Mount Kenya University (MKU) is working on a research project that seeks to come up with plant-based black soap, as part of the institution’s agenda on the production of medicinal products.
The research that is at an advanced stage will see Aloe Vera and bamboo extracts used as additives to the soap.
The medicinal soap will seek to improve the moisture and kill any bacteria on the skin.
MKU Pro-Chancellor Dr Vincent Gaitho said the research is being conducted at the institution’s botanic garden at the Happy Valley campus in Thika
The garden at the institution’s 103-acre piece of land in the Happy Valley area has over 300 plant species, most of the indigenous trees, herbs, and shrubs which can be used for research on medicinal products.
“Using the many medicinal plants that we have grown our researchers are working on a research on Plant-based black soap that aims to protect the body from bacteria as well as moisturize the skin. The research is at an advanced stage, ” said Dr Gaitho.
He was accompanied by the MKU Vice-Chancellor Prof Deogratius Jaganyi and Co-Founder Dr Jane Nyutu.
Prof Jaganyi said the University has always been a pioneer in promoting environmental consciousness, and thus the initiative to grow medicinal trees.
“We have a variety of medicinal trees, each with its own set of healing properties. Imagine a botanic garden adorned with the likes of Neem, Aloe Vera, Warbugia, Moringa, Eucalyptus, and many other medicinal trees whose leaves, bark, and extracts have been revered for their therapeutic benefits for centuries,” said Prof Jaganyi.
He added that the medicinal plants will not only create a living pharmacy that future generations can benefit from but will also provide a unique learning opportunity for students.
He said the University has joined hands with the government and other Kenyans as well as with the international community in climate mitigation through tree planting.
“Certainly when the ecosystem is fully restored, the challenges of recurrent droughts and floods will be solved thus contributing towards other SDGs including poverty eradication, creation of decent works, Reduced Inequalities and life below water besides others,” he said.
He said the University plans to plant and grow over 5000 indigenous trees, shrubs, and herbs during this rainy season, adding that they have so far grown over 100,000 trees at different places.
By Muoki Charles