As a boy, Roelof Wilke Liebenberg, or RW, as he was called by his friends and family, lived in a remote area of South Africa where a doctor was a luxury beyond the means of a poor family. His mother was well-known for her ability to treat ailments with different plants, and many a cold and flu season was managed with her folk remedies. In 1958, RW witnessed a relative, the 76-year-old Oom Koos, make a miraculous and lasting recovery from the final, untreatable stages of prostate cancer. His saving grace was a wild plant dug up by a neighbour and administered as a traditional folk remedy. This experience, combined with his mother’s natural-healing practices, whetted what would become Roelof’s insatiable appetite to find a cure for this dreaded disease.
The help of an eye disease researcher, Dr. Scheffel, led to RW’s plant remedy being tested in Germany by renowned urologist, Dr. Ebbinghaus. Within one month of conducting a small study, he found that certain symptoms of a severe prostate problem in men were reduced.
In the meantime, RW recruited a studying phytochemist, Karl Pegel, to investigate active compounds in his plant remedy. A fatty substance was extracted from the plant. This was sent off for further tests and made into 300 capsules to be tested again by Dr. Ebbinghaus. This isolated ingredient was identified as sitosterol – a disappointing find, as sitosterol had been discovered and dismissed as a potential cancer treatment in 1922. Worse still, Dr. Ebbinghaus’ studies concluded this compound as less effective than the previous one.
Dr. Pegel made an important discovery. Both free and bound sterols exist in plants, called sterols and sterolins respectively. A sterol molecule bound to a glucose molecule creates a sterolin which, Dr. Pegel realised, is better absorbed by the body than sterols. While investigating the active ingredient in RW’s plant remedy, sterols had been yielded without their absorbable sterolin counterparts. They concluded that sterols and sterolins had to be in as close a form to nature as possible.
Professor Rogers then joined the team to develop a product that had the same properties as the plant used in Roelof’s initial plant remedy. Capsules were again created and sent to Dr. Ebbinghaus in Germany. After successful trials, a patented product was released for prostate patients in 1974.
RW didn’t stop there.
After many years of continued work, a patented formula of sterols and sterolins became available for over-the-counter sale in South Africa as Moducare®. With the product on the open market, an overwhelmingly positive response came from medical doctors and pharmacists.
And RW’s dream was finally realised: This was a natural remedy that supported the functioning of the human immune system.
In an effort to maintain consistent evidence of Moducare®’s abilities, RW’s team of researchers at the University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa, continued to carry out double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.
While it is a remarkable product with remarkable capabilities, we do not believe that one product alone can cure all ailments and a supportive approach must always be adopted.
This unregistered medicine has not been evaluated by the SAHPRA for its quality, safety or intended use.