WHEN the pre-harmattan heat of Lagos weather became more searing last week, I knew it was only a question of time before mosquitoes would begin to seek refuge indoors. The humming of one or two has begun to disturb my sleep. I do not spray the rooms with insecticides, because of dangers these chemicals pose to human health. I prefer insect catchers hanging from the ceiling and anti-malarias herbs taken with food or drunk as tea. Let’s leave the mosquitoes alone for now. For it is the least of problems of many people as  the harmattan approaches. In my view the priority is the group of health challenges known as SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDERS which comes at this time with changes in the weather. The heat is causing dehydration, electrolyte depletion, weakness, sunstroke, hospitalization, death. The wind is bringing dust from the Sahara Desert. The dust does not travel alone. In its company are air-borne diseases. You may have noticed that many people are clearing their throats, during the day and snoring at night, coughing, sneezing, running temperature or their noses are stripping like a running tap, becoming feverish or sleepy, listless or irritable, complaining of dizziness or headache or just unable to get themselves together.

Through a group chat in KUSA GREEN PASTURE HERBS friends forum, some people had an idea of what may be going on, as the following discussion suggests….

SPORTY: “Snoring dangerous for women. New study – News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

KUSA: Snoring is dangerous not only for women but for everyone. In children, it may be cause by inflammation of the adenoids which blocks free flow of inhaled air through the nostrils to the lungs. This may cause mouth breathing, especially at night with or without frothing. The adenoids are part of the immune system. They enlarge to trap foreign agents in inhaled air which may cause trouble in the system. Children suffering from adenoids may have reduced oxygen supply, slowed growth and reduced brain function, especially in terms of school work. Some doctors prefer surgery to check the enlargement. Others prefer to wait and see if the adenoids will naturally reduce in size when the infections agents are eliminated. Some of these agents may be a form mattress which is not well protected by a thick blanket.

Blankets prevents a child sleeping on a foam mattress from inhaling chemicals residues coming up from the mattress, especially where the mattress is broken many places. When I was child, not only were our mattresses covered from the factory, at home or in school it was also wrapped up with a thick blankets and, finally, with bed linen. Nowadays, the factory cover and the blanket have been eliminated and broken foam mattresses and not seen as disused and thrown away. They pose not only the danger of adenoid overgrowth but, also of asthma in children and adults prone to it. Surgery, no doubt, means loss of some immune capability. Many children respond favourably to anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory nasal sprays.

“In adults, infections at the back of the throat which cause inflammation and blockages of the air passage are most likely to be the culprits. Many doctors fail to cure this condition because, according to a 2010 Mayo clinic study, they fight it with anti-bacterial drugs rather than with anti-fungal drugs. The study, which involved thousands of patients, showed that infections which progressed more than three months were most likely to degenerate into fungal attacks which not only required a new scenario of drugs but were also more difficult to treat”.

“Nigeria’s Alternative Medicine market offers, among many others, concentrated Oregano Oil spray and HELP STOP SNORING SPRAY which is a blend of 11 powerful oils. The use may provoke outflow of thick mucus, the colour of which (white, yellow or browns) may ind a deficiency of one tissue salt on the other.

“This condition may cause sleep apnea, which many people describe as ‘Spiritual attack’ during sleep. The air passages may be so blocked that the sleeper may appear to stop breathing and feel that he or she is dying’ sinking or pressed down, by a mysterious force. If the sleeper struggles to lift a limb or to shout for help, or responds to some nose in the environment, such as the banging of a door, he or she startles back to life, breathing hard and rapidly to compensate for oxygen deficiency. In a superstitions environment such as ours, this person may believe he or she has just escaped a spiritual attack” by his or her enemies. To overcome snoring, it is better to avoid inflammation causing foods, consume anti-inflammatory foods and add anti-microbial agents to the diet, avoid sleeping in dusty rooms, especially in the coming harmattan season, wear nose guards in smoky areas and avoid perfumes, among other many measures.

“Because snoring reduces oxygen flow to the body, oxygen deficiency may occur in different parts of the body. Oxygen deficiency may lead to sub optional performance of various organs and instalmental death of their cells. As more women than men are reported to snore, it is possible this is why the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report cited says snoring is bad for women. Indeed, snoring is bad and dangerous for everyone”.

MRS. NAOME ESSIEN: “Very educative, thank you, Sir. Please, any natural remedy for a condition called FROZEN SHOULDER? There is severe limitation of the use of the joints, especially lifting and trying to touch the back”.

MRS. OLUSOLA SOWEMIMO: “Thank you for sharing, Sir. I see some of the solutions. What other practical things can be done? I shared this, and some-one is very worried”.

AKIN S.B: “Very interesting. When I weighted my heaviest, I had sleep apnea. My snoring was so loud, it woke me up. But I didn’t know what it was or that I had it. I just knew I was always tired and fell asleep every time and anywhere. I once fell asleep at a red light. Imagine the danger in having this thing. So one fateful morning, I woke up like I was drowning. Scared to fall asleep, I went straight to the hospital, did a scan and they had to operate on my adenoid tissue the next week. Seriously enlarged. My mother said they wanted to remove it, when I was younger but she refused. Fast forward operation went well, but snoring did not stop. Sleep issues persisted. Went again to see an ENT. He looked at me and said. I would remove your tonsils but they are not bad. Go and loose weight, and you would be fine. I went further and visited a sleep center. (I never knew they existed). I was given a machine to sleep with. Went back there and they took the readings. I slept for seven hours, but my oxygen intake was for one hour. So each time you are falling asleep, your body is shutting down. Of course, nobody spoke about nutrition. I bought something called CPAP machine to sleep. Very wierd and uncomfortable. But it helped sleep. In that period, I got my awakening. Once I understood that food was medicine… all that disappeared. Once the weight left, it stopped. My neck size used to be 18.5. I used to always say I had a big neck when I was looking for shirts massive lie. My neck size is now 15.5. Same me. Just thought to encourage someone. You snoring? Time to change your life style immediately”.

MRS. SOWEMIMO: “Wow, thank you for sharing. I have a slim person who snores. How about that?

OPE OLUWA: “May also have sinus problems”.

MRS AGBEYANGI: “Thank you for sharing, Sir. I just sent this to my sharing, for I just sent this to my son and he has decided to go and see a doctor for a test. He actually started snoring in S S 2. Please help identify inflammation causing foods, anti-inflammatory foods, anti-microbial agents to be added to the diet.

KUSA (To Mrs. Essien, on frozen shoulder): “ Frozen shoulder may be caused by deposition of calcium in soft tissue, around joints which hardens them and makes joints immovable or movable with pain. This may arise when calcium exceeds the 2:1 calcium/magnesium ratio or, in other words, a situation of magnesium deficiency. It may also arise when the ratio is normal but the calcium is not readily available, either because of absence of certain food elements or, to make this possible, the calcium content is poor and the body cannot use it in the bone matrix. Some members of this forum who experienced the condition either increased their magnesium intake dietarily through food supplements or took good quality calcium dietarily or through food supplements, such as CALCIUM BUILD UP, CORAL CALCIUM and SHARK CARTILAGE. Dietary good sources of calcium include Okra, snail, Ewedu e.t.c. Magnesium supplements come in different qualities which oblige different levels of absorptions. Some members of this forum are familiar with

  1. Natural Calm
  2. Remag

The better they are, the more expensive they are. One of the cheapest sources of calcium is calcium carbonate. I prefer calcium in BONE MARROW MEAL, a proprietary blend of bovine bone marrow from grass-fed cattle and from Coral calcium and Shark cartilage”.

MRS. ESSIEN (former hospital matron): “thank you my Oga. Sounds like I am in the class-room again. Do I get coral calcium or shark cartilage from the one that is not in the market? I appreciate all the efforts you have put into this research, Sir, But, Sir, it doesn’t look like I am close to the solution. I need one badly. Maybe I can chat with those in the platform who have been relieved of such excruciating pains. And a feeling of incapacitation. I would be glad if I can identify them.

KUSA: “Yes you can. That’s why we are friends here… one for all, all for one. In addition to their experiences, you may wish to consider the cycle: pain is caused by inflammation, inflammation by irritation, irritation by toxins or foreign bodies such as parasites. That suggests that the therapy is best begun with detoxification and oxygenation. I know of a medical doctor in Lagos who trained in the administration of intravenous injection of OZONE (Oxygen). I know of another who was one of the first doctors in Nigeria to begin HIGH COLONIC IRRIGATION, which cleans out the intestine and liver, thereby reducing the toxin load in the blood and cells. You may also wish to learn home detox, using coffee enema (not the edible coffee, please).

KUSA (TO Mrs. Sowemimo): It is often suggested that snorers should not sleep on their backs to prevent the tongue from falling backwards under certain conditions some doctors suggest we lie on the right side to ease pressure on the heart and some vital organs recently, I heard some doctors say lying on the left side is better. I have not experimented this. I used to enjoy lying on the back but began to retrain myself to lying on the right side when I heard of the correction between blocked nostrils and sleep apnea. For many years until the 1990s, the nostril on whichever side I slept used to get blocked. I was so concerned that I saw a popular ENT who said a soft tissue which separate both sides (the septruim) was broken and flipping from side to side. I did not remember having a fall or an injury as an adult, which may have caused that. My mother was gone since I was nine, and, so, was not around to be asked what may have happened to me as a baby or a child. So, I thought I could have fallen from a bed which often happens to babies, or while learning to sit or to crawl.

Such falls often come with bleeding which is soon stopped and parents assume everything has become okay. So, I agreed to have a ‘simple’ surgery to correct the flipping. I did not agree to be put to sleep, having witnessed how some people come around from surgery. I learned from that surgery the hard lesson that there is no ‘simple’ surgery. The trauma I went through because the anesthesia could not completely deaden the nerves was unbearable. Sometimes, it was as if my ears had shifted their positions into my brain as thought I was now hearing with it. But that was nothing to compare with the stuffing or packing of my nostrils for more than 24 hours while I had to breathe with my mouth, almost choking and struggling  to swallow saliva so as not to choke every half minute or so. That, too, was nothing to compare with when the packing had to be removed and blood clots had to be sucked or pulled out every third day. My condition improved but marginally. I still had sleep apnea.

Later, I learned about colloidal silver which I used as nasal drops to kill bacteria and fungi in the sinuses and throat. The state of the economy has robbed us of many proprietary products such as THROAT EZ   which I also used for this condition. Then, I learned about OREGANO NOSE or throat spray which is very good. A gentleman in this forum, a former bank general manager, who was disturbed by blocked sinuses for more than 30 of his 80 earth years recommends it. I forget to mention Orange peel. Eaten raw, boiled or cooked, it has brought wonderful relief to many people from coughing, sneezing, throat and respiratory tract infection and from asthma, all of which may cause or aggravate snoring. In their own small ways, I have also found help may come from chewing raw onion or from taking a solution of onion or garlic juice with honey and lime juice before going to bed. One testimony that it works, apart from restful sleep, is that a man may find that his voice is huskier in the morning. This may be because it helps to clear pathogens loitering around the voice box. Onion juice can also be used as nasal drops. Block one nostril, ingest some drops in the open nostril and powerfully draw in the liquid. Repeat likewise in the other nostril. Sometimes, it even stops post nasal drips, that condition in which the nose usually runs like a tap.

With varying degrees of success, bitter leaf juice and scent leaf (Efinrin) or a combination of both may be used as nasal drops. Cold drinks should be avoided. They promote inflammation and encourages the growth of micro-organisms.

GOTU KOLA helps lot as an adaptogen in improving basal body metabolism which, among many other factors, helps to keep the immune system on the go. Keeping onion slices in a saucer on either side of the bed head rest may catch bacteria and fungi which maybe inhaled during sleep. In the morning, do not touch them directly but wrap in degradable paper and throw into the waste bin”.

KUSA (To Mrs. Sowemimo): “I was going to say slim people also snore. It boils down to infection, irritation and inflammation at the back of the throat which narrows the air space which, of course may be minimized or even eradicated with good nutrition and an ideal weight. Excess weight itself signifies that the body has accumulated a lot of toxins or there is poor thermogenesis when, for example, there are more white fat cells than brown fat cells. Brown fat cells burn on their own, with little or no prompting from exercise or another trigger. Excess weight may be affecting different parts of the body, blocking circulation of all kinds, especially air circulation. The picture I always like to paint of this are those children’s plastic baby toys with buttons underneath them.

When you press them, you try to force air out of the air passage at the bottom which that button is blocking. That is why you hear the sound… PAPUN, PAPUN, PAPUN, which thrills children. When you remove that button, the toy loses that sound. So, we, too, should learn to clear our airways of impediments.

Many of us do not like the bitter principle in our meals. Bitter leaf cleaned in saline water or vinegar solution and eaten whole or raw with a meal like scent leaf and pawpaw leaf eaten likewise offers us antibiotic protection.

To be continued.