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Conservationist fears zumbani extinction



VEGETATION conservationist and director of Isandla Esihle/Ruoko Rwakanaka Trust, Never Bonde has expressed fears that due to high demand as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19, the Lippia Javanica/zumbani/umsuzwani plant could soon be extinct.

The herb has become one of the most sought after in the country having been traditionally used in fighting colds and other flu-like symptoms.

Bonde, who is also the national tree ambassador, yesterday said the manner in which the zumbani/umsuzwani tree is being recklessly harvested will result in its extinction.

“This shrub has been useful since time immemorial in our African traditional medicine base, but now everyone is hunting for it and is harvesting it as if it’s a new thing because of the coronavirus. People are now abusing the herb and it will soon be extinct,” Bonde said.

“The way people harvest the tree shows that even in their use of it, they do not use the right measurements. This might have side effects for them. People should learn to consult traditional healers on the use of the herb as excessive use might be dangerous for them.”

Bonde said the massive use of the zumbani/umsuzwani plant during the COVID-19 era proves that traditional remedies must be taken seriously and cherished.

He said the Environment Management Agency and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife management Authority must control the proper harvesting of the zumbani/umsuzwani plant.

Follow Silas on Twitter @silasnkala

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