By: Femi kusa
LIKE ALL survivors of near-death disasters, those of the 21–storey collapsed Ikoyi building tragedy will most likely become “born again” persons. Being “born again” may not necessarily make them religious…it may impact their lives in several other dimensions. This will be in keeping with Sir Isaac Newton’s FIRST LAW OF MOTION which says an object at rest will remain at rest unless impacted by a force mightier than its resistance, or, if it is in motion, its movement on a straight line will be altered by an impact. For us humans, that is why serious experiences we go through reshape our thinking, believes and actions. As Google defines this Newtonian theory:
“Newton’s first law states that if a body is at rest or moving at a constant speed in a straight line, it will remain at rest or keep moving in a straight line at constant speed unless it is acted upon by a force”.
So, as I thought of what life under the rubbles and after may have been for the survivors, friends and relations of the dead and survivors alike, and for those of us who vicariously experience the tragedy, like fractures, wounds, grief, pain, altered mindsets, internal bleeding, psychosis and depression, among others in an unending list, I wondered about some of those everyday First Aid Folklore medicines which may be of help in such and similar circumstances. I cannot talk about them all within the limitation of time and space. The treasure trove of Mother Nature for all situations is always inexhaustible. So, here are some which immediately pop up in my mind…
I do not remember how I first learned about COMFREY, which Alternative Medicine grants the nickname BONE-KNIT. That was in the 1980s. But by 1996, I loved to read about it in RALEIGH BRIGGS pocketbook, HERBAL FIRST AID. It was a book I could take with me everywhere I went. In rapidity, it describes herbs and medical conditions they could address. Comfrey leaves, as well as the root, were well recommended especially for all conditions of the bone, including fractures, rheumatism, arthritis, pain when used as a tea, massage cream, poultice or…what have you. So effective has Comfrey been found for bone regeneration in thousands of years of its use in Euro-American folklore that it is often the first port of call for the herbal doctor attending to bone challenges.
Comfrey is nicknamed “Bone-Knit”, which suggests that it fixes broken or fractured bones. This use subsumes its other health benefits as a herb to work within the medical problems that may arise from home accidents or the disaster of the collapsed 21–storey building in Ikoyi, Lagos. The disaster may record fractures as well as internal and external injuries, some of them bleeding. Comfrey has been used for hundreds of years to treat wounds and inflammation. One of its active ingredients which work for wound healing is ALLANTOIN. It is present in the leaves and in the root. It makes new skin rapidly grow. The rapidity of its work calls for caution in the use of Comfrey for wound healing. Many Comfrey users learn this lesson the hard way. Some say the best way to use it for deep and surface wound healing is to first pack the inside of the injury with an antibiotic herb powder, such as GOLDEN SEAL ROOT or ALOE VERA GEL. This will ensure that germs do not proliferate at the bottom while new skin and tissue are reforming at the top. Where this step is not taken, pus and abscess may gather below the healing above.
Comfrey is also recommended for diarrhoea, ulcer, heavy menstrual bleeding, sore throat, gum disease inflammation, joint pains, surgical wounds and other pains, Comfrey may be added to carrier oils such as those of Olive and Olibanum or the powder may be mixed with shea-butter and the amalgam placed in a saucepan and gently heated to make them mix well as a cream. This cream may be massaged deep on the site of bone pains. Not much has been heard about Comfrey for some time because it is suspected to have chemical substances which may damage the liver and the lungs in high concentrations inside them. Even when it is used as a cream in joint or other bone pain or in open wounds or burns, it is often advised that the application at a time last for no longer than one week and that, even then, only small amounts be used.
This is by no means the popular fruit grown or harvested in the sea. It is a small animal found on the seafloor and resembles the fruit cucumber. Australians have been importing Sea Cucumber from the Chinese since they began to trade in the 18th century. Sea Cucumber was introduced to Nigeria by DYNAPHARM INTERNATIONAL from Malaysia. This product may be one of the Malaysian interfaces with Nigeria’s Alternative Medicine market which has been off the shelves since the onset of that country’s total Covid19 lockdown about February.
Establishment medicine in the United States requires more scientific evidence that Sea Cucumber possesses the health nourishing abilities ascribed to it, especially in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Nevertheless, some studies suggest that CHONDROITIN SULFATE and other compounds found in this animal may treat bone joint problems. Other studies say the dried form may help suppress ARTHRALGIA, a pain in the joint. People who suffer from thin skin, fine lines and dry skin may benefit from the PEPTIDES found in Sea Cucumber because this chemical contains COLLAGEN and collagen softens the skin and protects it against damages. This may be a wonderful recipe for skin burns or skin roughened up by bruises or outright breaks or wounds. There are many other health benefits ascribed to small sea animals. It is said to prevent blood clots, heal wounds, prevent and fight arthritis, helps tissue repair with a high offering of protein, prevents anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidants, anti-fatigue properties and immunity-boosting compounds. It brings good cheer for gum disease sufferers and persons who need help for thrombosis, which is a blood clot in the vein or arteries with swelling in one leg, numbness in one part of the body or chest pains.
One characteristic of Sea Cucumber is recommended it for brain health studies. This characteristic is not about its endowment with Vitamin A, Vitamin B-complex, minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc, essential amino acids, fatty acids, nervonic, arachidonic acids and collagen. It is about its ability to be soft like gelly this minute and be as hard, if not harder than the fruit cucumber the next minute. This is a protective mechanism it adopts when it feels endangered by touch. In the Sea Cucumber, there are collagen fibril matrix and fibrillin microfibrils. The relationships of these substances can be altered to soften or harden the Sea Cucumber by its cells known as effector cells when these are activated by touch. Designers of the brain study imagine there may be lessons to learn from the way the Sea Cucumber softens and hardens. As Google explains current brain study difficulties in this regard:
“Currently there is a lot of interest in using intracortical microelectrode implants to measure and influence brain electrical activity. This brain pacemaker method has shown a great deal of promise in treating Parkinson’s disease, pain, stroke, and spinal cord injuries, among other disorders. Unfortunately, however, with current procedures the electrode signals tend to diminish after a few months, causing the treatment to have questionable long-term usefulness. It is hypothesized that the reason the signal decays is due to the rigidity of the electrode, which damages surrounding cortical tissue, leading to the electrode’s corrosion when glial cells respond to the threat.
“Study suggests the use of an electrode that resembles the nanocomposite material they designed, which could be made rigid for penetration of the outer layers of the brain, then more flexible when implanted in cortical tissue to avoid doing harm to its environment. The aqueous makeup of the cortex could be suitable to displace the hydrogen bonds made between cellulose fibres and cause the electrode to become pliable”.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
This product has been well received in Nigeria today. Thanks especially, to the marketing efforts of Sam Ayeni of Seaduck Nigeria Limited. Cyril Scott taught me about Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV) in his small but, nevertheless, information-packed handbook. So valuable is this handbook to me that I still keep it despite the defacing of almost every page in the 1980s by one of my sons when he was learning to write. According to Cyril Scott, there is no part or function of the body that by Apple Cider Vinegar does not help to stay healthy. It makes hair grow long and strong, the scalp to be free of dandruff and lice, the gums not to bleed, the teeth to be strong and white, the mouth not to smell, the skin to be supple, the blood to be alkaline, the digestive system to digest food well and be free of an abnormally high population of unfriendly bacteria, apart from being parasites free, helps the nervous system to remain astute and calcium, magnesium and phosphorus to fix properly in the bones. And that is why I would not hesitate to recommend it to survivors of the 21–storey collapsed building or any disaster for that matter.
In any disaster, there may be trouble in the brain. About 10 years ago, I witnessed a train crash at Pen-cinema, Agege, train level crossing. The car of a couple who were to be married the following day was caught under the wheel of a coach. Axes and machetes could not free the car. Sympathies were passing sachet water and soft drinks to the occupants through a small aperture in the ripped car metal. In the car with the couple were four would-be bridal train children. Happily, everyone was alive. The bridegroom-to-be telephoned his folks back home to announce their fate. In a short while, a convoy of cars brought friends and family members. They hired a crane. Soon, the coach was lifted, and the car freed. There was jubilation. It was well past 12 in the night. One by one, the occupants were brought out. Some could not stand on their feet. When one woman came out, she broke loose from the crowd, not minding the traffic. Rescuers chased after her. Something had gone wrong with her thinking. This may be a trauma symptom. Some studies suggest Apple Cider Vinegar may soothe the frills in the intestine which may impact on the brain, causing disorientation of the mind. The impact of the car caught under the train coach may have swirled the intestine and the impact may have been felt in the brain. Events such as schizophrenia, a psychiatric or brain and mind disorder, is sometimes attributed to microbiome insufficiency in the intestine. Could there have been a microbiome problem activated by trauma in this case? Will Apple Cider Vinegar helps with its rich sources of antioxidants and probiotics? Some researchers say it is a good remedy for psychiatric patients coming off psychiatric drugs.
I find Apple Cider Vinegar fascinating to prevent and stop unnecessary bleeding. I’ve seen women rejoice when it stops excessive menstrual bleeding. It was a routine food supplement for my wife three months before any birthing to prevent or minimise blood loss. About 20 years ago, it helped a woman with a serious case of uterine fibroids which had caused incessant bleeding for months. The uterus was to be surgically removed and, being anaemic, members of her family had to donate blood. She went on a course of Apple Cider Vinegar one month before the surgery which was successful and required no blood transfusion to stabilise her. I know, also, of three men who took Apple Cider Vinegar before their surgeries for a hernia. They lost no blood!
Everyone likely to be guilty of construction defects in the collapsed building may be in a state of anxiety now. This may be Generalised Anxiety Disorder which defies explanations and in which it is hardly possible to complete the day’s task without blemishes. In Social Anxiety Disorder, the sufferers is afraid of being judged or humiliated by other people and often withdraw to themselves. Heart palpitations, shortness of breath etc may accompany Panic Disorders. Phobias are co-travellers. Survivors of plane crashes may never wish to fly again. Who among us will not have second thoughts inside a skyscraper from now on? There are other forms of anxiety space cannot permit mention. Herbs that relax the brain, the nervous system and the mind are good for them all. These herbs include but are not limited to…Chamomile, Cannabidiol, Valerian root, Ashwagandah, Kava Kava, Gotu-Kola, Lavender, Passion Flower.
I wish to highlight Cannabidiol. It is a narcotics-free oil from hemp which powers the body’s master system, the Cannabidiol system. It is the medically useful oil in Cannabis Sativa. The recently discovered Cannabidiol system governs all other systems…nervous, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, excretory, skeletal etc. If anything goes wrong anywhere, it is possible because the body is not producing enough CBD(Cannabidiol) oil, in which case, the shortfall may be corrected with a food supplement. It is used for pain, anxiety symptoms, depression, cancer-related symptoms, seizures, epilepsy, heart challenges, brain function, post-traumatic stress, digestion, inflammation, bone diseases, skin conditions, and it is useful as an antioxidant.
When we speak of MIND OVER MATTER, what we mean is that the power within us is mightier than the capabilities of the world of matter. To start with, the world of matter is a lifeless world that is given life by power from Above which descended into it, articulated it and gave it form. We are told this even in JOHN DALTON’S ATOMIC THEORY. He spoke of SPIRIT MOTES permeating matter and breaking it up into particles. It is this permeating power that’s is released in an Atomic Bomb Blast. This is SPIRITUAL POWER. When, as in the headline of this series, we speak of MATTER OVER MIND, we imply that the spirit, Lord in the world of Matter, is crawling on fours and MATTER, the tool or messenger, is on top of the game. Diseases of the mind are treatable or curable from within, that is in the spirit, with an understanding of reality to which there is voluntary and unconditional submission. So, if I am the engineer who did wrong, why should I seek to hide my face from the world and, in the process, suffer bodily, psychic and spiritual harm? Why do I not simply own up, accept my punishment, free my mind and spirit and enjoy the rest of my life out of social circulation, accepting that I deserve it and enjoying every moment of the rough side of existence left in my hands? The Yorubas say we can only hide our misdeeds, we cannot escape Divine justice from them because JUSTICE is the name of the first child of the Almighty Creator. To open up the mind, we have to work in the SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA, that is the point at which the Spirit and the body (matter) connect through the SILVER CORD.
According to Google:
“The solar plexus chakra, is located in your stomach area. It’s responsible for confidence and self-esteem, as well as helping you feel in control of your life. This blockage can sometimes lead to solar plexus pain. While this pain may be centralized to nerve fibers around the solar plexus area, you can also experience chest pain, stomach pain, anxiety, intestinal contraction, painful sensations in the upper abdomen or even severe abdominal pain”.
We erroneously refer to the SOUL or to the SPIRIT as the MIND. To free the blockage of energy flow from the THIRD CHAKRA to the body, there are some herbs that have been found to help out. There are seven chakras throughout the body. A chakra is a point at which the Soul, nay the Spirit as the overself, connects to the body. It is like an electricity transformer. When a transformer is blown, there is no energy in electricity in the neighbourhood. When a chakra is blocked, energy does not flow from the Spirit to the region it serves to energise in the day or mud human body. For today, some of the herbs useful in freeing third chakra blockage include Bach Flowers, Holy Basil, Lemon Balm, St. John Wort etc.
Space does not permit a further discussion today of this subject. As it is characteristic of this column, the goal of which is the dissemination of Alternative Medicine information for sound, mind and body, this subject of caring for the MIND as we care for the BODY will continue to pop up and to be addressed.