Mukamba tree bark is a sensation with women in Chief Negova's area in Zvishavane who use it as a herb to make their vag_inal openings tighter.
The publication was in Polandi in Vunganai Village under Chief Negova some 100 km out of Zvishavane recently and saw the tree whose trunk had been chopped all over for its bark.
Lucia Mlambo who spoke to The Mirror said that women were travelling from as far away as Harare to collect the tree bark. Women use a knife, a hoe or a small axe to peel off the bark.
To use the bark, the women crash it and place it in a piece of cloth. They add some water and then insert the cloth into the vag_ina. This is done for a few minutes allowing the water to penetrate deep into the vag_ina. The herb works by adding crushed barks into porridge and it's so effective that the vag_ina tightens as that of a virgin, said Lucia Mlambo.
Zvishavane District Medical Officer, Timothy Muvurayi said it is not recommended for women to use any kind of herbs because they are not medically proven. He also said there is need to check for the side effects of those herbs first.
However, some women are shy to be seen collecting the bark so most of the peeling happens at night.
……said the bark is so popular that young girls who are readying themselves for marriage or those having their first encounters with boyfriends use the mukamba bark in order to impress.
It is also said that the bark provides reprieve to cheating women as the women use the bark each time after an illicit encounter. This will destroy evidence that there was cheating.
"There is no one who doesn't know about this tree in this area because many women use it to save their marriages especially those who have their husbands who work from other cities, if they cheat while he is away they use the barks to make their vag_inas shrink again and appear as if they never slept with anyone.
What they do is they crash the barks and put in a cloth, add some water and the insert in their private parts and that's how it works, said the woman.
Godffrey Mwerenga, a herbalist and an African herbal medicine researcher said traditional medicines lack acknowledgement but they are good. He said apart from being useful to women needs African herbs including the mukamba are known for fighting diseases.
He however, said there was need for research on side effects of any herbal or modern drug before one uses it. He urged women using mukumba to get to know the side-effects.
"Traditional herbs are really good and they work whatever way you want, besides helping vag_inas to shrink we also have herbs which fights cerv_ical cancer but we first treat them by mixing the herbs with our oils so that they wont be having any side effects.Im not so sure about Mukamba but I might know if it has another name because I know many herbs," said Mwerenga.