Non-communicable diseases can be reduced in SVG – Johnson
April 26, 2013

Non-communicable diseases can be reduced in SVG – Johnson

A Vincentian herbalist says that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) can become a rare occurrence among the Vincentian population, through the use of herbal medicine.{{more}}

Edwin “Son-J” Johnson has been a herbalist for 15 years and very strongly believes that herbs are an important intervention, among other elements, for the prevention and cure of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

“I think there is much ignorance where the medicinal value of herbs is concerned in SVG,” Johnson said in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday.

“As a simple layperson, I’m shocked that people are not aware of herbs that are readily available and can help them”.

Possessed with a burning need to help others, Johnson said he wants to share the information he gained from his extensive research, particularly because, recently in SVG, there has been an increase in the number of amputations due to complications from diabetes.

“People are walking around with one or two limbs missing. People are saying ‘are we living in a war-torn area?’” Johnson stated.

“People need to have a diet largely based on fresh and wholesome foods, but they also need to know that some of our common foods have a medicinal value against these diseases”.

Johnson, who was clearly excited to share his knowledge, thoroughly explained the importance of cleansing the body periodically and stated that detoxing is the single most important action that one can take against non-communicable diseases.

The herbalist stressed that cleaning one’s colon every three to four months is important, as it gets rid of debris and dirt in the system.

He explained that not only does it do this, but it cleans the bloodstream and rebuilds the body systems as well.

Additionally, while it is important to detox the body properly, one should stay away from foods like powdered milk, sugar, white bread and white flour which can slowly poison the system, he said.

“From research, diseases are not common among persons who do this!” Johnson exclaimed. “The things we might breathe in from the air…there are so many things against us, so it is inconceivable that one would not cleanse. If we see it fit to repair and clean our homes and our vehicles, why do we think our bodies are any different?”

Although he has no formal training in the use of herbal medicine, Johnson assures that he is an avid researcher and has had the knowledge of herbs and their uses passed down to him from older generations.

The Campden Park resident highlighted everyday herbs, fruits and vegetables which he said are capable of effectively combating non-communicable diseases.

“Carrots, as a vegetable food, used in the right application, can be used to reduce high blood pressure,” he noted.

He also mentioned that herbs like sarsaparilla and aniseed can be used to cleanse, while ginger can be used to combat the common cold; garlic and cucumber to combat hypertension; and even vegetables and fruits rich in Vitamin C to combat menopause and cancer.

To prove his point, Johnson told SEARCHLIGHT that he has gone as far as testing herbs on himself, experimenting by going on a particular diet, so that he can truly see the effects of herbal medicine.

“Getting certain things give me a first-hand experience in dealing with the problem. A cold won’t hold me down. If I have a cold, I know how to deal with it quickly,” he said.

Despite boasting about the many positives to be derived from herbs, fruits and vegetables, Johnson cautioned that he was in no way bashing conventional medicine. He believes that there should be a happy marriage between the two, as conventional medication often uses some ingredients from the same herbs that he is speaking about.

“We should be able to work together,” he said. “Have love for what we all do”.

While many positives may come out of living this organic lifestyle, negatives are not far behind. Johnson noted that it is important for persons not to misuse herbs, as with excess use, come certain harmful effects.

“People can go and abuse things; it’s not right. Things can become worse in the long run…man could go boil a whole pot and kill himself. You have to be careful,” he said.

He added that it is for this reason that persons should work with a herbalist, so that they can be more aware of what they are doing.

Johnson was quick to note he is not the only herbalist in SVG and mentioned several others, including Jerry Haywood, who he said has a Phd in Herbal Medicine.

The herbalist runs his business from the Number 8 shop on the lower floor of the Kingstown Vegetable Market, but can also be found under the gallery of the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Bedford Street branch.

Although he does not mass produce his products, Johnson sells herbal potions that have different uses, including colon cleansing, to improve sexual health or combating menstrual cramps.