Many people are more aware of the need to have a powerful immune system since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that has not spared any continent. Whereas, it has been said there is no cure for the viral disease, many have found that boosting their immunity using food supplements, herbal medicines and other nutraceuticals is a cheaper option to being hospitalized for the COVID-19. Nutraceuticals have been used in the treatment of and prevention of diseases with evidence of improved health in many and without the side effects that are seen while using pharmaceutical products, mainly manufactured using artificial/chemical-based ingredients.
Despite the continuous negation by some medical fraternity, many individuals have confirmed that their health has greatly improved after taking fully food-based supplements especially Zinc, Vitamins C and D, stating that they were able to resist even the ordinary colds that come during the cold seasons. The sales of herbal medicines such as sore throat relieving lozenges and other food based dietary supplements has increased tremendously especially as the pandemic has persisted. There is an undeniable potential of the herbal industry.
Jayesh Saini says that this is a good indication that the nutraceutical industry in Kenya is ready for establishment, noting that most of the products are imported from countries such as the USA, UK, India and are generally expensive. He noted that many individuals have followed the traditional way of extracting plant-based interventions. The danger has been not knowing the right quantities to ingest and what the side effects are or the hygiene levels of the products. He believes that the time is ripe to bring to control the unorthodox ways of extracting and processing the herbs, roots, leaves and barks of plants so as to ascertain the hygiene and efficacy of the products.
Jayesh is of the opinion that Kenya and Africa as a whole has the plant resources that are needed to manufacture food/plant-based nutraceuticals. The pharma industry, should consider creating a branch that deals with this intervention. Jayesh Saini cautions that when this is being done, the indigenous people who have been custodians, handed over from generation to generation, of this wealth of knowledge about plant-based health interventions should not be ignored but should be incorporated in the R&D, identification, labelling and extraction of the raw materials. Their wealth of understanding what the various plant plants are beneficial for should be taken into consideration, such that the research done can use it as the beginning basis of the research.