Trevor Sayers on being a ‘doctor’: They don’t know I have degree
Published: Monday, May 21, 2012
Even though his brand of medicine has been criticised recently by a government senator and some medical practitioners, herbalist Trevor Sayers says he’s not showing anyone his degree in natural medicine, telling them where he studied or with whom. “If you understand what is the meaning of a doctor, its someone who takes care of the sick. I also studied natural medicine all over the world,” said Sayers. When asked to specify locations, he simply repeated “all over the world”.
Last week, independent senator Subhas Ramkhelawan said that the Ministry of Health needs to crack down on the unregulated herbal medicine industry. He claimed consumers were being scammed by promises for cures to major diseases like cancer and diabetes.
Sayers said he’s not interested in responding to comments. “They don’t know I have degree. I removed myself from dealing with that because after studying and having everybody well, I went to institutions where everybody’s sick and I refuse to practice certain things. I refuse to practice medicine that makes people sick.”
The 53-year old Laventille-born business man said that it was through his father and village at large that he learned everything there is to know about treating illnesses with natural medicine. To Sayers, herbal medicine is a lost tradition that he is working to revive.
He said that while growing up visits to pharmacies and hospitals were not the norm. “Natural medicine is like oxygen, its a way of life from the beginning of man until about 1986 when things have changed.The majority of people would’ve gone to a practitioner if they fell or if they were going to have a baby,” he said.
“The hospital was more for accidents not for the common cold or fever and people would’ve had their own cures. Just how you know to eat dasheen and cassava you would’ve known to get some Christmas bush if you have the cold.” Noting the shift from herbal medicine to pharmaceuticals, fifteen years ago resulted in his opening a business of cures. Sayers owns 13 Naturalised Herbs outlets throughout Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada and St. Lucia, the Herbs Natural manufacturing company in Santa Cruz and the Save the Youth Foundation, with bases in Miami and Trinidad.
At his Duke Street, Port-of-Spain store the walls are cluttered with shelves of plastic bottles storing green, red and orange concoctions; Clean Outs for bacteria at $50 per 8 ounce bottle; colon cleansers made with purified “healthy” water and Epsom salts. Large jars labelled sage, pique cayenne, aloes and even charcoal fight for space with the $300 package of My Hard Long Wood — erectile dysfunction tablets made from grape seed, garlic, and parsley to name a few.
The stamina man pills advertised in the Stamina Man video that got him featured on American E! TV’s The Soup earlier this year are $25 a pill or $550 for a month’s supply. Sayers attributes his strength to daily use of herbs and a healthy diet. He’s a father of twelve and adopted father of 24.
For high blood pressure the cure can be boiscano or tamarind leaf. For cancer, he said therapy to “build confidence” was needed. Halfway through the interview the San Fernando office called with reports that a woman had been cured of herpes through using his products. He was reluctant to reveal all the secrets of treatment, however.
Sayers said that he is dedicated to nation building and has committed himself to running a locally self-sufficient business. He trains the 50-member Naturalised Herbs staff where everything from testing urine samples to selling his three self-published books is in-house. There’s no need to outsource in his opinion. “We have our own labs. We understand everything. This is elementary.”