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From the Belgian Congo deep in the heart of Africa comes a drug obtain from the root of the tree. It is known as recipe and is widely used throughout the world in the treatment of heart disease and mental illness. The National Association of educational broadcasters presented America's African heritage recorded in Africa by Skip Westfall program temp medicine from the root of a tree here is kept Westfall our program comes to you today from the consent to mission in the southwestern part of the bosun Congo. This mission is one of the leading Catholic mission stations in Africa. In addition to an outstanding religious and educational program and an excellent hospital because central mission is world renowned for its botanical gardens in experiments with various types of trees herbs and plants. Father Collins who directs the research work at the Botanical Gardens has made a number of very important contributions in the field of modern medicine.
Prior to our departure from America for the Belgian Congo we made a recording of a visit to the abbot pharmaceutical plant in North Chicago. I feel that it would be appropriate at this time to insert that recording into our program. So will you come with me now. Back across the seas to North Chicago for the recording we made at the Abbott pharmaceutical plant when we go to the drug to start to get a prescription filled a druggist usually hands us our tablets or capsules in tiny boxes our small bottles. But here at the pharmaceutical plant we see barrels full of pills and huge revolving tanks containing many thousands of capsules. At this moment we are standing before a tablet manufacturing machine and machine is about six feet in height at the top of it is a huge ball filled with white powder containing ingredients which have come from all over the world.
As the powder flows from the bowl the machine stamps out the tiny tap. Which drops from a sponge to a bucket. This drone one department manager had. Manufacturing is standing we say. I'm sure he will be glad to answer a few questions. Yes I will be happy. Question. What is this cabinet for the school. This is a tavern a vitamin mineral supplement to be used during pregnancy. One of the prevention of anemia. Would you give us the names of some of the ingredients which go into this. In addition to all the vitamins it contains Cobalt manganese. You know I am particularly interested in the products contained in modern medicine which come from the continent of Africa. You mentioned called I understand that a lot of 60 percent of the world's supply of course comes from them that was in the heart of Africa. Do any of the other elements you have name come from Africa.
Yes both manganese and I nursed. All material in this at the top of the machine seems to be in the form of a drive. That's right through your fingers. It comes out of the machine in Kevlar. What is the substance which holds it together. We use a type of gum to bind the tablets together in some cases this is a synthetic compound. But in the case of the gum use is acacia. Acacia. That's another ingredient which comes from the continent of Africa. I hope that during my trip to Northern and Southern and South Africa I may be able to visit some of the areas where the acacia is gathered from the first shipment to the United States. How many different kinds of tablets do you manufacture here at the average laboratory. We make over 200 different tablets and then of course there are various types of liquid medicine manufactured here suppose we visit the room where
these medicines are being made. What is this one and the large event we see here this is a solution of Harare the same ingredient South American Indians use as an arrow poison. Where do the natives obtain this arrow poison. Is it a secret. No it is no longer a secret in the far off jungles. The native hunter Tip's is Errol with Harare shoots from an eight foot blowgun to drop his prey at 75 feet paralyzes the animal stops its heart. The secrets of preparing the Chari were closely guarded by the medicine man. Until recently when they consented to make it for export and Abbot purification and Crystal ization extract the active principle transform the Tari substance for use in surgery.
Certainly most interesting. You know the other day while doing a little research in your company library I came across a rather unusual story about the boiling of the seams of the boiling of this poison used to be considered quite dangerous. The fumes were so poisonous that it often resulted in death. Well according to this story of the South American Indians used to put an old woman in a room all by herself to supervise the cooking of the road. The fumes would finally become so poisonous that the woman would die. And that would be a sign that the mixture was sufficiently boil that it had all of the qualities necessary to make it good. I'm glad Abbott has a scientific method for determining the strength of this drug to replace your Indian method. What is the use of this barrel poison in modern medicine. Harare is a muscle relaxant used in surgery to give us a relaxation under lighter anesthesia.
Well it certainly here is interesting to know that the people of primitive tribes who were totally uneducated according to our standards that these people have made and are making today such an important contribution to modern medicine I suppose we could say that South American Indian with his Arab oil is in a sense standing beside the surgeon in the operating room of our hospital giving to him the medicine which is saving the lives of many people as they lie on the operating table. That certainly is true and we at Abbott are glad to be working on such an important medicine. All the stories about the making of modern medicine certainly are fascinating. I'm sure we could spend the whole day going from one medicine to another and find an interesting story in each of them. But you have other things to do. Mr. on and I don't want to take up too much of your time. Let's take one more. What is the tablet which is being manufactured in this machine.
These are are our harmony tablets containing an active ingredient from rubble from India. It is used as a tranquilizer which lowers the blood pressure. What does it have any other uses. Yes in larger doses it has proved very valuable in treating some types of insanity. I read recently that they are beginning to cultivate this a root in the Belgian Congo as well as in India. That is very interesting because a supply from India has been limited. Well this is Ben and education to me mister on this. In the few minutes we have spent together and we have found something from Africa in the dye collects tablet which prevents pregnant mothers and their unborn baby we have seen how the Arab poison of the South American Indian makes the coup which lessens the likelihood of heart failure during surgery. And we have seen how the royal
wealthier route from far away India is being used by doctors today in the treatment of mental illness makes us realize how much our own health and happiness depend on the people of other countries throughout the world. Now we're back again in the Belgian Congo to get something of the story behind the medicines which come to us from Africa. In our story from Chicago you will recall mention was made of the use of the medicine obtained from the Royal wolfie a tree. One of the greatest accomplishments of Father columns here at the Cassandra mission has been the part that he has played in helping to make available for medicinal use the drug which is obtained from the root of the rubble via tree. This drug which has been named recipe is the most widely used alkaloid obtained from the Royal fear route. Until quite recently serpentine Ho was a relatively unimportant drug plan of India which was obtained
by so-called Herb gatherers who collected it from the forests. These routes were also sold by a medicine man at Village Fair. For many years this route was used in India as antidotes for snake bites and stings of insects as well as a remedy for diarrhea and a number of other ailments. Today a recipe is used in modern medicine for the treatment of high blood pressure and as a trend wising aged its widest use seems to be in the treatment of mental disease patients suffering from schizophrenia chronic alcoholism and drug addiction have been aided greatly by this mysterious Medicine obtained from the root of the tree. Unfortunately Father Collins is not here at the mission at the present time so I'm unable to talk with him about the contribution he has made to this phase of modern medicine. However one of the fathers who is an instructor here at the Medical Institute has agreed to give us some of this information. As I recall you said you came here to the
Congo from Belgium. Father Albert Yes sir I am a village just coming from the south. Where is that located. In both from the village and goes to found one hundred and fifty miles from now would you tell us briefly the star a father or a of how the route will your route was developed here in the Belgian Congo. Well the search immediately out to ground or to see by the pharmaceutical firms asked to the different the tangle of cartons in Africa and especially here to the botanical garden on the sun too if they could attend them regularly you know kind of so gross and Bland's medical drugs and drug use writing needed here in the region they were interested particularly in medicine. Yes and they ask you especially for his son to evade drug wasn't able to look if there was no no or all of your region. Well Tony Collins the director of the Botanical Garden who had already made a
special study on the road was able to send me the different kinds of lore right. These are forever growing here in this region and was this a better type of group than the ones a million different Seaver found out that. This super idea of who you are if you continue to hire the person of Jesus in the ox to Father Cullen's if he didn't know somebody who could organize the Academy of doom of deceivers. Q Your teaching that was done first by Father Thomas himself and then I took off the year off to some. Then you would say that Father Cullen's here at the mission actually started the gathering of the route will the river. Yes well there briefly and we have the story of how an African missionary has helped to make available for use throughout the world such an important medicine. It must be an inspiration to the people of other lands who are suffering. Well for instance from heart trouble for them to know that their contributions to foreign missionary work is now
coming back to them in the medicine to cure their disease. ROSE So you could see that do get money before you do missions these returning. Back now to them for a medical review. Very interesting isn't it. And when we think of the use of the role of your route in the treatment of mental disease I am sure that Father Collins and his associates feel that they are carrying out in a wonderful way the command of our Lord to go into all world and help to drive out the evil spirits from the minds of men and women. What an important contribution the Christian missionaries have made to bless the work of relieving the suffering of torture. My father already you know we have hardly scratched the surface of this fascinating set. We hope we'll be able to return next week for more of the inspiring story of the mission at the center. This has been programmed tand of America's African heritage. These programs feature recordings made by world traveler skip Westfall on a recent trip to Africa.
The series is made possible by a grant in aid to radio station w o I always state college from the educational television and radio centered production is under the direction of Norman B Cleary. This is Reagan speaking for the National Association of educational broadcasters.
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America's African heritage
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Race and Ethnicity
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 4913 (University of Maryland)
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Chicago: “America's African heritage; 10,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
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APA: America's African heritage; 10. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from