Kenyans have been advised to be cautious about their eating habit as one way of evading contracting lifestyle diseases.
A Kiambu based herbalist and the Chairman of Kiambu Herbal Practitioners Association, Dr. Njuguna Githu noted that as many hitherto rural areas become urbanized, lifestyle diseases also increases hence the need to sensitize people on healthy living, including proper diet.
Dr. Githu said some of the food enjoyed by urban dwellers, including roasted red meat, chips and chicken as well as certain beverages and drinks were catalysts for various lifestyle ailments.
“Some of the diseases like cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular and pulmonary complications, stroke and diabetes are caused by unhealthy eating and poor lifestyle habits,” he noted.
Dr. Githu was speaking to KNA at the sidelines of the Association’s Annual meeting held in Kiambu town.
The meeting that was also attended by guest herbalists from Machakos, Kitui, Nakuru and several counties in Mt. Kenya region was used as an exchange forum where they shared challenges and experiences.
The herbalist said most of the lifestyle diseases were preventable if only people were cautious of what they ingest and do.
He added that natural remedies to diseases, particularly the herbal medicine could help address ailments that come with modern living.
Dr. Githu noted that diseases could be prevented by simple steps, particularly in observing strict dietary management such as use of traditional diet plan and frequent exercise.
“Change the way you cook and eat. How you prepare your food contributes to how it will affect your health,” he said.
Emphasizing on the use of traditional or natural remedies to ailments, Dr. Githu said that people should differentiate between herbalist and traditional healers (Waganga).
He clarified that herbalist used commonly available plants in the environment to mitigate on health challenges, denying the use of spiritual incantations to cast perceived spells that has invaded the sick.
Dr. Githu however, said most herbalists were spiritually guided in identifying herbal remedies to diseases.
“We treat, God heals, but, we do not involve our patients in our spiritual quest for divine intervention in identifying the herbs in our environment. This is a divine calling and not everyone if gifted with it,” he clarifies.
He assured that most licensed herbalists used scientifically proven herbs to treat their patients.
By Lang’at Edwins