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Medicine in unlikely plant parts

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Some a few weeks ago a cancer survivor reader sent me a link. When I clicked on it, I noticed that it contained the story of a woman of exceptional academic prowess. The urge to look for her has become so strong for two reasons:

I continue to receive text messages from people with cancer and luckily she is interested in herbal medicine for cancer treatment. I was lucky to find it. She became the best graduate student in pharmacy in 2016 with a possible GPA of 6.6 out of 7.0. She took the feat to an even higher level when in 2021 she was announced as the top master’s student at the University of Ibadan – this time, with a perfect GPA of 7.0 out of 7, 0. Her name is Olabimpe Olayinka. She studied pharmacy to satisfy her love for natural products and drug discovery. She is interested in drug research aimed at finding safer, affordable and more tolerable alternatives from herbs for the treatment of cancer. When I asked her how she thought acceptance would be in the medical world, she said, “I’m like the proverbial man married to two women. Both wives are Orthodox and phytotherapists. They both care about the health and well-being of the patient, but unless they find common ground they can end up confusing patients instead of helping to save more. lives.

“Now that more and more healthcare professionals are interested in the potential of herbs and other natural products for treatment, there will be room for the incorporation of science and technology that brings innovations. in the health sector. ”

Before I get into what I have for this week, let me quickly touch on something. I am aware that a particular recipe for garden egg leaves for the kidneys has gone viral. To date, I do not know of any scientific study supporting such a claim. However, I have already discussed two herbs and cited scientific studies for their uses for kidney health. The plants are

Ocimum gratissimum (Efinrin) and

Artocarpus altilis (Gbère). If you haven’t forgotten, Artocarpus altilis is the breadfruit tree in Ile-Ife, Osun State. You may need to refer to the articles on these two plants to view the scientific studies. Diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and obesity are some of the risk factors for kidney disease. These factors must be considered to prevent kidney disease. Also, I would like to say that you need to be sure of the herbs you are ingesting.

On this platform, we are all used to nature never ceasing to surprise us. After the publication of the article on Sida acuta in a series on medicinal plants, Dr. Obafemi Jegede, professor at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ibadan, in Oyo State, m ‘ sent voice notes on the plant. He spoke of it so highly. He explained to me how he used it and he even went so far as to tell me the ifa mythology about it. Every time I listen to it, I get goosebumps. It’s not that I’ve never seen plants with exceptional phytochemicals like this plant before, everything he said about it made me feel like this because we all see it as ‘good’. ‘ordinary grass’. Apart from Sida acuta I’m sure you remember I discussed Laportea aestuans (Ofiya) and we were shocked too because it is a weed but when pressed into water and that the juice is given to a woman in labor, it speeds up labor. While I was on the chewing sticks of our earthly series, I spoke about all the exceptional benefits of Glyphaea brevis (Atori) which is synonymous with corporal punishment; in fact, it is the cane used by masquerades to whip people. These are the engines of this new series. The task is to let you know that the parts of plants that you unknowingly throw away are rich in phytochemicals. You’ll never see me peel my ginger and turmeric. I don’t throw any part of my pineapple either.

I spoke with Mr. Matthew Oluwaniyi, Senior Technologist / Laboratory Coordinator, Department of Pharmacognosy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and he said: “Well, for me, because of my knowledge and experience. In phytochemical and phytonutrient applications, I know that the rind, skin, and seeds of watermelon are an incredible powerhouse, so I usually eat my whole watermelon in smoothie form. Nothing is wasted.

The head of Herbarium and Medicinal Plant Gardens, Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Mr. Ife Ogunlowo, has a lot to say about this. He said that a herbal scientist is very aware of the different amounts of phyto-constituents found in different parts of the plant that can be found in the rinds, for example quinine, bulbs of garlic and onions, essential oils of peppermint, clove flowers, corn stigma or pollen. , fennel fruits, alligator pepper seeds, cashew gums, leaves of different plants, frankincense and myrrh resins, ginseng roots, ginger rhizome, potato tuber and camwood. He said there are a lot of parts of plants that people ignore or are not even aware of about their uses as medicine. He spoke about the watermelon seeds used to manage diabetes and increase libido in both men and women. He talked about the pineapple leaves, also known as the crown, which are helpful in treating fevers and helpful for sleep disturbances. In addition, he said that orange peels are useful as an antimicrobial and that is why they are part of the ingredients in soap making. He said the black soap industry relies heavily on cocoa pods, just as the cola nut pod is helpful in managing low sperm count. In his conclusion, he said: “As one man’s food can be another’s poison, we must all learn from others how different plants and their respective parts are used in other climates and cultures outside of Canada. our. ”

I once saw Dr Abosede Olowofoyeku, Herbalist, Phytochemistry Researcher and CEO of The Useful Herbs Naturopathy Limited picking up a large amount of pineapple leaves (the leaf is the part that we throw away, it is also that part that is planted) for the preparation of a client who wished to undergo IVF.

Let me share a scientific study to whet our appetites. In a study titled “Valuation of Ginger and Turmeric Rinds as a Source of Natural Antioxidants” by Tinello et al, ginger and turmeric rinds showed superior antioxidant activity than commercial powders due to their higher phenolic yields. students. Therefore, ginger and turmeric peels can be considered a rich source of phytochemicals that contribute to the antioxidant effects of the food industry.

I’ll start with the parts that we consider waste in pineapples. Before we go this week, let me leave this to you; “In nature, waste does not exist. In nature, nothing is wasted; everything is recycled. “- David Suzuki

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