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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Extra iron doesn’t help many pregnant women.

ALTHOUGH universal prenatal benefit
pregnant women, except when they are
anemic. According to a study published in
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
the researchers of the Institute of Tropical
Medicine Antwerp and colleagues who
followed more than a thousand pregnant
women in Burkina Faso.
Our body needs iron to produce
hemoglobin, the substance in our red blood
cells responsible for the transport of
oxygen through our body. In Western
countries anemia a shortage of oxygen
transporters is rare, but in Africa up to half
of all women are anemic. Of the 1268
pregnant women in this study, 43 per cent
was anemic.
Half of those women received daily pills
with 60 milligrams of iron (plus folic acid);
the other half received 30 mg of iron (plus
folic acid, zinc, vitamins A and C and other
micronutrients). Chance decided who got
what. The women took the pills until three
months after delivery. At the end of the
study, all women ended up with about the
same levels of iron in their blood, regardless
of how much iron they had taken. They all
had around 11 grams of hemoglobin per
deciliter of blood, says slightly below
During pregnancy, when also the growing
child needs oxygen, women need more iron
than normally, certainly towards the end of
their pregnancy. But the administration of
extra iron to the ‘normal’ women could not
prevent their hemoglobin levels from
(slightly) dropping. “The benefit of iron
supplements in no anemic women is
unclear, ” the authors conclude in The
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In Africa, where many people are
malnourished, an where parasites also take
their part, many women suffer from iron-
poor blood. That of course has to be
supplemented. In anemic women the pills
made the iron levels go up, to the same level
as the other pregnant women: a bit below

Sugary diet during pregnancies affects girls not boys

A STUDY found that too much sugar in
pregnancy can harm the nutrients reaching
unborn female foetuses. But unborn sons,
made of ‘slugs, snails and puppy dogs’ rails’,
are unaffected, the team found.
Tests on other mammals showed sugar
intake had different effects on their unborn
male and female offspring.
Female foetuses of rats given the equivalent
of 26 teaspoons of fructose solutions – a
natural sugar found in honey, fruit and
some vegetables – a day, were found to
have smaller placentas than those on a low
sugar diet.
This suggests that the sugar blocks
nutrients, said researchers at the University
of Auckland, New Zealand.
The findings, published in Endocrinology
journal, also noted higher fructose and
blood glucose levels in the female foetuses
of fructose-fed rats were higher than their
make counterparts, or any of the rat
foetuses given only water.
The study author Dr. Mark Vickers is
currently conducting a follow-up study. He
claimed the findings highlighted the effects
of a “marked increase” in sugar
consumption by pregnant women.
He said: “There has been a marked increase
in the consumption of fructose-sweetened
beverages and foods, particularly among
women of reproductive age.
“This is the first time that it has been
suggested that female and male foetuses
react differently to maternal fructose
consumption and that these sex-specific
changes may be associated in changes in
placental development. ”

Eating colourful vegetable linked to longer life

PEOPLE who eat more brightly coloured
vegetables live longer and may have a
lower risk of cancer and heart disease,
according to a study conducted by
researchers from the United States of
America Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) and published in the
Archives of Internal Medicine.
The researchers examined the health and
diets of 15,138 adults over the age of 19
who had participated in the Third National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Follow-up Study. Participants gave blood
samples regularly between 1988 and 1994,
and again in 2006.
The researchers found that those with the
highest levels of alpha carotene in their
blood were 39 per cent less likely to die
during the study than those with the lowest
levels. The risk reduction was especially
pronounced for heart disease and cancer.
Alpha carotene is related to the vitamin a
Precursor beta-carotene, and is found in
high levels in bight orange, yellow and
green vegetables.
The researchers also found that vegetables
high in alpha carotene appeared to reduce
the risk of lung cancer more than other
vegetables did.
“Results… suggest that consumption of
yellow orange (vegetables such as) carrots,
sweet potatoes or pumpkin and winter
squash, and dark green (vegetables such as)
broccoli, green beans, green peas, spinach,
turnips greens, collards and leaf lecture,
which have a high alpha carotene content,
was more stronger associated with a
decreased risk of lung cancer than was
consumption of all other types of
vegetables, ” said researcher Chaoyang Li.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How pepper fruit reduces glaucoma, diseases risk

Nigeria researchers have shown that
eating pepper fruits could decrease the
risk of blindness caused by glaucoma.
THE season is here again! Pepper fruit is in
town. It comes with the rains. It is spicy and
peppery. The young leaves are chewed on
account of their pungent spicy taste. The
fruits, green at first then turning red, ripen
in April and May have a peppery spicy taste
and are chewed for this property. The fruit
is held to be a good source of vitamin.
Botanically called Dennettia tripetala, pepper
fruit belongs to the plant family
Annonaceae. It is called ako in Edo, nkarika
in Ibibio, mmimi in Igbo, and ata igbere in
But Nigerian researchers have
demonstrated how a meal rich in pepper
fruit reduces the risk of glaucoma by
stabilizing the Intra Ocular Pressure (IOP) of
the eye.
The study titled Effect of Dennettia tripetela
Seed Intake on the Intra Ocular Pressure
(IOP) of normtensive Emmetropic Nigerian
Igbos, was authored by researchers at the
Department of Optometry Abia State
University, Uturu.
IOP is the pressure within the eyeball as a
result of the constant formation and
drainage of the aqueous humour. It is the
internal pressure of which allows the eye to
hold on to its shape and function properly.
Intraocular pressure is controlled primarily
by the rate of secretion or rate of drainage
of the aqueous humour. These will be
building up pressure leading to increased
risk of optic nerve damage, a pathological
condition called glaucoma.
Glaucoma is rated as the second leading
cause of vision loss worldwide. It is also
estimated that 66.8 million people are
affected by glaucoma worldwide and 6.7
million are bilaterally blind because of the
disease. It was said to affect individuals of
all age groups but is more prevalent after
the fourth decade of life.
Black subjects, in comparison with
Caucasian subjects are known to have
increased risk of optic nerve damage
caused by glaucoma. IOP is essential in
visual health because it sustains the
metabolism of the cornea and lens.
Generally, the normal range of IOP value is
between 13mmHg to 21mmHg. IOP above
these values are considered to be
pathological resulting in glaucoma.
According to the Abia State University
study, results obtained showed that
consumption of 0.75g of seed gradually
reduced the mean IOP from 15.6mmHg to
11.20mmHg, (25.64 per cent reduction)
after 60 minutes; and gradually reversed
towards baseline value at 120mins-post
ingestion. The mean induced change in IOP
at 60 minutes was 4.00mmHg. The effect
was found to be statistically significant.
The researchers wrote: “Result obtained
from this study showed that ingestion of
0.75g of reduced the Intra Ocular Pressure
(IOP) of normotensive emmetropes though
not sustained. At 30 minutes post
consumption of pepper fruit, the IOP was
reduced by 17.30 per cent (12.90mmHg)
from the mean baseline of 15.60mmHg. This
decrease in IOP was consistent at 60
minutes (a 25.64 per cent reduction
11.20mmHg) and then started reverting
towards baseline. This decrease was
therefore not found to be sustained after
60minutes post consumption of the seeds.
The IOP returned almost to baseline after
120 minutes (a mean of 15.40mmHg) post
ingestion of 0.75g. There was a statistically
significant reduction of IOP after 30
minutes and 60 minutes. This reduction in
IOP recorded was probably due to the
ascorbic acid, magnesium, flavonoid,
melatonin, thiamin, vitamin B, lipoid acid
content of Ascorbic acid had been
established to support the osmotic influx of
water following osmolarity elevation of
blood artificially leading to the fall in IOP.
“The effect of flavonoid in IOP reduction is
thought to be as a result of the reduction in
excessive permeability of blood aqueous
membrane within the eye. The presence of
lipoic acid (fatty acid) probably helped in
the reduction of IOP by increasing
glutathione in red blood cells and lacrimal
fluid of glaucomatous patients thereby
reducing the IOP.
“Finally, the presence of melatonin, thiamine
(vitamin B) and vitamin B perhaps also
contributed to the reduction in IOP. This is
due to the fact that melatonin levels have
been found to decrease in glaucomatous
patient and normal diurnal rhythms of IOP
fluctuation reflect melatoninrhythms. Since
glaucoma has been found to be one of the
leading causes of blindness worldwide the
need for cheaper and acceptable adjuvant
remedy becomes necessary Therefore
ingestion should be encouraged as an
adjuvant in the treatment of glaucoma. ”
According to a study published in African
Journal of Food Science by researchers at
the Department of Biochemistry, Federal
University of Technology, Akure, Ondo
State, pepper fruit is a well-known Nigerian
spicy medicinal plant normally used in folk
medicine to cure fever, cough, toothache, as
well as a stimulant and in the preparation of
some special dishes for pregnant and
postpartum women.
The study is titled “Changes in the total
phenol content and antioxidant properties
of pepper fruit (Dennettia tripetala) with
ripening. ”
The researchers concluded: “The present
study shows that unripe pepper fruit has
higher antioxidant activities than the ripe
pepper fruit, despite its lower total phenol
content. Therefore, the physiological
changes that accompanies ripening of
pepper fruits that brings about changes in
pigment would increase the total phenol,
but decreases the antioxidant properties of
pepper fruit. ” .
An epidemiological association between
those who have a diet rich in fresh fruits
and vegetable and a decreased risk of
cardiovascular disease and certain forms of
cancer has been recorded.
Some communities in parts of Southern
Nigeria also utilized the leaves and roots, in
addition to the fruits for medicinal purpose.
D. tripetala is used as masticators, which
when chewed produces unique peppery
effect. The peppery spicy taste of mature D.
tripetala fruits usually serves as a mild
stimulant to the consumer. The fruits are
sometimes taken with kolanut, garden egg
and palm wine in parts of Nigeria, especially
in Southern part of Nigeria where it serves
also for cultural entertainment of guests,
particularly during coronation, new yam
festivals, weddings and marriage festivals.
D. tripetala fruit has also been reported to
be used as spice in flavouring food, and as
seasoning, which are added to prepared
food such as meat, sausages, soups and
vegetable. The peppery fruits of D. tripetala
are applied to the food meant for pregnant
women and are important in the diets of
postpartum women, during which time it is
claimed that spices and herbs aid uterine
contraction. D. tripetala fruits contain
important nutritive substances such as
vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Other studies have identified bitter kola
(Garcinia kola) to be good for glaucoma. A
study published recently in Middle East
African Journal of Ophthalmology
concluded: “Topical Garcinia kola 0.5 per
cent aqueous eye drops are as effective as
timolol maleate 0.5 per cent eye drops in
lowering Intraocular Pressure (IOP) in newly
diagnosed glaucoma and ocular
hypertensive patients. The mean IOP
reducing efficacy after six months of use
was similar in both groups. Garcinia kola
extract may represent an alternate topical
medication for patient with open angle
glaucoma and ocular hypertensives in a
resource limited population. ”
The study is titled “Efficacy of Garcinia kola
0.5 per cent aqueous eye drops in patients
with primary open-angle glaucoma or
ocular hypertension. ”

How Local herb juice extracts clear oral thrush in 48 hours

Nigerian doctors identify local herb, which
clears oral thrush faster and better than
conventional drug.
IT is becoming one of the commonest infant
diseases in the country, not sparing adults
with compromised immunity due to certain
diseases. It comes with white patches on
the tongue and general skin diseases in
infants (called nla in Yoruba and obu in Ibo);
and in adults with white patches in genital
Thrush or candidiasis, caused by Candida
albicans, is on the prowl. But a local herb
has been demonstrated by medical doctors
to be more efficacious than a conventional
antifungal drug, Nystatin, in the treatment
of thrush.
Nigerian researchers have confirmed the
efficacy of the juice extracts of a local plant,
Jatropha multifada, in the management of
oral candidiasis.
The paediatricians in a preliminary study
published in The Internet Journal of
Alternative Medicine concluded: “Compared
to oral Nystatin suspension, it has the
advantages of acting faster and being
efficacious as a single dose. Its use in the
management of oral candidiasis is
recommended in third world countries
where it is easily cultivated and accessible.”
The researchers include: Dr. Aladekomo
Theophilus Adesola,
lecturer/ consultant paediatrician
at the Department of Paediatrics and Child
, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife,
Osun State; and Dr. Oyedeji Olusola
Adetunji, lecturer/ consultant paediatrician
at the
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health
, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology
Teaching Hospital (LAUTTH), Osun State.
The study is titled “The Efficacy of Jatropha
multifida in the Management of Oral
Candidiasis: A Preliminary Study. ”
Commonly called French physic nut; Spanish
physic nut; coral plant, Jatropha multifida
belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. It is
called ebosa in Edo; olulu idu in Ibo; botuje,
botuje-pupa, lapalapa, or lobotuje in Yoruba
H. M. Burkill in The Useful Plants of West
Tropical Africa described Jatropha multifida
as, “bush or tree to 6m tall, native of tropical
America, and now dispersed pan-tropically.
It is a village ornamental tree in the Region
and is often planted in hedges, and as an
object of superstition. It is said, like Jatropha
gossypiifolia, to keep off snakes. ”
The Nigerian researchers described
Jatropha multifida as, “a small trees or
shrubs with smooth gray barks, which
exudes whitish colour watery latex when
cut. Other common names are coral plant
and adenoropium multifidum. It normally
grows to attain a height between three and
seven feet. In addition, it grows well in the
tropics and can thrive in almost every kind
of soil. ”
Previous studies conducted in Tanzania
have shown that Jatropha multifida has
significant antifugal activity, against many
species of Candida, but very little against
Candida albicans.
However, the Nigerian study showed that
the specie of Jatropha multifida cultivated in
Nigeria, possess antibiotic activity against
Candida albicans (thrush), and faster and
more efficacious than Nysatin (a
conventional drug) in the management of
Oral candidiasis (thrush) is a fungal
infection caused by Candida albicans. This
organism is a normal flora and inhabitant of
the skin, mouth, vagina and intestinal
mucosa. It can be spread to a newborn
infant from the mother ’s birth canal during
vaginal delivery. Prolonged use of
antibiotics, leading to alteration in the oral
flora may also cause thrush. The oral lesions
are usually white flaky plaques and they
may cover all or part of the tongue, lips,
gingival and buccal mucous membranes.
Oral candidiasis can be acute in the
newborn or chronic in children with
nutritional deficiencies or debilitating
The differential diagnoses of thrush include
geographical tongue, which is an
asymptomatic, benign condition that
requires no treatment. It is a normal variant
of tongue appearance. The tongue being
covered with milk can also mimic thrush,
however this milk curds can be easily
scrapped off from epithelial surfaces.
Diagnosis of oral candidiasis can be
confirmed by direct microscopic
examination and culture of the scrapings
from the mucous membranes.
Nystatin is the most popular choice of
antifungal agent used for the treatment of
oral fungal infections among general dental
practitioners. Conventionally thrush is
treated by the oral administration of
100,000 I.U of Nystatin suspension four
times a day for seven consecutive days.
One per cent aqueous solution of gential
violet is also effective orally and topically,
but it is messy.
According to the Nigerian study, all the
clinically detected cases of children with oral
candidiasis at the children ’s outpatient
department of the Osun State Hospital,
Osogbo and children ’s welfare clinic of the
Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa were
randomized into either Jatropha multifadum
Juice extract therapy or the Nystatin group.
The juice extracts from the Jatropha
multifada leaves were applied to the tongue
and the oral mucosal areas affected by
candida lesions as a single application in the
patients randomized to this group. Oral
Nystatin was administered four times a day,
for seven consecutive days to the children
randomized to the Nystatin group.
The researchers studied a total of five
patients (three boys and two girls) were
studied with their ages ranging from two to
10 months. Clearance of the white lesions
on the tongue was defined as cure and this
was recorded within 24 hours in the
patients on Jatropha multifada juice
extracts, while those on oral Nystatin
showed features of cure at 48 hours.
The researchers wrote: “…The present study
has shown that Jatropha multifada leaf juice
extract is effective in the management of
thrush and works faster compared to
Nystatin. Its mechanism of action is
however unknown, as well as the active
ingredient responsible for the antifungal
action. The drug however appears relatively
safe because of the absence of
complications in the present study. No side
effects were also reported to Nystatin
therapy in the present study. However,
vomiting and diarrhea are some of the
known side effects that might arise from
Nystatin therapy. The small sample size in
the present study might have hindered us
from encountering these complications.
“The Jatropha multifada fruit has been
documented to contain toxins such as
toxabulmin ricin. Ingestion of large
quantities of this fruit has been
documented to cause severe diarrhea,
dehydration, shock and hepatic impairment
in children. Ricin also has cardiotoxic and
hemolytic effects and several deaths have
been reported from it. On the converse the
roots, stems and leaves of the Jatropha
multifida plant possess useful ingredients
and activities. The fruits are widely used in
traditional folk medicine in many parts of
West Africa. Other chemotherapeutic
properties of this plant are used in the
treatment of ascites, gout and constipation.
“In conclusion, Jatropha multifida is a plant
whose juice provides a cure for oral
candidiasis. It acts faster compared to
Nystatin and compliance on the part of
patients is likely to be better since it is a
single dose application. It is recommended
for use in communities where it is easily
accessible. However, further studies need to
be carried out on this plant in order
determine the ingredient in it, having the
anti-fungal activities. This can be selectively
extracted and made into oral preparations
for general and commercial use. ”
According to The Useful Plants of West
Tropical Africa, the leaves and leaf-sap are
purgative, but not so violently as of
Jatropha curcas. It reads: “In the Antilles it is
said that 10–12 leaves lightly cooked and
eaten in a salad provide a non-griping
purge, but the leaf contains a saponin and
an active toxic principle, jatrophin. Leaves
and fruit are boiled and taken internally or
used externally in a bath as a febrifuge in
Nigeria, and an infusion of young leaves is
used for most urinary complaints. Root-bark
and the roots are ground up as a wound-
dressing, and the root is taken internally for
worms and, with salt added, for gonorrhoea
in Nigeria.
“The root produces long tubers which can
be eaten like tapioca/manihot/cassava root
(Manihot esculenta) after roasting. The red
inflorescences are attractive, and are an
item of demand by florists in the
Philippines. The seeds are strongly
purgative. They are sometimes used in
Ivory Coast-Upper Volta. They have a nutty
flavour and there are records of fatalities
from eating them. A single one is sufficient
to produce violent illness. An antidote is said
to be a glass of white wine or other
stimulant with lime-juice. Seed-oil amounts
to about 30 per cent and is know as
Pinhoen Oil in Brazil. It has properties similar
to the oil of Jatropha curcas, and has been
used as an illuminant.
There is latex throughout the plant and the
rubber content of leaves has been reported
as 0.52 per cent. Latex has been used in the
Caribbean on cancers. ”

Friday, April 8, 2011

Efficacy of dogonyaro, mango, guava, pawpaw, banana, lime and lemon grass extract in malaria treatment.

Nigerian researchers have identified local
malaria therapy- containing extracts of
dogonyaro, mango, guava, pawpaw,
banana, lime and lemon grass- used by the
Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo communities.
THE rains are here again! They are
associated with increased episodes of
malaria. However, nature has made
provision for the treatment of malaria in
local plants.
A survey of plants commonly used amongst
the three major ethnic groups (Ibo, Hausa
and Yoruba) in Nigeria for malaria therapy
identified neem/dogonyaro (Azadiratcha
indica), mango (Magnifera indica), lemon
grass (Cymbopoggen citratus), guava
(Psidium guajava), pawpaw (Carica papaya),
lime (Citrus limon), and banana (Musa
The survey by researchers at Ahmadu Bello
University, Zaria, and the Nigerian Institute
of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos
State also showed that in addition to the
plants commonly used by the three Nigerian
major tribes for malaria therapy, Guiera
senegalensis and Artemisia maciverae are
more common with the Hausa tribe in
treating malaria.
According to the survey published in Indian
Journal of Traditional Knowledge, bitter leaf
(Vernonia amygdalina), maize (Zea mays)
and cashew are commonly used by the
Yoruba tribe in malaria therapy, while the
Ibo ethnic group in addition to the plants
commonly used by the other two major
tribes for malaria therapy use bitter leaf.
Leaves and the stem bark are commonly
used for malaria therapy; only in few cases
roots are used.
The researchers obtained information on
the preparation, dosage forms,
administration, effectiveness and possible
side effects of the plant preparations in
treating malaria by interviewing herbalists
from the three Nigerian major tribes. They
wrote: “The common dosage form is liquid
administered orally. For higher efficacy,
decoction of two or more plants is
administered. In some of the preparations,
red potash, pineapple, lemon, local gin and
honey may be added. In some cases, the
possible side effects are frequent urinating,
vomiting, sweating and loss of body
weight. ”
According to the researchers, the herbalists
use different additives and solvents in
preparing their formulations, depending on
dosage formulations. They explained:
“ Some of the additives in traditional
formulations may exert therapeutic activity
in addition to being used as adjutants. For
example, the antibacterial and antifungal
properties of honey is well documented,
with the inhibition of growth of organisms
such as Staphylococcus aureus and Candida
albicans. Honey has been shown to be of
great value in treating infected surgical
wounds. Hence, the use of honey in
traditional formulations for treating malaria
might in addition to exerting synergistic
effect, also have a direct therapeutic effect
on many other concurrent diseases.
“The pattern of traditional prescriptions
revealed that about three quarter of the
prescriptions contained composite
remedies. Traditional healers claimed that
the use of multiple plants has a synergetic
effect. The properties of the constituents of
composite remedies could be different from
those of the mixtures considered as a
whole. ”
Are there scientific backings to this malaria
therapy? Before now, numerous studies
have investigated the antimalarial activities
of neem tree. The leaf extract appears to
have antiretroviral activity and there are
efforts underway to use water extract of
the leaf to develop new drug thrapies. The
plant leaves contain the lemonoid gedunum,
which has demonstrated activity against
two clones of Plasmodium falciparum
(caisative agent of malaria) and in
laboratory analysis appeared to be as
effective as chloroquine. In addition to
viewing the properties of neem tree as
candidates for treating malaria, the oil from
this plant has been shown to have
insecticidal and insect repellant properties.
A consultant pharmacognocist at the
University of Lagos,
Prof. Olukemi Odukoya, told The Guardian:
“ Neem tree (Azadirachta indica of Meliaceae
family) is also used for drug resistant
strains of falciparum malaria. The
antimalarial activity of neem tree is due to
active constituent ’s (Gedunin also a lactone)
ability to induce oxidant stress in
erythrocytes during malaria treatment; this
redox perturbation leads to the death of
the parasite in erythrocytes. ”
Researchers have assessed extracts from
the leaves and root bark of Vernonia
amygdalina for antimalarial activity against
drug-sensitive Plasmodium berghei in mice.
According to the study published in the
British Journal of Biomedical Science, a
standard inoculum of infected erythrocytes
was used, and leaf and root-bark extracts of
500 mg/kg, 250 mg/kg or 125 mg/kg are
used in a four-day suppression test and a
Rane test of established infection. Leaf
extract produced 67 per cent suppression
of parasitaemia in the four-day test, while
root-bark extract produced 53.5 per cent
suppression. These results are significant
when compared to a placebo.
Researchers have conducted phytochemical
screening and antioxidant activities of
some selected medicinal plants- pawpaw,
mango, guava, and bitter- used for malaria
therapy in southwestern Nigeria.
The study was published in Tropical Journal
of Pharmaceutical Research. Oxidative
stress has been shown to play an important
role in the development of anaemia in
malaria. Indeed, increase in total antioxidant
status has been shown to be important in
recovery from malaria.
The ethanolic extracts of the leaves of
pawpaw, stem bark of mango, leaves of
guava and the leaves of bitter leaf, were
used in the present study. The plant parts
commonly used in the locality in malaria
therapy were employed in this study.
All the plants showed potent inhibition of
DPPH radical scavenging activity, guava
being the most potent.
The free radical scavenging (antioxidant)
activities of these plants probably
contribute to the effectiveness of the above
plants in malaria therapy.
A study on antiplasmodial activity of seven
plants used in African folk medicine
published in Indian Journal of
Pharmacology shows that lemon grass
possess great inhibition in the growth of
drug-resistant malaria parasite.
Earlier studies had found lemon grass oil to
be anti-microbial, particular against gram
positive bacteria and fungi. Lemon grass oil
had also been found to be pain killing,
central nervous system depressing, fever
reducing, aids digestion and anti-oxidant.
To treat typhoid, researchers recommend
that lemon grass leaf or is boiled in two
litres of water for 30 - 40 minutes with 25
whole limes, two grape fruits, two unripe
papaw fruits, and two unripe pineapples,
cut garlic and the bark of Alstonia boonei
(alstonia, cheesewood, pattern wood or
stool wood in English; egbu in Igbo; and
awun in Yoruba). However, to make an
infusion for malaria, pour a cup of boiling
water over the lemon grass, let it stand for
five minutes, strain it, and drink it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Health benefits of water melon

WATERMELON is concentrated with b-
vitamins, which are responsible for a lot of
your body's energy production. This
means eating watermelon can give
substantial energy. It also has high amounts
of the energizing nutrients magnesium and
potassium. Eating watermelon is a safe
alternative to taking energy drinks prior to
exercise. It also hydrates you due to its high
water content as opposed to caffeine filled
energy drinks that dehydrate you.
The watermelon was first cultivated in
Egypt. It was a very sought after fruit in
Egypt. Some hieroglyphics suggest that it
was put in the tombs of some pharaohs. It
is thought that the watermelon was so
heavily sought after in Egypt because of its
high water content. The hydration that
eating watermelon is probably the reason it
was so heavily regarded due to Egypt's hot
weather, lack of water, and deserts.
Many people probably depended on
watermelon as a primary water source.
After all watermelon is 92 per cent water.
The health benefits of watermelon have
been know about for a long time. It is not
just a recent find.
Watermelon is a natural source of nature's
most powerful antioxidants. It is a good
source of the antioxidant vitamins C and A.
It is also a good source of the powerful
antioxidant beta-carotene. Watermelons
antioxidants can help prevent a number of
things. It reduces the risk of colon cancer,
asthma, heart disease, osteoporosis,
rheumatoid arthritis, and prostate cancer.
Antioxidants should be a staple in
everyone's diet. They provide health
benefits that other nutrients cannot. When it
comes to things that are beneficial to your
health antioxidants are at the top of the list.
They are better than vitamins, minerals,
protein, carbs, and any other nutrient
because they have so many benefits. If you
do not take some sort of antioxidant
whether it be through food or something
else you should consider incorporating a
food that contains antioxidants or
supplement with them.

Carrot and your health: Things to note

The carrot is a root vegetable which has an
Indo-European origin. The tap-root of this
vegetable is the edible part and it is
considered to be nutritious and good for
health. It is a rich source of many different
nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates,
vitamins, iron among other important
nutrients required by the body to flourish.
The chemical known as beta-carotene
makes carrot an important food source in
fighting several health problems. This root,
which has a scientific name of Daucus
Carota, is a good source of antioxidant
agents as well.
Both adults and children like carrots
because of its crunchy texture and sweet
taste. Even though the colour of original
carrot is orange ,it also grows in other
colors including white, yellow, red and
purple. Of all the commonly consumed
vegetables, carrots provide the highest
amount of vitamin A carotenes.
Carrots also offer an excellent source of
fiber, vitamin K, and biotin. Carrots are good
source of vitamins B6 and C, potassium and
thiamine. Carrots contain a large amount of
antioxidant compounds which help to
protect the body against cardiovascular
disease and cancer. The high intake of
carotene has been linked with a 20 percent
decrease in postmenopausal breast cancer
and up to a 50 percent decrease in the
cancers of the
cervix, bladder, colon, prostate, larynx, and
Extensive studies have shown that a diet
that includes at least one carrot per day
could cut the rate of lung cancer by half.
The overwhelming health benefits of
carrots and the type of health problems
addressed by the use of carrot are
underscored below.
Thus there were still other ailments that can
be prevented with carrot that are not
mentioned here to tell you the multifarious
health importance of this root vegetable
that Nigeria is witnessing its season now.
Prevention of heart diseases is the foremost
health importance of carrots. In a study
meant to reveal therapeutic value of carrots
researchers at the Wolfson Gastrointestinal
Laboratory in Edinburgh, Scotland revealed
that cholesterol level reduces by 11 percent
if seven ounces of raw carrots is taken a
day for three weeks.
High cholesterol is a major factor for heart
disease. Since regular consumption of
carrots reduces cholesterol level it is good
to prevent heart related problems. Research
in Italy found that those who ate more
carrots had one third the risk of heart attack
as compared with those who ate fewer
Carrot helps in cancer prevention. Beta-
carotene consumption has been linked to
reduced risk of several cancers, notably
lung cancer. British researchers discovered
that increasing beta-carotene consumption
from 1.7 to 2.7 milligrams a day reduced
lung cancer risk more than 40 percent. The
average carrot contains about three
milligrams of Beta-carotene. In a study,
researchers found that eating fiber rich
carrots reduce the risk of colon cancer by as
much as 24 percent.
Another study shows that women who ate
raw carrots were five to eight times less
likely to develop breast cancer than women
who did not eat carrots.
Macular degeneration is another health
problem that can effectively be addressed
by cancer. Macular degeneration is a
common eye disease associated with
elderly people.

Garlic reduces risk of maternal mortality.

Garlic for years, in movies, it has been
keeping vampires at bay, but according to
mountains of research, vampires aren't the
only things garlic can fend. Joining the
ranks are colds, cancer, heart disease,
hypertension, infection, maternal mortality
and even impotence. Researches in recent
times have revealed various health benefits
of eating garlic.
Pregnancy: Pregnant women benefit a lot
from eating garlic. According to a study
done by doctors in a London hospital, garlic
supplementation may help weight-gain for
babies that may be at risk for low birth
weight. The study also found that the
chance of other birth risk factors could be
reduced, such as pre-eclampsia, which is
associated with hypertension.
Infection: Since 1858 garlic has also been
known for its anti-bacterial properties. At
this time Louis Pasteur discovered that
bacterial cells died when they were
saturated with garlic. Other cases of it being
used as an antibiotic in history include
world war II, when British doctors used it to
treat those wounded in battle, and Albert
Schweitzer used garlic to treat typhus and
cholera. Garlic is known to have not only
antibacterial but antiviral and antifungal
abilities as well. It is effective against
intestinal parasites, recurrent yeast
infections and the growth of candida
albicans is slowed by garlic. With this in
mind, it should be considered only as an aid
to antibiotics in fighting infections, as it is
not enough to replace them. Garlic can help
by stimulating T-cells that help fight
Recent studies have also shown it to protect
the aorta. The aorta is the heart blood vessel
that maintains blood pressure and flow
while the heart is pumping. Age, poor diet
and environmental factors such as smoking
can damage the aorta, causing it to stiffen.
Studies have also shown that regular
consumption of garlic slows the aging of
the aorta and helps keep it flexible.
Cancer: For years research has been
conducted on the effects of garlic on
cancer. A healthy immune system is
necessary to fight cancer, and we already
know conclusively that garlic supports that
system. Studies have been done on the
population and in animals, as well as in test
tubes. What is determined is that garlic has
the ability to reduce the formation of
cancerous cells. Garlic is shown to actually
block cancer causing compounds from
forming, and slow the growth of tumor
cells. Garlic is especially helpful in blocking
oesophagal, breast, stomach, prostate and
bladder cancer.
Research has proven that compounds in
garlic not only slow the rate of growth in a
tumor, but can reduce the tumor size by
half. When studying the effects on breast
cancer, these compounds can actually
prevent carcinogens from attaching to
breast cells.
These compounds form when garlic is
crushed. Among the sulfur components of
garlic there are some called ajoenes, which
are also noted for their "ant tumor" abilities.
Colds: One of the most common ailments
garlic has been touted to treat is the cold.
Upon the onset of the sniffles, many people
testify that consuming a clove or more of
raw garlic takes them away. How can a
clove of garlic possibly help? Studies have
shown that garlic extract improves immune
function, giving our natural defense system
a boost, and helping it conserve our levels
of antioxidants in our system. It is this
strengthening of the immune system that
aids in its support for other health related
Heart Disease: Just as there are many
factors that cause heart disease, there are
many benefits of garlic that aid in
preventing and treating it. So how can garlic
help keep our heart in check? First, it helps
lower our cholesterol levels. It raises our
HDL (good) cholesterol levels, prevents LDL
(bad) cholesterol from building up on
arterial walls. This reduces the chances of
plaque forming in our arteries. It has also
been shown to lower cholesterol levels by
9% in people who ate 2 cloves of garlic per
Hypertension: Another heart benefit of
garlic is its ability to help control our blood
pressure by thinning our blood. Once again
the chemical found in garlic, called ajoene,
thins the blood and keeps clots from
forming. Studies done with general
populations have shown that where there is
more garlic consumed in a population, there
is also a reduced incidence of hypertension
and heart disease. Although garlic�s heart
healthy benefits may be new to some, for
centuries Chinese herbalists have been
using garlic to treat people with angina
attacks and circulatory disorders.

Pawpaw: Source of healthy living

Paw Paw is plentiful all year round in most
countries around the world. The parts that
are used medicinally are fruit, seeds, stems
and leaves. Pawpaw fruit is an excellent
source of dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, C
and E. It also contains small amount of
calcium, iron, riboflavin, thiamine and
niacine. It is also very rich in antioxidant
nutrients flavonoids and carotenes, very
high in vitamin C plus A, and low in calories
and sodium.
PawPaw tree is rich in enzymes called
papain and chymopapain which helps in
digestion, particularly, it breaks down the
proteins from the food we eat into amino
acids. Latest research shows that amino
acids are responsible for all what is
happening in our organism, basically for
what is happening in every chemical
reaction as well as our mental and physical
As we age we produce less of the digestive
enzymes in our stomach and pancreas,
which leads to ineffective digestion of
proteins. Due to this we end up with excess
amount of undigested protein, which leads
to overgrowth of the bad bacteria in our
gastrointestinal system and not enough of
amino acids to perform all important
chemical reactions. We can say that good
quality protein is absolutely essential for
our healthy being. This is where the
pawpaw enzymes can be very beneficial.
The papain enzymes are produced in the
skinny peel of paw paw. The combination
of these enzymes repels insect during the
ripening, without this protection paw paw
fruit would not survive. Eating paw paw
after a meal makes for better digestion,
prevents bloating and chronic indigestion. It
can also lower the inflammation in the
body, alleviates the pain and edema caused
by sport injuries. Because of its anti-
inflammatory properties pawpaw can
relieve the severity of Rheumatoid arthritis
and osteoarthritis. Because of its high
antioxidant content, pawpaw can prevent
cholesterol oxidation and can be use in a
preventative treatments against
atherosclerosis, strokes, heart attacks,
diabetic disease and cancer.
Pawpaw works magic on
strengthening the immune system
preventing the recurrent colds and flu. After
treatment with antibiotics eating paw paw
or drinking its juice replenishes the good
intestinal bacteria, which was destroyed by
the antibiotic treatment. The latest good
news from eating paw paw comes down
once again to papain the enzyme which is
found to destroy intestinal parasites. Papain
is proteolitic enzyme, which means that it
digests inert (non-living) proteins. Intestinal
parasites are largely protein, the papain
attacks it and causes parasite to die. Also,
home applications of leaf and bark pawpaw
extract is used to deal with mouth gums
and toothaches which is being effectively
practised in many cultures around the
Papain is also being studied for relief of
cancer therapy side effects, especially
relieving side effects such as difficulty
swallowing and mouth sores after radiation
and chemotherapy as well as boosting up
the immune system and helping body to
fight the cancer. Free radicals contribute
largely in many diseases such as diabetes,
Parkinsons, Alzheimers and cancer. . As
you can see there is plenty we can benefit
from this simple fruit, more and more
research is being done and I can�t wait to
hear more about it.


Asthma is a disease condition in which the
air passages in the lungs (called
bronchioles) become sensitive to simulation
by a variety of agents, leading to
contraction of the muscular wall, with
narrowing of the bone to a degree that
seriously obstructs the entry and exit of air
in the lungs.
In an attack of asthma¸ the breathing
becomes difficult, expiration often being
more affected than inspiration. The patient
is short of breath and breathing may
become audibly “wheezy”, with coughing.
The effort to draw breath increases, but
despite this, the movement of the chest is
diminished. The patient may become
agitated or confused. He feels he is going to
choke to death. It is a frightening condition.
There are numerous causes of asthmatic
attack. In some cases, a frank allergy exists
to a particular material, grass and tree
pollens, molds and fungi, animal hair and
even some types of food may all provoke
an asthmatic attack. In other cases, a
physical or chemical irritant such as a
smoky atmosphere, exhaust fumes or acid
fumes may bring on an attack.
Even, the inhalation of dust (particularly
when sweeping an enclosure), of smoke,
particularly from frying food or burning of
dried or wet grass, and others can cause
Infections of the lungs, particularly those
caused by viruses, may precipitate an attack
in those who are susceptible. It has also
been noted that asthmatic patients suffer
more under cold conditions. It should be
noted that just like in most cases of ill-
health, the causes of asthma include much
waste matter and mucus in the system.
It is not unusual to find that asthmatic
patients have difficulties with their kidneys,
stomachs and intestines. Where all these, or
some of them, are not functioning properly,
elimination of waste matter from the body
is found defective. Eating of foods that are
difficult to digest can sometimes bring
about an attack, especially if eaten late in
the evening.
Asthmatic attacks can be prevented if the
causes are removed and the body’s
resistance is built up. The first of such
causes would be anything that is harmful to
the lungs and bronchial tubes; such as
It is strongly advocated
that the best way to control asthmatic
attack is by going back to nature.
On wet days, and at night, the patient
should be kept very warm. The windows
should be left open to allow in sufficient air.
Fans and air-conditioners should not be
used in the sleeping room. The remedy being suggested for asthma
is a combination of natural extracts of
Allium cepa, Allium sativum, Tetrapleura
tetraptera and Zingiber officinale.