If there is one tribe that eats waterleaf than others, the Ibibios and Efik will come tops. Almost all their delicacies are cooked with edikaikong”, either mixed with other leaves or just only it.
Known as “Talinum triangulare “botanically, waterleaf is a common weed in most parts of Africa, especially those in the tropics. It’s a stubborn weed that the grows all year round, and flourishes more in the rainy season.
Due to its great taste and use to improve taste of dishes, waterleaf is now cultivated in commercial quantities like fluted pumpkin. There are a lot of farms that only plant the leaf for marketing purpose only.
Apart from its commercial benefits, waterleaf is a great medicine on it own right. It’s called “gbure” in Yoruba, “ebedondon” in Edo. The English nicknamed it Phillipine Spinch, flame flower and sweetheart among other lovely names.
The leaves are excellent for diarrhea, liver enlargement and hepatitis. It’s an excellent immune booster to those who often feel weak and tired, and those prone to frequent attacks of malaria.
Waterleaf contains more proteins than cashew nuts, more pectin than apples, and also have high level of Vitamin B, iron, calcium, manganese and zinc.
It’s also a rich source of carotenoids, Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, naiacin, alpha and beta tocopherols.
The fresh leaves are effective to calm inflammations. One can infuse the leaves in water and taken as a diuretic. Many scientific studies has shown that waterleaf have anti-cancer effects.
Those who suffer from insomnia (lack of sleep) can find waterleaf a readymade sleep inducer. Always make the leaf part of your daily delicacy and within a short time, your sleep rhythm will return back. It calms your nerves down, helps you urinate frequently to cleanse your system.
Herbalists believe the leaf is effective in managing prostate enlargement. The roots of waterleaf in boiled and the dosage is half glass twice daily according to Rev Father Anselm Adodo, a popular pluy to therapist.
Just like any other vegetable, one can juice waterleaf. Simply chop fresh leaves into pieces, then put two or three cups of water and blend. Sieve out the chaff and you will be left with a dark green liquid packed with vitamins and minerals. Don’t preserve the juice, ensure you consume within 30 minutes.
Eating waterleaf is safe for pregnant women and growing children. It boosts their blood levels. Eating waterleaf regularly in soup also helps to regulate hypertension.
The dried herb can be infused in water to extract the content for drinking. One disadvantage however is that the leaves are succulent and easy to decay.
The best way to preserve waterleaf is to dry it under room temperature since the leaves are soft and can be easily destroyed by excess heat from the sun.
Other studies indicate that consumption of this leaf can enhance brain function and protect brain tissue. When next you see waterleaf, make sure you get a handful and begin to use it not only as a vegetable but as a medicine to keep your body sound and healthy.
Gender Violence Increases HIV/AIDS,RSG Warns
The Rivers State Government has warned that gender-based violence increases incidence of HIV/AIDs, unwanted pregnancies among other health ailments.
The state Commissioner for Health ,Dr. Adaeze Oreh made the disclosure during the kick-off of the 16-days statewide campaign against gender-based violence.
“She also listed other health problems associated with gender based-violence that include sexually transmitted diseases (STDS), rectal incontinence and addictive behaviours.
“The commissioner used the occasion to enlist the support of individuals, organisations, government around the world to eliminate gender -based violence.“
“Dr. Oreh in a broadcast last weekend to commence the campaign against gender-based violence stressed the need to check the menace which she believed affects families and the society.
“According to her, all forms of anti-social behaviours like rape, sexual and child slavery, forced prostitution, forced abortion and pregnancy perpetrated against the girl child and women should be eliminated.
Said she, the concern of the Rivers State Government is the health implications of gender-based violence which includes increased HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.
She reiterated that the citizens have key role to play to prevent gender- based violence and its consequences by reporting cases promptly to health facilities in the state.
By: Kevin Nengia
Getting Trimmed Naturally
There are a lot of misconceptions about weight gain. The first is that weight gain comes from extra calories we do consume that we do not expend. Experts say we eat too much and exercise little. So if one gets fatter, then, surely he or she must be eating too much.
The other misconception is that once we cut our food, then, we will naturally become trimmed. All these are hinged on the diet theory, which only works for some time.
Over the past 40 years, studies have shown that you can not get clinically significant effect from cutting down on your calories. Even though experts are saying that sloth is responsible for weight gains- they overlook one basic truth that dieting only works for a short period.
The new study that seems to break those myths about body fat is now revealing some stunning facts. The kind of food we eat makes us fat. Two scientists at University of Pennsylvania, Mitchell Lazar and Cardiologist Allan Sniderman at McGill University, all in the United States have shown that food that we eat often makes us pack in flesh. These include bread, plain baked potatoes, and plain pasta, rice, sweet corn. They confirmed that fatty foods are not the enemy but easily digested carbohydrates, while steak, burgers, cheese or sour cream help us lose weight and keep our heart healthy.
This sounds ironical, but it has been discovered that those who do diet and avoid those foods end up getting hungry. What happens is that when you conserve energy or burn less energy, you are bound to add more flesh. Many public health authorities want us to practise energy balance, which is a new way to say that you should not take more calories than one expends.
No matter how one counts what he or she eats, it is impossible to determine calories and know when we are over board. No matter how good you are at counting calories, you can’t do it. So its couple of sips of soft drinks and few bites of humburger that can make you add weight. That means it at the point when we eat extra than the body want that the body store excess as fat.
The myth of exercising to reduce weight is really making waves. Exercise is helpful but it is not the main ingredient for fat burning. The funny truth is that the two things we tell people to do in order to lose weight-eat less and exercise more- are the exact two things that make one more hungry. Thus, there is need for balance. If one must exercise, then it should be done moderately so as to allow the body to recover the strenght.
The reality is that insulin is the primary hormone that makes one to add weight, especially one eats food that spikes insulin like bread, biscuits, sweets, soft drinks. It is refined carbohydrates that raise insulin levels in the body. Explained in simple terms, your fat tissue is more like your wallet, and your meals are like going to the ATM. You know how you use the ATM: You put the cash in your wallet and gradually spend it, and when you get too low on cash, you go back to the ATM. It is the insulin that locks the money in your wallet, so you keep going to the ATM, and your fat cells are getting fatter and fatter. More often, you become hungry and you eat again because the insulin can not get at the fatty acids leading to weight gain.
Low carb diet is key if you are to get trimmed. In Africa where stables are more of carbohydrate it is best to choose those with fibre. It is difficult to follow the Atkins diet like eating skinless chicken and green salad, melted mozzarella cheese and all those western diet.
An example of a workable diet is to include eggs more often and cut down on processed foods, especially processed carbohydrate. Complex carbohydrate, and vegetables have more fibre and make you get filled quickly. Instead of Irish potato, go for sweet potatoes, oats that have more fibre. I advise people to eat garri than processed plantain and wheat meals. By the way, processed wheat can worsen the body ails.
By: Kelvin Nengia
Who Formulates New Drug Treatment For Children
The World Health Organisation(WHO) has disclosed plans for new child care formulations.
The new programme if approved will drive innovations for better paediatric medicines.
The world health apex body since 2015 has reported decline in infant and child mortality but observed that there is a lack of research into new life-saving tools targeted at children.
This it said is partly due to the complexity of conducting studies including the youngest age groups.
“Children cannot swallow tablets or capsules, often cannot bear the taste of liquid medicines and metabolise drugs differently as they develop and grow.”
New drugs formulations is aimed at making medicines palatable, scored, crushable, dispersible (i.e. disintegrates quickly in water), chewable, sprinkled on food orr mixed with breast milk.
Stressing the need to improve the lives of infants and children , WHO stated that most drugs are not quality assured, especiallyin low income countries.
Once this is acheived it noted that it will help drive Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG 3, for good health and wellbeing, and the related target to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.
Already, GAP-f network partners are working together to remove barriers to developing and delivering appropriate, quality, affordable and accessible medicines for children.