The word spice is used to denote condiments that are used to enhance the taste of food. Usually spices are hot on the taste buds due to the natural flavour.
But aside their pepperish feelings, spices are hugely medicinal and curative. The Chinese and the Spanish of yore used to travel long distances both on land and water to buy spices from Arabia.
As early as that time they discovered that these unique herbs help to ward off colds, cough hence spices became high commodity in Europe and America where they were later introduced in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Today, spices have become common ingredients in foods, confectioneries and pastries.
However, while their uses cannot be restricted only in the kitchen, spices have been discovered to have healing properties that may not be observable to many people until they stop eating them. Below are some of the top healing spices:
1. GARLIC… (Allium sativum). This spice has been called the “ king” of the spices. Besides being a potent antibiotic and antiviral herb, garlic reduces high blood pressure, high cholesterol. It has been used thousands of years in food and medicine.
Studies have shown that it can help treat arthritis, diarrhea, colds among other ailments. Recent studies by Russian scientists have shown that garlic can help prevent and treat cancer. Always add it in your soups and stews.
2. GINGER…(zingiber officinale). This special spice comes behind garlic as the most used and is highly medicinal. According to James Duke, a popular herbalist, ginger contains ‘zingibain’, a kind of enzyme that has the ability to chemically breakdown protein. These enzymes help in controlling autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, pain, and spondylitis. But it’s most popular use is to control dizziness, nausea.
Ginger according to research contains more than 12 antioxidants that help check inflammation. A dish prepared with ginger will actually give you medicinal dose of the herb.
3. TURMERIC (Curcuma longa). This yellow colour of ginger is also highly medicinal and until recently, turmeric was most popular in India and other Asian countries. Fortunately, it’s not as hot as ginger but has lots of medicinal virtues. When combined with other spices, turmeric gives curry its yellow colour.
It has lots of vitamins such as C, E and A. Research has also shown that if it’s combined with other spices such as cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf it can help the body to control excess sugar, and therefore very good for diabetics.
4. CLOVES (syzygium aromaticum).Cloves are not popular a herb until recently when ‘zobo’ drink became a popular beverage for most Nigerians.
History has recorded that before people in ancient Asia were permitted to see their King, they had to chew cloves to freshen their breath. Cloves have a very powerful aromatic and antibacterial oil. It’s also used in the production of toothpaste and mouth washes and it is considered effective in relieving toothaches.
5.THYME.. (thymus vulgaris). The mother of spices. The leaves of this lovely aromatic wild garden plant is used in flavouring stews and soups but is now a potent medicine.
Nineteenth century Swiss herbalist, Kunzle claim that,” thyme helps to refresh lungs, remove indigestion, flatulence, liver and splenetic complaints, act as diuretic.”
It’s more effective when used with other herbs, so if you feel cold, it could be added with peppermint or a pinch of cayenne pepper. Or use it and make a light pepper soup with ginger, cayenne to relieve the nasal and air passages for asthma.
World Sight Day: 250 Benefit From Free Eye Screening, Medication
As part of events marking the 2019 World Sight Day (WSD), the International Association of Lions Clubs, District 404-A2, Nigeria, Region 6 Screened 250 persons in Port Harcourt.
The exercise, which witnessed free eye screening, treatment and medication for indigent persons in Rivers State, was part of the clubs’ contribution to society.
Making this know in a post-screening interview, the Region Secretary, Lion Sarah Walter George said all the 250 persons screened had one from of eye problem or the other.
“Some of the problems such as inflammation in the eyes only required administering of eye drops and other medications for a given period, depending on the case. The more serious cases were referred”, she said.
Lion George continued that the focus on embarking on the eye screening was necessitated by the fact that many individuals are not aware that even when they can see, they still need to go for eye test.
“Now, all the 250 persons tested had eye challenges, which they would not have known if this exercise had not taken place”, she said.
George, who represented the Region Chairman, Lion Rodney Ambaiowei, therefore, used the opportunity to call on people to go for regular eye checks to avoid going blind gradually.
Also speaking, one of the doctors involved in the screening exercise, Dr Usiaphre Eloho Evonny, stated that most of the cases screened were refractive.
According to her, “some people cannot read, while some can’t see from far or near, and there were cases of cataract that requires surgery.
She further stated that as at press time, there were over 100 refractive cases diagnosed.
Highlights of the occasion was the distribution of eye glasses and drugs to cases that required it.
A total of seven lions clubs in the region collaborated in the exercise, which took place at the Abali Park, Port Harcourt.
They are PHC Crystal Lions, PHC new Garden City Lion Club, Nigeria Delta, Lions Club, PHC Pearl Lions Club, PHC Omega Lions Club, PHC Metro Lions Club, and Bonny Island Lions Club.
NMA Wants FG To Include Unknown Patients In NHIS
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged the Federal Government to evolve a policy that will include the care of unknown patients in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of NMA, Dr Saliu Oseni, made the call in a statement in commemoration of the 2019 Physicians’ Week yesterday in Lagos.
The Physicians’ Week is an annual event of the association that holds nationwide between October 14 and October 19.
Oseni said that the state chapter would hold a scientific conference on October 16 with the theme: “Care of the Unknown Patient: Policy Overview and Review.”
He decried the absence of an existing policy in the care of unknown patients which had denied such patients easy access to qualitative health care in private and public hospitals.
“We know that a lot of these patients are brought to the hospital by good Samaritans who are not expected to be responsible for the bills incurred after treatment.
“A lot of these cases are victims of road traffic accidents; consequently access to care might be delayed as the provider is worried about who pays the bills.
“This means even where there is a private hospital close by, access to care may not be guaranteed,” he said.
Breast Cancer: MWAN Calls For Regular Screening
Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Rivers State Chapter, has urged females to get vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus, an organism that causes cervical cancer.
The President of MWAN, Rivers State Chapter, Dr. Ibimonye Porbeni, who stated this during a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in Port Harcourt, stressed that early stage diagnose of cervical, prostrate and breast cancer can be cured.
Dr Porbeni noted that breast cancer is the commonest and major public health problem affecting women worldwide followed by cancer of the cervix.
She stated that young girls from nine years and above need to vaccinate themselves against the Human Papilloma Virus as they can also be affected.
“The Human Papilloma Virus vaccine is gotten in University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, and Medical Women Center, Port Harcourt. Young girls of nine years and above can actually vaccinate themselves against the virus”, she said.
According to her, when vaccinated three times, young girls can actually be protected from the virus, while older women have to do Pap smear once a year, and visit a gynecologist to be examined,
She further advised men to start prostrate cancer screening early from age of thirty-five (35) years as it is commonly seen in older men.
Porbeni however, urged women to go for Mammography examination on the breast in Medical Women Center for early screening.
Also speaking, Dr. Rosemary Ogu, Obstetrician Gynecologist, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, urged women to conduct self breast examination to prevent and ensure no negative changes in breast size or shape, lumps or thickening within the breast.
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