The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has mopped up trucks of illicit herbal intoxicants popularly called ‘Kurkura’ gargle, herbal aphrodisiac and alcoholic bitters across the country.
Director-general of NAFDAC, Prof Moji Adeyeye, who disclosed this while displaying samples of the products at a press briefing in Abuja yesterday, said the substances were laced with high concentration of tobacco and cannabis.
She said findings from various operations carried out by the agency revealed a dangerous trend in the use of such substances by the populace cutting across all genders and age groups particularly artisans, drivers, okada riders, among others.
Adeyeye listed the ‘Kurkura’ herbal preparations discovered in circulations as; Five Minutes Power Herbal Medicine, Haonu Laha Herbal Mixture, Gamzaki Tradomedical Herbal Ventures, Barakallahu Multipurpose Herbal Mixture and Sabon Karfi Herbal Mixture.
“Among the above, only Haonu Laha Herbal Mixture is registered, nonetheless laced with unapproved substances that are injurious to the body.
“Kurkura is an illicit product illegally consumed for the sole aim of getting intoxicated. The substance when abused can be harmful to the body organs such as the brain, kidney and liver,” said Adeyeye.
The director general further stated that another herbal preparation that is of concern is aphrodisiacs which had been discovered to be laced with cannabis, adding that the agency, in its recent operation, impounded dangerous herbal aphrodisiacs at some Islamic herbal medicine shops in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The products include Gagare Man Power, Minister for Man Power, Almenjou for Lazy Men in Bed, Nisan Zango Karfin Maza, Shagalin ka Man Power, Dakan Jia Man Power Enhancement, Wuff Male Sexual Performance and Afafata for Sexual Drive.
She disclosed that so far, one of the illegal factories involved in the production of such products had been shut down and the owner had been arrested.
“Worthy of note is the discovery of the usage of Hyergra 200 (Sildenafil Citrate tablet), Amafranil tablets (Clomipramine tablet 25mg) and Cannon Extra (Paracetamol 500mg+Caffeine 30mg) in the production room. The owner admitted that he dissolves the Hyergra 200, Cannon Extra and the Amafranil in a drum and mixes the content with boiled Kanafari, garlic, dundu, marke, hankufa, sweetner and sodium benzoate to make up the man power preparation. Yet, the label on the preparation read 100 per cent herbal.
“The effect of such preparation on people with heart challenges can only be imagined. The makers of these products were arrested and later granted bail. Investigation is ongoing,” Adeyeye stated.
On alcoholic bitters, she said the product that is of grave concern is Japata alcoholic bitters which was duly registered by NAFDAC but laced with marijuana or cannabis compared to the registered product that had only ethanol.
“Through intelligence, NAFDAC was able to shut down the company. This product, when tested in the laboratory, caused the death of the mice within five minutes. The alcoholic content was doubled compared with the registered product. The retained samples, kept at the point of registration, did not cause any injury to the animals.
“The product laced with cannabis was said to cause altered state of mind and psychological problems to the user. The owner of the company is on the run and the matter has been shared with NDLEA,” she explained.
She advised consumers of NAFDAC-regulated products to be watchful of drugs, food and other regulated products they purchase and not to hesitate to report any suspicious activity within their environment to the nearest NAFDAC office.