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.
COVID-19: ‘No Challenge In Community Sensitisation’
As the fight to prevent the rampaging Coronavirus from infecting Rivers people continues, part of the measures adopted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in reaching out to communities has so far not experienced any notable challenges.
The Lead Coordinator for the State Rapid Response Team for COVID-19, Mr Modekai Ifemide Olowole, who made this known after a recent routine assessment of performance of the Rapid Response Team on sensitization in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt LGAs stated that the compliance level has been encouraging.
Olowole, who credited the success recoded so far to the existing mechanism in place, explained that the sensitisation team of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) works with Institutions on ground , adding that: ‘We have come together to offer our support.
“What we did was to sensitise the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to know how they can engage the communities in whatever they are doing.
“If while doing that they need some support from us, we have a Rapid Response Team (RRT) that are working on ground. They have mobility, they have everything,” he said.
According to him, each time any of the Civil Society Organisations has palliatives for instance, to give to members of any community, they use the opportunity to make presentations on COVID-19 preventive measures.
The RRT, sponsored by UNICEF in collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Health, and the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), he said, decided to adopt the method, knowing that many people in the communities are more bothered by how to overcome hunger than COVID-19.
“If you look at it economically, everybody is hungry. If you go to a community and tell them you want to sensitise them on how to wish hands, they will tell you they are hungry,” he said.
This, he explained further, is part of what Risk Communication entails, and is the platform through which UNICEF aims to support the state.
“UNICEF’s aim is to support the state wherever they are working to pilot a model that is of international best practices and present to the state. That is what we’re doing now,” he said.
WHO Warns Against Lifting COVID-19 Lockdown
The World Health Organisation, WHO, yesterday urged countries to apply caution in lifting COVID-19 lockdowns, warning of a resurgence of infections if current restrictions were relaxed too soon.
WHO’s Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Takeshi Kasai,said this during an online media briefing in Manila, The Tide source reports.
Kasai said that lockdown measures have proven effective by reducing transmission of the highly infectious disease while easing the burden on the overstretched health system.
“This is going to be a long battle. This is not the time to relax,” Kasai said.
Instead, he stressed the need to be ready for “a new way of living that strikes the right balance between the measures to keep the virus in check and enable vital parts of the economy and society to function.”
Kasai urged people in the region to protect themselves, their family and their community by physically distancing and frequently cleaning their hands.
Others are covering coughs and sneeze as well as staying at home and away from others, especially when sick.
He also urged the private sector to adopt new ways of working, such as establishing staff to work from home where possible and other measures to reduce the risk of infections in the workplace.
“For the government, this means preparing for the worst, having a system that works in every corner of the country to detect and care for people in case of large-scale community transmission,” he said.
Already, Kasai said, COVID-19 had upended millions of peoples’ lives and had caused a major economic impact on the world.
He said that the governments in the region were making “extremely complex decisions about introducing or enhancing or easing or lifting lockdowns and physical distancing measures.
“As we move forward in these difficult times, our lives, our health systems and approach to stopping transmission must continue to adapt and evolve along with the epidemic.”
According to him, until a vaccine is found, the process of adapting to the epidemic will have to become a new normal.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to doing this but WHO strongly urges that decisions on measures be guided by public health principles, the lifting of lockdowns, and other measures that need to be done gradually.
“If restrictions are relaxed or lifted before the strong system is in place to identify, isolate and care for this sick, and trace and quarantine their contacts, this will likely lead to a resurgence of diseases.
“As long as the new Coronavirus is circulating, no country is safe from potentially overwhelming outbreaks,” he said.
As at yesterday, Ghana had lifted its three weeks lock down imposed to tackle the spread of the disease.
COVID-19: Body Charges Rivers On Thorough Hand Washing
Amidst fears associated with the dreaded Coronavirus, which has been detected in most states, the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), says it has taken necessary precautionary measures to combat the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Speaking while fielding questions from journalists, the General Manager of the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Mr. Napoleon Adah, said such measures were aimed at raising awareness on proper and regular hand washing, and the use of alcohol base hand sanitiser.
“As an agency saddled with the responsibility of hand washing and personal hygiene, we are working in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Rivers State Ministry of Health in order to carry out adequate advocacy and sensitisation to the communities on the inherent dangers of COVID-19,” Adah said.
He further commended the Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike for his effective leadership to curb the spread of the virus in Rivers State.
According to him, there are several committees set up by the Governor to create adequate awareness in the area of COVID-19. This, he said has invariably made the state to be Coronavirus free.
The RUWASSA boss, who is also an environmental disaster risk management expert, noted that the agency in collaboration with UNICEF is currently working out modalities to provide automatic hand washing facilities to the various LGAs of Rivers State.
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