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

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


EATING legumes at least three times a week
and brown rice at least once a week was
linked to a reduced risk of colon polyps by
33 per cent and 40 per cent respectively,
according to Loma Linda University
research recently published in Nutrition and
Cancer. High consumption of cooked green
vegetables and dried fruit was also
associated with greater protection, the
study shows.
“Eating these foods is likely to decrease
your risk for colon polyps, which would in
turn decrease your risk for colorectal
cancer,” says lead author Yessenia
Tantamango, a post-doctoral research
fellow with Adventist Health Study-2 at
Loma Linda University.
“While a majority of past research has
focused on broad food groups, such as
fruits and vegetables, in relation to colon
cancer, our study focused on specific foods,
as well as more narrowed food groups, in
relation to colon polyps, a precursor to
colon cancer. Our study confirms the results
of past studies that have been done in
different populations analyzing risks for
colon cancer.”
Results also show that consuming cooked
green vegetables once a day or more, as
compared to less than five times a week,
was associated with a 24 per cent reduction
in the risk of rectal/colon polyps.
Consuming dried fruit three times a week or
more, versus less than once a week, was
associated with a 26 per cent reduced risk.
The protective effects of these foods could
be due in part to their cancer-fighting
agents, the study reported.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Physic Nut Gives Similar Pain Relief As Aspirin.

Researchers have found a natural
strong painkiller from an extract of the
poisonous shrub Jatropha curcas whose
mode of action is different from
conventional pain relieving medicines such
as morphine and other pharmaceuticals.
Jatropha curcas, also known as Barbados
nut, physic nut, purging nut or Lapalapa in
Yoruba, is a semi-evergreen shrub native to
Central America and Mexico, and is
cultivated in subtropical and tropical areas
of the world. The plant’s fruit is combined
with the stem bark of Cochlospermum
planchonii (Gbehutu or Feru in Yoruba) in
Nigerian medicine for treating diabetes
mellitus and is also used traditionally as a
painkiller. The plant’s seeds have been used
for making soap, candles, detergents,
lubricants and dyes and the seed oil is used
in biodiesel. Its pain-relieving qualities are
in sharp contrast to these other uses.
The researchers, Omeh Yusuf and Ezeja
Maxwell of the Micheal Okpara University of
Agriculture in Umudike, Nigeria, extracted
what they believed to be the physiologically
active components of the leaves of physic
nut using methanol as solvent.
They compared the effects of this extract at
100, 200 and 400 milligrams per kg (mg/kg)
of body mass, against 400 mg/kg of
aspirin, a common painkiller, in standard
laboratory animal tests for assessing the
strength of painkillers. They found that 100
mg/kg was an inadequate dose; however,
200 and 400 mg/kg doses produced
analgesia (relief from pain) comparable to
aspirin, affirming the use of the plant for
pain relief.
The team reporting in the International
Journal of Biomedical Engineering and
Technology suggested that the extract
could probably be acting through both
peripheral and central pain mechanisms like
aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. This is
quite different from morphine and similar
drugs that act on the central nervous
However, they intend to work more on
isolating and characterising the active
ingredient in the extract as well as to
determine its clear-cut mode of action.
The findings of the study are important
because new, more effective pain-relieving
drugs without addiction and side effect
issues are needed. Given that widely used
pain killers like aspirin and morphine were
originally derived from natural sources,
turning to herbal and traditional medicine
for new products is a rational approach.
Herbal ointments containing different
medicinal plants like physic nut are used in
folk practice to promote wound repair.
Although the use of the leave extract of
physic nut in skin infections and wound
treatment in many local communities in
south-eastern Nigeria is well known, its pro-
wound healing activity was never
investigated. However, researchers in a
study published in the International
Journal of Applied Research in Natural
Products which assessed an herbal
ointment containing the leaf extract of
physic nut found that it caused a
significantly higher rate of wound healing
without leaving any scar.
The herbal ointment was tried out in rats by
Esimone CO and Nworu CS from the Faculty
of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of
Nigeria, Nsukka in collaboration with
Jackson CL from Department of
Pharmaceutics, University of Uyo. The study
entitled “Cutaneous wound healing activity
of a herbal ointment containing the leaf
extract of Jatropha curcas” was carried out
in rats.
Five batches of the ointment (A-E) were
prepared and used in the study. Batches A-C
contained varying concentration of the
extract (0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 g per 10 g of the
ointment base, respectively). Batch D was
formulated to contain gentamycin (1 % w/
w) and batch E is a blank control ointment
and was prepared with neither the extract
nor the standard drug. For each batch, 10 g
of blank petroleum jelly B.P.
The researchers, while indicating that based
on the result of the study that formulating
physic nut extracts into an ointment is
effective in wound repairs, concluded that
formulating physic nut extract as ointment
is effective in wound care and should be
explored in harnessing the potential of the
plant in the treatment of skin diseases.
This is more so given that the plant has
previously demonstrated other properties
relevant in treatment of topical infections
and blemishes.
In addition, other previous studies have
reported that the plant exhibits bioactive
activities for fever, mouth infections,
jaundice, guinea worm sores and joint
rheumatism. Some other researchers
reported that its crushed leaves had being
used as a worm expeller or to repel flies in
animals while women in South Sudan had
used its seeds as a contraceptive. In
addition, its latex showed anti-cancerous
The search for pain relieving herbs have
yielded other herbs and natural substances
such as Aloe Vera plant, Camphor, nutmeg
and castor oils, cat’s claw, devil’s claw (atale
pupa in Yoruba; gangamau in Hausa) and
Natural herbal pain relievers may provide a
safe alternative, although they should not
replace conventional medicine. These herbs
and natural substances provide pain relief
in several different ways. Some herbs may
have a direct action on your nerve’s pain
receptors, thereby desensitizing you to the
sensation of pain.
Other herbs may help reduce inflammation,
which can also help reduce your pain.
Furthermore, there are some herbs that may
help regenerate damaged tissues and
bones, especially those that are beneficial
for degenerative conditions like arthritis.