By Christian Ogbonna
Medical experts in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, have said that bitters could boost the immune system and regulate stomach acidity.
However, the experts advised manufactures to improve on the hygienic of production of such drugs and herbs.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who visited some shops on Tuesday in Yenagoa gathered that bitters were selling and consumed in most public places of drinking in the city.
Some of them include Action Bitter, washing and setting, baby-Oku, Skerewu, man-power, Swedish, Yoyo, Iguedo’s Gogo Cleanser as well as Chinese and India bitters.
Dr Luck Onuegbu, a gynaecologist in Ovom Community Health Centre, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa, said that intake of bitter has nutritional value and it could also enhance fertility.
“Bitters are good to human body but we must be careful of what are being sold in the market this days; I know some bitters like Swedish and Yoyo, but with the influx of the unbranded ones today is worrisome.
“There are too many of them in the market but I can still remember Iguedo’s Gogo Cleanser and Yoyo bitters, they are good to human body.
“The mixture can regulate stomach acidity and manage blood sugar; it can also enhance fertility as well as combating inexplicable infertility in both man and woman.
“There is need to improve hygiene for production across the country and I must urge consumers to be using those that have been approved by the NAFDAC,” Onuegbu said.
Mrs Margret Owei, a Nutritionist, said that bitters or aromatic could also aid digestion, reduce digestive discomfort and actually improve the daily function of the digestive system.
According to Ogene, the herbal mixtures help to feed the micro-bacteria that becomes healthy intestinal flora and taking after a meal is actually a little better but can also be taken before a meal.
Mr Ken Omeka-agu, a consumer of bitters, said it had helped his body system to be functional and agile.
Omeka-agu said that he was not consuming the mixture because they were cheap, but because it was African’s herb that had been used by our fore-fathers.
“You cannot take roots, especially `Agbo’, out of the system because it has been in use by our fore-fathers for ages that is why they lived long and strong.
“Most white man’s medication is made from herbs, so what is the big deal about herbs, or Agbo? Bitters, especially Agbo can cure a lot of illness, we want the state and federal governments to promote the use of African’s root,” he said.
Mrs Mercy Olufemi, an Agbo seller, said that some other bitters were Alomo and Kasapreko (from Republic of Ghana), Ibile, Opa Eyin and man power.
Olufemi said that these bitters were very suggestive for libidinal efficacy for both man and woman.
“There are different kinds of bitters that can improve libido and help a man to be active with his spouse; bitters or bitter tonic are spirit-based tinctures made from herbs, barks and roots.
“Bitters are prepared according to secret recipes by several manufacturers using bitter herbs, leaves, fruits, seeds or roots and sometimes alcohol or sugar.
“Yes, we sell it, Agbo in measures, a cup can be sold between N20, N50 and N100 depending on the mixtures and ailment,” she said.