falling sick. How can you be sick when herbs are still growing in the bushes? We were never candidates of hospitals. There might be occasional headache or stomach ache as a result of over eating, but once you drink Agbo, within few minutes, you see us on the field playing football with our mates. To God’s glory I am from a family that lives till old age. My grandfather died at the age of 145 years. My father is 86 years now and still counting. God has been so faithful to my lineage.
Can you please mention the recipes you previously unveiled for the treatment of the covid-19 in three major languages/ethnic groups of Nigeria?
Well, like I said and still insisting that the motive behind this is to help my nation and the world at large. I will once again reiterate on my assurances that if both symptomatic and asymptomatic covid-19 patients can follow the procedure unveiled in the previous article, to the glory of God they will be healed. Only pregnant women and people with ulcer are exempted from using alcohol (Schnapps) to boil the material. My family drinks the herbs in my house as a preventive measure against any form of disease. It does not purge people or show any side effect like diarrhoea or stomach ache.
Has people contacted you for further details on the prescription you gave in the article where you unveiled procedure for the use of herbs to treat covid-19?
There have been increasing calls from people indicating interest to get the prescribed herbs but are faced with language barriers. Though some people have contacted me to get the herbs for them. I have been able to get the materials for few people. To this end, I have tried to conduct research on the English names and names of these plants in Igbo and Hausa dialects.
- Azadirachta indica populalrly called Neem tree is called Dongoyaro across the three tribes of Nigeria (the leaves, bark and root parts)
- Tetrapleura tetraptera also called Aidan in Yoruba is also called Uhio (Uhiokrihio) in Igbo dialect or the acceptable English name called Soup perfume ( only the fruit).
- Heliotropium indicum popularly referred to as Cork”s Comb is also called Agogo Igun in Yoruba, Ilolo isi mwaeku in Igbo(Agukwu), Utaba anj(Ibusa), azu uzo(owerri) and Kaikashin koorama in Hausa.
- Opuntia dillenii popularly called Pricky pear stem is also referred to as Oro Agogo in Yoruba.
5.Khaya grandifoliola popularly called African mahogany is also referred to as Oganwo in Yoruba land.
6.Bird pepper is also called Ata Ijosin in Yoruba
7.Turmeric is also called Ata ile in Yoruba
- Garlic is also called Alubosa aayu in Yoruba
Honey is called Oyin igan in yoruba
Schnapps is also called Otin ibile in yoruba.
The essence of the Schnapps is to extract completely all the active components of all the plants’ parts. Those who cannot take alcohol are free to use clean water but the best is to use Schnapps, if you wont mind the cost and the original honey. Note that when you heat liquid alcohol enough, it will evaporate and you will have alcohol vapour, but it will still be alcohol making it only a physical change but not a chemical change. When alcohol is exposed to a flame and burn it, then that changes the alcohol into carbon dioxide and water and that becomes a chemical change.
Do you also attend to patients with other ailments and those seeking the fruits of the womb?
Some people have been asking for treatment for other ailments. Yes, I do treat people with diverse ailments. God has been so faithful. There is no disease or ailment that plants cannot effectively treat with amazing results and the glory goes to God for giving us directions in knowing the right combinations of herbs to treat each specific disease or ailment.
Before we round up this interview sir, some people do not believe in the efficacy of herbs. Some attribute their reasons to lack of adequate dosage or the bitter taste they possess. What can you say informed your combination of these plants materials for the treatment of covid-19?
At this point, if I am not going to take much of your time, I think it is imperative to shed more light on the pharmacological effects of the herbs I code named BMA Covid-19 herb. I will discuss the medicinal uses of these plants material here briefly one after the other.
- Opuntia dillenii (Oro Agogo in Yoruba)
This wonderful plant has antioxidant, anti inflammatory, anti tumour, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, hypotensive and immuno-modulation properties. These properties are what give the basis for the application of this plant in the prevention and treatment of some chronic diseases. More studies on Opuntia dillenii can help better understanding of its pharmacological mechanism of action to explain its traditional uses and to identify its potential new therapeutic applications. But while harvesting this plant, care must be taken never to allow the sap touch the eyes.
- Heliotropium indicum( Agogo Igun)
The medicinal uses of this great plant includes: treatment of warts, inflammations and tumours. Throughout tropical Africa, the plant is used as an analgesic to ease rheumatic pain, as a diuretic and to treat numerous skin problems including yaws, urticarial, scabies, ulcers, eczema, impetigo. A decoction of the whole plant is used to treat thrush, diarrhoea, diabetes, venereal diseases and frequent excretion of urine.
- Tetrapleura tetraptera( Aidan)
This wonderful plant is from a Fabaceae family. The fruit is frequently used in tropical African traditional medicine for the management and or control of an array of human ailments, including arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions, asthma, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, epilepsy, schistosomiasis, convulsion, fibroid, as immune system booster, post-partum(that is after delivery) recovery, and also has anti-aging properties. The fruit possesses key minerals and vitamins such as Zinc, Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, etc. The essential minerals and vitamins help to optimise the body immune system. They protect the body against viruses, regenerate blood cells, and ensure optimal performance of bones and muscles. The pod contains polyphenols, flavonoids, tannins and alkaloids which are antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals and oxidative damages responsible for aging.
- Khaya grandifoliola(Oganwo)
The infusion or bark decoction of this plant has proven to fight against Plasmodium falciparum parasites, one of the vectors of malaria in humans.
- Azadichata indica(Neem)
This plant is popularly called Dongoyaro across the three dominant tribes of Nigeria. It is useful in the treatment of malaria, it can be used as tonic and astringent, the bark has been used as an analgesic and to treat malaria and cutaneous diseases, the tender leaves have been used in the treatment of worm infections, ulcers, and cardiovascular diseases as well as in the treatment of leprosy, Indian farmers have used the leaves for hundred of years as a pesticide and insect repellent.
- Capsicum frutescens( Ata ijosin)
This is what Nigerians called the small pepper that is very pepperish than the common ones available in the market. This is not atarodo , it is the small pepper. It is useful in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis, osteoarthritis, use for digestion problems and for conditions of the heart and blood vessels.
This is very useful due to its preventive characteristic in cardiovascular diseases. It also helps in regulating blood pressure, lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, very effective against bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections, and also enhancing the immune system.
This is a good source of antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial. It is helpful in the healing of wounds, sooth a sore throat and helps for digestive tissues.
This plant is a rhizome and can also be used as an herbal supplement as follows: when taken orally, turmeric is used as treatment for indigestion (dyspepsia), abdominal pain, haemorrhage, diarrheal, flatulence, abdominal bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, hepatitis, and liver disease, gallbladder complaints, headaches, bronchitis, colds, respiratory infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, amenorrhea, and cancer.
Thank you for granting us the audience on solution to contain the coronavirus and your suggestions to others
Thank you. May Almighty God deliver us from the cold hands of unseen single warrior called Covid-19 that is hell-bent on destroying the human race.
Before we end this interview sir, are you open to collaboration from other researchers like you?
Very well, I am open to collaborations from Chemists in other fields such as Analytical, Computational and forensic chemistry.
How do you intend to subject the work to trials?
This work is open to clinical trials. Government, private labs and the highly spirited researchers are free to do the laboratory analysis on the herbs. If trial is not given to a claim, then, rejection of such claim is a type 1 error and accepting such a claim is a type 2 error. For the world not to become a dupe to themselves, the need for further analysis is inevitable. But for now, let us save those who are affected and prevent the healthy ones from being affected by this covid-19.
What of if Nigerian government is ready to collaborate with you on this procedure, would you be willing to work with the government?
I am first a Nigerian before talking of any certificate. I am always willing to give back to the society that made me thus far. To save lives is my priority and I pray God will send His angels to abate this evil that crept into our shores.
Any parting shots?
Those who may want to reach out further enquiries to make can do via my email : firstname.lastname@example.org. I strongly believe in the potency of green plants in the treatment of any disease or pestilence. Again, the recommended dosages for BMA Covid-19 herb are: Adult (1 shot in the morning, 1 shot before bed time); Children age 7-10 (half a shot in the morning and in the night); and Children age 1-6 ( quarter shot in the morning and night). But it must be taken when warm. Thank you.