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Using Pineapple To Heal

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One Dr Abosede Olowofoyeku, a phytotherapist, researcher in Phyto-Chemistry and the Chief Executive Officer of the Useful Herbs Naturopathy Limited gathered a large amount of pineapple leaves for a client who wanted to go for IVF.
She chose the leaves because they have a strong anti- inflammatory effect and do not interfere with the drugs used during IVF. She also said it is for improving egg quality.
Pineapple, botanically called “Ananas comosus,” contains an enzyme called bromelain which is derived from the stems, although it exists in all parts of the fresh fruit. The medicinal qualities of pineapples are attributed to bromelain.
(Bromelain) is a protein-digesting enzyme. People use it  to remove dead skin from burns and orally to reduce inflammation and swelling — particularly of the nasal passages. It is used in cosmetics and it is also used as a meat tenderiser. Its potential health benefits have been studied extensively in multiple areas. These include: Osteoarthritis, cardiovascular diabetes, asthma, chronic sinusitis colitis, burns and cancer. In fact, several studies showed that bromelain can inhibit cell growth and induce cell apoptosis (cell death) in different cancers.
Uses of Pineapple Leaves:
Now that we know what bromelain is, let us talk about pineapple leaves. It produces a white silky fiber that some cultures use to weave cloth. The extracts are rich in phenols which are compounds that according to animal studies may have potent health benefits. Other compounds of medicinal interest found in pineapple leaves include p-coumaric acid (CA), flavonoids, tannins, bromelain, glycosides, proteins and ascorbic acid. Wood is used as the major raw material in paper production around the world and this has resulted in severe deforestation. This has led to the need of finding alternative raw materials for paper production, pineapple leaves come to the rescue here. Let us see some more benefits of the leaves:
Improved blood sugar control: Certain chemical extracts from pineapple leaves are rich in phenols and may exert hypoglycemic or blood sugar lowering activity. In two studies in mice with diabetes, these phenols reduced blood sugar levels by reducing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when your body’s cells are less responsive to the effect of the blood sugar-lowering hormone called insulin.
Lowered blood cholesterol: The liver is one of the main organs responsible for regulating cholesterol levels in one’s body.
Promisingly, phenols extracted from pineapple leaves have shown potential for reducing blood cholesterol and hindering the development of NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) in mice. They have also been shown to prevent the increase of triglycerides in mice after a meal.  By working like statin drugs, phenolic compounds from pineapple leaves could potentially help reduce blood cholesterol.
Anti-inflammatory benefits: Inflammation is one’s body’s natural response to infection or stress. Over time, it can compromise the integrity of one’s immune system and increase the risk of certain diseases, including cancer. In one mouse study, phenols, tannins, flavonoids, glycosides, bromelain, and other compounds extracted from pineapple leaves demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. Specifically, they stopped the action of inflammatory substances in the body produced by white blood cells, like macrophages.
Antioxidant properties: Pineapple fruit and leaves are rich in antioxidants called phenols, flavonoids, tannins, and ascorbic acid which can improve conditions associated with oxidative stress and inflammation.
Improved digestion: The digestive enzyme bromelain is found in the fruit and leaves of pineapple. Used widely as a meat tenderiser, it is an enzyme that breaks down proteins and it may aid digestion too.
I always use the peels to sweeten my Zobo drink. It can be used for animal feed (pellets and animal feed block), production of paper and fertilisers because of the high-fiber and cellulose content. Composting transforms it into nutrient-rich material that can be used in the garden to improve soil texture and fertilise plants.
Let us see some of its benefits
· The peel has bromelain which is a powerful enzyme. It is anti-inflammatory in nature. It can be used to reduce swellings.
· It is also believed to help with digestion. It is said that the peels can fight intestinal parasites and help with constipation.
· If you are looking to boost immunity, you must consider the pineapple peel. Like the fruit, the peel is rich in vitamin C which can build the overall immunity of the body, fight bacteria and help with coughing.
· It can also be a teeth and bone strengthener since it is rich in manganese. It is great for oral health, because vitamin C can keep the gums healthy.
· The enzyme bromelain can prevent the clotting of blood too. In fact, it can even make the blood healthier, by helping with the formation of more red blood cells.
Scientific studies
In a study titled, “Evaluation of acute anti-inflammatory effect of Ananas comosus leaf extracts in rats,’’ by Mondal et al, the study assessed the chloroform and methanol extracts of A. comosus leaf for their acute anti-inflammatory potential by carrageenan induced paw oedema in Wistar albino rats. All of the test extracts exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity. The methanol extract was found to be the most potent followed by the chloroform extract.
In a study titled, “Pineapple peel wastes (PPW) as a potential source of antioxidant compounds by Saraswaty et al, the results showed PPW contained phenolic compound, ferulic acid, vitamin A and C as antioxidants. Both dried and fresh PPW were extracted using mixtures of ethanol and water with various concentrations and the highest antioxidant activity was in the water extract.
In a study titled, “Ameliorating hyperglycemia by Ananas comosus leaves extract,’’ by Atiq Ur Rahman, study was carried out on 20 male rats. Rats were provided with A. comosus leaves extract for 35 days. Serum samples were collected to check the level of serum glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, AST, ALP, ALT, uric acid, urea and creatinine. Results indicated that A. comosus leaves have anti-diabetic properties and do not possess any harmful effect on kidney and liver.
To make pineapple peel tea, put the peels in a pot. You can also add cloves, ginger and cinnamon sticks. Add some water and allow it to brew for some 15 minutes on low flame. Turn it off and let it steep for another 15 minutes. Your peel tea is ready. Another way is to boil the peels, let it cool down. Blend it, sieve and drink. To make pineapple leaf tea, just boil it and then drink the water. If you are able to get a large amount of pineapple leaves, spread somewhere in the house, it will dry on its own. Then, you can take it to boil from time to time. Make sure you wash your pineapples well before peeling.

Culled from The Punch online.

 

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Safe Motherhood: RSG Raises Alarm Over Birth Outside Health Centres

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Rivers State Ministry of Health has raised alarm over the number of births outside medical facilities in the state.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry, of Health, Dr. Utchay Chikanele made the observation during this year’s Safe Motherhood Celebration tagged, “Access to Quality Maternal Care: A Right to Every Woman.”
She regretted that the number of new born babies delivered in medical facilities in the state dwindled last year despite the statistics that registered for antenatal care.
In her words, “Rivers State with a target population of 1,883,706 women of child bearing age, 14,734 pregnant women, 1,712,460 under five children and 342,492 infants, only 14,734 which is 34.4 percent registered for antenatal care in 2021, out of which only 12, 218, which is 3.8 delivered in our health facilities”.
The Permanent Secretary used the occasion to call on mothers to utilise the 386 primary health centres and 18 functional secondary health facilities owned and operated by the state government, as she reiterated the state resolve to curb maternal mortality.
She stated that right to health is a basic human right that every woman should enjoy, as she revealed that about 800 women die daily in pregnancy and child birth and 8million suffer serious pregnancy-related illnesses and disabilities.
Underscoring  safe motherhood as one of major planks of the Sustainable Developmental Goals(SDG) Dr. Chikanele observed, “no woman going through pregnancy and child bearing should suffer any injury, loose her life or that of the unborn baby.”
To reverse the trend, Chikanele enlisted the support of local government chairmen, community leaders, husbands and the society at large to encourage mothers to use medical facilities and ensure that their new born are delivered in hospitals with support from medical experts.
She assured that the state government will continue on the quest to boost safe motherhood by engaging in enlightenment campaigns and sensitisation through the media and engagement of stakeholders in the sector across board.

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WHOWarns On Monkey Pox …Says It’s Contaminable

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The World Health Organisation has warned that the new Monkey pox outbreak is contaminable.
The virus symptoms include a hight emperature, aches, and a rash of raised spots monkeypox can be contained in countries outside of Africa where the virus is not usually detected, the World Health Organization (WHO), says.
Already more than 100 cases of the virus – which causes a rash and a fever – have been confirmed in Europe, the Americas and Australia.
That number is expected to rise coming weeks, but experts say the overall risk to the broader population is very low.
The virus is most common in remote parts of Central and West Africa.
“This is a containable situation,” WHO’s emerging disease leader Maria Van Kerkhove said at a news conference early this week.
“We want to stop human-to-human transmission.
We can do this in the non-endemic countries,” she added – referring to recent cases in Europe and North America.
Despite being the largest outbreak outside of Africa in 50 years, monkeypox does not spread easily between people and experts say the threat is not comparable to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Transmission is really happening from skin-to-skincontact, most of the people who have been identified have more of a mild disease,” Ms Van Kerkhove said.
Another WHO official added that there was no evidence the monkeypox virus had mutated, following earlier speculation over the cause of the current outbreak.
Viruses in this group “tend not to mutate and they tend to be fairly stable”, said Rosamund Lewis, who heads the WHO’s smallpox secretariat.
Meanwhile, a top EU health official has warned that some groups of people may be more at risk than others.
“For the broader population, the likelihood of spread is very low,” said Dr Andrea Ammon of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
“However the likelihood of further spread of the virus through close contact for example during sexual activities amongst persons with multiple sexual partners is considered to be high”.
Monkeypox has not previously been described as a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be passed on by direct contact during sex.
Dr Ammon suggested that countries should review he availability of the smallpox vaccine which is also effective against monkeypox.
In the UK, which has now recorded 57 cases, authorities are advising anyone who has had close contact with a confirmed case to isolate for 21 days.
A person is considered at high risk of having caught the infection if they have had household or sexual contact with someone with monkeypox, or have changed the bedding of an infected person without wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
Symptoms, which include a high temperature, aches, and a rash of raised spots that later turn into blisters, are typically mild and for most people clear up within two to four weeks.

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Using Water To Heal (2)

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In the last edition, I discussed why water is essential to life and health yet many people ignore it. Ignorantly, many people have acquired the habit of sweet tooth of “downing” or pushing down their food with soft drinks and soda.
Not long after acquiring this dismal habit, they begin to experience health maladies such as arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, rheumatism and all sorts of ailments.
Once one understands that water is the fluid of life then it becomes easy for one to drink and reap its tremendous benefits.  Water and air are two very important things God gave to keep us healthy. In addition to that, water has huge healing powers that only those who have gulped from its rich fountain can attest  . It must however be noted that not all water is safe for consumption. Many local sources of water are contaminated, and that is why one should be mindful of the kind of water he or she drinks.
To get the benefits of water drinking, I will suggest one begin by taking considerable steps to make sure ones water is safe for drinking. These steps include boiling and other treatment methods to eliminate germs and other organisms that may harm health.
For effective usage, health experts recommend alkaline water. Alkaline water is the type of water that a PH above 7.0. It made alkaline by its content of natural minerals such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, etc. These minerals confer the alkalinity to the water. There are certain properties associated with this water – it has a neutral taste, has better hydration and delivery of nutrients to the cells.
Latest research has shown that water is used to reduce weight. A study at the University of Michigan Medical School led by Dr. Tammy Chang, an assistant professor of family medicine declared that, “ those who were inadequately hydrated had higher body mass indexes than those who were hydrated”.
It noted that people who took in too little water daily had 50 per cent higher odds for obesity compared to those who consumed enough. That link held even after the researchers compensated for factors such as age, bender and income. The study indicates hydration might impact weight. “What it does show though is that a diet that includes more water whether as a beverage or the water found in fruits and vegetables, is likely associated with healthier weight,” remarked Connie Diekman, director nutrition at Washington University, US.
To prevent ageing and all kinds of maladies one should consume more of alkaline water. The antioxidants in alkaline water neutralise the acid and the free radicals which would otherwise damage the tissues.
Experts believe that lack of water may worsen diabetes. Apart from the production and secretion of insulin by the pancreas to increase in the level of glucose in the bloodstream after a meal, there is another very important function of pancreas. This function of the pancreas is regulated by the amount of water in the body. In a state of dehydration, the amount of the bicarbonate solution is reduced and this can get to a critical level that there is not enough of it to neutralize the stomach content.
Drinking enough water enlivens the skin as well. Those who drink water enoughwater look younger and improve their overall physical outlook. Alkaline water makes the body supple, shine and softens the tone of the skin.
As I earlier asserted, one need to begin gradually by drinking few cups on rising from bed in the morning, since water drives body metabolism. As one grows in the habit,  it is easy to hit the target of eight glasses a day as recommended by health experts.

By Kevin Nengia

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