Quincy Ayodele is a household name when you talk of herbal medicine practice in Nigeria. She has been in the business for well over 25 years and has gained recognition in Nigeria and oversees. She has been a member of the WHO African Traditional Medicine Development Committee and has touched many lives in this line of business.
A few weeks ago, she was a guest on the City People TV Instagram Live Chat where she had a swell time talking with the Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE on how to battle COVID-19, stay healthy and live a lifestyle that is devoid of sicknesses and diseases. City People’s DAMILARE SALAMI (08155134152) brings the details of the interview for your reading pleasure, enjoy.
What has been happening to you over the last three months?
Ah! Well, I’ve been home because of the pandemic. There a month or thereabout lockdown so I’ve been sitting at home, doing a lot of things that I’ve not been able to do for the past few years and of course, I’ve been looking for a solution for the coronavirus disease in a herbal way. So, I’ve been doing a lot of researches, especially when the Minister of Health called some of the practitioners and saddled us with the responsibility of looking inwards locally. I’ve been drying herbs and doing a lot of mixtures in my research and finally, I’m here.
Are you saying we are likely to find our own homegrown solution to COVID-19?
Of course, we have a lot of the medicinal plants in Nigeria and we have many practitioners who are highly knowledgeable about the practice. Some of us have been holding meetings, comparing herbs, mixing and testing. And I’m happy to let you know that we are heading somewhere and soon, we will come out with something that the whole world will be looking up to and that very soon, the pandemic will become a thing of the past in Nigeria. We don’t want to be in a hurry and that’s why we are not just rushing to say this is it. So once we are able to finalize our findings, we will let Nigerians know and Nigeria will let the world know and once again, Nigeria will become where the whole world can come to for the remedy of COVID-19 by the special grace of God.
But Nigerians are getting impatient. They are like why can’t you hasten it and make it fast and all of that…
That’s why I said that we don’t want to rush. Remedy for COVID-19 is not a big deal for many of we herbal practitioners in Nigeria. It’s as good as treating common cough, pneumonia and all of that but because it’s viral, we really have to make sure that we get that particular medicinal plant that can attack the symptoms of that viral infection and bring it down quickly and then we can say that it’s been able to manage it effectively. Before now, we were not really involved, we were only called into a meeting sometimes last month. And for some practitioners like me, I don’t jump into where I am not invited. I don’t want to be seen as ‘oh, she wants to make money’ because COVID-19 is not what anyone should want to make money from. It involves lives and we have to save lives. We must use everything within our power to do that. So eventually when we were invited, we met with the Minister of Health and the NAFDAC DG and they gave us a month ultimatum to come out with a remedy to battle COVID-19. And we are already putting finishing touches to the remedy and very soon, COVID-19 will become a thing of the past in our dear nation without necessarily looking for how to make money out of it. I particularly have vowed to come up with a remedy free of charge. Right now if you come to my house, I have herbs concoction cooked for my household every week. So for the first time in many years, I have been able to come up with herbs that have made my family malaria-free, cough free and healthy. And so even if that is what is presented, we will be able to battle COVID-19 by the special grace of God.
I know that for over 25 years or more, you’ve been preaching the efficacy of herbal treatment for our health. It’s sad that over these years, many people have still not adjusted to herbal treatment. How do you feel when you see people suffering from common ailments that herbal medicines can take care of?
It makes me feel so bad but one good thing now is that Covid-19 has forced everybody to go back to nature. I’ve been preaching the efficacy of medicinal plants in Nigeria, I did everything I could do, and of course with God on my side; finally, people now know that there is no short cut to embracing healthy living other than going back to nature. So COVID-19 has forced everybody to go back to nature by looking inwards, eating healthy and taking our herbs. Our medicinal plants are very potent in Nigeria, in fact, it is the most potent around the world and I am happy to witness people asking us at Quincy and other herbal medicine outfits about ‘ewe Dongoyaro’. In the past, you can’t even talk about the Dongoyaro leaf, they will say it is possessed. How can that be when chloroquine was derived from this leaf? And they have been able to synthesize malaria drugs from other medicinal plants too. So they have no choice now than to embrace herbal medicine and for once, all of us will be healthy in Nigeria because I have a name plant in my compound and if you come there now, you can hardly find any leaf on it simply because people have been coming for it. So now I’m happy that the whole thing I’ve been preaching and educating Nigerians on is finally happening and I’m still alive to witness it even at 61. God is awesome, you know if he wants you to do something, you will have no choice. He has seen too many people dying because they are taking the wrong medicines and has caused this to happen to so that everybody can go back to nature and start using the medicinal plants that can heal them and remedy all those sicknesses. I can’t say that I’m happy that this is happening but I can say that I’m happy that our people now know the importance of medicinal plants in Nigeria and Africa at large. They don’t have it in other parts of the world than Africa. So the whole world will now know that they cannot survive without Africans. All our medicinal plants have their right properties, we have the right sunshine without extremities, we have the rain without extremities, we don’t have snow that will destroy our medicinal plants. Maybe God himself is an African, that’s why he has blessed us with all these medicinal plants in abundance, we have practitioners that can make good use of them and researchers that can help us standardize them for the use of the whole world. So why not, the plants are here, the practitioners are also here and Nigerians are ready. Don’t worry, we will get there very soon and it will be in the history books that the battle of COVID-19 was won from Nigeria.
About 25 to 30 years ago when you were trying to preach herbal treatment to a lot of people, I recollect that they used to laugh at you, saying what Quincy is talking about. How did you feel at that time and what did you see that we didn’t see that made you to continue to insist that that is the way to go?
I have tested Herbal medicine. I was brought up with Agbo (herbal concoction) anyway. I lived in the village where my grandmother used to serve us medicinal plants when we fall sick, my village didn’t have any hospitals and then we were using medicinal plants to treat all forms of sicknesses and diseases. So when I came to Lagos by marriage from the village, and I was taken to the hospital because of child labour, I was scared. Because in my village, it is only those that are about to die that they used to take to hospitals. Well, I married an Engineer who insisted that I have to be registered at a hospital. So I observed that everyone at my place of work was used to taking chalks whenever they fall sick and I was always prescribing herbs for them. Those who yielded my advice were always cured while others would always question my advice. Some will say I’m a Christian or don’t you know evil spirits exist in medicinal plants? But I persisted because my slogan then was ‘my people perish for lack of knowledge). I persisted because I know the efficacy of medicinal plants. Amidst all the sicknesses and diseases that I went through in the village, thanks to God, my late grandma and the medicinal plants that were used on me. And thanks to the press like you, you people didn’t keep quiet when you noticed that one young girl was talking about medicinal plants in Ikoyi, most of you came to look at me. I was called all sorts of names, some people even said I was using evil spirit to heal people but I didn’t allow all of that to distract me because I kept to what I believe in. And as God would have it, WHO scouted me and some other practitioners, took us to their office in Brazzaville and told us that other conventional medicines have failed the world because people started introducing fake drugs into the market. And that in as much as there is no fake medicinal plant or leaf, they believe that African traditional medicine was the way forward. So they set up an expert committee for the development of African traditional medicine which I was a part of. That was how we started bringing out different formulas and standardization. We started producing herbal medicines in capsule forms and all. That’s why you can now have Aloe Verain capsule forms. Those days, you can’t even go near Aloe Vera, they will say it has an evil spirit. But with the development of African traditional medicine by the WHO, herbal medicine took over the whole world since then up till now. So that’s how my own people here in Nigeria too started having confidence in the efficacy of medicinal plants in the treatment of diseases. There is a difference between medicinal plants treating diseases and fetish herbal medicine. I’m talking about the properties of medicinal plants now in treatment and management of so many common diseases. I was persistent with talking about the efficacy of medicinal plants in treating patients and of course, there were a lot of results out there for everybody to see and right now it’s a thing of pride for anyone to say I’m going to Quincy. In those days they used to hide to come to me. They now ask what they can use for obesity, eczema, skin diseases and all kinds of diseases because we now have a herbal solution for them all. And when I’m talking about the herbal solution, I’m talking about the standardized ones. Those ones you can find in capsule forms, in liquid forms, even in creams and toothpaste, we now have different types that you can be proud to flaunt. So I’m happy that what I used to say back in the days is now coming to past and I’m witnessing it. I thank God that we have also been welcomed into the healthcare industry in Nigeria. We now have a collaboration, we know our limits and they know when to integrate us into their system. Presently in Africa, the two systems work hand in hand for proper healthcare delivery and benefits of mankind. There’s no more question about dosage because it has been standardized.