Some scientists at the University of Ibadan have recommended a plant called Euphorbia Hirta as a herbal alternative to mitigating some of the diseases associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the scientists, some of the diseases, which the plant can cure, include dry cough, respiratory failures and fever, among others.
The scientists, including Profs. Ademola Ladele and Rasheed Awodoyin, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Tuesday that the Euphorbia Hirta was commonly called Asthma plant.
Awodoyin, a Weed Ecologist, said that the plant was known as Asin Uloko in Edo, Nonon Kurciya in Hausa, Chamma Chamma in Kanuri, Endamyel in Fula-Fulfulde (Borno), Ba Ala in Owerri and Akun Esan in Yoruba.
He listed the scientists who worked on the plant to include Prof. Olaniyi Babayemi (Animal Scientist), Prof. Olapeju Aiyelaagbe (Chemist), Dr Ahmed Abu (Animal Scientist), Dr Adeoluwa (Organic Agriculturist), Dr Olajumoke Fayinminnu (Toxicologist) and Dr Funmilayo Adebiyi (Animal Scientist).
Others, the don said, were Dr Idayat Gbadamosi (Ethnobotanist) and Dr J. Badejo (Drug Development Specialist) and Prof. Ademola Ladele (Agricultural Extensionist).
He said that the plant was a herbal alternative to curing dry cough, respiratory failures, fever and some other related symptoms of chronic flu, all of which were associated with COVID-19.
Awodoyin told NAN that the plant, after being boiled, could be taken as tea and could serve as first aid treatment for dry cough, while further complex solutions to the pandemic could still be explored.
He said that the scientists were sparked up by shared information that mucus plug of the airways and nasal chamber, among others were the causes of seizure and death from COVID-19.
“Asthma plant tea softens dry cough, releases the mucus as phlegm. It is a safe herb tea, though not recommended for pregnant women and should be taken for six consecutive days.
“Just get a handful of the plant, steep in boiling water for 15 minutes, drink freely, as the taste is pleasant. I use it at my family level. I don’t even use it for more than three days before getting immediate result,” Awodoyin said.
He emphasised that such medicinal plants had curative actions due to the presence of complex chemical constituents.
According to him, the plant contains triterpenes, phytosterols, tannins, polyphenols, flavonoids, essential oil, alkaloids, saponins, amino acids and minerals, with quercitrin, a flavanoid glycoside, isolated from the herb, showing anti-diarrhea activity.
Also speaking, the leader of the scientists, Prof. Ademola Ladele, said asthma plant could also be used in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal parasitosis,) as well as bronchial and respiratory diseases (asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, flu).
“The aqueous extract from the plant exhibits anxiolytic, analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory activities; the root decoction of the plant are also beneficial for nursing mothers deficient in milk (galactogogue).
“The aqueous extract shows antioxidant effect and a free radical scavenging activity. It is used to lower blood pressure, treat athletes foot, dengue fever and for production of blood platelets.
“It can also be used to relieve anxiety and stress. In South India, it is used as ear drops in the treatment of boils, sore and wounds; a decoction of the leaves induces milk flow and the leaf chewed with palm kernel for restoration of virility.
“It is also effective in treating ulcers, while the plant is also eaten as a vegetable; it is a powerful herb which should be used in moderation.
“In Benin City, the plant is pounded, mixed with palm oil and licked to treat any type of cough,” he said.
Ladele added that although the plant was reported to have anti-fertility activity, report from Guinea revealed that the plant extract had practically no toxicity towards man and guinea pigs.
According to him, using the plant may help COVID-19 patients to breathe with ease and remove the need for a ventilator for mild cases.
“There is no evidence yet that asthma plant can cure Coronavirus, but it can be useful in mitigating some of the symptoms like fever, coughing and respiratory challenges.
“A research group at the University of Ibadan is exploring the benefits of other similar plants for the adequate cure of chronic flu and other respiratory diseases, including COVID-19,” he said.
Nigeria Needs N1trn For Efficient Electricity Transmission – TCN
By Agency Report
The Transmission Company of Nigeria has said Nigeria requires nothing less than N1tn to effectively wheel electricity through the national grid.
The Executive Director, Transmission Service Provider, TCN, Victor Adewumi, said this at the 52nd Power Dialogue of the Nigeria Electricity Hub on which held online in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said TCN would require the sum to make the country’s power grid stable, adding that the $1.6bn which the transmission company was getting from international agencies would not be enough to stablilise the grid.
When asked to state how much would be needed to get the grid to transmit electricity effectively, Adewumi replied, “Simply put, TCN requires nothing less than N1tn to make the grid to be very stable.
“For the project that TCN is financing internally, relying on our IGR (Internally Generated Revenue) and the Federal Government budget system, TCN requires nothing less than N600bn. way that even the Federal Government can provide this kind of fund.”
He said investors were invited to come and fund some of the projects in TCN, as they would recoup their investments over time.
Adewumi said, “So the alternative way is to look at project financing, where those who have the money can come to TCN and finance probably the transmission lines and then look at the cost of energy to be wheeled on that line, spread it over a period of time and then get their money back.
He said, “But with the current kind of fund that is entering TCN, there is no way TCN can embark on that.
“This is because the Discos are not giving us the required money; we are getting less than 60 per cent of TCN tariff.
He added, “That is even after the Nigerian Electricity a Regulatory Commission forced them to do it.”
He, however, stated that the Discos would not receive all the blame as many power users were involved in electricity theft.
Nigeria Ranked 3rd Most Terrorised Country Worldwide
Nigeria has been ranked third most terrorised country in the world by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report, which stated that death attributed to Boko Haram in Nigeria increased by 25 percent from 2018 to 2019.
According to the report, “Nigeria had the second largest fall in total deaths, owing largely to a 72 percent reduction in fatalities attributed to Fulani extremists.
“Despite this decrease, the number of deaths attributed to Boko Haram increased by 25 percent from 2018 to 2019.
“Renewed activity by Boko Haram in Nigeria and neighbouring countries, including Cameroon, Chad and Niger, remains a substantial threat to the region.”
The report added that: “In 2019, Boko Haram carried out 11 suicide bombings causing 68 fatalities. Suicide bombings accounted for 6% of all terror-related incidents by Boko Haram in 2019, marking an 89% decline from their peak in 2017.
“Boko Haram was responsible for Nigeria’s deadliest terrorist attack in 2019 when assailants attacked a funeral in Badu, Borno State.
“At least 70 people were killed and 10 others were wounded in the attack and ensuing clash.
“The two main factions of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) and the followers of Abubakar Shekau, are both engaged in an insurgency campaign against the Nigerian government.
“Violence by the two main factions of Boko Haram have taken a large toll on the civilian population, particularly in the North-East, where continued attacks have internally displaced more than two million people and caused a further 240,000 Nigerian refugees to flee to neighbouring countries.”
FG Receives Repatriated 600-year-old Ife Artefact
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed received the repatriated Ife Terracotta from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in the company of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Harry van Dijk on Thursday in Abuja.
The Minister said the return of the stolen Ife Terracotta marked a milestone in Nigeria’s efforts at pursuing the return of the country ’s antiquities.
Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to Lai Mohammed, quoted the Minister as saying the government’s resolve to seek the repatriation of the nation’s timeless and priceless artifact was strengthened by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s marching order for Nigeria to tap into tourism and other fields, where Nigeria has comparative advantages, in order to generate income for the nation and secure jobs for our youths.
Mohammed said, “ It gives me profound joy to receive this very important antiquity, an Ife Terracotta , which is dated to be at least 600 years old . I am even more delighted that our efforts at pursuing the return of Nigerian antiquities , which we launched last November , have started yielding
“ One way of generating income for the country is if our cultural properties are exhibited around the world to a fee -paying audience, on the basis of proper agreement that acknowledges us as owners and confers the right benefits on us. But this is not possible for as long as most of them adorn the museums and private collections of others , who describe them as their properties. ”
While describing the handing over of the artifact as a new beginning, the Minister said apart from the pecuniary benefits , the priceless objects wrought by the nation ’s forebears are unifying factors among the diverse cultures in the country .
He said the Ife Terracotta was smuggled from Nigeria through Ghana to The Netherlands in 2019 with a forged document.
The Minister of Information and Culture said following the interception of the artifact by the Dutch Customs at Schiphol Airport in The Netherlands , Nigeria was invited to prove her case against the suspected smuggler , which the country did successfully , hence the return of the artifact .
“ Let me state here that Nigeria believes in joint international efforts to put a stop to illicit export and import of cultural goods . The issue of cultural property should not be a ground of rancour and discord among nations . That is if nations choose to tow the path which the Kingdom of The Netherlands has chosen by insisting on justice , fairness , and amity . ”
Onyeama thanked The Netherlands for the efficient and expeditious manner in which it deployed resources to identify , retrieve , and repatriate the Ife Terracotta to Nigeria .
Harry van Dijk said the return of the artifact is a fitting gift to mark the 50 th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention on the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking of Culture Heritage, of which Nigeria and The Netherlands are signatories .
The Director- General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Prof . Abba Isa -Tijjani, has taken custody of the artifact for cleaning and treatment at the Conversation Laboratory before its eventual display to the public.