Health is the major instrument that facilitate the individual overall attainment. It predict the ability to achieve your future expectation. It captivate the world in a global discourse which entirely manipulate humanity into wealth.
Health is define as the overall or general wellbeing of an individual being it physical, physiological and mental wellbeing and not necessarily the absence of disease and infirmities. Health has never propose the complete eradication of diseases and unpleasant instances which incapacitate an individual. It rather comes with instigated measure that mitigate the chances of spiteful prognosis.
Every human has the right to good health and longevity. With view of this, various health care avenues are grossly made available to all manner of people. Some resort comes with outrageous demand-cost wise, but in all seeking health care is paramount to humanity, for it defines your wealth.
The essence of this write up is to address some unwholesome ways people try to meet their health needs and also address some common but deadly disease patterns, infections, and the likes that has been left ajar as a result of the novel coronavirus.
Coronavirus has won global attention over the past 2 years. How this pandemic suddenly inflicted the world with economic anomaly is still beyond human reasoning. The misnomer that struck the globe was severe to the extent that, it reaped the inhabitant of this planet of much pleasantries.
it has drastically affected many economic sectors- educational, transport, export and import, agriculture and ultimately health. Before the development of the covid vaccines of which AstraZeneca is rampantly on the lead on the world health market. Individuals especially Africans have tried diverse ways to ensure a general wellbeing and limit their chances of getting ill from contracting the virus. They ended up resorting to substances in the form of their choice of food, some herms and spices which they term immune boasters.
I am not disputing their measures to ensure they are secured from the aftermath of contracting the virus. But the major concern is how these substances are consumed. Let’s take a quick perusal on some food, spice and herbs that were overly abused in this phase of human survival and the prognosis of such practices.
ARIDAN- (PREKESE)- Tetrapleura tetraptera
Prekese is a native of the west tropical Africa and belongs to the pea family. The fruits of the plant possess a sharp aromatic odor to which defines it repellent properties. Primarily widely used as spices but has a lot of medicinal qualities in Ghana and some neighboring African countries.
Among the numerous properties include; wound healing (the equaeous extract from the fruit), convulsive management, analgestic properties, diabetes, weight loss and postpartum care. Many are those who has resort to the use prekese through various ways. It countless medicinal purposes have proven it worthy to be used amidst the pandemic. It is obvious as human, we have the tendency to use this plant abnormally all in the name of obtaining high level immunity to combat Covid-19.
The chemical composition of Tetrapleura tetraptera consist of crude protein, sugar, starch. The mineral components based on dry weight includes; iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, sodium boron, and potassium. The phytochemical composition in the fruit is generally high and comparable to other commonly used spices, indicating the potential use of prekese as a source of these phytochemicals (compounds produce by plants) in traditional medicine.
All this chemical compositions are critically analyzed under inductive investigation which has been scientifically proven.
The excretion rate of these phytochemicals must be adequately moderate which will not pose the kidney and other adjuvant organs at a risk of damage. (Chung, 2007) cites specific examples of toxic effect in a chemical research toxicology, a monthly journal. The effect included reports of the liver, kidney and intestinal toxicity related to the consumption of high doses of natural spice and plants that comes in the form of green tea or supplements.
The risk of such toxicity may be greater in individuals taking certain medications (drug to drug interaction), or with genetic traits, that increase the bioavailability (a fraction of a particular drug that reaches systemic circulation) of phytochemicals.
The excessive intake of prekese can increase the intake of its phytochemicals which can pose an individual to various forms of health anomaly. This applies to the following natural spices and plants that are widely consumed as a form of building immunity as against Covid 19.
NEGRO PEPPER – (HWENTIA) – (xylopia aethiopia)
Negro pepper (xylopia aethiopia) is one of the major spice that is used in the preparation of local foods and medicines in the sub-sahara Africa. It is from the Amonaceae family and it is commonly called hwentia in Akan.
The high demand of this spice is due to it high constituents of essential phytochemical compounds and beneficial nutritional value.
Health benefits may include; can be used as a preservative, treatment of itches, furuncles (boils), and skin eruption, weight control, production of milk after childbirth, appetite stimulant, combating respiratory discomforts such as Asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis, and boost women fertility.
According to (Adeyemi, et al 2016) phytochemicals in negro pepper includes; Tannis, Phenols, Volatile oil, Alkaloids, Saponins, Flavonoids, Terpenoids, Resins, Phlobatannins, Reducing sugar. Considering the amount of pythochemicals found in Hwentia, consuming large amount can be lead to organs toxicity despite it wide medicinal purposes including microbial benefits.
WEST AFRICAN BLACK PEPPER- (ESORO WISA)
This type of of peeper is not as hot as other peppers such as African bird pepper (pequin pepper- Misewain). Health benefit includes; high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, may benefit your brain. Pytochemicals found in this particular spice has the same composite as the negro pepper.
ALLIGATOR PEPPER/GUINEA PEPPER- (EFOM WISA) – Aframomum melegueta
This spice is from the ginger family, zinbiberaceae . it is sometimes used to replace black pepper. It can be used to season meat, chicken, pork, in baking and traditionally in brewing of beer and other alcoholic beverages.
Apart from these dietary complementary uses, it has a lot of medicinal properties. It used as remedy for ailments such as snakebite, stomach disorders,To mitigate the impact of hearburns, use for treating measles and leprosy, treating deadly diseases such as schistomiasis (bilharzia), for a sweeten breath, considered as a powerful aphrodisiac.
Phytochemicals includes; proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fat, alkaloids, steroids, lignins, glycosides, saponins, flavonoids, tannins and phenolic compounds (A, Aniefiok, R, E, & B, 2013).
AFRICAN LOCUST BEANS – PARKIA – (DAWADAWA)
This deciduous wide spreading plabt can reach up to 29metersin height and it’s a member of the fabaceae family. In western part of Africa, the bark, leaves, pods, and seeds of the tree are all utilized for culinary and medicinal purposes. With the seed being the most important content as a result of it nutritional content. Phytochemicals includes; calcium, fatsl proteins, vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium. In addition the phytochemical constituent one can refer to that of alligator pepper.
AZADIRACHTA INDICA (NEEM)
In the world of Ayurveda, neem is a popular medicinal herb that has been part of traditional remedies. It has effective anti-viral and anti- bacterial, along with being a powerful immuno-stimulant. Benefits includes; purify the blood, prevent damage caused by free radicals in the body, remove toxins, treat insect bites and ulcers.
Neem leaves are proven to have anti-bacterial properties which is why it works wonders on infections, burns and skin problems. it stimulates the immune system and encourages rapid healing. source: Food.ndtv.com.
phytochemicals found in neem leaf includes; alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, hydro-cyanids (Mohammed , 2019).
Observing the various phytochemicals in all the above stated natural spices and herb, we realize a massive reoccurrence. This implies that, consumption of tea or beverage or meal prepared from all or most of the natural spices and herbs must be adequately done with caution.
Considering the herbal products in the stock market, they come with quantified proportion that have scientifically been analyzed and investigated which will pose the consumer to no or very less adverse effect.
The locally manufactured ones that are patronized in our various indigenous markets sometimes comes with calibrated cups to be taken in the right amount to avoid overdose with later unpleasant prognosis or aftermath effect.
Why then do we as individuals take this local spice and herbs way too much than the body requires when prepared at home. It is advisable to be distinct about how (manner and frequency ) one takes this produce. Phytochemicals might not be too harmful like the genetically mutated ones but taking them in wrong proportions can pose one to likely organ malfunction in the latter stages of life.
I entreat the pharmacognosy department who study the use of medicinal plant to educate the general public on how to righty consume this medicinal herbs and spices amidst covid in order to avoid any adverse effect in the latter age especially when this pandemic subsides. If care is not taken we might end up instigating other measures to combat organs toxicity as a result of overdose of locally prepared herbal supplements. Instead, the government and other stake holders can mount a campaign platform to propagate this good news.
A, E., Aniefiok, N. o., R, A., E, C. O., & B, E. E. (2013, january). pytochemical composition of Aframomum melegueta and Poper Guineense seeds.
Adeyemi , G., Ahmed , O., Uleanya , K. O., & Akemegoh, E. (2016, January). active pytochemicals and antimicrobial Properties of the Extracts of Xylopia aethiopia Root and Stem Bark. Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medical Research, 1(2), 1-5. doi:10.9734/JOCAMR/2016/28514
Chung, Y. S. (2007, May 1). High Doses of Pytochemicals, including Flavanoids, In Teas and Spplements could be unhealthy. American Chemical Society. Retrieved from ScienceDaily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/07043022
Mohammed , S. I. (2019, April). pytochemical screening of neem leaf extracts (AZADIRACHTA INDICA) and its effect on the microbial load of claris gariepinus.