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Health Benefits of Moringa Oleifera

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Introduction

The miracle, multipurpose herb known as Zakalanda in Tonga is a drought-resistant deciduous tree botanically referred to as Moringa Oleifera. This Horseradish tree is native to Northern India and the Arabian subcontinent. In Zimbabwe, moringa has been found to house many nutritional and health benefits, which has brought into perspective the need to research more about its capabilities.

Background

Moringa is an indigenous natural tree native to parts of Africa and Asia. It falls under the Moringaceae family with 13 species which vary in morpho- logical appearances based on climate differences. From where moringa most likely originated, it has exhibited cultivation characteristics that point to fair toleration towards a wide range of soil conditions suiting it for dry regions with minimal need of water as soggy lands negatively lead to rotting of the roots thus again elaborating to favor environmental conditions inclined to its desert thriving properties.

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Although almost all parts of moringa are edible, in Zimbabwe, Moringa- Zakalanda has aided the local community of the third world country in various uses that can be identified based on the three most cultivated parts of the drumstick tree which are roots, leaves, and fruit pods. Based on traditional and historical evidence derived from the local Bantu people, recently Moringa has gained international attention which has seen preliminary scientific research studying to prove whether Moringa-Zakalanda has any effect on health or diseases.

Traditional medicinal and nutritional properties.

Moringa-Zakalanda leaves, flowers, fruits, bark, and roots are used in the preparation of several delicacies in Zimbabwe. Though some of the early practices by the African people may have not exemplified a safer way of administering herbs for medicinal use due to lack of governance and health legislation, the resulting health benefits however cannot be dismissed since the evidence of their efficacy is positive. Further research is required to assist the knowledge of the safer and effective practical application of the herb in both home and clinical setups.

Nutritional Benefits

The edible portions of Moringa are associated with a high nutritional value and this nutrition availability widely varies according to the region of the plant used. The remarkable range of nutritional properties makes this plant diverse in terms of its uses. Largely, the sub-Saharan region has been prone to malnutrition. According to M. oleifera’s nutritional content, it can be taken as a Malnutrition relief dietary supplement in infants. The mobilization of the early Zimbabwean local communities to administer Moringa to nursing mothers and infants has been an effective method of combating malnutrition in the presence of poverty and droughts that lead to poor protein and nutritional nourishment in daily diets.

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Regional Scope of Moringa Nutritional value

In Zimbabwe, Binga area, and other parts of the country residents consume moringa- zakalanda leaves to boost their immune system. Compared to the rest of the plant, Zakalanda leaves host a significant value as a high source of nutritional content. The leaves of moringa- zakalanda are rich in nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C, Vitamin A, and several minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese and proteins, amino acids. People who suffer from scurvy are encouraged to take moringa leaves since it is a good source of vitamin C. With regards to Vitamin A, Moringa is widely known to be rich in Vitamin A that is important for developing good eyesight, protecting and nourishing of skin and hair.

Citizens are adding moringa powder in their diet to maximize the abundance of magnesium and calcium in Moringa that can promote the formation of strong bones and teeth. The leaves have a slightly bitter flavor with grass-like and can often have a horseradish-like heat taste if one takes them raw but if cooked produces an aroma scent. Moringa zakalanda has essential amino acids that the body cannot manufacture on its own, making it a vital dietary supplement in everyday meals. It is also believed that the leaves are a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C which helps to enhance one skin.

Zakalanda has many culinary uses in Zimbabwe and at most the seeds are also being consumed as snacks either roasted or raw. Moringa seeds are also a good source of fiber that enhances the smooth movement of the bowel in the digestive system. When chewed raw the seeds taste sweet followed by a tingling bitter afterward.

Brief Medicinal Uses of Moringa

Moringa has various potentials to combat different health problems. Having several vitamins and minerals, Zakalanda has many medicinal properties that can protect the cardiovascular system, protect tissues, aid in fighting against bacterial diseases, and alleviate inflammation with its anti-inflammatory properties. The use of moringa in Zimbabwe is widely common within the HIV/AIDS community. It is recommended in traditional and herbal institutions because of its properties. In Zimbabwe the use of moringa as a medication is usually favored by consuming it as a part of the daily diet, making Moringa a useful culinary ingredient. Moringa leaves are the most commonly used part of the plant to combat flu, asthma, skin disease, headaches, ear infections, and blood pressure.

One can take fresh leaves or dried as a tea or use them as a spice. When ground, the powder from the leaves can be mixed with porridge or added to meals, soups, and sauces as a spice. The local Zimbabwean community used to prepare the leaves for medication by crushing or boiling the leaves and then use the resulting products to reduce symptoms of aches, pains, and help to combat sores. Moringa root has antimutagenic as well as antioxidant properties. Also, the plant seeds contain a range of phytochemicals, that include antioxidants such as vitamin C that help in preventing and treating cancer. Moringa seeds can help to combat sexually transmitted diseases, gout, epilepsy can also act as an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent.

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One can chew the seed or take it as a pill. The mature seed of moringa is rich in oil, containing crude oil which can be used to protect and nourish the skin and hair in people with skin conditions. The oil has a high proportion of monounsaturated fatty acid, which is has backing evidence that demonstrates that a having diet that is rich in monounsaturated fatty acid will reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Moringa seed consumption helps in treating diabetes. The presence of minerals like magnesium and manganese in the root bark of Moringa neutralizes the acid and increase gastric juice pH. This has seen Moringa housing the ability to cure gastric ulcers. To mitigate Ulcer pain, one can grind the bark and roots into the powder then dissolve the substance into the water or mix the powder with porridge before ingesting.

Conclusion

Moringa tree is indeed a multi-purpose tree, a gift from God, a miracle tree as it is termed in Zimbabwe. All parts of the moringa oleifera tree are said to possess vital elements that can help humankind. With vast uses, but yet little research and less clinical study, Moringa Oleifera remains to be fully explored in the clinical and food industry.

References

M.K. Nair, C. Varghese, R. Swaminathan Cancer current scenario, intervention strategies, and projections for 2015 Burd. Dis. India (2005), pp. 219-225 4on page 3

I. Oduro, W.O. Ellis, D. Owusu Nutritional potential of two leafy vegetables: Moringa oleifera and Ipomoea batatas leaves Sci. Res. Essays, 3 (2008), pp. 57-60 3.1 on page 2

A.L. Al-Malki, H.A. El Rabey The antidiabetic effect of low doses of Moringa oleifera Lam. seeds on streptozotocin-induced diabetes and diabetic nephropathy in male rats Biomed. Res. Int., 2015 (2015), pp. 1-13 4on page 4

T.G. Monera, C.C. Maponga Prevalence and patterns of Moringa oleifera use among HIV positive patients in Zimbabwe: a cross-sectional survey J. Public Health Africa, 3 (2012), pp. 6-8 4 on page 3

M.K. Choudhary, S.H. Bodakhe, S.K. Gupta Assessment of the antiulcer potential of Moringa oleifera root-bark extract in rats JAMS J. Acupunct. Meridian Stud., 6 (2013), pp. 214-220 4 on page 4

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LIFE

India: The More You Know

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By: Fatima Shakir

India, you have probably heard of it, second most populated country, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and the land of the most interesting food in the world. But there’s probably a lot of things you don’t know. For example, did you know that India introduced the aspect of shampoo to the world? Among many facts about India, this one is the biggest source of amazement. The first-ever shampoo was used by locals in India. Dried Indian gooseberry mixed with many other herbs was used to wash hair, a recipe that is still used in the country today. The word ‘shampoo’ is derived from the Hindi word, champo.

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India is amazing, and not just because that’s where shampoo came from. India is a culturally diverse and interesting country. The country occupies the greater part of South Asia. Its capital is New Delhi, built in the 20th century just south of the historic hub of Old Delhi to serve as India’s administrative center. Its government is a constitutional republic that represents a highly diverse population consisting of thousands of ethnic groups and likely hundreds of languages.

 India is home to numerous languages, including Sanskrit which is one of the oldest languages in the world. Other languages such as Hindi are commonly spoken throughout the Indian subcontinent, with regional variations. As India is a land of diversity, different types of languages are found across different places in India. Each area has its own languages and people love speaking their mother tongues. There are innumerable speakers as well as innumerable languages prevailing in India. The prominent languages in India besides English and Hindi are Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Urdu, Gujarati, Punjabi, and many more.

Apart from its many religions and sects, India is home to innumerable castes and tribes, as well as to more than a dozen major and hundreds of minor linguistic groups from several language families unrelated to one another. Religious minorities, including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains, still account for a significant proportion of the population; collectively, their numbers exceed the populations of all countries except China. Because of the population diversity, there is immense variety in Indian culture. The Indian culture is a blend of various cultures belonging to diverse religions, castes, regions that follow their own tradition and culture.

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One of the most culturally prevalent aspects of Indian societies is festivals. There are different types of festivals celebrated in India with joy and happiness. Different people celebrate different festivals as per their religion, caste and culture. People celebrate National festivals like Independence Day, Republic Day, and Gandhi Jayanti. They also celebrate religious festivals like Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Vasant Panchami, Eid, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Mahavir Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, Christmas, New Year, and many more. The young generation also celebrates Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Friendship day, etc. The various festivals show the vast variety of cultural diversity present in India.

The discussion on Indian culture would remain incomplete without discussing dance forms of India. India is a land of diverse dance forms. The most popular classical dance forms are Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Manipuri, etc. Folk dances are mainly performed in any occasion like birth of a child, festivals, harvesting seasons, wedding events, etc. The folk dances include Gaur Dance, Chhau Dance, Bihu Dance, Dumhal Dance, Padayani Dance, Dollu Kunitha Dance, Dandiya Dance, and many more. These are celebrated on different occasions by the people of India.

 Music is something that has existed from the beginnings of Indian culture. These are vital elements of Indian culture and a part of human life. There are different instruments like drums, cymbals, etc. Singing is common during festivities and celebrations. These musical instruments can produce different types of melodic sounds that are pleasant to hear and make the body calm. In the early ages, there were Kalidas, Surdas, Tulsidas, Kabir, etc. who were popular for their music and songs. The diversity of Indian culture is reflected in Indian music. There are different forms of music, such as ghazals, Shayari, folk music, and many more. There were many legends that created music in India like Ustad Bismillah Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain, and Pandit Ravi Shankar, etc. They are great pioneers in their own field. Also, it is worth mentioning that, presently, the Indian music industry also has many musicians and singers like Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Abhijeet, Arijit Singh, etc.

Art, literature, theater, and film (including the world-famous Bollywood films), and architecture have flourished in India for centuries and they continue to flourish today. The Ramayana is one of the oldest known epic works of literature. India is full of talents in the field of art or architecture. Indian Art includes paintings, rangoli, plastic arts like pottery, and textile arts like woven silk, etc. From Ancient ages, paintings are a part of India art. Examples include paintings of Ajanta cave and the Paintings of the Ellora cave.

It seems that wherever you turn in India you will come across a site of historic, natural, or cultural importance. India is rich in heritage, and some of the main UNESCO world heritage sites in India are listed below:

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  • The Taj Mahal: Tourists flock from all over the world to see this resplendent seventeenth century mausoleum.
  • The Great Himalayan National Park: This national park is situated at the base of the world’s tallest mountain.
  • Agra Fort: The Yumana river flows serenely past this ancient fort in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Elephant Caves: Deep inside these spooky caves you will find elegant statues and designs carved by the human hand.
  • The Western Ghats: These mountains are renowned for their mysterious forests and their wildlife sanctuaries.

India is a diverse and beautiful land that is full of amazing people, places, and things. Visiting the country is like exploring a unique mix of modernity and traditions. It is big, beautiful, and beaming.

Compiled by

Fatima Shakir.

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LIFE

How To Handle Criticism And Discouragement

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Criticism

Every so often people will discourage you from following your dreams because they lack vision. You cannot get support from people who lack vision or who think in limited ways. They will never understand you because they stopped short of achieving their own dreams due to a limited vision. Just because they have not been able to achieve their dreams, they cannot conceptualize your dream coming into realization, neither can they imagine you doing great things. People who discourage you do not understand that you are unique and different.

They do not believe that you are endowed with massive potential to do great things and mount on to the summit of success.  When you see naysayers and cynical people discouraging you, do not get disturbed. It is because they are mediocre, myopic and they do not see beyond the horizon as you do. Create your own reality and keep focused and do not pay attention to negative talking. People who do not believe in themselves have no reason in believing you.

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Another reason why people would discourage you is that they feel threatened by you. The better you do in life, the worse they feel about themselves. These people do not smile when they see you achieving your goals and walking in the avenues of success. They will start to consider you as a threat to their status and they do not want to be outshined by your performance in anything. 

When the achievements of your discouragers are juxtaposed with yours, they perceive that you are better than them in some way and their sense of self-worth is reduced. The ego of the discourager cannot allow itself to be levelled below you, that is when they will deliberately hold you back in order to protect their own fragile ego. You must not listen to uttered words of discouragement and never hold yourself back from being the best that you can be.

The most common reason for someone to stomp on your vision is jealousy. Your discouragers are people who can green with envy to see you achieving your goals. Just because they are jealousy, they are not impressed by everything about you.

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They are jealous of your work ethics, jealous of your principles, jealous of your appearance, jealous of how happy you seem, and jealous of your success. That is the reason why they may not want to see you doing well in your endeavours. People who are jealousy badmouth you such that when you hear about it you will feel demoralized and subsequently discouraged.

Do not spend too much time with people who discourage you. They are energy suckers. Positivity and negativity are contagious. Work on something new, have your core work done as you commit to your passion.  Always bear in mind that, if critics are discouraging you, it is a true sign that you are doing something meaningful. Barking dogs are only concerned with vehicles that are moving. 

On April 23, 1910, Theodore Roosevelt who had in previous years just completed his term as United States President gave an indelible speech after the building of the Colosseum by the Romans in one of the special buildings in Paris. This concrete speech remains an inspiration to everyone with a mind to passionately do something in life despite criticism or challenges. Do not be discouraged or live in despondency. Roosevelt spoke deeply about the man in the arena.

He crowned his speech by these immortal words: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is disfigured by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who know great enthusiasms, great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.” These words are worth re-reading. Do not be discouraged or ashamed to play your part and keep doing what you know you must do and live the life that you want. Let Roosevelt’s words be your call to action.

You stand in the arena of life daily which is normally characterized by critics and energy suckers. But there are many simple ways to avoid discouragement or criticism that is not constructive. You can ignore and seem like being nothing. Ships do not sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Do not let what is happening negatively around you get inside to weigh you down.

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Do not let discouragement or criticism dwindle down your passion and ambition. The struggle you are in today is developing the strength you need tomorrow. Importantly, practice a bold attitude of optimism. An optimist is more excited about everything he/she is passionate about doing. Teach yourself to see the other positive side of things, even with the small setbacks, adversities, frustrations, disappointments, and let-downs in daily experiences. Look for the lessons and trust things will work out.

Dream big and strongly believe that you will make it. As the challenges and obstacles increase, negative people will multiply their retrogressive advice influencing you to give up but you should not stop chasing your goals. Quitters are prized with nothing in the end. Never let anyone underestimate your capacity, tenacity and creativity.

Be a go-getter. Persist, persevere and keep hunting for ways to mount up to greatness. Remember all the great people in history, at one point in time they encountered criticism and discouragement but triumphed because they were defiant.

I always put emphasis on the power of prayer in my messages as I want to make it explicit about handling criticism and discouragement. Christians pray, therefore make sure you pray about your discouragement or when you feel criticized. God would love to hear from you. He is the best encourager. (Joshua 19)

Read the bible when you feel criticized or discouraged and hang out in scriptures like the Psalms which unravel many comforting, encouraging and hope reviving verses. Study the bible and you will discover that almost every biblical character faced discouragement. You will find out that you are not alone in the crevices of discouragement.

Listening to good music can really impact positive mood. Music comforts as well as encouraging, instilling you with zeal of doing whatever you feel passionate about.

In the journey of life, do not allow yourself to be discouraged by the nation’s economy or politics, joblessness, destitution, delayed marriage, loss of a loved one, unfulfilled dream, unwanted pregnancy, rejection, terminal disease, comparing and measuring yourself by others. Rather than getting discouraged, if you keep a positive outlook you will find working solutions to every challenging issue. I hope this message is encouraging and taking you through criticism and discouragement.

Gabriel Manyeruke is a Certified Educator, Author and Motivational Speaker.

Contact: 0774122288. Email: gmanyeruke089@gmail.com

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LIFE

Why Family Is Important

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Nowadays people have absconded from integrating with family and relatives due to various reasons and circumstances. Our world has become a disintegrated community full of people who have no compassion for one another and family has suffered the most. We may validate these situations because of civilization and new cultures being adopted by the youth however these tendencies have results and sometimes we do things blindly without seeing the bigger picture. Our generation needs to slow down a bit think things through and decide on how best we can harness the power of family and relatives.

Ethically

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One may claim to be neutral when it comes to religion and culture and I totally respect that, however the rule of ethics states that anything that survives on planet earth is dependent to other things for its survival in simple terms “no man is an island of himself”. We depend on one another especially in times of joy and sorrow, nature has a way of connecting us so that we harness the relationships we have naturally and artificially. Ethically family is also important to humanity and we ought to honor and respect it.

Culturally

As Africans we believe in the Ubuntu idealism, we believe that we are because you are and we value each human being. We believe in the family we have as a gift from the most high. Our families in an African setup we have the immediate family and the extended family (relatives) and we honor that as Africans hence we believe family should be valued and respected.

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Biblically

God created Adam and he saw it fit and made sure that Adam had accompaniment in form of Eve. That is the first family that we see in the Bible, the Bible has so many families that were mentioned and most importantly we have the family of Jesus. God as he is the alpha and omega he came here on earth in form of his son Jesus Christ. He didn’t come in form of chariots, motorcades and flashy arrival he came through a family. Joseph and Mary with their son Jesus made the family hence signifying that family is very important.

Key 5 Lessons To Draw From This Message

Blood is thicker than water

We uphold friendships more than family ties we uphold and value outside relations more than our families. When all is said and done family is all we got. You may have 1000 friends and they may seem to like you now however be that as it may there are certain things in life which requires you to be with your family not your friends. On your funeral, wedding and the most important days in life the first people who will be required to be present will be none other than your relatives and family not friends and social media fans. When you sacrifice your family relations whilst pleasing strangers and other people on social media always know that one day you will need that family you ignore and abuse.

No matter how primitive or backward there are your family will always be your family

You may have acquired vast wealth, you may have great achievements and you may have great educational qualifications that are way above your family and relatives. All other things may give you status and recognition but your family gives you identity as an individual hence nothing on earth gives you identity more than family. A person without an identity is just like a piece of paper being tossed around with wind so value that family and value your relatives. There are several rich men who were very extravagant, they were several high-class individuals who were blindfolded by fame, wealth and social status. Life has a way of humbling you and when that happened they went back to their families to find refuge and sympathy because their friends and associates were just there for them because they were transactional relationships however family relations go beyond transactions it is blood, DNA and lineage at play.

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Your decision will catch up with you in the long run

If you are fortunate enough one day you will be 80 something years and most of your generation will not reach that age. Everyone the grandkids and your children will be looking up to you as a leader of the family and you will be clueless because you did not learn about family in your youth days. What you do today is what you will be so learn about family its values and importance because one day you will be a leader of the family and if you prepare it won’t be difficult for you. They will ask for direction and information regards to your family background and traditions and you will look clueless in front of young generations who will be looking at you as their elder. Imagine that scenario!!!!!

Don’t decide for your kids because you have bad experience with family

In most cases our decisions towards family are influenced by the experiences we have as individuals with family. You may be isolated or you may have certain issues with your family members which makes you feel that you can’t integrate with the family. Your decisions to stay away from the family has big impacts on your children because they will grow up isolated because you have already parted ways with the family same with your grandkids. That phenomenon will continue until your grand grandchildren will become isolated from their lineage until they become confused with their identity hence this isolation from family may seem fun for now however you are already making decisions that has the ability to break a clan in the future.

Pride is poison to humanity

If there anything I can blame for such behaviors nothing comes top of pride. The notion of undermining other family members is what makes the young people abscond from family issues. Sometimes the belief of freedom and doing whatever I want with my life is the major reason why we are absconding from these family groupings. Surprisingly enough we are the most active in sports groups, other social groups and church groups. If we’re to integrate well with others let’s try by all means to remove this pride in us and accept one another with our falls and shortcomings because we depend on one another as humans.

This is message isn’t meant to judge you, it’s a message that is meant to instill and drill a line of thought that will inspire you to think through some of the decisions we make and some things we do subconsciously. Some people do not have family to learn on and they are desperately looking for other people to rely on and they wish they can have family and relatives whilst you take yours for granted.

mchikomba07@gmail.com +263771103604

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