Covid-19: Traditionalists speak on zumbani

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Cultural experts have cautioned the public to avoid being misled by social media and follow laid down health guidelines as most people turn to indigenous knowledge systems such as use of herbs in the wake of an upsurge in Covid-19 cases.

They say the much sought after Umsuzwane/ Zumbani/ Lippia Javanica, herb currently selling like hot cakes throughout the country following a sharp increase in covid-19 cases, has actually been used for decades to cleanse the body and for spiritual cleansing ceremonies.

“We have always known that the herb works at burials. After people have buried their loved one, they wash their hands in water mixed with the Umsuzwane leaves to keep away evil spirits.

“So we would also encourage boiling the leaves in hot water and drinking the water whenever someone caught the flu. The issue of steaming with leaves is new,” said a Bulawayo-based traditionalist.

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a surge in covid-19 cases which has seen a lot of people turning to traditional remedies and medicinal plants, although there is no scientifically proven treatment for the pandemic yet.

Government recently declared a 30-day national lockdown as part of stiffer measures to fight the deadly pandemic.