content='1;url='http-equiv='refresh'/> Natural Health Remedy: 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


CARDIOLOGISTS and other doctors already
view artery-clogging red meat as a villain,
and they now have another reason to urge
their patients to steer clear: A new study
has found that men have a higher risk of
developing aggressive prostate cancer if
they consume a lot of ground beef and
other red meat — especially if the meat is
grilled or well-done.
The men in the study who ate about two
servings of hamburger or meat loaf per
week were more than twice as likely to
have been diagnosed with aggressive
prostate cancer as the men who ate none.
But most of that increase in risk can be
attributed to how the meat was cooked.
When the researchers looked only at the
members of the burger-loving group who
ate their meat grilled or barbecued, the
numbers told a different story: The men
who preferred their burgers well-done had
double the cancer risk, while those who
liked them medium (or rarer) had a
negligible increase in risk — just 12 percent.
A similar pattern was seen with grilled or
barbecued steak.
“This is another piece of evidence for the
notion that red meat, particularly grilled
meat, contains carcinogens that may relate
to prostate cancer,” says Ronald D. Ennis,
M.D., director of radiation oncology at St.
Luke’s — Roosevelt Hospital Center, in New
York City, who was not involved in the
When meat is cooked — and charred — at
high temperatures over an open flame, a
reaction occurs that causes the formation of
two chemicals: heterocyclic amines (HCAs)
and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
(PAHs). In animal studies, these chemicals
have been shown to cause several types of
cancer, including prostate cancer.


Are herbal medicines effective and safe in
managing opportunistic infections and
complications associated with Human
Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)?

THERE have been claims and counter claims
on possible herbal cures for Human
Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Until now several local plants such as lemon,
neem tree, garlic, scent leaf, ginger, among
others have shown promise in the
management of opportunistic infections
associated with HIV/AIDS.
However, the persistent quest for more
natural products for the treatment of HIV/
AIDS has uncovered a new candidate,
extracts of a local plant, Baissea axillaries,
which have shown promise in the
treatment of diarrhoea associated with HIV/
A study published in BMC Complementary
and Alternative Medicine concluded:
“Extracts of Baissea axillaries have
demonstrated antimicrobial activity against
clinical strains of selected microorganisms.
While there is toxicity at the dose of 500
mg/kg, the therapy shows potential for
application in the treatment of diarrhoea
associated with AIDS/HIV. Further studies of
Baissea axillaries on diarrhoea and toxicity
are necessary to evaluate its mechanism of
action and to fully establish its safety
The study is titled “Antimicrobial and
toxicological evaluation of the leaves of
Baissea axillaries Hua used in the
management of HIV/AIDS patients.”
The University of Benin, Edo State,
researchers include Tavs A. Abere of the
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of
Pharmacy and Freddy O. Agoreyo of the
Department of Anatomy, College of Medical
Baissea axillaris belongs to the plant family
Apocynaceae. It is called imu in Yoruba.
According to The useful plants of west
tropical Africa, Vol 1 by H. M. Burkill, Baissea
axillaris is a climbing shrub to three metres
high of the rain forest of Southern Nigeria
and Western Cameroons, and extending to
Angola. The liane is used in Southern Nigeria
to make palm-wine more intoxicating. A
decoction of leafy twigs is taken in Congo
for kidney disorders.
Several studies have shown that persistent
diarrhoea is a common endemic disease
with high incidence among the Africans
including Nigerians. It also represents a
frequent opportunistic disease in people
living with HIV. Diarrhoea represents one of
the most distressful and persistent
symptoms of HIV/AIDS, which may or may
not be accompanied by an infection.
According to the study, the leaves decoction
of Baissea axillaries Hua (Apocynaceae) is
used by traditional herbalists in Edo State,
Nigeria for the management of people
living with HIV/AIDS. Determination of its
antimicrobial activity and toxicological
profile provides supportive scientific
evidence in favour of its continuous usage.
Chemical and chromatographic tests were
employed in phytochemical investigations.
Inhibitory activities of aqueous and
ethanolic extracts against clinical strains of
Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa,
Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus
faecalis were compared with Togamycin
“Our report includes minimum inhibitory
concentration (MIC) against the test
organisms. Toxicological evaluation was
determined by administering 250 mg/kg
and 500 mg/kg of extracts on male Wister
rats for 14 days with normal saline as
control. The kidneys, liver, heart and testis
tissues were examined,” the researchers
Phytochemical studies revealed the
presence of alkaloids, tannins and
cyanogenetic glycosides. The extracts
inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli,
Pseudomonas aeruginosa and
Staphylococcus aureus to varying extents,
but only the ethanolic extract inhibited
growth in Streptococcus faecalis.
According to the researchers, the LD50
(minimum lethal dose) of the extract in mice
was above 5000-mg/kg body weight when
administered intra-peritoneally.
Toxicological evaluation showed mere
ballooning degeneration of the liver at 250
mg/kg while at 500 mg/kg there was tissue
necrosis. The low and high doses showed
ill-defined leydig cells in the testis and no
remarkable changes in the heart and
Another study published in the International
Research Journal of Biochemistry and
Bioinformatics Vol. 1(5) pp. 124-130, June,
2011 noted: “Baissea axillaries Hua, a
popular herbal remedy in Nigeria used to
treat many diseases was also effective in
bacterial caused opportunistic infections in
HIV patients. However, neem (dogonyaro)
leaves that are widely distributed in Nigeria
increased the CD4 count (a marker for
immune function) and general well being
significantly in HIV patients. ?-Zam is an
effective herbal remedy used by HIV
patients in Nigeria as alternative or
complementary therapy.”
The study is titled “Chronic toxicity profiles
of ?-zam, herbal concoction used for HIV
infection in Nigeria” is a collaborative effort
between researchers from Faculty of Health
and Social Care, St. George’s University of
London and Kingston University, London,
Osun State University, Osogbo and College
of Health Sciences, Igbinedion University
Okada, Edo State.
The study reads: “The effectiveness of
herbal remedies in HIV infection is not
doubtful. There are many herbal remedies
that have been found to inhibit one or more
steps in HIV replication. Alkaloids derivatives
herbal remedies (example Ancistrocladus
korupensis) from tropical liana plant inhibit
reverse transcriptase and HIV induced cell
“Pentosan poly-sulphate, a carbohydrate
derivate inhibits HIV tat regulatory protein
(p14) that strongly activates transcription
of proviral DNA. A coumarin herbal remedy
in form of canolides from tropical forest
tree (Calophyllum lanigerum) was rated as
non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase
inhibitor in potency. Despite the fact that
sero- deconversion is very rare with Highly
Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), some
herbal remedies (example Chinese
medicines) have been documented in
turning HIV infected patients to sero-
“There are many herbal remedies that are
effective against HIV infection in Nigeria.
Many of these documented herbal remedies
act on the opportunistic infections caused
by micro-organisms.”
Another study published in Ethno-Medicine
has examined the role of traditional
medicine/complimentary and alternative
medicines (TM/CAM) and their practitioners
and products in the prevention and
management of HIV/AIDS as a
complementary measure to curb the spread
The study is titled: “Roles of Traditional
Healers in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS.” The
researchers include Jimoh Amzat of the
Department of Sociology, Usmanu
Danfodiyo University, Sokoto and Ali A.
Abdullahi of the Department of Sociology,
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State.


SWEDISH women, who ate an antioxidant-
rich diet had fewer strokes regardless of
whether they had a previous history of
cardiovascular disease, in a study reported
in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart
“Eating antioxidant-rich foods may reduce
your risk of stroke by inhibiting oxidative
stress and inflammation,” said Susanne
Rautiainen, M.Sc., the study’s first author
and Ph.D. student at the Karolinska Institutet
in Sweden. “This means people should eat
more foods such as fruits and vegetables
that contribute to total antioxidant
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between
the production of cell-damaging free
radicals and the body’s ability to neutralise
them. It leads to inflammation, blood vessel
damage and stiffening.
Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E,
carotenoids and flavonoids can inhibit
oxidative stress and inflammation by
scavenging the free radicals. Antioxidants,
especially flavonoids, may also help
improve endothelial function and reduce
blood clotting, blood pressure and


Non-pathogenic micro-organisms in
fermented foods or rather probiotics are
increasingly being employed by medical
experts in the treatment of diseases.

THEY are the reason why the water from
fermented cereals- ogi, kunun zaki, and
burukutu- stop diarrhoea. Experts say their
inherent microorganisms could be
responsible for their profound health
Probiotics are considered “good bacteria”
that help maintain the natural balance of
microflora in the digestive tract where
trillions of bacteria live. While most of the
more than 400 different species in the gut
are healthy bacteria, others, “bad bugs”
have the potential to cause damage to the
digestive system. At times, an imbalance
between the good and bad bacteria can
lead to uncomfortable symptoms or
Probiotics are bacteria, or even sometimes
yeast, which may alleviate common gastro
intestinal (GI) symptoms and are found in
many commercial products including
yogurt, juices, soy products, fermented milk,
tempeh and other dietary supplements.
They also come in capsule, tablet or powder
Ogi (in Yoruba) is fermented corn/cereal
called pap in English, akanmu in Ibo. It is a
common breakfast cereal for most Nigerian
homes. In many parts of Nigeria, nursing
mothers do give their babies’ ogi and this
causes the termination of their illness.
Kunun-zaki (in Hausa) is a fermented non-
alcoholic cereal beverage made usually with
millet. It is a popular refreshing drink in
northern Nigeria. Burukutu is a local African
beer brewed wholly from sorghum (guinea
Nigerian scientists have evaluated the
antibacterial activities of ogi liquor from
different grains against some common
diarrhoeal bacteria in southwest Nigeria
and discovered the inhibition of the
pathogens by the ogi liquor, which contains
a variety of organisms including
Lactobacillus species.
Nigerian scientists have explored the
potential of probiotics as bio-therapeutic
agents targeting the innate immune system.
The researchers from the Federal University
of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, and
University of Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State in a study
published in African Journal of
Biotechnology concluded, “the potential of
probionts associated with fermented
African foods and beverages, such as ogi
and kunnu, to modulate host immunity is a
very promising area of research. More
emphasis should be on further screening of
already discovered probiotics example
Lactobacillus plantarum isolated from ogi
slurry and also new probiotic candidates
from other sources.
“This will involve further in vitro and in
vivo investigation to evaluate their
potential as immune-stimulatory agents.
Furthermore, genetic engineering of already
identified probiotics and those newly
discovered to make them more efficacious
should be pursued.”
According to another study published in
Nigerian Food Journal, some of the health
benefits of probiotics include the alleviation
and prevention of gastrointestinal diseases,
allergies, and lowering of blood cholesterol.
Nutrition-related benefits include enhanced
digestion and assimilation of food nutrients,
increased bioavailability of vitamins and
improved mineral absorption.
The study reads: “Although most probiotics
are dairy-based, locally available fermented
cereal foods such as kunun zaki, burukutu
and ogi could be potential probiotic vehicles
in Nigeria. The upgrading of such local
foods could add to their value and promote
their consumption. A preliminary work
using as a possible probiotic inoculum
source in kunun processing was also
attempted and reported in this study.”
Nigerian scientists have also used probiotics
to treat complications associated with
Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
(AIDS) and prevent infection with the virus.
The researchers led by a post-doctoral
research Fellow at UWO, London, Ontario,
Canada, and University of Benin, Dr.
Kingsley C. Anukam, found that probiotic
strains of Lactobacillus have been shown to
be safe and efficacious in African women
and have potential to contribute positively
to their health.
Anukam wrote, “more studies and funds are
needed to expand our understanding of
this approach to healthcare including
economic, social, political and behavioral
changes, and assessing the strengths and
limitations of probiotics for the HIV/AIDS
crisis. In the long term, the development of
recombinant strains expressing potent anti-
HIV microbicides may provide a more
specific preventive approach, but funding is
needed to test these new technologies.
“Complementary/ simultaneous efforts to
ensure proper nutrition among HIV-infected
children and adults are essential
components of an effective response to the
HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. Probiotic
interventions have a role to play. I do not
agree that there is limited profit to be made
in Africa, but it remains to be seen when
suitable commercial products will arrive
from multinational companies.”
Another study, titled: “Current applications
of probiotic foods in Africa,” and published
in African Journal of Biotechnology noted
that kindirmo, nono and warankasi are
common fermented milk products in
A new research published in BioMed
Central’s open access journal Critical Care
shows that including probiotics with
nutrients, supplied via the patient’s feeding
tube, increased interferon levels, reduced
the number of infections, and even reduced
the amount of time patients spent in
intensive care.
Also, researchers have confirmed the
effectiveness of probiotics for antibiotic-
associated diarrhea; as an anti-
inflammatory agent for patients with
ulcerative colitis, psoriasis and chronic
fatigue syndrome; and for people with
abdominal discomfort and bloating who
have not been diagnosed with a functional
bowel disorder, such as irritable bowel
syndrome (IBS).


SORGHUM bicolour, a native grass cultivated
for food and its high medicinal properties,
was recently lauded for its antioxidant and
immune boosting potency at the World
Congress on Military Medicine (WCMM) in
Several studies conducted at the military
and police hospitals across the country, and
cited by experts at the occasion, have
found sorghum potent in treating Human
Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired immune
deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)-related
Col. Gian Ayuba of the 44 Army Reference
Hospital, Kaduna noted that Sorghum
bicolour is nature’s most powerful
antioxidant, with capacity present in a
single specific specie of which the active
part is the leaf sheath.
“For the past two decades, modern science
has created synthetic equivalents of the
active compounds in Sorghum bicolour.
However, studies have shown that these
synthetic equivalents do not possess the
same impressive biological effects when
compared to the natural extracts.
“For a long time, indigenous people of West
Africa have used this and other botanical
plants as medicine for treating and curing
diseases, but it is the discovery of its special
and expansive powers by the founder of
Health Forever Products Limited and maker
of Jobelyn that consummated the
potentials,” he said.
On the science behind the traditional
remedy, Ayuba explained that many plants
manufactured secondary metabolites,
which include flavonoids, to protect
themselves against pathogen attack.
“In sorghum, this defence is an active
response resulting in the accumulation of
high levels of 3-deoxyanthocyanidin
phytoalexins (flavonoids) in the plant.
“This 3-deoxyanthocyanidin (3-DXA)
possesses unique chemical and biochemical
properties that Jobelyn uses to strengthen
the body and promote whole health.”
He supported his presentation with various
tests that had been conducted on Jobelyn,
among which is an investigation conducted
at the University of Benin.
In the study, the Packed Cell Volume (PCV)
and Haemoglobin (HB) levels of health
rabbits and rabbits infected with
Trypanosoma brucei-induced anaemia were
elevated following Jobelyn administration.
In another study conducted at Lindabel
Medical Centre, Lawanson, Lagos, 163
randomly selected anaemic patients were
given Jobelyn. “The result is that 98 per cent
showed increase in haemoglobin level
within a week. Besides, sickle cell disease
patients were found to have fewer crises
when placed on Jobelyn.”
On anti-inflammatory activity, Ayuba noted:
“A renowned laboratory in Germany has
investigated and reported the ability of
Jobelyn to suppress the following very
dangerous cytokines – IL – 1, 1L – 6, TNF-
alpha and PGE2. In LPS=stimulated human
PBMC Model (Indirect COX Activity Assay),
Jobelyn was demonstrated to decrease PGE2
production from LPS-stimulated cells
suggesting COX-2 activity inhibition.”
In a report to evaluate the efficiency of
Jobelyn in enhancing immunity in Human
Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)-infected
patients, titled: ‘Effect of Jobelyn, a Nigerian
herbal extract, on the cellular immunity of
persons living with HIV/Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)’, Ayuba
explained that 36 males and 28 females
HIV/AIDS patients who regularly attended
clinic at the Military Hospital, Lagos, between
May and September 2003 were recruited
for the research.


Researchers have found that a
mixture of bitter kola and original honey
protects the liver from paracetamol-
induced damage and treat knee
IN recent times the incidence of liver,
kidney and indeed body organ damage has
been on the rise. This has been linked to
ingestion of toxic chemicals or poisons such
as drug overdose and over alcohol
But Nigerian researchers have
demonstrated how a mixture of bitter kola
(Garcinia kola) and honey protects the liver
from damage caused by the consumption
of toxic substances and drugs.
The study published recently in Nigerian
Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology is titled “Protective Effect of
Garcinia kola Seed and Honey Mixture
Against Paracetamol-induced Hepatotoxicity
in Rats.”
The researchers concluded: “Garcinia kola
seed (GKS), honey or a mixture of both
acted as anti-hepatotoxic agent because it
was able to significantly reduce the
elevated serum total bilirubin concentration
and enzyme activities in rats exposed to
paracetamol treatment. The observed anti-
hepatotoxic activity might be linked to the
presence of flavonoids in both GKS and
The study researchers include D. G.
Eminedoki, A. A. Uwakwe and Gloria O. Ibe
of the
Department of Biochemistry, University Of
Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Nigerian researchers have also found that
bitter kola could be used to treat
osteoarthritis. The study titled “Clinical
effects of Garcinia kola in knee
osteoarthritis” was published in Journal of
Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
The researchers from Obafemi Awolowo
University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile-
Ife, Osun State concluded: “Garcinia kola
clinically appeared to have a significant
analgesic/anti-inflammatory effects in knee
osteoarthritis patients. Garcinia kola is a
potential osteoarthritis disease modifier.
This study shows that Garcinia kola is
effective in improving locomotors function
and significant pain reduction in patients
with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Further study
is required for standardisation of dosages
of Garcinia kola in knee Osteoarthritis (KOA).
Liver is the main body organ responsible
for the metabolism of drugs. Every drug is
known to be associated with hepatotoxicity
almost certainly due to the ability of drugs
to generate free radicals and to cause a
disturbance in hepatocyte biochemistry.
Consequently, this subjects the liver to a
variety of diseases and disorders.
In recent times, researchers have been
motivated to consider the therapeutic
effects of a number of medicinal plants that
are claimed to possess protective
characteristics against liver disorders
caused by toxic substances. One of such
medicinal plants is Garcinia kola, which was
chosen in this study. In addition, honey was
chosen because in traditional medicine it is
used alone or in combination with other
substances, such as Garcinia kola seed, for
the treatment of a number of human
Garcinia kola is a fruit-bearing tree that
belongs to the family Guttiferae. It is found
in moist forests and grows as a medium
sized tree up to 14m high. The plant is
commonly called “bitter kola” in Nigeria
because of the bitter taste of its seeds.
Garcinia kola seed (hereafter referred to as
GKS) has long been used in sub- Saharan
Africa as an antidote for ingested poison,
and as a cure for a number of ailments and
conditions such as abdominal colicky pain,
chest cold, cough and hepatitis.
The documented and suggested clinical uses
of GKS include drug detoxification,
bronchodilation (for asthma), liver
disorders, male virility, blood sugar
regulation, lipid disorders, infectious
diseases, boosting of immune system and
weight reduction. Most of the reported
bioactivities associated with GKS are
believed to be related to the presence of
biflavonoids, which are well known for
their antioxidant activities.
Honey is a natural product that is widely
available in different parts of the world, and
is readily obtained from natural or cultured
bee colonies. Honey has a very long history
of use as a medicinal substance due partly
to its ability to inhibit microbial growth. It
has been reported to be very successful in
treating human burns, wounds and ulcers. It
has also been found to exhibit antioxidant
activity due to its high content of
Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is widely
used as a hepatotoxic agent for the
screening of the antihepatotoxic activity of
a wide variety of traditional medicinal
plants. It has been generally reported and
accepted that one of the possible
mechanisms that may be involved in
paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity has to
do with the generation of oxidised reactive
intermediates, and compounds having
antioxidant, free radical scavenging and
anti-lipoperoxidative properties are known
to exhibit anti-hepatotoxic activities.
Phytochemical analysis shows that both GKS
and honey contain high concentrations of
flavonoids, which are compounds having
strong antioxidant activity (Iwu and
Igboko, 1982; Ajadi and Kamaruddin, 2004).
The presence of these strong antioxidants
might be responsible for the observed anti-
hepatotoxic potential of GKS, honey or a
mixture of both.
Both GKS and honey have high contents of
strong antioxidants, and have been
reported to exhibit anti- hepatotoxic
activities in laboratory animals exposed to
hepatotoxic agents. However, in an
extensive review of related literature, no
documented evidence was found to show
that the mixture of GKS and honey could
protect animal livers against toxin-induced
hepatotoxicity. This study was therefore
undertaken to investigate the
hepatoprotective potential of GKS, honey or
a mixture of both against paracetamol-
induced hepatotoxicity in rats.
Meanwhile, over the past years, there has
been a growing number of knee
osteoarthritis (KOA) patients who are not
willing to comply with long-term non-
steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)
treatment and wish to use herbal anti-
rheumatic medicine. This study assessed the
clinical effects of Garcinia kola (GK) in KOA
Prospective randomised, placebo controlled,
double blind, clinical trial approved by the
institutional medical ethics review board
and written informed consent obtained
from each patient. All KOA patients
presenting at the Obafemi Awolowo
University Teaching Hospital complex were
recruited into the study. The patients were
grouped into four (A = Placebo, B =
Naproxen, C = Garcinia kola, D = Celebrex).
The drugs and placebo were given twice a
day per oral route. Each dose consisted of
200 mg of G. kola, Naproxen (500 mg),
Celebrex (200 mg) and Ascorbic acid (100
mg). The primary outcome measure over
six weeks study period was the change in
mean WOMAC pain visual analogue scales
(VAS). Secondary outcome measures
included the mean change in joint stiffness
and physical function (mobility/walking).


Researchers have identified
more local foodstuffs with prostate
cancer chemo-preventive substances-
native pear, cloves, horseradish/Moringa
oleifera, bush candle tree, tomatoes, wild
cabbage, soursop, soya beans, chilli
pepper, and green tea.

PROSTATE cancer is on the rise in Nigeria!
Early symptoms of prostate cancer include
frequent urination, nocturia (increased
urination at night), difficulty starting and
maintaining a steady stream of urine,
hematuria (blood in the urine) and dysuria
(painful urination).
According to recent estimates by the World
Health Organisation (WHO), prostate cancer
constitutes 24 per cent of annual cancer
incidence in sub- Saharan Africa, and is the
fifth most common of all cancers. It is the
cancer with the highest incidence, and
consequently, responsible for the highest
mortality rate of all cancers among black
males in sub-Saharan Africa.
But Nigerian researchers have found that
although prostate cancer is historically more
prevalent in males of African extraction, the
incidence can be dramatically reduced, and
the age of onset drastically increased, if the
population at risk consumes the right kinds
of foods in the right proportion, beginning
early in life, especially as prostate cancer
has a gestation period of about 50 years.
A review of laboratory data and available
literature on prostate cancer
chemopreventive substances in Nigerian
foodstuffs found that native pear fruit
(Dacryodes edulis), Moringa oleifera and
cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) contained
prostate active polyphenols like ellagic acid,
gallate, methylgallate, catechol, kaempferol
quercetin and their derivatives.
Dietary polyphenols are antioxidants that
can scavenge biological free radicals, and
chemo-prevent diseases with biological
oxidation as their main etiological factor.
The study was published as part of
Infectious Agents and Cancer Volume 6
Supplement 2, 2011. It was also published in
Proceedings of the First Biennial Conference
on the Science of Global Prostate Cancer
Disparities in Black Men.
Also bush candle tree (Canarium
schweinfurthii) Engl oil contained ten
phenolic compounds and lignans, namely,
catechol, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde,
dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, tyrosol, p-
hydroxybenzoic acid, dihydroxybenzoic
acid, vanillic acid, phloretic acid, pinoresinol,
In addition, tomatoes (Lycopersicon
esculentum Mill) which contains the
powerful antioxidant and anti-prostate
cancer agent, lycopene, cabbage (Brassica
oleracea) containing indole-3-carbinol, citrus
fruits containing pectin, Soursop (Annona
muricata) containing annonaceous
acetogenins, soya beans (Glycine max)
containing isoflavones, chilli pepper
(Capsicum annuum) containing capsaicin,
and green tea (Camellia sinensis) containing
(-) epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), (-)
epicatechin, (-) epicatechin-3-gallate and (-)
epigallocatechin -3-gallate which are widely
reported to posses prostate cancer
chemopreventive compounds are also
grown in Nigeria and other African
The study entitled: “Nigerian foodstuffs
with prostate cancer chemopreventive
polyphenols,” was conducted by Sunday
Eneojo Atawodi of the Biochemistry
Department, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,
Kaduna State.
Earlier studies have shown that prostate
cancer is an ideal candidate disease for
chemoprevention because it is typically
diagnosed in men ages greater than 50
years and has a high latency period, and
hence, even a slight delay in the
progression of this disease by chemo-
preventive intervention could result in a
substantial reduction in the incidence of the
disease and, more importantly, improve the
quality of life of the patients.
Epidemiological and laboratory evidence
also indicate that the differences in
incidence of cancers, in general, and
prostate cancer in particular, may be
associated with the presence of certain
polyphenols, especially flavonoids in the
diets of these populations.
Commonly called cloves, Syzygium
aromaticum belongs to the plant family
Myrtaceae. The locals, especially in Lagos call
it conophor.
Commonly called African pear, native pear
or bush butter, Dacryodes edulis belongs to
the plant family Burseraceae. It called
safoutier in French. In Nigeria, it is ibe in
Kalabari; boshu in Bokyi; orunmwun in Edo
(indicating something edible); ube in Ibo;
orumu in Urhobo; and elemi in Yoruba.
Commonly known in the English language
as the ben oil tree, the horseradish tree, or
the drumstick tree, Moringa oleifera belongs
to the plant family Moringaceae. Moringa
oleifera is a local plant found almost in
every region of the country has been
shown to be useful purifying water,
treating malnutrition, boosting immunity,
fighting microbes, and cancers.
In Nigeria, it is called Ewe ile, Ewe igbale, or
Idagbo monoye (the tree which grows
crazily) in Yoruba; Gawara, Habiwal hausa,
Konamarade, or Rini maka in Fulani;
Bagaruwar maka, Bagaruwar masar,
Barambo, Koraukin zaila, Shipka hali, Shuka
halinka, Rimin nacara, Rimin turawa, Zogall,
or Zogalla-gandi in Hausa; and Odudu oyibo,
Okochi egbu, Okwe olu, Okwe oyibo,
Okughara ite, Uhe, Ikwe beke in Ibo.
Until now, various laboratory researches
have confirmed that Moringa is a natural
energy booster, strengthens the immune
system, has antibiotic properties, cures
headaches, migraines, asthma, and ulcers,
reduces arthritic pains and inflammations,
and restricted tumour growths.
Canarium schweinfurthii belongs to the
plant family Burseraceae, commonly called
African elemi, incense tree or bush candle
tree. To the French it is elemier d’Afrique,
ekpakpogho in Edo, eben etiridon in Efik,
etile in Hausa, oda in Igala, ube-osa in Igbo,
and ako in Yoruba. The resin is generally
held to have action on skin-affections. It is
used for eczema, the inner bark is rub on
the skin for leprosy, and on to ulcers.
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is of the
Solanaceae family. It is called ekhue in Edo.
Leaves are used to treat eyes with
bloodstain. Young fresh leaves are
squeezed and the juice is dropped into the
eyes, one drop, twice daily.
Kale is a green leafy vegetable that belongs
to the brassica family, a group of
vegetables including cabbage, collards and
brussels sprouts that have recent
widespread attention due to their health
promoting, sulphur-containing
phytonutrients. Its Latin name is Brassica
The common name(s) is, Kale, Borecole. In
Asaba, Delta State of Nigeria, kale is nick-
named “hospital too far.” This is because of
the health benefits of kale.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


DRINKING alcohol in moderate quantities can
reduce the risk of asthma, while belly fat,
known clinically as central obesity, has been
linked to the development of asthma,
according to new studies by Danish
The studies, presented recently at the
European Respiratory Society’s Annual
Congress in Amsterdam, found that drinking
one to six units of alcohol a week could
reduce the risk of developing the condition
and central obesity as a risk factor for the
The research examined 19,349 twins
between the ages of 12 and 41 years of
age. All participants completed a
questionnaire at the start and end of the
study to compare alcohol intake with the
risk of developing asthma over eight years.
The results showed that the lowest risk of
asthma was seen in the group which had a
moderate intake of alcohol, as less than four
per cent of those who drank one to six
units per week developed asthma.
The highest risk of asthma was observed in
people who drank rarely or never, as they
were 1.4-times more likely to develop the
condition. Heavy drinkers also had an
increased risk of asthma development and
were 1.2-times more likely to develop
The results also suggested that a preference
for beer drinking was associated with an
increased risk of asthma when compared
with no preference.
Previous studies have found a link between
excessive intake of alcohol and asthma
attacks; however, this is the first study of
its kind to show a link between alcohol
intake and the onset of asthma for adults
over a long period of time.
Sofie Lieberoth, from the Bispebjerg
Hospital in Denmark, said: “Whilst excessive
alcohol intake can cause health problems,
the findings of our study suggest that a
moderate intake of one to six units can
reduce the risk of developing asthma. By
examining all the factors linked with the
development of asthma, we can understand
more about what causes the condition and
how to prevent it.”
Meanwhile, excess abdominal fat has been
linked with a number of health effects, such
as diabetes and heart disease, but there has
been little focus on its link with lung
Previous studies have found a link between
asthma and body mass index (BMI), which
is a marker for overall obesity. This new
study looked at waist circumference, which
is a marker for central obesity, to see
whether this form of obesity could also
contribute to asthma risk. The research is
one of the first prospective studies to
investigate the individual and combined
effect of central and overall obesity on
incident asthma in adults.

Preventing Colon Cancer’s Spread To Liver.

University of Illinois, Chicago United States
of America, study reports a promising new
weapon in treating metastatic colon cancer,
particularly in patients who have developed
resistance to chemotherapy.
U of I researcher Elvira de Mejia has found
that the soy peptide lunasin binds to a
specific receptor in highly metastatic colon
cancer cells, preventing them from
attaching to the liver.
“When lunasin was used in combination
with the chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin, we
saw a sixfold reduction in the number of
new tumor sites,” said de Mejia, a U of I
associate professor of food chemistry and
food toxicology.
The study appears in the most recent issue
of Cancer Letters. In a separate study, the
scientists showed that lunasin induces cell
death in highly metastatic human colon
cancer cells.
According to de Mejia, almost all colon
cancer deaths are caused when cancer
metastasizes — or spreads — to the liver.
Until now chemotherapy has targeted the
primary tumor because the process of
metastasis is not well understood, she said.
“In this study, we have learned that lunasin
can penetrate the cancer cell, cause cell
death, and interact with at least one type of
receptor in a cell that is ready to
metastasize,” said Vermont P. Dia, a U of I
postdoctoral fellow in the de Mejia
laboratory and lead author of the study.
When that receptor is blocked, new blood
vessels can’t form and differentiate, and
that prevents cancer from spreading.
Binding such receptors has emerged as a
promising target for developing cancer
therapies, he said.
In the study, which mimicked the spread of
colon cancer in humans, mice were
separated into four groups: a control group;
a group that was injected daily with lunasin;
a group injected with the chemo drug
oxaliplatin; and a group that received both
lunasin and oxaliplatin. After 28 days, the
mice were examined to learn the extent of
cancer’s involvement in the liver.
“The group that received lunasin alone had
50 percent fewer metastatic sites. But an
even more exciting result was seen in the
group that received both lunasin and the
chemotherapy drug — only five new
cancer sites when compared with 28 in the
control group,” de Mejia noted.
“This huge reduction in metastasis was
achieved with the amount of lunasin in only
25 daily grams of soy protein, the amount
recommended in the FDA health claim,” Dia

Garlic, remedy for hypertension?

to the hospital have not yielded a desirable
result, according to her, since all the doctors
could do was manage her hypertension.
After narrating her experience to her next-
door-neighbour, she was given some garlic
to chew, with the assurance that they
would help cure her disease. Mrs Adebayo
later said that there was a marked
improvement in her health, vowing that her
doctors could testify to the fact.
Dr Olutayo Aderounmu, a practitioner with
Life Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, said despite
the health benefits of garlic, it could only
lower the risk of hypertension in people
and not cure it, saying that hypertension in
itself, could not be cured, but managed.
Garlic's abilities to curb many health
ailments and to naturally lower blood
pressure, including pulmonary
hypertension, have been documented for
over 5,000 years; thus making it one of the
most effective herbs to lower blood
pressure and increase your overall heart
health, Jon Butts wrote in his article on
Garlic and Hypertension.
He added that “even without first-hand
scientific proof, people throughout the ages
have been benefiting from these marvelous
cloves of the earth.”
Folks in some rural parts of Nigeria such as
Igangan, Ibarapa, Oyo State; Ibeto, Magama
Local Government of Niger State, and some
other eastern parts, have over the years,
employed the healing particles in garlic to
fight infections and, as a preservative. In
the ancient Egypt, garlic is used to increase
a soldier’s strength in battle. They also have
been known to bury their royalty with it.
References to garlic’s healing property have
also been found in Egyptian, Greek, Roman,
Chinese, and Indian medical texts.
As such, “it should be no surprise that the
power of garlic has finally been proven to
lower high blood pressure and the
propensity for other cardiovascular
diseases,” Butts concluded.
A study has found that garlic may be useful
in treating high blood pressure. In the study
conducted by Australian doctors, 50
patients were enrolled in a trial to see if
garlic supplements could help those whose
blood pressure was high, despite
The result of the study, reported in the
Scientific Journal Maturitas, suggested that
respondents who were given four capsules
of garlic extract a day had lower blood
pressure than those on placebo.
In a latest study conducted by researchers
from the University of Adelaide, Australia,
garlic was found to be good for the heart.
The head of the research, Karin Ried, while
reporting on the result of the study, said,
"Garlic supplements have been associated
with a blood pressure lowering effect of
clinical significance in patients with
untreated hypertension.
"Our trial, however, is the first to assess the
effect, tolerability and acceptability of aged
garlic extract as an additional treatment to
existing antihypertensive medication in
patients with treated, but uncontrolled,
In the study, the researchers looked at the
effects of four capsules a day of a
supplement known as aged garlic for 12
weeks. Their findings indicated systolic
blood pressure was around 10mmHg lower
in the group given garlic compared with
those given a placebo.
Garlic supplements have previously been
shown to lower cholesterol and reduce high
blood pressure in those with untreated
A senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart
Foundation, Ms Ellen Mason, while speaking
on the effects of garlic on hypertension
patients, said the use of garlic for medicinal
purposes dates back to thousands of years.
According to her, it is essential that scientific
research proves that garlic can help
conditions such as raised blood pressure.
"This study demonstrated a slight blood
pressure reduction after using aged garlic
supplements but it's not significant enough
or in a large enough group of people to
currently recommend it instead of
"It's a concern that so many people in the
United Kingdom have poorly controlled
blood pressure, with an increased risk of
stroke and heart disease as a consequence.
So enjoy garlic as part of your diet but don't
stop taking your blood pressure
Additionally, a study conducted at the
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB),
attributed garlic's ability to lower high
blood pressure to hydrogen sulfide content.
In a report by Foushee DD, Ruffin J and
Banerjee U, Garlic As a Natural Agent for the
Treatment of Hypertension: A Preliminary
Report, the major objective of the study
was to re-evaluate the effects of garlic on
blood pressure with respect to its ability to
provoke a decrease in blood pressure and
to determine the length of time that this
decrease would require.
They wrote that some hypertensive rats
were given three doses of garlic extract of
0.1 ml/kg, 0.25 ml/kg, and 0.5 ml/kg by oral
injection. The blood pressures of these
ether-anaesthetised rats were measured
immediately before the extract was given,
and then 0.5, 2, 4, 6, and 24 hours after the
extract were given. A blood pressure
measurement was also taken at 48 hours
after extract administration for the 0.5 ml/
kg dose.
Consequently, “there was a marked
decrease in the systolic blood pressure of all
of the rats after three doses and the
decrease occurred within 30 min in each
“Even though the average decreases for the
0.1 ml/kg and the 0.25 ml/kg doses were
calculated as 51,25 mm Hg and 56.25 mm
Hg, respectively, these doses were not
sufficient to sustain the blood pressure in a
normal range for more than one or two
hours The 0.5 ml/kg dose, showing an
average decrease of 65.7 mm Hg, was
sufficient to provoke a decrease to a normal
level and to sustain this decrease for up to
24 hours.
“The results indicate that garlic is effective
as a natural agent for the treatment of
Professor Helen Ekaete, a researcher,
explained that allicin, a compound found in
garlic is beneficial to the arterial health. She
said that allicin (a polysulfide) is the primary
biological compound found in garlic and is
widely accepted as the standard substance
responsible for garlic's ability to lower high
blood pressure and curb subsequent
cardiovascular problems.
“In short,” Butts wrote, “allin is the garlic
plant's primary immune system; thus
keeping it safe from the myriad of soil
microbes eager to feast on the tasty bulbs.
“Although toxic in large amounts, hydrogen
sulphide is naturally produced by the body
to serve a very beneficial purpose: to
control blood pressure naturally. In a sort of
paradoxical way, the same gas that offers
the pungent smell of rotting eggs and
odiferous sewers is now attributed to
reducing hypertension. This is amazing
“Once released, the hydrogen sulphide
targets unique cell-membrane channels to
begin smooth muscle relaxation up to 72
per cent in laboratory animals. Such results,
therefore, classify hydrogen sulphide as a
local signaling gas: e g. a gas acting as a
catalyst within a cell.”
Professor Ekaete, who warned that even
though there were documented
cardiovascular benefits of allicin and
hydrogen sulphide, said it was important to
understand the limits to their benefits, said
to enjoy allicin in garlic, it should be
crushed, not sliced, among others.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Besides being touted as a natural anti-ulcer
recipe, studies show that African garden
egg is effective in lowering blood
cholesterol and glaucoma.
GARDEN egg is a fruit but an unusual kind of
fruit, which is even used for the
preparation of stew.
Botanically known as Solanum melongena,
of the Solanaceae family and locally called
Igba among the Yoruba of Southwest
Nigeria. This populous African fruit remains
a delight for researchers as the effects of
garden egg are not only nutritional but
significantly of health benefits as the tree
that bearers them.
Studies revealed that garden egg positively
help with heart problems and will make the
weight reduction diet more successful.
Some of the studies conducted in Africa,
have come to the conclusion that garden
egg is very effective in blood cholesterol
It is currently a fruit in season and at their
best from August through October when
they come to the market in droves. They are
eaten raw or made as stew to compliment
steaming yam. Both delight the appetite
The cream-colour flesh has a pleasantly
bitter taste (due to the presence of small
amounts of nicotinoid alkaloids) and
spongy consistency. But garden egg plant
has more to offer than ensuring fewer
cases of constipation, reduction in blood
cholesterol and protection from poor vision
due to glaucoma.
Among the Igbo people in Nigeria
community, they can hardly do without
eating garden egg, because it is good for
the sight.
In a study to assess the “Effects of garden
egg on some visual functions of visually
active Igbos of Nigeria”, experts found that
its consumption might be of great benefits
to glaucoma patients.
Researchers at the Department of
Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of
Medicine and Health Sciences, Abia State
University, Uturu, Department of
Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University
of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, and
School of Optometry, Abia State University,
Uturu, Nigeria, Drs. S. A. Igwe, D. N. Akunyili
and C. Ogbogu respectively did the study,
published in the 2003 issue of the Journal
of Ethnopharmacology.
The study, which initially set out to find out
if there may be complications associated
with its excessive consumption in the male
volunteers that were involved in the study,
found they all had a reduced pupil size.
They also had a lower intraocular pressure.
It dropped by 25 per cent, even though it
was yet still within the normal range. They
concluded that garden egg consumption did
not produce any vision discomfort and that
people needed not fear eating plenty of it
since it could even help to lower eye
pressure in persons with glaucoma.
Even though garden egg is generally said
not to contain huge amount of protein and
other nutrients, it is low in sodium, low in
calories and very rich in high dietary fibre.
It is also high in potassium, a necessary salt
that helps in maintaining the function of the
heart and regulate blood pressure.
Expert in a study indicated that garden egg
could be used for the treatment of stomach
ulcers. The study was undertaken to
evaluate the possible anti-ulcer effect of the
African garden egg and was published in
the 2011 Journal of the Asian Pacific Journal
of Tropical Medicine by Anosike Chioma,
Abonyi Obiora and Ubaka Chukwuemeka. All
were from the University of Nigeria,
Nsukka, Nigeria.
They found that it possessed ulcer
protective properties against ulcers induced
experimentally, making it a cheap source of
natural anti-ulcer remedy.
In the study, 25 overnight fasted rats were
divided randomly into five groups of five
rats. Groups one, two, three, four and five
received normal saline, extract dose levels
of 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg
of ranitidine respectively.
All administrations were given orally. The
methanol extract of the plant fruit was
prepared by maceration. Ulcers were
induced using two ulcerogenic agents
(indomethacin, 50 mg/kg and aspirin 200
mg/kg). Ulcer index was checked and
analysed with appropriate statistical tools.
The scientists found that extract of garden
egg showed positive effect on all the
models used. It produced higher ulcer
inhibition than ranitidine in the
indomethacin and acid-ethanol models. All
the anti-ulcer effects of the extract at
different doses were dose dependent but
only in indomethacin model did it produce
statistically significant ulcer reduction in all
doses compared to control.
However, in a study by Dr S.O Bello and
others in the 2005 edition of the Research
Journal of Agriculture and Biological
Sciences, which assessed the toxicity and
pharmacological properties of the aqueous
crude extract of garden egg, while the
researchers agree that this fruit may work
both for the control of weight and asthma,
they raised some doubt about its use for
the control of acute attacks of asthma.
In a study undertaken to assess the
influence of whole garden egg plant in
comparison to apples and oats on serum
lipid profile in rats fed a high cholesterol
diet that were obtained from the animal
unit of Department of Pharmacology and
Toxicology of the Faculty of Pharmacy,
University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, the
results suggested that eating garden egg is
better at reducing blood cholesterol than
apple and oat.
The lipid profile includes total cholesterol,
HDL-cholesterol (often called good
cholesterol), LDL-cholesterol (often called
bad cholesterol), and triglycerides. A high
level of blood cholesterol level, more
particularly low-density lipoprotein
cholesterol, is a primary risk factor for
cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and
heart disease.
James Karho Edijala, Samuel Ogheneovo
Asagba and Uzezi Atomatofa from the
Department of Biochemistry, Delta State
University, Abraka, Nigeria as well as George
Edaghogho Eriyamremu from the
Department of Biochemistry, University of
Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, did the study. It
was published in the 2005 edition of the
Pakistan Journal of Nutrition.
According to their observation, garden egg
plant significantly reduced weight gain in
those rats that eat this fruit compared with
those that had oat and apple in both the
mid-term and full-term studies.
The experts attributed the health benefits of
eating foods like garden egg to its
effectiveness at boosting High plasma HDL-
cholesterol. They stated that it might be
beneficial since studies had unequivocally
established an inverse relationship between
HDL-cholesterol and incidence of
cardiovascular diseases like stroke.
Guimaraes and his co-workers in the 2000
edition of the Brazilian Journal of Medical
Biology Research reported a similar
observation with garden egg plant juice
infusion in humans.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Studies revealed that buttery African pear
is loaded with essential ingredients for
warding off diseases.
IT is uniquely different in appearance,
shape and size from the common pear.
Ube as it is locally called among the Igbos in
the south-east of Nigeria, African pear is
botanically known as Dascroides edulis, of
the family Burseraceae. African pear tree is
typically planted for its shade and its fruit.
Also, the bark of the tree is aromatic.
Nutritionists said that its pulpy pericarp has
the qualities of butter and indeed rich in oil
and vitamins! Cooked flesh of the fruit has a
texture similar to butter. It is this portion of
the delicious African pear that is eaten,
either raw or cooked, especially with corn –
cooked or roasted. Pear and corn share
similar season and mix well in the bowels
Studies however revealed that African pear
is rich in carbohydrates, sugars, fiber,
vitamins, especially thiamine, riboflavin,
niacin, panthotenate folate, vitamin C and
vitamin B6.
Secretary General, West African Association
of Food Science and Technology (WAAFoST),
Prof. Osaretin Ebuehi told The Guardian that
pear contains several minerals, such as
calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium,
phosphorus, and zinc.
“Pears have antioxidant properties, because
they are rich in Vitamin C and therefore can
protect body cells from oxygen-related
damage caused by free radicals. The
presence of fiber in pears helps prevent
constipation and also ensures regularity of
bowel movement.
“Studies have revealed that eating pears
help protect women against
postmenopausal breast cancer. Pear is
described as a hypoallergenic fruit, that is,
less likely to produce an adverse response
than other fruits.
“Regular consumption of pears might lower
the risk of age-related macular
degeneration, the main cause of vision loss
in older adults.
It has been reported that pears help lower
blood pressure and also reduce the chances
of a stroke,” he said.
Osaretin, who is also the Head of
Department of Biochemistry, College of
Medicine, University of Lagos, added that
the high content of pectin in pears makes
them useful in lowering of cholesterol
“Pears have been found to be good for
colon health. Pear juice, being rich in
fructose and glucose, serves as a very quick
source of energy. Drinking a glass of pear
juice is believed to be helpful in bringing
down fever.”
He added that the antioxidant properties of
African pear makes it good for
strengthening of the immune system, while
the consumption of pear juice helps relieve
pain in various inflammatory conditions.
“The presence of boron in it helps the body
retain calcium and thus, reduces the risk of
osteoporosis. The folic acid in pear prevents
neural tube defects in infants,” he said.
A Microbiologist, Olanrewaju Disu, added
that it is believed that “resin” which is
secreted by the African pear is of medicinal
value, useful in the treatment of parasitic
skin diseases.
As traditional food plant in Africa, this little-
known fruit has potential to improve
nutrition, boost food security, foster rural
development and support sustainable land
The main use of D. edulis is its fruit, which
can be eaten either raw or cooked in salt
water or roasted. The pulp contains 48 per
cent oil and a plantation can produce 7-8
tons of oil per hectare. It is also rich in
Dacryodes edulis is an evergreen tree is
native to Africa, attaining a height of 18–40
m in the forest but not exceeding 12 m in
It has a relatively short trunk and a deep,
dense crown. The bark is pale gray and
rough with droplets of resin. The leaves are
a compound with 5-8 pairs of leaflets. The
upper surface of the leaves is glossy.
The flowers are yellow and about 5 mm
across. They are arranged in a large
inflorescence. The tree flowers at the
beginning of the rainy season and bears
fruits during 2 to 5 months after flowering.
There are two variants of Dacryodes edulis:
D. e. var. edulis and D. e. var. parvicarpa. The
fruit of D. e. var. edulis is larger and the tree
has stout, ascending branches. D. e. var.
parvicarpa has smaller fruit and slender,
drooping branches.
The tree is also a source of many traditional
medicines. The plant has long been used in
the traditional medicine of some African
countries to treat various ailments such as
wound, skin diseases, dysentery and fever.
The extracts and secondary metabolites
have been found to show biological
activities such as antimicrobial, antioxidant
and anti sickle-cell disease. A wide range of
chemical constituents such as terpenes,
flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids and saponins
have been isolated from the plant.
In a study published in Science World
Journal, A publication of Faculty of Science
Kaduna State University, titled: “Nutritional
Composition and Microbial Spoilage of
Dacryodes edulis Fruits Nigeria” in 2010 by
Omogbai B. A., Ojeaburu S. I., they noted that
proximate analysis revealed that moisture
content, lipids, protein, ash, crude fibre and
carbohydrate ranged between 44.45-50.93
per cent, 30.55-35.60 per cent, 2.89-4.16
per cent, 2.65-2.76 per cent, 1.52-1.61 per
cent, and 9.75-12.59 per cent respectively.
“The most abundant mineral element in the
fruit pulp was phosphorus
(692.55-698.40mg/100g) followed by
potassium (540.81-553.15mg/100g),
calcium (347.50-354.6mg/100g),
magnesium (280.15-287.65mg/100g) and
sodium (162.50-170.0mg/100g).
“While the lowest concentration of nutrients
use recorded for zinc (3.65-3.81mg/100g),
iron (3.43-3.58mg/100g) and copper
“The heavy metals lead, cadmium, mercury
and arsenic were not detected in all
samples. The anti-nutrient levels in all
samples were low following WHO standard
for foods. The bacterial burden of fresh
pulp samples was higher (2.82-3.18 log cfu/
g.) than the fungi load (2.58-2.72 log cfu/g).
“Microbial spoilage resulted in log increase
of these numbers. Of the 17
microorganisms isolated from Dacryodes
edulis pulp samples, Erwinia carotovora,
Pseudomonas flourescens and mostly with
roasted or boiled maize (Zea mays) or
sometimes with cassava in Nigeria.
“Bacillus subtilis had the highest
frequencies of 32.7, 23.2 and 12.5 per cent
respectively amongst the bacteria. The
predominant fungal spoilage organisms
were Sacchacromyces, cerevisiae, Rhizopus
stolonifer and Penicilium expansum.”

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Studies show that fresh guava-fruit is an
excellent source of antioxidant, which
could help the body develop resistance
against infectious agents.
GUAVA is one of the most popular,
nutritionally rich fruit all around the world.
It is known for its unique flavour, taste and
health promoting qualities making it a
common ingredient in new functional foods
category often called “super fruits.”
Botanically, this fruit belongs to the family
of Myrtaceae of the genus: Psidium
(meaning “pomegranate” in Latin) and
known as Psidium guajava. In Nigeria the
names are: gwaabaa (Hausa); woba (Efik);
ugwoba (Igbo); guafa (Yoruba)
This season, especially in the interior of
Southern Nigeria, the local fruit robustly
cluster at the tips of old guava trees of
average height, while in major markets of
the urban centres, guava are carefully
displayed to arouse appetite.
Head, Department of Biochemistry, College
of Medicine, University of Lagos, Prof.
Osaretin Ebuechi said that guava is very
rich in astringents (compounds those make
your gums feel tighter and fresh after you
chew guava leaves or eat a raw guava or
use some toothpaste), which binds up loose
bowels in diarrhea.
“These astringents are alkaline in nature
and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial
properties, thus help cure dysentery by
inhibiting microbial growth and removing
extra mucus from the intestines. Further,
other nutrients in guava, such as vitamin-C,
Carotenoids and potassium strengthens and
tones up the digestive system and disinfect
it, which makes it beneficial in
He added that it is one of the riches sources
of dietary fiber. “Its seeds, if ingested
whole or chewed, serve as excellent
laxatives. These two properties of guava
help forming bowels, retaining water and
clean your intestines and excretory system
“It is said that single constipation can lead
to seventy two types of ailments. Every
way to your total health goes through
proper digestion and more importantly,
proper excretion. Guava ensures both of
Osaretin, who is also secretary general, West
African Association of Food Science and
Technology (WAAFoST) observed that juice
of raw and immature guavas or decoction
of guava-leaves is very helpful in giving
relief in cough and cold by loosening cough,
reducing mucus, disinfecting the
respiratory tract, throat and lungs and
inhibiting microbial activity due to its
astringent properties.
“Guava is one of richest in vitamin-C and
iron which are proven to be preventive
against cold and viral infections. In some
areas in India, roasted ripe guava is used as
a remedy against extreme cases of cough
and cold and congestion.
In addition to the astringents, guava is
very-very rich in vitamin-A, B, C and
potassium, which are very good anti
oxidants and detoxifiers and keep your
skin glowing and free from aging, wrinkles
and other disorders.
“Guava helps reduce cholesterol in blood
and prevents it from thickening, thereby
maintaining fluidity of blood and reducing
blood pressure. Studies have shown that
food stuffs, which lack fiber (such a refined
flour) add to blood pressure, due to quick
conversion to sugar. Guava, being very rich
in fiber and hypoglycemic in nature, helps
reduce blood pressure.
“Guava is very helpful for those, who want
to lose weight without compromising with
their intake of proteins, vitamins and fiber.
Guava, being very high in roughage and
very rich in vitamins, proteins and minerals,
but with no cholesterol and less digestible
carbohydrates, is very filling and satisfies
appetite very easily. Just have a medium
sized guava in the lunch and you will not
feel hungry till night.
“But ironically, it helps gaining weight in
lean and thin people. This is probably due to
its richness in nutrients, which keeps your
metabolism right helping proper absorption
of nutrients,” he said.
Studies suggest that lycopene in pink
guavas prevents skin damage from UV rays
and offers protection from prostate cancer.
It is also a very good source of B-complex
vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin,
vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin E and K,
and minerals like magnesium, copper and
manganese. Manganese is used by the body
as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme,
superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in
the production of red blood cells.
Since the 1950s, guavas – particularly the
leaves – have been a subject for diverse
research in chemical identity of their
constituents, pharmacological properties
and history in folk medicine.
Most research, however, has been
conducted on apple guava (P. guajava), with
other species remaining undefined. From
preliminary medical research in laboratory
models, extracts from apple guava leaves or
bark are implicated in therapeutic
mechanisms against cancer, bacterial
infections, inflammation and pain. Essential
oils from guava leaves display anti-cancer
activity in vitro.
Guava leaves are used in folk medicine as a
remedy for diarrhea and, as well as, the
bark, for their supposed antimicrobial
properties and as an astringent. Guava
leaves or bark are used in traditional
treatments against diabetes. In Trinidad, a
tea made from young leaves is used for
diarrhea, dysentery and fever.
On medicinal uses, the roots, bark, leaves
and immature fruits, because of their
astringency, are commonly employed to
halt gastroenteritis, diarrhea and dysentery,
throughout the tropics. Crushed leaves are
applied on wounds, ulcers and rheumatic
places, and leaves are chewed to relieve
According to researcher Peter Hutch,
combating free radicals produced during
metabolism and aids in preventing age
related chronic diseases, such as
Alzheimer’s, cancer, cataracts, heart disease
and rheumatoid arthritis.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How ‘African Mango’ extracts shed belly fat, obesity.

Researchers now claim the inexpensive
exotic super fruit extract is becoming
America’s hottest access to weight loss.

AFRICAN mango is now becoming the
wonder fruit in far away America. Consider
this research published in the scientific
journal Lipids in Health and Disease, it
revealed that men and women
supplementing with African Mango extract
for just 28 days lost an astonishing 3,990
per cent more weight than those taking a
placebo (8.9 lbs vs. 0.22 lbs).
Beyond the weight loss, the volunteers
taking African Mango extract 30 minutes
before meals lost a stunning average of 2.4
inches from their waistlines as well as 1.8
inches from their hips – and their bad LDL
cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels
all plummeted.
In fact, studies show that it is so safe that it
reduces LDL cholesterol and dangerous
triglycerides. It is also effective that it is
shown to shed 8.9 pounds and 2 inches of
belly fat in just 28 days. Strange as it may
seem, it is also not expensive with 62 cents
per serving; less than a sugary soda at
It is a product to aid in weight loss, lower
cholesterol, level out sugar in the
bloodstream, and regulate the hormone
leptin. Leptin is responsible for controlling
appetite and boosting metabolism. This is
very important in the fight against body fat.
And much to the chagrin of the nation’s $40
billion-dollar diet industry, which sells
outrageously expensive surgical
procedures and drugs that have done little,
if anything, to trim America’s ever-growing
collective waistline.
Despite the recent frenzy surrounding
African Mango and its ability to cause safe
weight loss, the fruit has actually been used
as a diet aid for centuries in Cameroon,
The brightly coloured tropical fruit is native
to Cameroon’s west-coastal rainforests and
found in the forest of Leboudi outside
Yaoundé. African Mango, or Bush Mango,
differs from other mango fruits in that it
produces a peculiar seed, which natives of
Cameroon refer to as Dikka nuts.
For hundreds of years, an extract from the
seeds called irvingia gabonensis has been
used among Cameroon villagers for its
wide-ranging medicinal benefits, which
range from reducing and preventing
obesity to lowering cholesterol to regulating
blood sugar to treating infections.
Studies carried out by the Laboratory of
Nutritional Biochemistry of the University
of Yaoundé, revealed that irvingia is
efficient in controlling body weight. The
research study was initiated in 2005 and
later confirmed by nutritionists in the
United States of America.
After the revelation, irvingia gabonensis or
bush mango as it is known locally referred
to, has suddenly become of high demand in
the U.S. weight loss market.
Experts argue that the fruit has the
strongest natural fat burner known, so far.
Cameroonian scientist, Prof Julius Oben who
took part in the research, said that the bush
mango burns fats and has no side effects.
Indeed, interest in the use of African Mango
extract (irvingia gabonensis) as a safe,
effective and inexpensive weight loss
alternative surged after Dr. Mehmet Oz
called it, mentioning no specific brand, a
“breakthrough supplement” and a “miracle
in your medicine cabinet” on his Emmy
Award-winning The Dr. Oz Show in 2010
Similarly, one of the show’s leading medical
contributors, Dr. Tanya Edwards, M.D., called
African Mango extract, mentioning no
specific brand, a “miracle pill” after it helped
her lose seven pounds in less than a month
without making any changes to her diet or
exercise routine.
According to Edwards, Irvingia, an extract
of the West African mango, has been used
for a variety of medicinal purposes in Africa
for many centuries. Recently, there have
been a few studies on the use of this
extract for weight loss.
“As an obese nation, we are chronically on
the search for that magic pill which allows
us to eat whatever we want while losing
weight at the same time.”
In the two randomised trials in overweight
and obese humans using Irvingia,
participants in the Irvingia group lost on
average 5-10 pounds/month compared to
the placebo group. Neither group made any
lifestyle changes during the trial. They also
noted that cholesterol levels and blood
sugar levels improved significantly
compared to the control group.
“Sounds like a magic bullet to me! I tried it
myself, and low and behold, in the first
month of taking it (only once per day, mind
you, instead of the recommended twice
daily), I lost seven pounds without making
any changes in my usual healthy diet and
exercise routine!
“I began recommending it to my patients
who needed to lose weight, especially if
they had high cholesterol and/or diabetes.
The results have been slightly
underwhelming. A few patients lost a few
pounds, but it has not been the magic bullet
I had hoped for. And with continued use, I
have not lost any more weight,” Edwards
She added that it may be helpful for those
needing to lose 5-10 pounds, and studies
have shown no undesirable side effects.


A CERTIFIED diabetics educator at the Apex
Care Foundation, Dr. Chimaobi Adindu, has
said that skipping meals increases the risk
of low blood sugar level.
Adindu said that meals contained glucose,
an important source of energy, which most
organs in the body depended on to
function effectively.
“In our society, the rigours of the day force
people to skip meals as they are usually
involved in brain tasking activities. Such
brain tasking activities require glucose to
enable the individual to function optimally,”
he said.
He explained that after every meal, glucose
is absorbed into the blood stream and
carried to the body’s cells by insulin, a
hormone produced by the pancreas, which
helps the cells to use glucose for energy.
“So when meals are skipped, the insulin
level in the system becomes too high
because there is inadequate food for the
insulin to work on; then low sugar level sets
Adindu said that low sugar level, clinically
referred to as hypoglycemia, was a medical
condition, which simply meant that the
body’s blood sugar level was too low (when
the sugar level in the system is less than
4mmol/perlitre in the system). Low blood
sugar level affected both diabetic and non-
diabetic individuals.
He noted that low sugar level was mainly
caused by skipped or delayed meals,
increase in physical activities and the
consumption of alcohol on an empty

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Honey Beneficial In Warding Off Heart Diseases.

sugar as a sweetener in their tea, coffee or
morning cereals. Expert’s assessment of
honey found it to be rich in chemical
substances that ensure a healthy heart by
improving blood circulation, helping to
prevent blood clot that could affect
important organs of the body such as the
brain as well as in reducing blood’s level of
bad cholesterol.
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using
nectar from flowers. The variety produced
by honey bees is the one most commonly
referred to and is the type of honey
collected by beekeepers and consumed by
humans. Honey produced by other bees
and insects has distinctly different
properties. Honey bees form nectar into
honey by a process of regurgitation, and
store it as a primary food source in wax
honeycombs inside the beehive.
It is composed of sugars like glucose and
fructose and minerals like magnesium,
potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine,
sulphur, iron and phosphate. It contains
vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of
which change according to the qualities of
the nectar and pollen. Besides these, honey
also contains copper, iodine, and zinc
existing in small quantities. Several kinds of
hormones are also present in it.
Honey has a long history of human
consumption, and is used in various foods
and beverages as a sweetener and
flavouring. It also has a role in religion and
symbolism. Flavours of honey vary based
on the nectar source, and various types and
grades of honey are available.
Historically, honey has been used by
humans to treat a variety of ailments. It is
cheap, making it potentially useful for
treating wounds in earthquake-stricken and
war-torn areas where running water is
scarce and often contaminated. It is being
used to treat burn, wounds, effective in the
treatment of stomach ulcers.
Preliminary studies in the 2004 edition of
Journal of Medicinal Food on honey
suggested that eating honey can reduce
blood levels of some markers that are linked
to an increased risk of heart disease.
For many years, blood levels of cholesterol
and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol have been used,
and more recently homocysteine and C-
reactive protein (CRP) have been added to
the list of heart disease risk factors. People
with high homocysteine levels have higher
rates of heart disease, cancer, and some
other conditions, but antioxidants, vitamin
E, and some medications, such as statin
drugs, can lower CRP levels.
Antioxidants present in honey come from a
variety of sources, and include Vitamin C,
monophenolics, flavonoids, and
polyphenolics. Now, experts’ review of
studies on antioxidant properties of honey
and their ability to protect cardiovascular
diseases such as heart problem indicated
that honey’s antioxidant levels rivals those
levels found in tomatoes and sweet corn.
Although honey by itself may not serve as a
major source of dietary antioxidants, it
demonstrates the potential for honey to
play a role in providing antioxidants in a
highly palatable form.
For instance, one of these studies involved
seven small trials with between five and
nine participants. In each trial, blood was
examined before and after drinking
solutions containing honey, glucose, and
artificial honey (approximately half glucose
and half fructose). The solutions used in
each trial contained between 1 and 3
ounces of honey, glucose, or glucose and
fructose. Healthy people experienced an
immediate slight decrease in total
cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride
levels after drinking the honey solution but
not after glucose and artificial honey
This trend persisted in healthy people
drinking the honey solution for 15 days,
after which HDL cholesterol levels rose and
homocysteine levels dropped. The effect of
taking the honey solution every day for 15
days was even more pronounced in people
with high cholesterol: total cholesterol levels
dropped by 8 per cent, LDL cholesterol levels
dropped by 11 per cent, and CRP levels
dropped by 57 per cent.
Interestingly, they indicated that “due to
honey’s pleasing taste, it may be more
readily consumed by individuals reluctant
to ingest plant-derived antioxidants.
Certainly, compared to refined sugars such
as sucrose and fructose, which has no
antioxidant value, honey can be a flavorful,
supplementary source of antioxidants
because of its unique positive effect on risk
factors for heart disease.”
Furthermore, substances that belong to a
class of chemical substances called
polyphenols that are found in honey have
been reported as promising pharmaceutical
drugs in the treatment of cardiovascular
diseases. For instance, epidemiological
studies reported that quercetin, an
antioxidant flavonol that is present in
honey, is associated with reduced risk of
coronary heart disease and stroke.
The researchers in the review of health
benefits of honey for the heart, in the 2010
African Journal of Traditional,
Complementary and Alternative Medicines in
their conclusion wrote: “This review has
clearly demonstrated that certain honey
polyphenols have a promising
pharmacological role in preventing
cardiovascular diseases. After generating
more in-depth and exhaustive information
of these compounds jointly in vitro and in
vivo studies, clinical trials should be initiated
to further validate these compounds in
medical applications.”
So individuals avoiding honey because they
think its consumption can cause obesity,
high blood pressure, and heart disease,
must have a rethink. Indeed, honey
contains sucrose, glucose and fructose, but
fortunately, the substances in honey is


Combination of local plants- Phyllanthus
amarus, avocado, and turmeric- may
provide the cheap novel solution to the
management of hepatitis B and C.
NO fewer than 20 million Nigerians are
reported to be living with hepatitis B and C
(inflammation of the liver), and over five
million are already chronically ill with liver
cirrhosis or cancer. The viral infections are
said to be 100 times more infectious than
Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Conventionally the virus can only be
contained by vaccination, mass screening,
and treatment. But the government is not
forthcoming in performing these life saving
measures probably because of the huge
cost implication of screening over 100
million people and treating over 25 million
that are infected.
But natural remedies may provide a
cheaper route to prevention and treatment
of hepatitis B and C, and indeed liver
damage in the country. Top on the list are
Phyllanthus amarus, avocado, and turmeric.
Phyllanthus amarus belongs to the plant
family Euphorbiaceae. To the Efik it is called
oyomokeso amanke edem; geeron-
tsuntsaayee (birds millet) in Hausa; Ibo
(Asaba) buchi oro, Ibo (Umuahia) ngwu;
iyeke in Urhobo; and ehin olobe or eyin
olobe in Yoruba.
Botanically called Persea americana,
avocado is also commonly known as
avocado pear, alligator pear, or mountain
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the root
of Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger
family, Zingaberaceae. It is called atale pupa
in Yoruba; gangamau in Hausa; nwandumo
in Ebonyi; ohu boboch in Enugu (Nkanu
East); gigir in Tiv; magina in Kaduna; turi in
Niger State; onjonigho in Cross River (Meo
Rev. Fr. Anslem Adodo of Pax Herbal Clinic,
Ewu in Esan Local Government of Edo State,
had said: “Bring one unripe pineapple fruit,
10 leaves of cashew plant, one handful of
cotton seed, 10 bottles of water to boil
together. Take one glassful four times daily
for 10 days
“Secondly, grind 20 pieces of bitter-kola
into fine powder, then mix with one bottle
of lime juice and one bottle of honey. Take
four dessertspoons four times daily for two
“Thirdly, squeeze 40 bitter leaves into four
litres of water. Take one glassful thrice daily
for two months. (make fresh preparation as
According to The Useful Plants of West
Tropical Africa by H.M. Burkill, Phyllanthus
amarus is a weed of cultivated land and in
waste spaces. It is said to have sand-
binding properties.
“It is a plant of general medicinal
application. In Yorubaland it features in an
incantation ‘against disease’. It is an
ingredient of the agbo prescription in
Lagos. An infusion of leaves is used in the
Ibadan area for haemorrhoids.”
A recent study published this year in
Biomedical Research strongly suggests that
the therapy with Phyllanthus amarus
increases antioxidants and reduces lipid
peroxidation of hepatic cellular and
intracellular membranes and protects liver
damage due to free radicals in hepatitis-C.
Another study published in International
Journal of Biology and Medical Research
found that the therapy with Phyllanthus
amarus increases antioxidants and reduces
lipid peroxidation of hepatic cellular and
intracellular membranes and protects liver
damage due to free radicals in hepatitis-B.
The study focused on effect of Phyllanthus
amarus therapy for protection of liver in
hepatitis B through investigating liver
profile enzymes, antioxidant enzymes,
antioxidant vitamins and lipid peroxidation.
The study consisted of 65 clinical diagnosed
hepatitis B patients ranging in between age
group 25 to 60 years. The control group
includes 65 ages and sex matched normal
healthy persons.
The study reads: “Plasma LPO levels were
significantly high but activity of SOD, GPx,
catalase and levels of vitamin E and vitamin
C were significantly lowered in hepatitis B
on comparison with controls. After
Phyllanthus amarus therapy for four weeks
and eight weeks plasma lipid peroxidation
levels were significantly decreased and
activity of SOD, GPx, catalase and vitamin E
and vitamin C were significantly increased
in hepatitis B.”
Also, scientists suggest that extracts of the
nutritious avocado fruit (botanically called
Persea americana) may be able to lessen the
liver damage caused by the hepatitis
A study carried out at Shizuoka University
in Japan and published in Journal of
Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests
the avocado fruit may have potential. Rats
were given a chemical, which causes similar
liver damage to the hepatitis viruses, and
fed 22 different types of fruit to see if they
made any difference.
The researchers found five compounds
extracted from fruit to have a beneficial
effect, and the most potent of these came
from the avocado.
The scientists are still not sure whether the
same effect could be found in humans, and
say further studies are needed. They also
have no idea how the avocado extract
actually has this effect.
Precisely how much help this would be to
stem the damage caused by hepatitis in
humans is as yet unclear, as often patients
are wholly unaware of their infection until
serious damage has taken place.


IN the light of growing relevance of local
herbs in managing immune compromised
opportunistic infections, traditional
practitioners said dwindling support for
herbal research have prevented their
findings from passing clinical trials.
Studies showed that there are medicinal
plants of interest, which herbal medical
practitioners claim are useful in treating
infections including Human Immuno-
deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) opportunistic
infections like tuberculosis, diarrhoea, and
The State Publicity Secretary, National
Association of Nigeria Traditional Medicine
Practitioners (NANTMP), Dr. Lambo Adebisi,
told The Guardian that there had been
ground-breaking findings on remedies for
diseases such as HIV/AIDS but regretted that
the findings have not enjoyed sufficient
support from conventional medicine.
“Yes and I can tell you of two of our
members that have treated HIV/AIDS and
have the patients cured. I can demand for
the documents to that effect. For us there is
no separating tradition from herbal
medicine. Traditional practitioners are
disgruntled to hear that something is
impossible,” he said.
Noting that there is apparent social rivalry
in the practice, Adebisi explained: “When
members of NANTMP were at College of
Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL) for
training, this was part of things that we
fought for, that they should provide us with
patients and allow us to treat them with our
traditional medicine, and then having the
requisite department monitor the clinical
pathology over time. But it was all
He observed that partnership with experts
in conventional medicine have helped to
upgrade the knowledge of the traditional
“We understood so many things, including
clinical analysis, trials, evaluation of drugs
and registration. Some of our members
succeeded in having their products
registered but there have been nothing
more. We were made to understand that
perhaps because of the cheaper rates that
traditional medical practitioners charges, the
orthodox medical practitioners are not
Adebisi commended the effort of the CMUL
pharmacognosy department on the new
Model Herbal Clinic at the Pharmacy
department of the institution. He added that
the project’s failure to incorporate other
practitioners in the country further shows
limited support for the entire practice.
He said: “The major players in traditional
medicine in the country were not invited
for whatever reason. They ought to have
invited us in the same manner in which we
were invited at the commencement of the
National Herbal Medical Research Centre.
“Without herbal medicine practitioners,
there is no pharmacognosy. We want more
collaboration between the NANTMP on
behalf of all the traditional medicine
practitioners and the pharmacognosy
department. It is the only department that is
functioning well in traditional medicine,
when compared with other universities. We
give them credit for that.”
Nigeria is a large country with numerous
rich natural medicinal plants and human
resources. The country has immense
potential in the area of using preparations
from these plants to complement what the
western world offers in treatment and/or
prevention of infections including HIV/AIDS
opportunistic infections.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Healing Power Of Moringa.

Moringa oleifera has been known as the
“miracle tree” for centuries in certain
African, Asia and Caribbean countries. It is
reported to aid in the treatment of more
than 300 diseases and chronic conditions.
Moringa is estimated to have more than 90
nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants, with
no known side effects.
That plant Moringa oleifera is a shrub with
numerous benefits especially in the
treatment of human and animal health.
Every part of Moringa oleifera, including the
seeds and roots, are very useful in tackling
many diseases. For instance, Moringa seeds
which have now become a “hot cake” in
many African countries as well as in the USA
and other Asian countries according to
reports, sell for 10 pounds for just 10 seeds.
Even the World Health Organisation (WHO)
has undertaken scientific researches on
Moringa plant, and has come to a conclusion
that it is extremely nutritional and
medicinal. The benefits have also been
documented in some medical and
nutritional journals. Little wonder many
pharmaceutical companies all over the
world are seriously working on the plant to
make a fortune from it by extracting its
active ingredients to produce drugs for
both human and animal benefit.
Some of those nutrients and antioxidants
Vitamin A – Moringa contains four times
more Vitamin A and beta-carotene than
Contains more Vitamin C than oranges and
higher calcium content than milk;
Contains greater potassium count than
bananas, as well as large quantities of zinc;
Has greater amounts of iron than spinach;
Delivers essential amino acids.
Benefits of Moringa
Helps prevent blindness
Builds immune system.
Helps prevent osteoporosis and other bone
Can reduce risk of stroke and kidney
disorders, and improve muscle strength and
Effective in the treatment of anemia and
low energy levels.
Aids in muscle recovery and sustained
overall health.
Moringa has also been proven effective for
preventing or treating
•High cholesterol
•AIDS and other immune-system diseases
•Bacterial conditions
•Liver and kidney disorders
• Poor digestion
Moringa flowers
•Flower juice improves the quality and flow
of mothers’ milk when breast feeding.
•Flower juice is useful for urinary problems
as it encourages urination.
•In Haiti, villagers boil Moringa flowers in
water and drink its tea as a powerful cold
Moringa pods
• If eaten raw, pods act as a de-wormer and
treat liver and spleen problems and pains of
the joints.
• Due to high protein and fibre content,
they can play a useful part in treating
malnutrition and diarrhoea.
Moringa seeds
•Its seeds are used for their antibiotic and
anti-inflammatory properties to treat
arthritis, rheumatism, gout, cramp, sexually
transmitted diseases and boils. The seeds
are roasted, pounded, mixed with coconut
oil and applied to the problem area. Seed oil
can be used for the same ailments.
•Roasted seeds and oil can encourage
•They can also be used as a relaxant for
Moringa seeds are effective against skin-
infecting bacteria – Staphylococcus aureus
and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They contain
the potent antibiotic and fungicide
Lesson from Songhai farms
We took the first batch of agric investors on
our agrobusness excursion to Songhai
farms, Portnovo, Republic of Benin, last
week. The experience at Songhai farms is
overwhelming. The Moringa trees in
Songhai farms are well over 30,000 stands
and they use the leaves primarily to feed
the Japanese quails and the egg laying
birds. It has been discovered that Moringa
fresh leaves in their diet cause egg
production increase, and also serve as
antibiotics for the birds.
The Moringa leaves are also used for biogas
generation. I also feed my grasscutter,
rabbits, and dogs with Moringa leaves and
powder. Rabbits seem to love Moringa most.
Moringa plants are now being introduced
into the USA as the plant gains popularity
among health-conscious people. Moringa
plants for sale are now a common sight on
the Internet. Many people are also raising
their own Moringa plantation. With 200
stands on a plot, a farmer is in business.
Order for your Moringa seedlings today!
The Moringa plant is among the most useful
plant species around the world. As people
continue to study and learn more about the
Moringa plant, demand for its leaves, seeds,
and oil will undoubtedly continue to