Personal Health Remedies and Beauty Recommendations

Mrs. Fatimah Mohammed Sule, spouse of the Nigerian Deputy Defence Attaché, was the gracious hostess for our group event on 14 May 2018. The meeting started with a short documentary on Nigeria, a country with abundant natural resources. Nigeria has the largest economy and largest population in Africa and one of the highest youth population in the world. It is multilingual and multicultural with 500 ethnic groups. Its festivals and feasts are colorful and full of music. The Nigerian cuisine is known for its richness and variety, using different spices, herbs and vegetables to create deep-tasting dishes, soups and sauces. It is interesting to note that the Nigerian town of Igbo-Ora has the world’s highest twin births (158 twins per 1,000 births). The reason for this significant rate of twinning could be the high consumption of yam in this region.
 
This time the English Conversation group focused on natural healing practices in various countries and personal recommendations for health and beauty care. Herbal remedies and traditional medicine have been practiced for centuries, based on weather, nature of land and vegetation, as the best option to maintain good health. Ancient Egyptian doctors were using domestic herbs and seeds as traditional medicine, and this practice has been passed on to the present generation. Sri Lankan traditional doctors also use natural herbs, medicinal plants and roots as alternative medicine.
 
Nigeria has a diverse vegetation with medicinal plants that are a primary source of health. The amazing baobab tree is described as a super fruit since almost all plant parts are useful to humans and animals. Another multivitamin plant grown in Nigeria is the bitter leaf plant whose leaves have natural healing properties.
 
The varieties of tea that are drunk in the UK and around the world are amazing. Moringa, guava leaf, hibiscus, jasmine and peppermint are some teas mentioned by the WIB members as having excellent health benefits. The lime blossom has long been considered in Germany as a natural home remedy. Hot linden flower tea is drunk to lower fever or reduce cold and flu symptoms.
 
Indonesia’s traditional herbal drink "jamu" has its origins in Java. This health drink consists of herbal leaves and spices such as bitter and betel leaves, turmeric and tamarind. A traditional Sri Lankan therapy against cough and cold is a hot drink of ginger, garlic and coriander seeds.
 
As we all know, water is essential for good health, and there are many health benefits to drinking warm water in the morning, especially as the first drink to start the day. Generations of Icelanders have grown up taking a spoonful of cod liver oil as a healthy start to the day. With a wealth of fresh fish and wild seaweed from the pure Icelandic waters, this is obviously a great way to add seafood to their diet.
 
Wild plants, fruits and vegetables can also be used for cosmetics and perfumery. For example, avocado is not only a delicious fruit but can be applied on the face, hair and scalp as a natural beauty remedy. The medicinal plant of Aloe Vera has many healing and nutritional values, and its gel can be eaten and applied to the face too. The cooling effect of the cucumber and its skin works wonders on our faces. Rose water is often used in Tunisian and Iranian cuisine. The purity of rose water makes it a fantastic moisturizer and toner. An ancient tradition from the Philippines uses weeds as an alternative medicine to treat wounds and burns.
 
Olive oil is widely known for its excellent contribution to beauty and health, but do you know that castor oil is a popular remedy for hair regrowth?  It can also be applied on eyebrows to facilitate hair growth and curl eyelashes. Applying a few drops of the orange-coloured carrot oil before sun exposure will give our complexion a subtle natural tan. The Asian cooking uses the healthy coconut oil but it’s also very good for nourishing hair and scalp.
 
Hammam is an ancient traditional cleansing ritual; Sauna is considered the source of energy and health, and regular dry skin brushing cleanses the body and improves blood circulation.
 
After all, prevention is always better than cure, and moderate use is probably the best recommendation for a long-term care.
 
We hope that this feedback benefits all of us. A big thank you to our members and guests for participating in this entertaining dialogue! Together, we thank Fatimah for the wonderful hospitality extended to us, and we look forward to seeing everyone again!