There was an unbroken queue at the booth of Elayo Traditional Medicine Ltd at the ongoing expo at Gikondo on Monday morning.
While some people were making inquiries as regards the varied assortment of medicines on display, others sat waiting for their turn to consult Alphonse Rutazihana, the owner of the Muhanga-based business.
At the busy stall, a lady salesperson was busy enlightening potential buyers about the effectiveness of herbal drugs in enhancing libido, and treating infertility, among others.
Rutazihana said: “Our medicines work and several men have approached us with various problems and we have treated them. Our patients usually spread the word thus bringing in more patients. About 200 people come for consultation and treatment every day.”
“I have 22 years’ experience in this business. Since my childhood, I wanted to be a traditional or alternative medicine expert,” she adds.
A glance at the well packaged herbal drugs on display shows that they can treat ailments including back pain; asthma; ulcers; nicotine addiction; stomach upsets, and other infections.
Godfroid Musime, 63, had come to check whether they have a concoction called Umugote Umukorokombe, used in curing stomach upsets. He told The New Times that he bought and used the drug over a year ago, at an expo and it performed wonders for him.
“It is so bitter but it really cured my stomach upsets,” Musime said of the Umugote Umukorokombe whose ingredients include Alvera, Quinquina and other herbs.
“But there are several things these people have that I do not believe in – things such as putting one’s feet in water and diseases supposedly cured,” Musime said.
To exhibit at the expo, one requires approval from the Ministry of Health and the Private Sector Federation.
Similar herbs are on display at the stall of Gift Life Medical Ltd, another alternative medicine exhibitor at the expo.
The owner, Danny Munyenshongore, explained how he uses modern technology before prescribing drugs.
“We do a lot here. We determine a patient’s body nutrition and advise accordingly. For basic consultation, one pays Rwf2, 000,” Munyenshongore said.
He claims to cure many other ailments, including typhoid, constipation, obesity, and skin diseases, and says he also treats victims of witchcraft.
Alternative medicine is a term used to refer to medical products and practices that are not part of standard care.