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Healing Afrika

DR. GITHAE: HOLISTIC MEDICINE PRACTITIONER

Dr. Jack Kaguu Githae

We have the pleasure and absolute honor to introduce Dr Jack Kaguu Githae, the founder of The School of Alternative Medicine and Technology. An herbal practitioner of repute, he’s among the people who have high regard for African indigenous knowledge, which he enunciates with much enthusiasm.  He has for a long time been expressing his desire of restoring the African continent to its former glory as the cradle of mankind. This, as he has been affirming in his healthcare delivery, and through periodicals he has been publishing can be done by articulating the African ideology that incorporates a wide spectrum of knowledge including technology, architecture and medicine. Besides, Dr. Githae is a teacher and a farmer who has a wealth of knowledge in both agriculture and livestock production.

He yearns to transform individuals, families and communities for a holistic approach to health and healing. His own journey just happened to take him along the path of preserving and restoring health through the avenue of traditional medicine, which was not his original intent. We had the privilege and opportunity to talk to him and we barely scratched the surface of the depths of his wisdom, but what we got, we gladly share.

At Msingi Afrika Magazine, we hold the firm belief that God has put in place bridges between epochs, who hold the knowledge from one era, are able to safely traverse a difficult and challenging transitional period (in Afrika’s case – colonialism), and enter a new era and who are especially graced to bring what was into the new – without any loss, but with great improvements. Dr. Githae is one of those bridges and we know that there are others. Think of this a chat by the fire with someone you really needed to hear from, and enjoy.

Here now is wisdom. In Dr. Githae’s words:

The Beginning

I grew up in an African traditional background setting. It was during the State of Emergency in Kenya, when traditional medicine had been banned by the British colonial Government. Perceived as outdated, primitive and retrogressive, no one wanted to be associate with such a practice. To the Colonial regime, there was no difference between a traditional healer and a sorcerer or a witch doctor.

My paternal grandmother happened to be a traditional healer. She used to treat all of us using different therapeutic processes, including massage. She also used herbs and dietary means to treat different ailments and conditions and so all along, we never went to hospital. Over the years she had acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience in traditional healing, but with the Declaration of the State of Emergency, she could no longer practice her trade in the open for fear of police harassment and arrest. The only option for her was to underground, though she still clung to this outlawed practice until she died in 1960.

It was not until her death that we started going to hospital for treatment and, as we came to find out, there was a big variance between conventional medicine and the traditional ones. The former is not as effective as the latter, which works very fast. This is was one of my first experiences.

There were other disadvantages with the modern medicine as I came to discover.

First accessing the hospitals was a challenge. They were located far away forcing most patients to travel for several kilometers while seeking for treatment. Again, to be attended to by the medical personnel in these hospitals meant using money, which was very scarce during those years. To us, this was a new phenomenon that looked unkind and distasteful. Why? Whenever we fell ill, my grandmother was readily available. And the kind of care and affection she showed while treating us was longer there. I recall an incident that occurred to me immediately after she died. I had suffered an injury and with an oozing wound, I needed urgent attention, which saw me become the first person in the family to go to hospital.

It was a very painful experience, which makes me tremble every time I recall the discomfort and anguish I had to endure. I had to limp, for seven kilometers to the health facility for the dressing of the wound and return back home.  At the hospital nurses would, scrape it all out, it would bleed, they would dress it up again then I would walk… it never healed. It even became worse because the scraping was taking away the cells that were literally building up to heal. That’s why I said, “Well, now that it’s not working, why not try what my grandmother used to do?” She used to send us, so we knew what herbs to pick and how to prepare them. I tried this and I recovered.

I was a very young man, and I developed the interest in traditional healing early, to the extent that I even wanted to do medicine, but human medicine was not offered in Kenya in the 60s.That’s how I ended up doing veterinary medicine at Egerton College (Now Egerton University). When I joined the institution, we would go for attachment across the country and I encountered so many sick people. And most of the ailments they suffered are the ones that my grandmother treated using herbs. I started taking pieces and treating them – and they would recover. Gradually I became very popular with the healing more than with the veterinary work!

Later, I was handpicked by the FAO to spearhead a project on wool sheep and I was taken to Australia for specialization. When in Australia I found libraries full of information like my grandmother was using. That’s the first time I discovered that it was scientific. The way she did it was professional, although she was totally illiterate. I encountered the Maasai medicinal plants, Turkana medicinal plants, medicinal plants of the Pokot and I made a lot of photocopies because it was the first time I was really encountering professionalism in what my grandmother was doing.

When I came back again, I was recruited to head an FAO/UNDP national sheep and goat project, now covering the entire Kenya, the Maasai, the Kalenjin and the Turkana. Out in the field I encountered more sick people than the livestock, and people are more precious than livestock.While I was working on the project, every time I would go home there were people waiting for me. In the morning, there were people waiting for me.In the office, there were people following me. The authorities couldn’t allow me to have people come; 200-400 people waiting for treatment. I was not authorized.There was no provision for it then, traditional medicine was still stigmatized.

In 1982 I decided to go full time into treating people, as opposed to animals. I can treat both humans and animals with herbs, because our people used the same, the Maasai, the Kalenjin used the same. That’s when I went back to Kinangop, I had a small place where I used to treat people over the weekend and I made it almost a daily affair for free for 10 years. Then the number was overwhelming, it was unmanageable in Kinangop, it was getting up to 2000 a day. I didn’t have adequate shelter for them; I didn’t have the personnel to help me because I didn’t have the money. I recruited some of the sick people to constitute a committee to help me make the fire, boil the medicine, organize the people; but still the number was not manageable.

Kinangop is very cold and people came from Mombasa and Kisumu, they would stay there for a night or two in the cold, with no shelter. I decided, along with the committee, to decentralize the operation so that I would get closer to the people instead of people coming to me.By doing this, I ended up with 16 centers all over Kenya. I did that for 30 years. Literally for 30 years, I lived in my car. I used the sick –the better ones – to organize the people so as to make it affordable. My charges were the same for all diseases. Sickness is an accident; I find it unethical to profit on people’s misfortune. I decided to make it as affordable as possible, standardizing the charges, some medicines like the ones for TB and HIV/AIDS are very costly, but, again, if people cannot afford the medicine, it is just as useless to them as to the one that is cured.

The criteria for assessing any medicine are safety (short-term, mid-term and long term), how effective it is in addressing the condition for which it is alleged to treat, how affordable it is to the ones it is intended for and how readily available it is.With that, and with our documentation, I have been able to sustain my practice for 50 years now, through our network of clinics that cover Kenya and the region. I have patients in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Canada, the US, and Korea. I am proving what I do.

Colonized minds

After going to Australia, then coming back, going to the US, being exposed to their knowledge system, and after also being through our college here, I realized some of the knowledge we are borrowing is inferior and much less sustainable and compatible with our ecosystem than what we abandoned. That is how I went to the National Council of Science and Technology in 1978 to tell them who I am, what exposure I have outside and locally, and that because of my traditional background – I can compare the two. I told them that indeed we have been overwhelmed by borrowed knowledge and borrowed resources. We have forgotten that we are the cradle of humanity and the cradle of civilization. We are the father and the mother of the entire human race, this is unchallengeable. Archeological evidence globally confirms that. I told them that my comparison was telling me that we are losing much more than we are gaining; and I pleaded with them to organize a continental exhibition of indigenous knowledge of Afrika, where people who have knowledge, Afrikan indigenous knowledge, who want to exhibit and demonstrate would be given a chance. I asked that they constitute subject specialists in medicine, in engineering, in nutrition, in architecture, so that as these people demonstrated, subject specialists could critique what they manifest, and out of it pick that which is applicable and then develop it, as we research for more.

They were very impressed by my thinking because I gave very good examples, but they said I would need to talk to the Board of the National Council of Science and Technology to get consent. I talked to the Board, from 4 upto 8 at night. They were overwhelmed by my thinking, I was saying if we are the oldest civilization on earth, sustainability of any civilization portrays sustainability of the knowledge that is used, because culture is a way of people’s life and they evolve as people realistically interact with the reality of their ecosystem. I said, if we are older than others, and we have continued living the way we do and we have clean water, clean rivers, natural forests, clean air – cleaner than anywhere else – it means the lifestyle and the knowledge system we hold and we apply is much more sustainable and much more useful now than ever before. That fascinated the Board and they told me they would call me later, having reflected on it and having looked for a way forward on how we could partner to articulate the thinking. I waited, I called and finally, I decided to go there to find out what was going on. Eventually I was told I would need to work with a very young man who had no in depth understanding of indigenous knowledge. I thought it was like an insult. I was embarrassed. I shook the hand of that young man, I said, I will get in touch. That was the end.

I went away I said to myself that since, on my own, I cannot articulate the entire spectrum of technology on my own in my lifetime. I would pick one discipline and demonstrate to the Council and the Kenyans that indeed a lot of our indigenous knowledge systems are just as applicable and as valid as it was then. That was how I picked indigenous knowledge after that meeting and that was how I started the practice seriously; and within one year I was in the papers. The head of the National Council of Science and Technology read the paper and he called me and said, “Githae, you mean you were that serious?” I said, “Yes!” He told me, “Congratulations.”

‘This man is a witch’

I went on, and people came in big numbers after the newspaper article. Then all these media houses called me, interviewed me, I became very popular. But, I told my wife, “Medicine alone cannot liberate a people, liberation is a multi-faceted initiative. To liberate a people, all facets of multi-technology must be articulated simultaneously, because technology is inter-related andit is inter-dependent.For a people to change, all those facets of technology must be articulated as one, because they complement one another: Agriculture- people are sick because they don’t eat right, so nutrition comes in. Other people are sick because they don’t have the right shelter, other people are sick because of the lifestyle.” I told my wife, “On my own, even if I lived 100 years, I can’t articulate these disciplines one after the other.The best I can do is to create an institution that brings other people who think like me together, so that as I articulate the medicine, somebody else will do engineering, another one would do architecture, another one would do agriculture.” That’s how the idea of the School of Alternative Medicine and Technology came in.

I made an application to the Ministry of Education to register my school, and they laughed at me, they thought I was crazy. I took the application to Ministry of Health; they thought I was crazy; there were no provisions for anything indigenous in our educational protocol. I went to the WHO, I knew there was a medical department there and that the WHO looks after the entire continental and global aspect of things. There was a Kenyan doctor there who I tracked, I found him in the office and said, “I’m so and so I’m coming because I do alternative medicine and I’m plan-..” He stood up and said, “No. We don’t deal with those things.” He stood up and started walking out saying that they don’t do that. I was very disappointed.

This was around 1986-87. The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation had covered my program and was very excited about my work. One of them, a very good cameraman, was fascinated with what I do and he used to visit me from time to time. One day, he came round and found me trying to figure out what to do, how to get this school running.He asked me what I was working on. I explained what I wanted to do. He said, “Nobody will give you such a license.” I asked him why and he told me that there was no provision for it. I asked his advice, explaining that this was what I wanted to do in my lifetime. He said that I would have to write about it to the Head of State. He told me to write that letter and give it to him. I did. Within two weeks I was called to the Office of the President, where I found a panel of six officers. They interrogated me for four hours. ‘Who am I? What is this idea all about? How shall I go about it? How will it change Kenya?’ Surprisingly, they were very impressed, so they wrote back to the President and from the Office of the President I got a letter to take to Commission for Higher Education for the Commission to register my school.

I wanted a university. I wanted it to be a center of excellence and for the base to be in Rumuruti, where I had a 200 acre farm. The Commission inspected my premises in Nyeri and Rumuruti. We were just about to take off when tribal clashes happened in 1992; the entire place was raided and destroyed.The officers for the Commission for Higher Education encouraged me not to give up. They told me that I had a good idea and that instead of starting a university where the minimum acreage was then 50 acres, that I should look for a small place in a safe area, start a Diploma awarding institution and when things normalized I could then upgrade it to a university. That is how the idea of The School of Alternative Medicine and Technology started in Nyeri. I had a nursing home there which the Commission advised me to use as a school, because it would expand later on. The college opened in 1993 and we went on for a while. I lived there with my family, I had my medicine manufactured there and the students sleeping in there… there was some little tension.

I found out later that one local doctor had made arrangements to host all my students in his house for dinner, where he told them you are being taught by a witch doctor. He asked them, “Where will this training get you people? This man is a witch!”The following day, they were very unruly and started making funny demands. I was in Nakuru when my wife called me and told me that they were threatening to burn the place and that they were learning witchcraft. I told her to report to the police then send them home. Then I changed my mind and instead stopped what I was doing and traveled back. I sent them home. Apparently the doctor had said he would get them somewhere else to go and learn and when they went it wasn’t there. So they came back to me because I had booked them for national examination council and they pleaded with me to let them sit for the examinations. (We used to give them our diploma and we used to make sure they would sit for the national equivalent a national examination because of the stigma.) I told them to go to the police first, record a statement of what had transpired. That’s when the whole story came out.

I realized you know going on with the school there would risk my own life and that of my family, so I suspended the program and I continued the network of clinics until 2007. The tribal clashes of 2007 destroyed all my centers except Nyeri and Nairobi out of 16 centers. We never even picked a file. Even when things normalized, having been a victim in ’92, ’97 and 2007 and with my age now, I didn’t want to travel too much. I ask people to come where I’m safest, others we send medicine to.

Traditional Medicine Works Better

The medicine works better than others for very very good scientific reasons, because they are holistic. In conventional medicine, they design their drugs to address symptoms, signs of sickness. If there is a headache, what suppresses that pain -period. In holistic healing, the Afrikan way, we deal with the whole organism, because we know – even when you have Malaria, you have the germs within you, they affect the liver, they affect metabolism, they affect digestion and you are sluggish. And for us to treat Malaria, we address the germs, and also provide compounds that will help repair the damaged cells, the damaged liver and the fever.We don’t fragment our medicine to address a symptom; we use what we call ‘cocktail therapy’ where a conglomeration of compounds is administered together: some to address the invading microorganism, others to stimulate the sluggish body, others to repair the damaged tissue and others to boost the immunity. If the three of us are bitten by the same mosquito, maybe one will get it, two don’t get sick depending on our immunity. So sickness is an indication of sluggish immunity, because our body is made to cope with whatever challenges are in the ecosystem, wherever we live. It is when we are weak because we don’t eat well, because emotionally we are not stable, that it gives in to infection. So we use that holistic approach.

We have a medicine that has biocidal capacity to kill germs, we have medicine that has nutritive complementarity to addresses deficiencies that go with sickness (vitamins, minerals) or will end up being complications of certain disease because of sluggish metabolism, sluggish absorption and digestion. Then we have a third component. Any sick body is sluggish, sleepy, can’t walk; we have a compound in our medicine that stimulates bodily function. They are catalytic compounds. They stimulate heartbeat, the breathing in and out, the digestion, so that the sluggishness is corrected by normalization of normal bodily functioning. And the last one, we have immuno-modulators. That sluggish immunity, if it’s not addressed, even if we cure the disease you are suffering from, then you are vulnerable to others because the defense system of your body is compromised. We remove the germs, correct the nutritional deficiency, stimulate the body and enhance the immunity so that once you recover you don’t get the same or other diseases because the defense system has been enhanced.

Conventional clinicians don’t make any drugs, they administer drugs made by others and they administer them the way they are told to do, with very little understanding of what it is, except what they are told. With us, we prospect for the therapeutic material, whatever they are, wherever they are available and we procure the material. We even do the mapping.If you need plants that manage Malaria, what are they? Where are they? What ecological zone are they found in? What part of the plant do you use? How do you harvest it?How do you treat it immediately after harvesting?How do you transport it (because some of them are very perishable)?There’s a lot we need to do and we do much more, nearly seven times more than a conventional doctor does and in spite of that we are still ‘witch people’, ‘illiterate’, ‘primitive’ and ‘backward’. This is the terminology they keep on using. It’s a very involving undertaking. That’s why, traditionally, it took a lifetime and traditionally it went with families, because, people who had that talent had to be exposed very early to master the whole spectrum of knowledge involved.

Safeguarding Afrikan Wisdom

Afrika and Asia are the only two continents that were colonized and didn’t die out. We failed to die out because of our wisdom and our way of life and our spirituality, because ofour capacity to coexist with reality – because colonialism became a reality. Enemies ‘more powerful than you’ have confronted you, are out to exterminate you. We used our traditional dynamic to survive it and ultimately neutralize it to an extent we are still here and that we can speak our own languages, we can articulate a lot of our culture, these are powers we shouldn’t let go. Traditional medicine is one of them. Traditional spirituality is the other one, where we are godly. We all know that we are created by a bigger force than us, Who gives us the rain, Who gives us the soil, Who gives us the plants, Who gives us the animals, Who wants us to coexist with them the way they are, such that even mosquitoes we don’t want them exterminated. They are part of the ecosystem. They were created by the same force that created us, for a purpose, and they play a role. You exterminate mosquitoes, you create an imbalance and you will probably get a worse crisis than Malaria.

I didn’t want to be a traditional healer; my intention was not to be a traditional healer. Having been in the colonial era and having suffered, I lost my father in it, I was beaten in it, I took part in it to whatever extent, having seen the struggle we went through to get our independence – I was thinking our indigenous knowledge was a resource we could not afford to forego, and it was dying. My intention was to look for ways and means of rejuvenating it, of polishing it and integrating it with whatever we need to borrow, when we need to borrow.So that we can also share knowledge with others, like others have contributed within human civilization. I’m 74, and at my age I’m very concerned that I haven’t had the impact that I wanted because my thinking and my concern hasn’t been addressed to date. The Traditional Medicine Bill has been lying in Parliament for 20 years whileparliamentarians are passing other bills, especially those which are related to their welfare, within a week. A week! The traditional medicine bill was adulterated and it was cannibalized, they came out with a little provision in the Medical and Poisons Board, just a skeleton which doesn’t help us with our interest.

Our interest is: as Kenyan and traditional healer, I have a right to serve the people. It is my right to contribute to the well-being of my people as long as I live. It is my right to pass on the heritage – that was passed on to me – to others, sustainably. In such a way that it will help those who come after us, the way it should. I picked a little bit from my grandmother, maybe due to the interest, the genes, the passion, but I have refined and developed it considerably. I am in the process of doing what I’m calling Practitioner’s Comparative Encyclopedia of Medicines of the World; I’ve been doing that for the last 39 years now, comparing common medicinal plants of the world, comparing their usage in different ecological set-up. Finding out how use Bidens pilosa, that is stinging nettle in India, how they use it in China. Is it the same way we use it here?

Many swear by the Bible that they won’t touch herbal medicine because it’s witchcraft, yet even as they swear they have a cup of tea before them. Tea is herbal medicine.

Dr. Jack Githae

The need for this came because a lot of our indigenous medicinal plants are being overused. The resource we use as herbal medicine is the same resource that charcoal burners use to get their charcoal. It’s the same resource that the saw-millers split into timber and sell as timber and off-cuts. It’s the very same resource that people cut to build traditional shelters, including bomas (shelters) for cattle in Maasai and Somaliland and all these other areas. The multi-purpose usage of the resource makes it very threatened and the fact that while the building sector has been regulated and streamlined, energy sector has a component and experts; traditional medicine has nobody looking at it, we don’t have a bill. Without a bill you’re not defined. It’s the bill that defines what traditional medicine is, who traditional healers are, how they get in, how they should conduct themselves and how they should be supported technologically, financially and legally. Without that anybody can be a traditional healer. If you came with someone and I showed him one plant tomorrow, and I told him it does Malaria, he can be a traditional healer and he can open a clinic anywhere.

This is compromising the dignity and integrity of traditional medicine. 96% of the people who are practicing are quacks. Hardly 3-4% are healing, because of lack of support, lack of regulation, lack of legislative protocol that promotes and regulates.Were it not for my passion, I would be a manager somewhere, because I can do many other things, I would be a lecturer or a teacher anywhere because this line is terribly stigmatized and it has too many challenges, such that even my children are not interested in it at all. They argue, they know I’m educated, they know I’m very passionate, they know I’m aggressive, yet I have suffered more than anybody else they know. If I can’t survive it, they can’t survive it because they have not gone through the challenges and that worries me. The other day in a TV interview, I told them I worry about both the resource and the knowledge. We are losing it wholesale, to people who know and value the resource more than we do, who can access it secretly and literally take away whatever they can. Like the prostate medicine in conventional medicine is from Prunus Africana, it’s from a plant here and a lot of it was cut in the Rift Valley, exported to Europe en masse and refined. These are the drugs we buy. Prunus makes very good timber too, so it’s becoming very scarce.

Take the concern of microbial resistance to antibiotics, which is a global concern – in Europe and America they are very scared and are using trillions of dollars on research for alternative antibiotics because conventional antibiotics are not curing pneumonia, gonorrhea, syphilis and so on. This is happening because we have been exposed to antibiotics indiscriminately for too long. The result is that most of the germs have gotten used to the low doses of the antibiotic, so that when you get sick even massive doses just suppress it, then it flares up again.Because of the holistic approach of herbal therapy, not a single microorganism has developed resistance to herbal medicine, world over, none. This is because, even the Prunus that cures prostate, also addresses allergies, it’s also one of the components that help in cancer, it’s one of those medicines that helps a lot in abdominal conditions.There are thousands of compounds in it.That’s why, in a cocktail therapy set up, doctors are using cocktail combinations of many antibiotics. Ours is natural and more than ‘cocktail’as we use a number of plants together, normally upto 10 plants, to enhance the capacity of the formulation to challenge the microorganism -be they virus, fungus, bacteria or internal parasites. Also to broaden the nutritional capacity, nutritional complementarity – the more plants you put together the more vitamins, the more minerals, the more essential oils – and the same with stimulation and all that.

But, for how long can we claim to have it, when we don’t know how much of the resource is remaining, both the material and the knowledge? I say that with confidence because nobody now, even the Cabinet Secretary for Natural Resources can tell you how much herbal medicine we have in Kenya. Nobody. Where do we have the highest concentration of those that cure Malaria? Where do we have the highest concentration of the ones that have potentiality of dealing with incurable TB? There has been a lot of criticism from Western medicine on how traditional healers make ‘wild claims’ – that’s the word they use… ‘wild claims’ – that we can cure anything. They are not wild claims. Because once you have a formulation that has that conglomeration of compounds that can kill a whole range of germs like Prunus, Mwarubaine (Neem), many others and once you have a number of plants put together with that range of vitamins, minerals essential oils with stimulation, it cures. Many swear by the Bible that they won’t touch herbal medicine because it’s witchcraft, yet even as they swear they have a cup of tea before them. Tea is herbal medicine.

Msingi Afrika: Genesis 1 talks about the plants and the herbs that God gave us.

Dr. Githae: Do they read it?Because it’s them who have fought tradition more than anybody else and culture more than anybody else.I was a member of the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Advisory Network for East Afrika. I have been a member for a number of years. We help Church-based medical institutions get whatever kind of drug they want. And when it comes to alternative medicine, I help. At one point I asked them if I can do them a paper on reference of herbal medicine in the Bible. The Bible is probably one of the best historical texts in promoting herbal medicine. We brought a number of papers, but ignorance again took effect and like people have said, we haven’t decolonized our minds.

MA: For us at Msingi Afrika Magazine, your generation represents what would be the bridge between pre-colonial thought, and understanding the colonial process and post-colonial thought. There exists a bridge, but what happened in the transfer of knowledge between pre and post? The people who you speak of who are supposedly the most learned in their fields then became the obstacles in being able to transfer and bridge the knowledge… why is that?

Dr. Githae: Because they are mis-educated. We have mis-education, monitored and articulated by external forces for a purpose. When I got into herbal medicine, I was disowned by everybody, including my own family, even my wife, for nearly 10 years. I was called names, my children, everybody. They came back to me when I started appearing in the papers, on TV, I was called to Moi University, Nairobi University to give a paper, Bremen University in Germany. We have to decolonize ourselves! Decolonization, like development, is an educational process; it is educational in that you must know where you are, where you want to go and how to go there. There must be a policy framework on that and there must be expertise to repackage the educational material we are using to reflect the reality because a lot of it has neocolonial connotations.

I have been in this line now for 50 years. I am changing, for the remaining years I want to go more into preventive medicine rather than curative. The curative approach is primitive. You wait until people are sick and they come to you. Preventive helps people keep away the diseases, live longer. Our people managed to survive without hospitals, just like animals in Mt. Kenya do. They have no vets in Mt. Kenya and the Aberdares, yet elephants, giraffes, the zebras, are healthier than our cattle, because they eat right, they adapt their diet to changing needs and circumstances and instinctively they know what to eat,and what not to eat at given times. Our people managed to keep the disease-burden low because they had a habit of taking herbal tonic soups.Every family, even in your own setting, there must be somebody who once in a while would go for some herbal material, buy some bones, make soup, children were given forcefully literally. Because now many people cannot get this material, I am intending to develop a whole range of herbal teas. Some that oriented to preventing diabetes, particularly in those families that are genetically or lifestyle inclined. Another line for those who are inclined to get blood pressure, others for genetic conditions like arthritis which is becoming very prevalent and then we make one for cancer.

Cancer, diabetes, hypertension are diseases of toxicity. And the way you can prevent them is first, keep down the toxicity, by having ingredients in the tea that detoxify the system.We have poisons in the water we drink, in the food we eat, in the air we breathe. The trend is every other person will have cancer. So, when we have a tea that boosts immunity and detoxifies, that in itself manages a lot. Those people who because of genetic weaknesses, as they have the tea, they can give their kids instead of ordinary tea. It’s 100% safe. The tea will stimulate you, will boost your immunity and will remove surplus toxins by cleaning the liver, cleaning the kidney and cleaning the blood. It will cost more or less the same. I have a range of them already made, and some are coming.

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MA: It can be taken by young and old? Even by nursing mothers?

Dr. Githae: Yes.

MA: What do you think about GMOs?

Dr. Githae: I am against them. I am an agriculturalist. I am totally against them. This is sabotage. Even when the previous President first signed that, I sent a note to him. “If I were you, I wouldn’t do that.” I even challenged those people who advised him to do that, because GMO is making us dependent on others, first. Two, they are developed by the very evil forces that have an interest in our setting. These are some of the tactics that were used to depopulate South America, North America, Australia and Canada.

The other concern I have is too many vaccinations. Vaccines are attenuated germs made weaker. If a child can get five six seven vaccinations within a given time, it will not work. There will be conflict. And is it necessary? If we have academicians who are passionate about researching and coming out with new innovations, the first innovation should be why elephants in Mt. Kenya don’t get the diseases our cattle have. They don’t die out. The zebras which are like our donkeys are healthier than our donkeys.  The way to prevent diseases in our children is dietary and lifestyle. Not vaccination.

According to archeological evidence the Africoids or Negroids have been in Afrika for 150,000 years. The second oldest race of the three races of the world is the Europoid, the people of Europe. They are 40,000 years old. The Mongoloid the Chinese, Indian, Japanese are 6,000 years old. The older a civilization is, the wiser it is. The more sustainable their lifestyle is, the more intelligent they are. So we should, like you said earlier we should revisit those dynamics that have made us live that long, made us survive where weaker people perished and develop that to recapture our identity, our lost reputation, dignity and integrity.

The university I was planning to establish was going to be called the Afrikan Renaissance International University. I didn’t want a university that would do only alternative medicine. I wanted a university that would constitute a center of excellence in Afrikanism: Afrikan history, Afrikan philosophy, Afrikan ideology and Afrikan technology. That’s the only way we can recapture our identity and have our identity like the Chinese have theirs, like the Indians have theirs. Ours is haphazard. Traditional medicine was just a curtain raiser in a wider initiative, and it has proved beyond doubt that we have better medicine and I can make better medicine for Kenya for asthma, for arthritis, for hypertension, for diabetes, for epilepsy. I even made a formulation for ebola and wrote the Head of State and the Cabinet Secretary when our doctors were going to West Afrika; I pleaded with them to take my medicine, which was in tablet form, to take it and go try it there. I am double sure they work, because I have been treating rabies since 1960, which is viral. Parvovirus as long as 1970, Newcastle, which are viral and then in our WHO research network exchange we have many medicinal plants that have antiretroviral compounds. When they are bred together and you add some other material to deal with complications, ebola can be treated.

We have forgotten that we are the cradle of humanity and the cradle of civilization. We are the father and the mother of the entire human race, this is unchallengeable. Archeological evidence globally confirms that.

Dr. Jack Githae

 God has never created anything that doesn’t have a way to manage it. Now, as far as our people traditionally when they had any disease they had seers who could see it come, they had seers who could see what you can use and how and they also had clergy who would pray, neutralizing it. They went to Mt. Kenya, they prayed, within a week you don’t hear of it, just like they did for rain. This is Afrikan spirituality. It’s real. It’s based on forces that created the world, forces that created the heavenly bodies that go round one another. Those forces are controlled by such a big force that it is that source we stretch our hands to, to get a strand of it, it can release everything. But many people don’t open heavens. They talk, they congregate, they go home and nothing changes, because God doesn’t work like that. It is one spirit to, it is linkage of a spirit to the bigger spirit, period; it’s not the buildings.

MA: What do we do? How do we help them?

Dr. Githae: We talk the way we’re talking. I talk wherever I can talk. I didn’t know you. I didn’t ask at the beginning, but I’m telling you what I believe in, what I’ve lived for. That’s why I was rejected for nearly 10 years. They started coming back to me when they saw the entire world is looking for, Commonwealth Secretariat, UNESCO, WHO, all universities looking for me even I have papers from America who want to publish my work. I have 48 manuscripts. 20 are registered with Kenya Library Service I have IBS number for them. When I stopped going round, I had so much time I didn’t know what to do with it. I started to put my ideas in black and white and keep them, when I have money, they can be published.

The church has a very big role to play to rejuvenate that which they destroyed. It was the church that was used to destroy our culture, our medicine, even to adulterate our spirituality, which was authentic – very authentic. How can you heal without God? I always tell my patients, they come “Eh am I going to die?” I say, “Look, me, I do my bit. You do your bit by obeying what I tell you. That other bit we leave to Whoever created you because I can’t do that.” Who put the medicine in these plants, who did? Who?

Go back to your library, get your biology book, and take a picture of your brain. Your brain isn’t any different from the porridge you take in the morning. The only difference is the capacity of your brain to link up with the heavens. That’s why I can talk, you can talk, and you can hear me. That’s why dead bodies don’t hear. They don’t talk. Because that brain becomes porridge instantly, immediately they are delinked; like a radio you hook to a main. One traditional healer came from South Afrika, he was my visitor. He wanted me to take him to Mt. Kenya, we have a place where people used to go to worship; I pray there. I said, “I don’t go beyond here without praying.” He asked, “Githae, you mean you pray? You’re a scientist. You pray?”  I said, “What do you mean scientist? What is science? Now that you have approached that question in a scientific manner, do you know that the world is round? Do you know it is one of the heavenly bodies that go round each other as they also rotate on their axis?” He said, “Yes.” I asked, “How much power does an object of the caliber of the earth require to rotate on its axis? How much power would the moon need to keep away from the earth as it rotates round to avoid crashing into one another?” I said, “Whatever created and controls those, it is the source I lift my hand to, to get a strand of that energy, because indeed it is the same energy that made you, made me and it is it that makes us communicate.” I said to him, “If you want to come with me there, I will pray in English so that you can follow.” He said, “No, it will spoil your prayer.” I said, “What God are you talking about? The God I’m talking about knows all languages. He knows all the modes of worship.” Eventually he agreed. We went and prayed and he said, “When you were praying, I felt something go in.” I said, “That is a strand of the energy.”

MA: How did you eventually get the license to do what you’re doing?

Dr. Githae: I practiced for 8 years without a license. From 1971 when I started treating people I have been arrested many times. Taken in, I come out, people come to me, until I told the police, “Look, keep these people away from me. Cure them.” I remember once the chief and the police came to Kinangop, there were many people I said, “It’s them who came to me.” Then the patients said, “You’re telling us to go to hospital? Come. This is my document for Kenyatta, document for Kijabe, document for Naivasha, document for Njabini. I was not able to walk before I came here. It’s him who made me walk. Where are you telling me to go?” They almost attacked him. And then the Chief said, “Hey you, today I will not arrest you. Next time I find you.” Later on the Chief came and he pleaded with me that he brings hiskid; I treated him it ended like that. It took me eight years before I got a license because there’s no provision for license for traditional healers.

MA: What license did they eventually give you?

Dr. Githae: It’s a paper that says, “You are authorized to practice traditional medicine in the Afrikan norms as long as you don’t harm anybody.”I think we have a long way to go. What you are doing is very very important. Actually there would be no traditional medicine in Kenya were it not for the media. The first journalist to cover me. He came to Naivasha to cover a politician, who wasn’t available. He didn’t want to go back without a story. So he saw my little car, my car on the side I had written Karati Rural Service Centre Kinangop, that’s where I had written the work I did in Kinangop. He put a small note on the windscreen on the car. I didn’t see it I got in I was about to take off when he stopped me and explained that he had left me a note and wanted to cover what I do. I said, “This is witchcraft.” He said, “What do you mean it is witchcraft?” I said, “I deal with traditional medicine, which you people call witchcraft.” He said, “Well, it’s not witchcraft, I’ll cover it anyway.” I asked him to stay over in Naivasha and I would take him to Kinangop the next day, so that he could talk to the patients first, because the best way to assess any therapy and any healer is through the patients. He agreed. He saw so many people that he gave the story 2-page coverage. He also organized for me to go to TV, because his parents were my patients, his wife was my patient. That’s how he came to know about me.

I created a monograph, where I have all medicinal plants, coded. They have a folio number. Then I have a whole section of the monograph covering what diseases that plant covers in humans. Another section outlines what diseases, the same plant treats in livestock, what are the uses the same plant has in crop protection for instance, and can it be used for cabbages, carrots or to fight pests? Then we have a section for other multipurpose uses for all plants. At the end I have coded known compounds in the same plants. I’m doing 20,000 medicinal plants in the world. I had Chinese, Spanish, Russian literature translated and eventually there will be an encyclopedia. That will be my greatest contribution in this area before I retire, God willing. I’m doing that because with that you come out with the very best and then you come out with alternative plants. Some of the plants we are using are so sensitive they’re just about to be extinct. Yet they are weeds we burn, weeds we bury which are better medicines than the threatened plants we are using. For each plant we score its broad spectrum score; the ability of one plant to cure more than one disease in humans, in livestock and its toxicity, availability, sustainability etc.At the end there is a score, one number that reflects the utility value of that plant globally. 20,000 medicinal plants will be many volumes.

Eventually, with this scoring now with the monograph I will come out with plants that can be established in commercial plantations. Like, tea was wild, coffee was wild, and pyrethrum was wild. I think I have better plants than coffee, tea and pyrethrum.

MA: What would be your counsel to Afrikans or Kenyans concerning health and wellness?

Dr. Githae: They have to go back to traditional lives. You are what you eat. They have to go back to chemical-free foods and holistic foods, not fatty foods. Fermented porridge, for instance, is medicinal, it’s very high in vitamin K; it’s not the same as ordinary porridge. Ugali (pap, nsima, sima) made of blended floor, of course, such as cassava, sorghum, finger millet.All those have different properties, when they are put together… that’s the Afrikan way of doing things. That’s why even in our herbal medicine, we never use one plant. Even in the traditional dishes, the food our people, my mother cooked had maize beans peas, thoroko (cow pea leaves), vegetables, pumpkin leaves, and then we have amaranth, bananas, potatoes which were then mashed together. What isn’t in that food? And you know, when they talk about vaccine for malaria, many of our traditional vegetables can prevent malaria. Many. Including managu (Afrikan nightshade) can prevent it. Nourish you and prevent malaria. It’s not like spinach; it’s not like kale, they have no chemicals.

Our people have to go back to traditional diets; they have to have the food made the traditional way, because the conventional way they contaminate it with aluminum and too much boiling. They contaminate it with commercial oil, which you don’t know how it’s made with bleaching agents. People using funny spices. Then lifestyles: people need to interact, people need to balance physical and sedentary lives, otherwise you rot then diabetes and hypertension will kill you. Spirituality: health means being at par with the expectation of the Creator within the ecosystem He put you in. Period. They are inseparable. In our culture, the diet, interaction with people and spirituality are inseparable. Then there’s the family dynamics. The Afrikan family dynamic is therapeutic. The harmony. These conflicts, depressed people, they murder each other -see what is going on? The violence is a sign of sickness. Emotional and physical imbalance and you can’t handle them through courts. I think the traditional mode of life and mode of interaction have to come up and you need model centers where you have these integrated traditional dynamics at play, where people can break away for a weekend and taste it and live it actualize it, learn it and go propagate it. How about that?

For health questions, counsel and even how to reach Dr Githae, please reach us at: wehearyou@msingiafrikamagazine.com or call: +254738489470

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View Comments (5)
  • This is an excellent article! The man is more precious than diamonds. He is trully Godsent.I salute!

    • Thank you Munyororo for sharing this with me.I am soo happy and encouraged by the great work if Dr.Githae and his family and very grateful to MsingiAftika Magazin. I just subscribed and will keenly follow up on their great work.

  • Thank you , thank you MsingiAfrika for such wealth of Information,kindly share more of Dr.Githae’s knowledge in a series of Articles, i have subscribed in the hope of reading more on this line.I absolutely believe in our African greatness of wisdom and Support fully every effort of HER restoration.

    Many many thanks Dr.Githae and family ,i absolutely adore your Wealth of Knowledge. You are a Giant on whose shoulders the African Generations will proudly stand.
    Do you have or intend to put up a Library where we can come and be enriched in this knowledge and hopefully also contribute by sharing the practices we have experienced in our various regions of Africa? That would be one great meeting point.
    Many thanks.

    • Kawira, thank you for your kind words. We are grateful and have conveyed the same to Dr. Githae.
      We are working on ways to ensure that his knowledge is made available to Afrikans especially, and to whoever else God will allow it to get to.
      We will brief you with whatever comes up concerning the various platforms as and when they come up.
      We are encouraged.
      May God bless you.

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