One of the most fascinating and promising fields of medicine Manu'a Healthcare Foundation is actively moving into is traditional "native" medicines, defined as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) today but used thousands of years by Samoans and Polynesians as cures for some of the illnesses and medical conditions we face today. These medicines went dorment for a period of time as western medicine took front stage as the cure of cures. However, in many cases, western medicine has reach a certain point where we believe, native medicine may be able to bridge that gap between research and trails, to potential cures.
These medicines supposedly helped cure diseases such as Diabetes and other forms of diseases. Some research has been done in the past to determine the contents and make-up of the plants and active ingredients. However the next stage of this research project would be to take the plants (or key ingredients) and convert into commercial form herbal "Organic" medicine, with reference to native Islands medicine to finally coin the outcome "Native Organic Medicine". Our goal to to validate whether some of these traditional plant medicines actually work, including their positive and and negative side affects.
As a non-profit entity focused on delivery of medical solutions and research, Manu'a Healthcare Foundation will be working on Grants and other forms of funding for research into these traditional medicines starting in mid-2016 as our part in helping find solutions and potential cures to diseases affecting our people today.
Samoan traditional Herbal medicines
Traditional Samoan medicines are based on various plants found on the islands. These native plants are known to have cure properties that are still unknown today, including their positive affects to fighting disease
Areas of targeted medicinal Research
Kava (Piper Methysticum) - Roots of of a particular plant that produce a drink with sedative and anesthetic properties. Kava has a calming effect reliving anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness and stress-related symptoms such as muscle tension or spasm. Kava has caused liver failure if used for long continuous periods of time. It is this area of research that we would research into; how to limit or reduce the negative impact to the liver.
Pua Samoa (Gardenia Taitensis DC) - leaves taken internally for diabetes and generally used for "cleansing the blood" in pre-natal care.
Seasea (Syzygium corynocarpum) - leaves taken internally for fever, leaves used topically for relief of inflammation.