Congratulation, grace gratitude miracle! If that name sounds somewhat “somehow”, I will explain in a short while how it came about. Grace Gratitude Miracle, back home from hospital last week, a nine-hour surgery behind her and a shock to many people that she is still alive, about five surgeons brought out about four huge growths from her body but discovered no problem where most of her problems had been thought to be … inside the womb. I will oblige no more details. Grace Miracle Gratitude replaced her original names. The new names were given by her doctors, one after the other, to express their recognitions in her case that doctors only try their best… it is God Who actually heals! Before I got the news of her return home last Wednesday, I had been undecided about which foot to put forward ahead of the other in this part of the series. Should I begin with men’s or women’s troubles in the other room? The news of her home-coming lit up the way!

In respect of this woman, I will mention only one of the multifarious serious challenges which threatened her life but which was resolved not by the surgeon’s knives or pharmaceutical medications. For it is one of the challenges I mentioned in the first part of this series could cause embarrassing situations in the bedroom. Years ago, a retired director-general in Lagos State discussed with me the condition of her daughter whose husband left home on account of her endometrial bleeding. Men are not as tough as they make women think they are when it comes to the sight of blood or of life separating from the physical human earth casing we call the body.

This woman had abandoned a lucrative manager’s job for about six months by the time I visited her at home, on her mother’s invitation, to oblige her moral support in her battle to live. Her body may suddenly discharged large spurts of blood from the vagina, and her mother would go for the mop, air fresheners. She had to be transfused with blood many times, while the doctors thought of blasting the ovaries. This was to minimize the production of estrogen, the female hormone, which was thought to be fuelling her condition, endometriosis.

In Alternative medicines, the ovaries, like the testes in men with prostate cancer, are spared with the use of phytoestrogen herbs. These are estrogen containing herbs. If you wonder if it is not illogical to add estrogen to a fire ignited by excess estrogen, an answer may come from the Nigerian adage that “It is the child of fire that we send to put out a fire”. the logic is this: The plant estrogen is about five percent the activity rate of human estrogen. Plant estrogen is preferred by the cells when human estrogen becomes too harsh for them, as in estrogenation, a situation in which estrogen outstrips its safe and natural ratio in the estrogen-progesterone ratio. Human estrogen has three fractions: estradiol, estrone and Estriol. Estriol is the friendliest among them. In many women with estrogen problems, estradiol and estrone fractions may have outstepped their bounds in the estrogen mix. When the cells take up plant estrogen.  There estrogen receptors lock out human estrogen and this is sent to the liver to be broken down into their building blocks. That is why, in the management of conditions such as this, the liver ought to be strengthened with hepatic herbs to be able to perform this function. Hepatic herbs include Milk thistle, Jerusalem artichoke and many bitter principles. After the liver would have done its job of breaking down the unwanted estrogen, fiber is needed in the diet to wrap out the fragments and excrete them through the stool. Many fertility herbs for women also support the balancing of the estrogen profile, whether in relation to progesterone or among the three estrogen fractions. Some of these include Vitex, Blue Cohosh, False Unicorn root and True unicorn root. To help ease the bleeding, Shepherd’s purse is often used. Apple Cider Vinegar works as well, as Cyril Scolt described in his small book on this product. The Nigerian market used to offer a proprietary product for balancing or normalizing estrogen blood levels called PHYTOESTROGEN. I should not forget to mention that, in the management of this condition, the challenged person needs to constantly top up iron levels of the blood as lots of iron is lost in the bleeding. Jobelyn, the Nigerian antioxidant blood rejuvenating formulae, can be helpful. So are the green gifts of Mother Nature for this purpose… the chlorophyll-containing Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheatgrass, Barleygrass, Alfalfa and, of course, liquid chlorophyll. These column often emphasizes these greens, based especially on the work of four researchers who won the Nobel Prize for showing that the chlorophyll in green plants and the heamoglobin or red pigments of the human blood have the same structure except for their central binding atoms. This structure is carbon-Hydrogen-Nitrogen-Oxygen. In chlorophyII, magnesium holds them together, in heamoglobin, iron does. Thus, when we take green drinks, we supply the bloodstream with raw materials to recharge or renew itself, and the body replaces the Magnesium in ChlorophyII with iron to form heamoglobin. As a result, this column once wrote: LET’S DRINK GREEN, THE EARTH IS NOT GREEN FOR THE FUN OF IT.

There are many hypothesis about what causes endometriosis. This is a condition in which the endometrium grows outside its natural habitat, the lining of the womb. A fertilized egg attaches itself to this lining and grows into a baby. If there is no fertilized egg during the period of menstruation, the womb discards the endometrium and flushes it out with menstrual blood. Some doctors believe retrograde menstruation is a cause of endometriosis. Retrograde menstruation is incomplete menstrual discharge. They say the menstrual blood not expelled builds up upstream and, one day, causes these troubles. Other doctors believe a flat worm called Faciolopsis causes the havoc. Their hypothesis is that the egg of Faciolopsis often times survive cooking of the animal intestine which we call “Round-about” in Nigeria. Faciolopsis lives in the intestine of animals. If a person is unlucky to consume the eggs and they survive his or her digestive system, they may find their way into any tissue via the blood circulation. A Faciolopsis may travel from the uterus to the fallopian tube, dragging endometrial cells along into the abdominal cavity where endometriosis can develop, or anywhere else in the body, becoming most troublesome during the peak of menstruation when estrogen charges it with power. In the uterus and in the vagina, they cause excessive bleeding.

In the heat of her many troubles, our friend, Mrs. Grace Gratitude Miracle was bleeding severely from the vagina. I advised she see her gynecologist. A scan discovered that the endometrial plate was about 36mm thick against a normal of about 3.5mm. Everyone around her was alarmed. Could this be a cancer in the works? One of her friends gave her Longrich brand menstrual pads which were “heavy duty” absorbents, absorbing about twice the capacity of most conventional menstrual pads. In addition, she was given Longrich panty liners. Both pads are designed to killed germs, oxygenate the vagina and uterus, freshening them up thereby and resolving, as the producers claim, and resolve even some questions in the fallopian tubes. This woman fought bravely. From abroad, she got the anti-cancer Zeolite and Graviola leaf, stem and bark powder. She took her greens faithfully. Used five pads every day to take the blood. Her iron and potassium blood levels went down. Vitamin K, either pharmaceutical preparations or in the greens, did not appear to help. But we cannot rule out various contributions they would have made towards the resolution of this problem. On a hunch, I suggested sensitive plant, also called Touch-Me-Not Plant. It is an astringent for stopping bleeding among its other various uses. I cannot say with certainty that this plant resolved the naughty question. But I can say with certainty that, before she went to hospital, the bleeding had long ceased, and that the doctors found nothing wrong with her uterus, vagina, cervix or ovaries. In fact, a new scan showed that the endometrial plate had settled from about 36mm to about 3.6mm against a ceiling normal of 3.5mm.

The surgery extracted four large growths from the stomach and intestine and from the abdominal cavity. She told me each was about the size of a medium-sized watermelon fruit. Before we move on to consider at least one of the embarrassing situations for men in the other room, I would like to present the Touch-Me-Not herb as the herb of the week.

TOUCH ME NOT

The signature tune of a medicinal plant reveals its healing secret or power. The plant we call “sensitive plant” or Touch-me-not is an astringent herb. Astringent means it tightens up or closes up. When I was a boy, children of my age played with this plant. We thought of it as a woman and sang in Yoruba: pa’tan re mo, oko re mbo. This means “close your lap, your husband is coming” the leaves of this plant respond to stimuli by folding. In Yoruba herbal practice, closing of the lap suggests that the herb will tighten the vagina and prevent bleeding there from.

The website www.wildturmeric.net/2015/08mimosa,pudica shows this herb is well recognized in many cultures. It says:

Mimosa pudica, also called Touch-me-not plant/sensitive plant in English, is called Thotta chinnugi in Tamil and Lajanu in Hindi. The plant is covered in thorns with beautiful pink flowers and small green leaves droop when touched. It is a plant that is found commonly in many countries and here in our farm it grows in abundance. It is considered a weed and can be commonly found in waste lands. I used to be fascinated with Touch-me-not plant when I was younger and more so now after knowing about its wonderful uses.  When I was a kid, I used to love touching the leaves and watch it close, and I used to keep on looking for it open again. I have never thought much of the medicinal value of the plant when I was growing up. Few years back, one of our farm workers was collecting the plant from the farm, and when I inquired about it, she replied that she was collecting it for treating diarrhea. It was the first time I heard about the medicinal use of Touch-me-not plant. The more I came to know of its wonderful uses and benefits, my fascination and respect for this plant has now grown over the years. It has been used for piles, dysentery, as a poultice and for treating wounds. Since it is very popular plant, extensive studies have been done on the plant scientifically, proving many of the remedies it is used in. The last time we had rains, many of Mimosa Pudica plants in the farm had beautiful pink flowers, and I happily pictured them. I have tried my best to compile all the medicinal uses of Mimosa Pudica that have been scientifically proven below.”

The website summarizes them as “Ten Amazing benefits and medicinal uses of Mimosa Pudica/Touch-me-not plant/sensitive plant”. These include wound healing, anti-venom, piles, ulcers, diarrhea, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, liver protecting, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. There is one serious contra-indication, though. It is anti-fertility. Thus, a woman who would like to become pregnant should avoid taking it.

I will report a few of the 10 benefits, in the words of the website. In respect of wound healing, it says:

“Traditionally, the leaf extract made by grinding the leaves with little water and extracting the juice is used for treating wounds. This remedy has been found proven scientifically now! For the body, both methanolic and water extract were used in three different concentrations (0.5%, 1% and 2%) in a basic ointment base. The ointment contains 2% of both methanolic and water extract showed significant wound healing activity.”

This may make it good for the peptic ulcer and vagina ulcerations from vaginosis (bacterial infections) which may make the other room nightmarish for women.

As an ulcer remedy, the website says:

“Another very important study on Mimosa Pudica was its effect on ulcers. The study done on rats with artificially-induced ulcers proved that 100mg of ethanol extract very effectively reduced the ulcer”.

Because it is astringent, this herb is reported to help piles. Many women, perhaps more women than men, suffer from piles. An astringent remedy causes nerves to contract. The contraction makes the muscles they control to also contract. Contraction of nerves and muscles close apertures, thereby reducing the possibility of leakage, of bleeding or of excessive bleeding. In extruded piles, the contraction of nerves and muscles should cause a correction of the prolapsed veins. About piles and sensitive plant, the website says:

“Mimosa Pudica is very good for treating bleeding piles and has been used as a remedy for many, many years. For the remedy, crush the leaves into a fine paste and apply as a poultice, it would greatly ease the burning and bleeding. This is due to its amazing wound-healing properties.”

Another website, www.beautyandgroomingtips.com, corroborates these healing properties and offers more, including the stoppage of excessive uterus bleeding, cure for Herpes Zoaster a Viral infection, for which Red Marine Algae is also a good antidote, and, among other conditions still, uterine prolapse. Uterine prolapse occurrence is growing in number among the younger generation of Nigerian women. The uterus exists in the pelvis region as the abode of the fetus which, in nine months, would be born as a bouncing baby to the delight of its parents, the mother in particulars.  The uterus is held in place by muscles and ligaments which need to be well nurtured in the years before and during childbearing, and after. Pregnancy is a heavy load which stretches or overstretches these muscles and ligaments. The diet of most women today is poor, nutritionally speaking. So, the uterine muscles and ligaments become weakened before their term. There are four stages of uterine prolapse which, in activities of the other room, can be embarrassing to both men and women. Men are not as psychically as strong as women. Which man would want to cut a pathway through a thicket and would not flee if, as he cuts it open this minute, the bush regrows the next, as if magically?

The website www.emdicinehealth.com explains the four stages of uterine prolapse:

“(in the first degree), the cervix descends downward into the vagina. Second degree… the cervix comes down to the opening of the vagina. Third degree… the cervix is out of the vagina. The fourth degree… the entire uterus is outside the vagina. This condition is also called procidential this is caused by weakness in all of the supporting ligaments. ”

Which man can stand this? Women who wish to use sensitive plant to support their uterine muscles and ligaments should beware that, like Balsam pear (ejinrin, Yoruba) it is anti-fertility. Apologies men, that women took all the time. It would soon be time to talk about low sperm count, erectile dysfunction and Peyronies, that condition in which the penis may curve like a bow, an embarrassing view in the bedroom.