The killer diseases many Nigerians are battling these days are high blood pressure and stroke. Presently, many use herbs and spices to manage them. ADA DIKE reports.
A businessman was 68 years old in 2016 when he had health crisis that almost took his life.
Mr. Shedrack Essien, who sells blocks and some other building materials in a Lagos suburb had things going smoothly for him, his business was flourishing, his five children were performing excellently in schools while his wife’s foodsuffs business was also growing fast. But tragedy struck on November 25, 2016 after Essien’s wife called him, wailing and asking him to come to Onipanu bus stop and take her home.
She went to Oyingbo market, on her way home, she alighted from a commercial bus and stretched her hand to carry her load, the bus driver zoomed off with her load.
Shedrack rushed to Onipanu bus stop, looked around but didn’t see his wife. He called her phone number, it was switched off. He then realized that his wife used someone’s number to call him. He called the line, someone picked it and told him that he saw his wife entering a bus to Ojota.
He became apprehensive and deeply worried, suspecting that his wife had been kidnapped. Shedrack rushed to Ojota bus stop, but didn’t see his wife. He prayed to God to protect her, not knowing that she had gone home. He went to a police station in Ojota and made a statement that he was looking for his wife, then went back to Onipanu and wrote a statement in a police station there about his wife’s disappearance. They asked him to check back after 24 hours. When he came out, he discovered that his phone battery was down, so he couldn’t call his son at home to know whether his wife was back.
He walked up and down the bus stop, peeping into buses in search of his wife. Some bus drivers abused him when they realised he wasn’t entering their buses.
He got fagged and famished since he didn’t eat before going to search for his wife. He left Onipanu around 7 pm and got home around 9 pm. He was surprised to see his wife watching TV at home. She told him she got home around 2.30 pm. He lost appetite, took his bath and went to bed.
The following morning, his wife started crying over her missing load, Shedrack dressed up and went back to Onipanu to see whether a bus driver had dropped the load at the police station there. He couldn’t find it and got home fagged out.
The next day, the unexpected happened, he collapsed in the church, where he and some other members were auditing the church’s account. He collapsed! His armed twisted in a twinkling of an eye, his mouth shifted to one side and he defecated on his body. The church members called his wife and children. They asked them to meet them in a hospital. After a hospital rejected him, another one admitted him under emergency. He was in a coma for three days. Before he was discharged, the doctor told him he suffered stroke due to the high level of his blood pressure. He advised them not to think too much when he recovers.
After taking all the orthodox medicines he got from the hospital, one of their church members called a member of their church, Yeya, who specializes in using herbs to treat stroke.
Shedrack explains, “Yeya came to my house three times in a week to massage my body. It was painful, but I endured it so that I might be well. He strengthened my bones, mouth, my right hand and right leg. He gave me some liquid herbs that I drank. He charged me N30,000.00 after one month. I was able to talk without spittle coming from the corner of my mouth, and I started walking around my area.
“Immediately Yeya completed his treatment, a couple living near my house advised me to continue using herbs without stopping to avoid another crisis. They advised me to cook a porridge with a snail with its shell and eat. I did it. Another person also advised me to boil together avacado pear leaves, moringa leaves, marshed ginger and garlic. I used to drink it three days before I threw them away and repeatedly boiled it four times in a month. I also bought avacado seeds which I dried, ground and mixed with pap or tea to drink.
“It has been seven years I suffered stroke and recovered. If I don’t tell anybody, they won’t know that something like that happened to me,” he explained.
He said he is now 75 years old, has some grandchildren and still taking those herbs to control his blood pressure since the same herbs and spices are also used to control high blood pressure.
Statistics shows that one in every three adults in Nigeria is suffering from high blood pressure and so many of them don’t drink orthodox medicine.
Dr. Ayo Aruya, a herbal doctor who was trained in Spain on how to combine leaves to treat ailments explained that the high force someone’s blood puts on the walls of their arteries can result to high blood pressure. “You are suffering from high blood pressure if your pressure it too high and this can lead to other serious health challenge like stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and death, among others.
Aruya advised Nigerians to check their blood pressure regularly so that they willbe able to control it.
Some other Nigerians who revealed some other things they use to control high blood pressure include: a hairdresser, Ada Oko, advised people to treat high blood pressure by drinking unsweetened zobo first thing every morning.
Ayo Dele, an accountant said: “Get moringa leaves and water leaves, wash them together and drink for two weeks. Your blood pressure will be normal.”
A herbal drink seller, Iya Lekan: “Drink Bayleaf tea or guava leaf tea. Exercise your body and watch your diet.”
A vehicle mechanic, Kola Azeez: “Soak onions in hot water, then drink it, but check your blood always.”
Speaking on the use of herbs, Aruya said Nigerians should be mindful of the quantity of herbal medicine they drink because excessive use of it may damage someone’s vital organs.