Multi-talented Bose Olubo-Adegeye has remained visible in the entertainment circles for a long time. She recently bagged a Diploma in Herbal Medicine from the University of Lagos. She opens up on her journey into the world of herbs in this exclusive interview with The Gazelle News.com’s Adetutu Audu.
You studied Computer Science in the higher institution, at what point did you find your calling in the Medical Science ?
I had always wanted to be a medical doctor from the time I sat for the JAMB examinations in 1989.
I was actually given admission by the University of Ibadan but on getting there a week later, my name was missing on the list of admitted students for the course.
I was really angry and sad. Getting back to Lagos i locked myself in my room and cried. It was so painful that I was the best student in school but could not gained admission into the University.
After sometime, my mother who was a nurse and some Elders in the Church were able to persuade me go to the School of Nursing.
I did all the necessary things and I commenced the study but I along the line, I realized that was not what I wanted. I changed my mind and I pursued Computer Science at the Yaba College of Technology.
After I finished, I worked briefly at Maktay and Niteshift. I have been in entertainment for long. I mime, dance and sing. I was at the defunct Lord’s Club and some top clubs in Lagos. Computer Science for me was brief. I went into Desktop Publishing. I was designing magazines like West African Pilot and some others. I was doing it part-time because I was already in entertainment.
What actually brought you to Medicine?
Few years ago I had a health challenge, High Blood Pressure and I wonder why I should at my age. It was so serious I had to be place on medication. I would locked myself in and cried, why me? I carried medication about.
Fortunately for me, I met someone who introduced another person to me at Ipokia, Ogun State who is into herbs. I have a background in herbs because I lived with my grandmother in the village. So I started noticing positive changes in me after I started the medication and I continue the treatment. Although it was stressful for me going to pick herbs at Ipokia every Saturday, I coped very well. Even my doctor was interested in my healing.
Afterwards, I thought over it that I had always wanted to be a medical doctor taking care of people. I have been exposed to a lot and I don’t want to look half baked. I don’t want people to start asking me questions so I decided to go back to school, Unilag, to get my Diploma. I have also done about 12 online courses in the last eight years before I finally came back home. I came out as the best student in my Unilag class.
There have been controversies between orthodox medicine practitioners and herbal or alternative practitioners in terms of quality of medication. With your knowledge, how do you think this gap can be bridged?
All the courses I did, I put them under evaluation of medicine. This is the essence of going to school for me. If one really wants to practice Herbal Medicine, no matter what, go back to school because that is where you will learn the evaluation, efficacy, toxicity, quality and the quantity as well as the storage.
It is in those days that you will say one cup, now everything is about measurement. Most of the herbs are in powder and capsules. For instance, in orthodox one drug can have one or two active ingredients, extipients and other things that does not necessary need to cure you but to hold the drug together, or dissolve easily, last longer in the body or make them active.
If you go to Herbal Medicine or Faculty of Pharmacognosy you will see our laboratory.
There are different specimen to teach you, we have our garden that has live herbs, leaves, vegetable etc. It is more than what has been happening before now.We have measurement for everything. We appreciate Orthodox Medicine. We didn’t just go into Herbal Medicine.
There was a day I brought my books from the school and one of our family friends asked me are you sure you are studying Herbal Medicine? We actually studied Orthodox Medicine before we moved into herbs. We believe in screening and test. The two are working together to make the world better.
How will you suggest handling those who hawk Herbal Medicine?
I will just advised that what is what doing at all, is worth doing well. It is not everybody that will have opportunity to go to school like I did after 50 years. I was the second oldest student in my class and I was able to cope and passed very well. I will appeal to our people to learn. Knowledge is not only going to school, but they can go to the Herbal Medicine Board. I know that the Board is doing a six week course and all herbal practitioners are eligible.
If you know about herbs go to the Medicine Board and ask on how you can improve on yourself. By then, your orientation will change and you will be neater in the area of dispensing, careful in the process too. If you don’t know how to read and write, they teach you and you will be able to learn one thing or the other. As I speak, a lot of them are doing this.
Have you started producing your drugs?
We did a lot of practical and I thank God that the knowledge I took to Unilag had been doubled by the time I left. I am trying my hands on everything that I learnt. I am doing a lot on testing for now.
We are doing testing and confirmation of all the claims on the products to confirm if they are true, that is why my products are not in the market yet.
What is your focus in Herbal Medicine?
Gynaecology, we did General Medicine. My focus is Gynecology. I thank God that in the last years eight years, I have done courses in other aspects of human ailments. I have gone through courses in Hypertension, Diabetes, and Fibroid. I do research on the causes, maintenanace, cure, contributing factors every six month. I am starting on Arthritis in January.
For how long have you been practicing?
Officially one year after my graduation
How has the acceptance been?
It has been wonderful and encouraging. People come in and they are like: are you sure you are doing herbal. People see my recommendation and they love the aspect of my counseling because I believe we need history. When I hear your history, I can be able to diagnose. I discovered some people don’t even know their body.
When there is an external factor, you misunderstand it when you don’t know your body. You need to study if there is any change, you will be conscious and when the change persist, you will know that something is wrong. For instance, someone is having Hernia amd the best snack for him is groundnut. So for that person he is eating fruit that can negate his cure from the ailment.
The area people love most is the counseling I do every Saturday morning. I do free test and counsel people on their ailments. Every Friday, I have a health programme 6 to 7 online. I believe whatever we eat is basically our drug, so you don’t eat against your system.
In all these, you still go on location. What are you working on presently?
My Monday to Sunday is God’s hand. I am slightly free on Thursday. Tuesday is for entertainment. I have a consultant that stays in the clinic. We are working on Family Impact series on Tv. We are in episode 7. And I have a wonderful director, Dimeji Kehinde. Anytime I am not needed in any scene, I am free. I am fulfilled. I thank God for my life, my family, my company and foundation. We are celebrating 18 years in December.