WE live in a world of edible oils. Mr Lade Bonuola (a.k.a LADBONE) told me many times he knew of palm oil as an edible oil only when he came from his home town, Kishi, for his Higher School Certificate Education (HSC) at Ijebu-ode Grammar School, in South-Western Nigeria. Kishi is an agrarian town in the north of South-western Nigeria. In Kishi of the 1960s, shea butter was the staple cooking oil. Mr Bonuola said he saw a palm kernel tree for the first time in the South of South-Western Nigeria. When he speaks with the nostalgia and love for a meal cooked with Shea butter, you are likely to screw your face in embarrassment if you are one of those people Nigerians call omo a je butter or butty or omo get-inside. These expressions describe in various ways the Anglicised, Europeanised or Americanised Nigerian who is detached from the ways of his or progenital root.

I am not a Butty. But I do not think I can enjoy a meal of jollof rice cooked with shea butter oil. Maybe this is because I have been used to palm kernel oil and to peanut (groundnut) oil for more than 60 years. Maybe I recoil simply because of nutritional miseducation that, like coconut oil and palm kernel oil, shea butter oil is dangerous for health.

I am better educated about edible oils today, having read such books as ANOINT YOURSELF WITH OIL and Dr. Udo Erasmus’s FATS THAT HEAL and FATS THAT KILL. We must thank Dr. Erasmus for this great book. It is somewhat a documentation of his several research efforts which “unified the fat theory”. Unification of the fat theory presupposes that, before him, the fat theory was a motley crowd of disparate thinking. The dominant theory or thinking until Dr. Erasmus came on the scene was that fats which solidifies at room temperature, like shea butter oil, were dangerous fats because they contained plenty of the easily oxidisable Lower Density Lipoprotein (LDL) a fraction of cholesterol.

Palm oil and Coconut oil, which may become semi solid or solid especially if kept in the refrigerator,  came under nutritional “badmouthing” by nutritionists and researchers in Western countries.

In the West at that time heart disease, heart attack and stroke were major killers, and these deaths were linked to cholesterol blockage or damage of the arteries and other blood vessels.

So, many people fled from oils, touching them with only long spoons as it were. But it was soon discovered that this did not  stop or reduce the rate of heart and vascular (blood vessel) disease, heart attacks or strokes, and that, in many cases, the victims were the people who abstained from fats and oils.

Dr. Erasmus’s mission was probably to remind us that there is a reason Mother Nature provides us with fats and oil. If you press the tip of your nose, you would find oil. If you check your skin, there is oil in it. The brain is fatty. The eyes have oil. The heart uses oils for energy. The testes and the ovaries and the breasts have oil. If we avoid oil in the diet, how will these organs obtain the oils which are their constituents and maintain them. If we situate this thought in the context that a lion eats mostly the oil-rich organs of its game, we may come closer to an understanding of the importance of oil in our lives and health. I am humbled the more in this line of thinking when I remember that petrol, which drives our civilisation, is nothing but the oils from the leaves and trees and other vegetation which leached into the soil probably millions of years ago!

Dr. Erasmus found that these are good oils maintain our bodies and heal diseases. He found, too, that there are bad oils which  damage health and kill.

Based on this new thinking, I wondered why the people of kishi had not all died because they eat shea butter, if this oil was bad, as we were informed pre-190s. I wondered as well why I am still alive, because I eat Palm kernel oil. I remember, also, that my friends who eat Banga soup, made from palm kernel oil, are all alive and doing reasonably well. What of Coconut oil? Why have the people of Badagry not all died, because Coconut oil is their own palm oil?

The story has turned out to be that farmers in the United States produced lots of Soya bean oil which they wanted to unload on the world market. Canadian farmers too wished to sell Canola oil. And since these oils could be unloaded on African and Caribbean populations, the traditional cooking oils of these people had, first, to be taken away from them and replaced with soy oil and canola oil. This was the basis of sponsored studies which, thankfully, Dr. Erasmus’s independent investigations have now dislodged,  despite the power of advertising which propelled them. The Caribbean people, too, have come of age, and done their own studies which shows that their staple cooking oil, coconut oil, is one of the world’s best and safest for health.

Is it not surprising and shocking as well today that coconut oil is one of the fastest selling oils in the United States? Not only is it use as an edible oil, it has found uses in cosmetics and in medicine. Medicinally, it has found an important place in Alternative Medicine protocols for weight control, digestion, HIV therapy, and, lately cancer management and cures.

It is to provide evidence for these suggestions that the following article which I received on my chat-group platform, is produced below. It is the experience of one woman who was knocked down by a cancer which responded to no hospital protocol but who eventually became cured on a Coconut oil therapy…she writes:

“I’m positive that the testimonial below will be a blessing to someone fighting cancer somewhere. Please spread the word, will you.




Posted on June 1, 2015
Julie Figueroa – Maryland, Ohio


“In 1998, I was running a computer company in New York. I also had an Internet company in the Philippines and was in charge of a very exciting Internet trade show in Asia (Internet World).  I was very busy and enjoying work but always made sure I got my yearly executive check up, including my yearly mammogram.

“In February of 1998 I got a clean bill of health. A few months later I began feeling a strange sensation in my breast. late October it developed into a sharp pain. I went to the doctor and was immediately referred to an oncologist for testing. I was told I had a very aggressive form of breast cancer and needed surgery immediately. This came as a shock to me. I began to wonder why? There was no history of cancer in my family. Was it the toxic waste in New Jersey where I had lived for the past ten years? Was I stressed at work and did not know it? I thought there had to be a reason why people get cancer. Before going through with a mastectomy I wanted a second opinion.

“I went to a different specialist but he told me the same thing. I kept trying to find a doctor that would tell me that all I needed was a lumpectomy or just chemotherapy. Finally, the fifth doctor told it to me straight, “You don’t have a choice. We don’t even know if we can still save you. You are at stage 4, the most serious stage, we need to do the surgery immediately.”

“Here I was, in February cancer free, now just eight months later I was knocking on death’s door with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. I went through with the operation and afterwards several months of chemotherapy. While doctors said that the cancer was under control, it wasn’t completely gone. So they kept me on medication. I decided to go back to the Philippines for a visit. I owned a farm there that I loved and had always wanted to grow medicinal plants. The farm was filled with coconut trees, which were harvested for the copra. I thought about planting coffee under the coconut trees and start an herbal medicine garden.

“Then in 2001 I began to experience painful headaches. They became so severe that it felt like the bones in my skull were being fractured. I walked into my doctor’s office and told him I wanted an X-ray of my skull. “Were you in an accident” he questioned? “No” I said, “I just feel that I have some kind of fracture? He smiled, “How do you know you have a fracture? Maybe a strong pain killer will solve your problem.” “I know what a fracture feels like.” I said, “I’ve had several bones broken in the past and I know what it feels like.” He didn’t argue any further and I had an X-ray taken. I went back the next day to see my doctor and instead, met with seven other doctors. They had never seen the type of skull cancer I had. Almost half my skull looks like cheese that had been eaten by rats. I was in shock. I asked them what were my chances for survival? They said, “In the Philippines, at your stage … none.” I probably had two months.

“I took the next flight to the United States. I went to see my doctor the afternoon I arrived. The doctors in Manila had already faxed and spoken to him about my condition. The next day I visited with my neurosurgeon. We discussed my condition and scheduled a craniotomy. My prognosis was poor. He ordered an MRI, CT scans, bone scans, blood work, etc. This was the same cancer that had so aggressively attacked me before. It had now spread up into my skull. Surgery was scheduled for the morning after. The cancer was hairline close to the main artery in my brain. The bad news was that he could not take it all out; 20% of it was at the back of my skull in the center over the main artery. Chemotherapy had not been successful after breast surgery so there was little hope it would be of any use now. But at this point, it was the only hope I had. My chances for survival were grim. I knew I’d better make the most of the time I had remaining.

“After several months of recovery from the surgery I went back to my farm in Philippines to visit my family. I was really weak and would just sit on the hill watching the farmers work among the coconut trees planting coffee seedlings. I knew I had to do something to strengthen my immune system. I wanted to plant an herb garden. I started doing research on what medicinal plants I should grow that would boost my immune system. I thought about planting ginseng or bitter melons. I even considered growing a shrub from the Amazon.

“Just about that time, I came across some research on coconut oil. I read about clinical trials for AIDS in the Philippines using coconut oil. I figured if coconut oil can boost the immune system and cure AIDS, it might work for my cancer. I started taking 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil a day plus whatever I used in preparing my meals. I would add it to my oatmeal in the morning, put it in my hot chocolate, cook my meals in it. I also snacked on fresh coconut and drank coconut juice.

“By July my doctors started to worry. I had been gone for nearly six months. They needed to monitor the cancer that was still in my skull. So I flew back to the US. To their complete surprise I had gone into remission. They asked me what I had done. I told them I found a cure-virgin coconut oil. Today I continue to use coconut oil and I am cancer free! I had grown up around coconut trees in the Philippines. My grandmother used to make coconut oil from fresh coconuts just as many of the farmers did. I never used it because we were told it was a saturated fat. We were health. Conscious so we used hydrogenated soybean oil and corn oil. I had coconut oil around me all my life. It took getting cancer and a desperate search for a cure that made me rediscover this miracle oil.


“Don’t forget to share this. It will safe someone from untimely death.

It takes nothing to add coconut oil to your diet today. I wish to experiment with cooking my beans and my rice not with coconut oil but with the coconut itself. I would grate the coconut and add the chaff to the food in the pot on the stove. I believe this will bring a lot of coconut oil into the food and provide me with coconut fibre for digestion and make me constipation free. Ulcer patients may not try this. For the grazing of the fibre on their injury may worsen ulcer wound and pain. But they may profit from one tablespoonful of the oil taken just before a meal and another added to the meal. We must thank our coconut industry in Nigeria,  especially all the young people who are struggling to keep coconut and coconut oil culture alive in our memory. Many people are now making coconut oil and coconut product for sale. The buyers complain that this product are expensive and wonder why the cost is up when the coconut tree grows in Nigeria and their is not much American dollar input, if any, in the production process. These critics do not know that most of Nigeria’s coconut trees are older than they are and that, despite increasing demand, coconut plan are not being planted in enough quantum to keep pace. The sad news is that we now import coconut from Ghana to bridge the gap. In this regard, we are like a stupid, foolish, and cursed nation. Last week on Facebook I suggested that the Minister of Agriculture should be one of the Ministers President Mohammadu Buhari should politely ask to go if, as speculated in the media he plans a cabinet reshuffle. How can we have a Minister of Agriculture who is a farmer saying nothing to the nation as the price of palm oil rockets to #1,000 per liter while petrol is #145 per liter at the pump. What we expect from him is a master plan to reverse Nigeria’s ineptitude in his own sub-sector within the tenure of this Administration.The change we expected from this administration is the change in the way we think and do things. The Malaysian change their way of thinking about agriculture when they came to Nigeria to buy palm kernel seedlings. We even gave them agricultural officers who thought them how to farm palm kernel in plantations. Today, Malaysian is one of the biggest palm oil exporters in the world. Today, Nigeria, a former leading palm oil exporter in the world, must import palm oil to have peace on the dinning table. Why can we, for example, not start today a ten-kilometer square palm kernel plantation which will create jobs for farmers, transporters, security and medical personnel and recreational people in a new forest habitat?  Can we not do the same for coconut trees has they have done in the Caribbean, to become one of the biggest coconut oil producers in the world?

Meanwhile, let us once again enjoy the good old coconut and coconut oil.