Dr. Qazeem Olawale aka Olaking is the CEO and Chief Consultant, Olaking International Holistic Medicine Company (OIHM), and a member of various natural medicine practitioners groups, such as, the British Council of Complimentary Therapies (TBCCT), Nigerian Council of Physicians of Natural Medicine (NCPNM), National Association of Nigerian Traditional Medicine Practitioners (NANTMP), and Connecting Muslim Doctors International (CMD Int’l). The university lecturer, in this no-holds-barred interview with OLUWATOSIN OMONIYI, spoke on the use of herbal remedies in curing cancer, HIV, diabetes, and tuberculosis, among other ailments. Excerpts…
With your education, why did you venture in traditional medicine?
I used to assist my grandfather who was a stark illiterate, but highly knowledgeable in curing cancer with herbs. We were always attending to his customers together; majority of them were bigwigs coming from the city to meet him. Asides from helping him to translate or act as an interpreter, I also helped in preparing the herbal medicine. By the time I got to the university, I was already having my own patients. Majority of them those recommending cancer patients to me now. In 2017, I read a report by a renowned Medical Doctor on how Nigerians spent billions of naira going abroad to treat cancer, many would still die after spending so much money. This was what really provoked my interest to help those afflicted with the disease.
Don’t you think that local cure is hard to believe?
There was a particular case of a lady who was doubting me, but after I agreed to treat her, she was able to stand on her feet. She promised to go back to the clinic she was attending and introduce her new discovery to them. Cancer is curable mostly at the early stages, and also, using herbs to treat prevents it from spreading to other organs.
Why did you toe the path of naturopathic medicine as opposed to allopathy?
Naturopathic medicine has always been deeply ingrained in me, it’s a gift I can proudly say I was born with. Here’s why; my mom has been in the profession of using herbal medicine to treat ailments of the locals in our community for decades. Seeing her handle a myriad of patients with different medical conditions inspired me to follow the path. I also opted for naturopathic medicine because it dawned on me that prevention is pivotal than cure. A plethora of diseases which affect humans can either be traced to the foods we eat or the lives we lead. So, I saw the need to go for a treatment plan that treats the body via natural means and allow it to heal itself. I would rather nip any root problem in the bud before the condition escalates by employing a top-notch approach that involves an adequate diet, lifestyle modification, and administering herbal supplements.
Do you practice general naturopathic medicine or specialised in one field?
The proverb ‘Jack of all trades,master of none’, does not hold water in a field like mine. To excel and meet the demands of your patients, you have to be a seasoned professional, and on that note I would like to say that I am an all-round naturopathic doctor. As a general practitioner in the natural medicine field, I have gone the extra mile to specialize in areas like acupuncture treatment for neurological disorders, treatment of infertility, and treatment of chronic diseases like cancer, stroke and HIV. I am well-versed in different aspects of my field. However, my team comprises of expert like chiropractors, physiotherapists, and nutritionists who work together to ensure that we meet our patients’ needs.
The fears of many people is wrong diagnosis. How do you diagnose a disease?
When a patient walks through the door of my office, I carry out a comprehensive consultations to know etiology of the ailment. A naturopathic doctor’s method of diagnosing a patient’s disease is highly nuanced with that of an allopathic doctor’s. In most cases, we carry out the standard tests done in unorthodox medicine. However, we ask questions about our patient’s health history, signs and symptoms, sleep patterns, hearing capabilities, sex life and bowel function. We do all these to get a visual image of the general health. We sometimes ask questions about our patient’s lifestyle habits too, because the more information we have on our patient, the better we can treat them.
Do you carry out routine checks like blood samples and tests on your patients?
Many a time when a client visits our facility, we carry out routine tests on them even after they must have presented a bloodwork and/or test result from a medical doctor. We do this just to be sure of what exactly the cause of the illness might be.
What are the successes you have recorded with naturopathic methods?
We have Olawale recorded tremendous success treating patients who are experiencing illnesses such as obesity, liver diseases, heart diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, fertility problems, fibromyalgia, hormonal imbalances, cancer management, allergies and chronic pain. If there is one thing I’d like to chip in, it’s the fact that liver diseases like fatty liver and hepatitis are on the rise. We get cases of these ailments reported at least every week, however, we are thankful that our intervention has been fruitful so far.
How about obstacles?
It is not totally out of place to say that the naturopathic profession in Nigeria is still in its baby steps. Ever since our inception, one of the main obstacles we have encountered is being accepted by the society. The public’s misconception of the role played by naturopathy is one that we cannot overstate. The society has not fully bought into the idea of trusting a naturopathic doctor. In most cases, patients who visit us for treatment find it difficult to complete their treatments. It is imperative that our clients and would-be clients understand that we use natural medicines, and at such we expect them to exercise patience and see results for themselves, instead of giving up mid-way and concluding that natural remedies are not effective. More so, patients are always on the look-out for an evidencebased medicine prototype geared towards product prescription. In addition, the alternative medicine market has been flooded by luxuries, hence, patients are worried that natural medicine doctors are more concerned about pushing their products for profits than giving them a first-rate treatment. One cannot also ignore the disagreements and division within the naturopathic field. In the same breath, the government is still sitting on the fence about issues pertaining to alternative medicines like naturopathy. Lack of support from the government has been one of the drawbacks we experience in this field.
What instance stands you out?
Curing an early stage cancer which was present in a foreign client marked the turning point in my career. The African- American lady in her mid-60s had contacted my organisation after she observed lumps on her breast. We weren’t doubtful of our products and methods so we sent our cancer-killer combo to her, changed her nutritional intakes and lifestyle habits. We did a follow up on her, and I was euphoric to get a report from her a few months later that the lumps in the affected breast had disappeared. The woman’s testimony brought in good tidings, and ever since then, we had so many good days. I record it as a huge success whenever any patient of mine gets cured of a life-threatening disease.
What dietary plans do you generally recommend to your patients?
As a medical practitioner who practices holistic medicine, I work with my team of nutritionists to curate dietary plans for my clients. In the world of naturopathy, it is widely believed that any diet that is devoid of wholesome food introduces toxins to the body. We carry out dietary intervention for patients suffering from illnesses like reproductive disorders, high cholesterol and obesity, stress, insomnia, addictions, organ diseases like liver problems and digestive issues. Diets created by us prevents illnesses, boosts energy levels and improves a person’s health generally. We advise our clients to consume foods in their natural forms as possible. We are not in support of consuming foods that are laden with chemical preservatives, additives, and artificial ingredients. When planning meals for our clients, we ensure that each meal contains 25 per cent whole grains, 50 per cent organic vegetables and 25 per cent protein. Our typical diets include organic vegetables, wellcooked meals, and meat sources that are antibiotic and hormone-free.
Can you throw more light on the perception that naturopathic diet entails only vegetarian diets?
The belief that nutritionists in the naturopathic field only recommend vegetables to their client is misleading. While the significance of vegetables in a diet cannot be overemphasized, the need for complete nutrients in meals should not be downplayed. We advocate that our clients add healthy proteins, grains, carbs and fats to their diets.
What are your views on the consumption of animal proteins/fats?
Some of the organs in the human body are supported by muscles and adipose tissues which are predominantly built by proteins and fat cells respectively. The body needs proteins to perform some functions, and it also needs fats like monosaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids to maintain cell membranes. So, we do not support the total exclusion of fats from a diet. What we preach against is consumption of oils that can cause inflammation. Inflammatory oils also called trans-fat increases the risk of heart diseases such as coronary heart diseases. Trans-fats are frequently found in hydrogenated oils, margarine and shortenings.
How do you as a naturopathic expert manage patients with chronic pains?
Over the years, I have garnered knowledge on pain management. I have come to understand how debilitating pain can be, and for this reason, I devised a risk-free means of managing pain. At our facility, we offer a safe and highly effective option to addictive drugs for pain management. We focus on targeting what triggers the pain which might be stressors (past or present), nutrition, leisure and lifestyle. We incorporate a care plan that comprises herbal medicines, nutritional supplements and dietary recommendations to help alleviate the pain. In most cases, we ask our clients to modify their lifestyle through physical rehabilitation and exercises.
How do you manage patients suffering from High Blood Pressure and diabetes?
Diabetes and hypertension are two silent killers that pose a significant health challenge. These diseases have hit an all-time high in some developed and developing nations of the world, ranking high as one of the causes of mortality. We take pride in the fact that our protocols for hypertension and diabetes are safe, reliable and researchbased. When patients with diabetes and high blood pressure come to us for treatment, we carry out standard tests, check the organs and pinpoint any marker that might indicate the presence of the diseases. We instruct them on why they need to alter their dietary regimen, improve their physical activity level, manage stress and rest properly.Our patients are given different supplements to either replenish the stores of nutrients that have become depleted, drop down their blood glucose levels or lower their blood pressure and lipid count.
What would you advise regarding naturopathic health care?
Follow your dreams, never quit and try not to see setbacks as obstacles but stepping stones.
Do you also train those aspiring to be naturopathic doctors?
There is a giant gap in naturopathy in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. To bridge this divide, I conceived an idea and that was how the Olaking Institute of Holistic Medicine (OIHM) was born. The institute welcomes individuals who aspire to be naturopathic doctors. We just graduated our third batch of students. So, anyone who wants to specialise in naturopathy can visit the OIHM.
What is your academic background?
I am thankful that I have taken strides to advance my profession. Our brand aims to touch all borders and corners of the world, and I knew that one of the fastest ways to get international recognition was to get some certifications from some international naturopathic bodies. I have a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ilorin, Natural Medicine Doctor (NMD) certification from the Indian Board of Alternative Medicine, Doctor of Medicine degree in Acupuncture from the Open International University for Complementary Medicine- Medicina Alternativa, Colombo, Sri Lanka; Certificate course in Neuro-acupuncture, China; Certificate course in Osteopathy, hypnotism, Noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS), CT and CARM guided medical acupuncture, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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