Home Remedies as a Medical Development in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Zimbabwe: A Cultural Memory Paradigm
The increasing dependence on home remedies during the surge of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has drawn international attention and prompted academic conversations about the efficacy and effectiveness of home remedies in the treatment of the pandemic in Africa, in general, and Zimbabwe in particular. The purpose of this study was to investigate the medicinal contribution of home remedies in Zimbabwe during the Pandemic. This research was informed by insights from the dynamics of the memory perspective, developed by Jan Assmann and cultural memory used as the main thrust of the study. Data was collected through interviews and document analysis to interrogate the medicinal contribution and development of home remedies as a possible cure of Coronavirus in Zimbabwe. It is argued that home remedies, such as zumbani, moringa, concoction of ginger, garlic, tobacco snuff, lemon leaves, guava tree leaves and honey, among others, are a medicinal development in the treatment of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe, since scientists are still battling to develop a vaccine. The findings revealed that there is an increasing reliance on home remedies by Coronavirus patients to treat the disease compared to conventional medicine. In as much as home remedies are helpful in treating symptoms, there is a need to compliment these remedies with clinically proven conventional medicine. Home remedies currently used to treat Coronavirus should undergo scientific tests and clinical trials to determine its efficacy and effectiveness. It is concluded that home remedies have taken centre stage and are generally accepted as a significant alternative in the treatment and cure for COVID-19 in Zimbabwe. Thus, it is imperative for both traditional herbalists and conventional medical scientists to work together to develop the much-needed vaccine that will ultimately cure Coronavirus. There is also the need for governments to fund research that promotes development in both traditional and conventional medicine.
Key words: Home remedies, cultural memory, figures of memory, COVID-19 pandemic, symbols, Zimbabwe