This was made public at a recent Joint Select Committee meeting inquiring into the potential benefits of Non-Traditional Medications in the treatment of Non-Communicable Diseases in Trinidad and Tobago.
Lecturer in Pharmacy at the Faculty of Medicine UWI Dr Sandeep Maharaj told the committee that while there are hundreds of herbs and plants being considered for possible use the Zebapique plant has advanced the furthest in medical testing locally.
The research mention was for the effectiveness of the Zebapique in wound healing but only done in animal studies and it is not yet sure if human trials will be done to see if the plant can be used for this.
It was revealed that the information from this testing and word of mouth reports about the potential medicinal use for other herbs and plants has reached the ear of major international pharmaceutical giants who have asked for samples to be sent for testing.
Currently, both medical doctors and non-medical practitioners prescribe non-traditional medicines but the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Professor Terence Seemungal is warning that members of the public should be aware of the qualifications or lack thereof that so-called herbalists may possess.