Traditional healers have shot down the prevailing popular belief that Bute, a traditional snuff, contained healing properties against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus.
As a deadlier second wave of COVID-19 has hit Zimbabwe, some people have resorted to using Bute in the belief that it stimulated sneezing and consequent clearing of blocked nostrils.
However, Raymond Munonoki, better known as Sekuru Shumba, a traditional healer based in Mufakose, told NewZimbabwe.com on Monday that there was no evidence that Bute neutralises the coronavirus. He said:
There is no known evidence that bute cures coronavirus symptom. I understand people are in desperate times and are up to anything to survive.
What I have seen is some people are also pushing the bute story to make a quick buck.
Another well-known traditional healer, Sekuru Banda, warned that taking too much Bute could cause cancer. He said:
People must be warned about the dangers of taking too much bute. It can cause more harm and one may end up with cancer.
Yes, it can be used to treat various ailments but in small doses, as it is also addictive.
Recently, Zumbani, which has a strong balsamic citrus-like scent and Moringa which are believed to treat coronavirus, have found a ready market across the country.
In a statement last week, Health and Child Care Minister and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said his ministry’s traditional medicines department was pre-occupied with researches in this area.