Covid-19: Nigerian Proffessor prescribes Natural foods, Hydration as possible cure

 Covid-19: Nigerian Proffessor prescribes Natural foods, Hydration as possible cure

By Adekunle Badmus

A Professor of Biochemistry at the Lagos State University, Babajide Elemo has urged Nigerians to embrace natural foods and hydration to boost their immune system against the CoronaVirus.

Elemo, who spoke at the 6th Lagos State University Virtual Public Lecture titled “Covid-19: Effective Use of Science in Overcoming the Pandemic” and held on Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020 said, body immunity is essential in the fight against the deadly virus.

Speaking on the sub-theme: Covid-19: “Adequate Nutrition as a First Line of Defence”, Prof. Elemo harped on the regular consumption of balanced diet (i.e nutrition) as the key to staying free from contracting the Covid-19 pandemic and indeed, any other disease.
According to him, “Balanced diet and hydration are vital during covid-19 pandemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently published a nutrition advice during this period to the effect that people should everyday, eat fresh and unprocessed food, drink enough water, eat moderate amount of fat and oil and avoid eating out, amongst others,” he said.

Explaining the relationship between nutrition and immune system, Prof. Eleni said, “nutrition status plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system. Dietary protein, carbohydrates and fats as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) all interact with immune cells systematically in blood, nymphs and nodes.”

In his 10 minutes lecture, the former Director, Lagos State University Centre for Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development(CESSED) further enjoined participants to always prepare their bodies ahead through natural foods, rather than wait for the proverbial evil day:
“we shouldn’t wait till we are hit by diseases before we take precaution. Boost your immune system by taking natural foods such as vegetables, fruits, and foods containing vitamins A, B, C, D, and E and folic acid. When necessary, take dietary supplements which come in handy in stress situations, such as premature life, ageing, disease and in extreme conditions like in exercises.”

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Supporting Elemo’s assertion, Dr. Josephine Sharaibi, of the Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Lagos State University noted that the absence of a cure for Covid-19 necessitates that everyone consumes the right foods and herbs as a means of boosting the immune system against the virus.

In her lecture titled “Exploring Herbal Treatments: Evidence and Recommendations”, Sharaibi explained that plants are critical to both the prevention and eventual cure of the disease, and advised participants on the responsible use of herbs and herbal medicines in their search for solution to the covid 19 pandemic.

“Plants are important, not only for food but also for medicine. All plants contain bioactive substances responsible for their therapeutic action, hence they are precursors for the development of new drugs.

“There are several efforts going among scientists in and outside Nigeria to find herbal cures to the virus. Madagascar has developed their own herbal cure while some efforts have also been reported here in Nigeria.
Presently, none of these have been approved in the country and so we still do not have a cure for the virus yet.
However, we have many local herbs including ginger, garlic, tummeric and cinnamon that can be taken as immune boosters. There are also anti-malaria herbs such as Moringa Lucida (Brimstone Tree), Alstonia Boonei (God’s Tree), Enantha Clorantha (African Whitewood) and the popular Dongoyaro tree, all of which can be used to treat symptoms of the virus.

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“We should also regularly detoxify our system by taking herbs drinks and natural fruit smoothies. Avoid processed foods as much as possible, stay natural, ” she advised.

She however sounded a note of caution on the herbal medicines: “avoid excessive intake of herbal medicine because of toxicity; look out for allergic reactions when taking herbal medicines and discontinue if allergy occurs; certain medications such as anti-hypertensive drugs should not be taken with herbal medicine; get your fresh plant material from trusted source, you’ve to avoid misidentification; and if pregnant or breastfeeding, do not take herbal medicines without your doctor’s prescription.”


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