Home Community People V.I. Entrepreneur in Ghana at AIDS Summit on Herbal Medicine

V.I. Entrepreneur in Ghana at AIDS Summit on Herbal Medicine


March 13, 2005 – The healing qualities of medicinal plants will take center stage in Accra, Ghana, when Virgin Islands businessman Larry Sewer joins panelists from around the globe to discuss the use of traditional medicines in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
The Global Summit on HIV/AIDS, Traditional Medicine and Indigenous Knowledge will be held Tuesday through Saturday to examine the role of traditional knowledge and remedies as a means of providing affordable, alternative treatment for currently incurable diseases. The summit is being organized by Africa First, an organization for global dialogue and alliances between indigenous wisdom and conventional knowledge.
Summit objectives include providing a forum for the identification and testing of potentially beneficial, low-cost, naturally-derived medicinal products; to promote partnerships between indigenous healers, conventional medical practitioners and corporate institutions for future development of drugs and herbal products; to encourage governments to adopt and enforce laws to protect and conserve plants of medicinal value; and to protect the rights of indigenous practitioners.
Sewer has been a champion for the preservation of V.I. history and culture, particularly regarding the once-prevalent use of medicinal plants in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. A retired teacher and National Guardsman, he is an herbalist certified by the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism in Boulder, Colorado, and has studied and worked with herbs most of his life.
"HIV/AIDS continues to devastate communities around the globe, and as the numbers of infected people steadily increases here in the Virgin Islands, we must look to alternative treatments, many of which can be found right in our back yards and along our shores," Sewer said.
"Herbal or traditional medicine has been given a negative connotation over the years; however, even the large pharmaceutical companies base their conventional medicine on indigenous plants from regions such as Africa, Latin America, Asia and here in the Caribbean."
Sewer founded a skin care company, Jewel of the Isles (JOI), in 1994 featuring his multi-use skin cream of aloe, yellow love and prickly pear. Sewer will return to the territory March 31.


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