African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
Volume 7 Issue 11
Cancer Row over GM Foods
By Sean Poulter
September 19, 2012
Rats fed a lifelong diet of one of the bestselling strains of
genetically modified corn suffered tumours and multiple
organ damage, according to a controversial French study
Scientists said the results raised serious questions about
the safety of GM foods and the assurances offered by
biotech companies and governments.
The first lifetime trials involving rats fed on GM corn
found a raised incidence of breast tumours, liver and
Continued on page 2
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
3 Russia Suspends Import and Use of American GM Corn
3 Afrikan Spirituality –African Perception of Illness
4 Feature – Secret Monsanto GM Potato Study Suppressed
6 Feature- The GMO Debate is Over
8 Feature–Killer Seeds:The Impacts of Monsanto GM India
11 USDA Gives Monsanto more Power over GMO Seeds
13 Aspartame made with GM Bacteria
17 Feature – Myths about Industrial Agriculture
21 First GM Camels to be Engineered for Drug Production
32 Feature – Aspartame: History of Fraud and Deception
40 Feature – Human Digestive System
45 Digestion and Absorption of Food
54 Feature – Diabetes: Ancient Egypt to Modern Pandemic
58 Anti-Diabetes Drugs may Cause Diabetes
61 Feature – Infectious Diabetes and Obesity
56 Obesity Epidemic Taking Root in Africa
70 Feature –Use of Spices as Medicines
75 Turmeric Medicinal Use
70 Feature–Gut’s Second Brain Influences Mood
80 Feeding our Melanin
88 Herb of the Month – Cassia Alata and More
What is the African Traditional
Herbal Research Clinic?
We can make you healthy and wise
Blackherbals at the Source of the Nile, UG Ltd.
The African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic located
in Ntinda, Uganda is a modern clinic facility
established to create a model space whereby
indigenous herbal practitioners and healers can upgrade
and update their skills through training and certification
and respond to common diseases using African healing
methods and traditions in a modern clinical
Traditional healers are the major health labor resource
in Africa as a whole. In Uganda, indigenous traditional
healers are the only source of health services for the
majority of the population. An estimated 80% of the
population receives its health education and health care
from practitioners of traditional medicine. They are
knowledgeable of the culture, the local languages and
local traditions. Our purpose is to raise public
awareness and understanding on the value of African
traditional herbal medicine and other healing practices
in today’s world.
The Clinic is open and operational. Some of the
services we offer are African herbal medicine,
reflexology, acupressure, hot and cold hydrotherapy,
body massage, herbal tonics, patient counseling, blood
pressure checks, urine testing (sugar), and nutritional
profiles. We believe in spirit, mind and body. Spiritual
counseling upon request.
Visit us also at www.Blackherbals.com
Hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday thru Friday
Saturday by Appointment, Sundays – Closed
-1- Traditional African Clinic – October 2012
Cont’d from page 1 – Cancer Row over GM Foods
Dr Michael Antoniou, a molecular biologist at King’s
College, London, and an expert on GM foods, said: ‘It
shows an extraordinary number of tumours developing
earlier and more aggressively – particularly in female
animals. I am shocked by the extreme negative health
The research was carried out by Caen University in
France, and has been peer reviewed by independent
scientists to guarantee the experiments were properly
conducted and the results are valid.
It is the first to look at the impact of eating a GM diet
over a lifetime in rats, which is two years. To date,
safety assessments of GM crops have been based on rat
feeding trials lasting 90 days.
The corn was genetically modified to withstand spraying
with glyphosate, the main chemical in the weedkiller
Roundup, developed by Monsanto. The idea is that the
corn can be sprayed without being damaged, while
weeds are destroyed.
The tests looked at the impact of several scenarios
including eating the GM corn (NK603), eating the GM
corn sprayed with Roundup, and consuming Roundup at
low doses in water.
The results were compared against those for a control
group fed a ‘clean’ diet without GM or Roundup.
The researchers found:
Between 50 to 80 per cent of female rats developed
large tumours by the beginning of the 24th month,
with up to three tumours per animal. Only 30 per
cent of the control rats developed tumours
Up to 70 per cent of females died prematurely
compared with only 20 per cent in the control group
Tumours in rats of both sexes fed the GM corn were
two to three times larger than in the control group
The large tumours appeared in females after seven
months, compared to 14 months in the control
group. The team said the tumours were ‘deleterious
to health due to a very large size’, making it difficult
for the rats to breathe and causing digestive
Significantly, the majority of tumours were detectable
only after 18 months – meaning they could be
discovered only in long-term feeding trials.
The study – led by molecular biologist Professor GillesEric Seralini, a critic of GM technology, and published
yesterday in US journal Food and Chemical Toxicology
said the GM corn and Roundup weedkiller ‘may cause
hormonal disturbances in the same biochemical and
The Daily Mail’s Frankenstein Food Watch campaign has
long highlighted problems with the lack of rigorous safety
assessments for GM crops and food.
Although GM corn is widely used in the US, British
consumers have turned their backs on the technology
because of concerns about its impact on human health and
Although it is not available in British supermarkets, it is
fed to farm animals including chickens, pigs and dairy
Mustafa Djamgoz, professor of Cancer Biology at Imperial
College, London, said the findings relating to eating GM
corn were a surprise.
‘We are what we eat,’ he added. ‘I work at the molecular
level on cancer. There is evidence what we eat affects our
genetic make-up and turns genes on and off. ‘We are not
scaremongering here. More research is warranted.’
Dr Julian Little, of the Agricultural Biotechnology
Council, which speaks for the GM industry, insisted GM
foods were safe, adding: ‘The industry takes all health
concerns regarding biotech food and feed very seriously.’
Anthony Trewavas, professor of cell biology at Edinburgh
University, questioned the way the research had been
conducted, saying the number of rats involved in the study
– 200 – was too small to draw any meaningful
conclusions. ‘To be frank, it looks like random variation to
me in a rodent line likely to develop tumours anyway,’ he
He also claimed Professor Seralini was an anti-GM
campaigner and that previous studies questioning the
technology’s safety had not withstood scrutiny.
Russia suspends Import and
Use of American GM Corn
after Study revealed Cancer
By Sean Poulter
25 September 2012
Russia has suspended the import and use of an American
GM corn following a study suggesting a link to breast
cancer and organ damage.
-2- Traditional African Clinic – October 2012
Continued on page 10
Traditional African Perception
By Gordon Chavunduka
Many people regard the presence of mild ill health as a normal
part of life. It is believed that people cannot always be in a
very good health because of poor living conditions and the
presence of spirits and witches in society. But if the symotoms
persist and are severe the individual is likely to enter the
second stage in which he adopts the sick role. At this stage
some individuals seek professional help at once but others
delay seeking medical care for as long as possible and employ
known traditional drugs or patent medicines suggested by
friends, neighbours, or relatives. There are many factors which
may motivate patients to delay in seeking medical care such as
fear of hospitalization, one’s position in the family, fear of
disturbing social relations, fear of leaving the familiar
surroundings at home, past experience, financial cost of
medical care, and social stigma.
Before many of the sick individuals seek professional help
they make contact with others with whom they have close ties
such as members of their family, friends, neighbours,
workmates and employers. These people influence the slick
individual in the choice of therapy and usually continue to
take care of the sick person throughout his illness.
Many people take some of their illnesses to modern medical
practitioners in hospitals, clinics and private doctors’
surgeries, and others to traditional healers. In some cases the
same illness is referred at different stages and sometimes
simultaneously to several types of medical practitioners. There
is a relationship between people’s ideas concerning the cause
of illness and the treatment sought.
Many people believe that illnesses may have either a normal
or an abnormal cause. Illnesses such as coughs, slight fevers,
stomachache and headaches are generally regarded as normal
since they occur from time to time in the life of individuals
and are usually of a fleeting nature and may disappear
Normal illnesses are usually treated with modern or traditional
medicines. Choice of treatment in this kind of situation largely
depends upon the cost of each treatment, its accessibility and
the patient’s knowledge of the probable effects of each kind of
treatment. Many people agree that normal illnesses are caused
------------------------Managing Editor: Nakato Lewis
Publisher: Kiwanuka R.G. Lewis
Published monthly and freely by BHSN–Back Issues:
The traditional shrine as a symbol of our cultural history
by such things as germs, bacteria, bad food,
accidents, poisons and so on.
But when an illness such as headache persists over
a long period of time it ceases to be a normal
illness because it is considered unusual for a
headache or a stomachache to fail to respond to
treatment. The illness is then regarded as
abnormal. Many people believe that social agents
such as ancestors’ spirits, angered spirits, aliens’
spirits and witches, send such illnesses. Once an
illness has been defined as abnormal most patients
consult traditional healers alone because they
know that modern doctors are unable to attack the
ultimate cause of abnormal illness.
An endangered spirit is the spirit of someone who
dies with a grudge. It is believed that an angered
spirit may return to punish the wrongdoer or his
kinsmen. The guilty person or his his kinsmen
become sick. An alien spirit is the spirit of a
person from some other clan or tribal group who
dies uncared or perhaps was not properly buried
according to customs. It is believed that the spirit
of such person may wander restlessly until it
settles on someone.
The patient’s kinsmen or relatives play an
important role through the illness partly because in
certain cases relatives are held responsible for an
individual’s illness and can therefore be
considered as extended patients. A much clearer
example is where a member of the family commits
an anti-social act. The angry ancestors may choose
not to punish the wrongdoer with illness, but his
brother or children.
Many people who refer their illnesses to modern
practitioners later take the same illness to
traditional healers. This often happens when the
illness that was initially regarded as normal is
redefined as abnormal by the patient and members
of his or her social group. This tendency to regard
-3- Traditional African Clinic – October 2012
Continued on page 39
African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
Volume 7, Issue 11
SECRET MONSANTO GM POTATO STUDY
SUPPRESSED FOR 8 YEARS
By Association of Food Technologists
February 15, 2012
GM Potatoes are "unfit for human consumption"
Press Notice from GM Free Cymru. 16th February 2007
ed a protracted and immensely frustrating campaign to
obtain a sight of the feeding study Report.
A secret feeding study of Monsanto GM potatoes,
conducted in 1998 by the Institute of Nutrition of the
Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and suppressed
for 8 years, showed that the potatoes did considerable
damage to the organs of the rats in the study (1) (2). In
comparison the rats in the "control groups" which were
fed on normal potatoes or on a non-potato diet were
healthier, and had much less organ and tissue damage.
This research, fully supported by Monsanto through the
provision of the GM potatoes, was conducted at
approximately the same time as Arpad Pusztai's research
in the Rowett Institute.
In May 2004 the Nikulinski District Court in Russia
ruled that information relating to the safety of GM food
should be open to the public. On the basis of this ruling
Greenpeace tried to obtain the GM potato report; but
the Institute and Monsanto refused to release it. So
Greenpeace and local activist groups again took the
Institute to court, and in October 2005 won a ruling that
the Report must be released. At last it was handed over,
and examined by Dr Irina Ermakova at the request of
Greenpeace. She produced a brief Russian paper on her
findings, and we have now produced an Englishlanguage version with the kind agreement of
The potatoes used in the study were Monsanto GM
NewLeaf potatoes bred in 1995 from the Russet Burbank
variety to be resistant to the Colorado Beetle. The GM
event was registered as 082, and the potatoes are included
in the Bt group of GM crops. They also contain an
antibiotic resistance marker gene (3). The potatoes were
deregulated in the USA in 1998, without any feeding
studies being required.
Another line was deregulated in 1999. Even earlier, in
1996, Monsanto started to introduce the potatoes into
Russia and Georgia, and probably into many other
countries with lax approval regimes as well (4). For some
reason (probably to assist in the consent process)
Monsanto co-operated in some feeding studies
involving rats from the Institute of Nutrition of the
Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. Something
"inconvenient" showed up in these feeding studies, but
the Institute refused to release all the information into the
public domain and in 1999 the researchers presented a
"doctored" version of their Report in support of
Monsanto's application for Russian commercialization.
The consent was duly given in 2000 by the Russian
regulators on the basis of this corrupt piece of science.
Ironically, the NewLeaf GM potato was a failure, and it
proved to give poor yields and to be susceptible to
disease in European environments. While Monsanto
was enthusiastically promoting its GM potatoes in
Eastern Europe, it was having second thoughts in the
United States and Western Europe, and pulled out of
GM potato development in 2002 (6). The results of the
1998 GM potato rat feeding study may well have had a
bearing on that decision.
Dr Irina Ermakova, the Greenpeace consultant, has
herself conducted animal feeding experiments with GM
materials. In her very restrained commentary on the
Russian study (1) she criticized the small scale of the
experiment and its design, and was especially critical of
the complacent conclusions drawn by the authors from
evidence which was actually profoundly worrying. The
GM potato was nutritionally inferior to its conventional
counterpart and to other Russian potato varieties.
The research results showed that both "normal" Russet
Burbank potatoes and the GM variety caused "serious
morphological changes in the internal organs" of the
animals in the trials. They also showed that the group
However, Greenpeace and other consumer groups mount-4- Traditional African Clinic – October 2012
Continued on page 5
Continued from page 4 – Secret Monsanto GM Potato Study
suppressed for 8 Years
of animals fed on the GM potatoes suffered greater
weight loss than the other animals, and statistically
significantly greater damage to kidneys, liver and
large gut. There was also greater damage to blood serum,
testes and prostate. Dr Ermakova concluded:
"The GM potatoes were the most dangerous of the feeds
used in the trials........ and on the basis of this evidence
they CANNOT be used in the nourishment of people."
Given the small scale of the feeding trials (only ten
animals in each feeding group) and doubts about the
statistical significance of some of the Report's
findings, Dr Ermakova stressed the importance of
follow-up studies on a larger scale and with more careful
experimental design. But no matter what the shortcomings of the work may be, the Institute of Nutrition
research did nothing to show that the Monsanto GM
potatoes are safe. That should not be a surprise to
anybody, since Bt potatoes are classified as pesticides in
the US and have never been tested for toxicity or
According to Dr Brian John of GM Free Cymru, it is
incredible that Monsanto and the Institute of Nutrition
have kept the research secret until now. "That obsessive
secrecy has clearly been against the public interest," he
says, "and it tells us a great deal about Monsanto's
priorities. If the company had any regard at all for the
health of consumers, it would have published these
results world-wide in 1999, and at the very least it would
have commissioned follow-up research which might
have confirmed or discredited the study's findings.
Instead of that, it connived with the Russian researchers
to keep the information away from public scrutiny, just
as it did with the feeding study results for MON863
maize in 2005. On that occasion too, it took a court case
and massive media coverage to obtain sight of the
research team's raw data and to reveal evidence
of damage to health." (8)
While Monsanto attempted to suppress the information
from the 1998 Russian study, it connived in the
vilification of Dr Arpad Pusztai, a respectable and
careful scientist whose findings were very similar (9)
(10). The company must have known that the release of
its own feeding study information would have supported
his findings and would have contributed to a general
understanding on health concerns specific to GM
potatoes. "The actions of Monsanto in this case have
been utterly reprehensible," says Dr John. "The company
has continued to promote its GM potatoes as perfectly
harmless, while for eight years it has managed to keep
out of the public domain clear evidence that they are
harmful to animals and hence to human beings also. And
it has got away with it because the science establishment
and the GM regulators within the EU -- as in Russia -cannot see scientific corruption when it is staring them in
the face." (11)
(1) Medical-biological investigations of transgenic potatoes,
resistant to the Colorado beetle (under agreement with
Monsanto Co.) Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Institute
of Nutrition Moscow, 1998. Signed off by VA Tutelian, Deputy
Director. Physiological, biochemical and morphological
investigations in rats. Full Report 275 pp, including raw data.
(2) The commentary on the rat feeding study by Dr Irina
Ermakova is here: http://www.gmfreecymru.org/
data=RBMT21-129% 2C+RBMT21-350%2C+RBMT22082&frmat=LONG> Full petition (240 pp) for the
deregulation of New Leaf GM potatoes (event 082) in the US:
(4) GM potatoes in Georgia:
(6) http://www.mindfully.org/GE/Monsanto-DumpsPotatoe.htm; http://www.gmocompass.org/eng/grocery_shopping/crops/23.genetically_modif
(10) Ewen SWB, Pusztai A (1999) Effect of diets containing
genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis
lectin on rat small intestine. Lancet 354:1353-1354
(11) See, for example: http://www.rowett.ac.uk/gmo/ajp.htm
-5- Traditional African Clinic – October 2012
African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
Volume 7, Issue 11
The GMO Debate is Over
GM crops must be immediately outlawed; Monsanto halted from threatening
By Mike Adams
September 21, 2012
(NaturalNews) The GMO debate is over. There is no
longer any legitimate, scientific defense of growing
GM crops for human consumption. The only people
still clinging to the outmoded myth that "GMOs are
safe" are scientific mercenaries with financial ties to
Monsanto and the biotech industry.
that was never properly tested in the first place.
GMOs are an anti-human technology. They threaten
the continuation of life on our planet. They are a far
worse threat than terrorism, or even the threat of
The evidence keeps emerging, day after day, that GMOs
are absolutely and without question unfit for human
consumption. France has already launched an
investigation that may result in the nation banning GM
corn imports. It's already illegal to grow genetically
modified crops in France, but the nation still allows
GMO imports, meaning France still allows its citizens to
be poisoned by imported GM corn grown in America.
As a shocking new study has graphically shown,
GMOs are the new thalidomide. When rats eat GM
corn, they develop horrifying tumors. Seventy percent
of females die prematurely, and virtually all of them
suffer severe organ damage from consuming GMO.
These are the scientific conclusions of the first truly
"long-term" study ever conducted on GMO
consumption in animals, and the findings are absolutely
horrifying. (See pictures of rats with tumors, below.)
What this reveals is that genetic engineering turns
FOOD into POISON.
Remember thalidomide? Babies being born with no
arms and other heart-breaking deformities?
Thalidomide was pushed as "scientific" and "FDA
approved." The same lies are now being told about
GMO: they're safe. They're nutritious. They will feed
But the real science now coming out tells a different
picture: GMOs may be creating an entire generation
of cancer victims who have a frighteningly heightened
risk of growing massive mammary gland tumors caused
by the consumption of GM foods. We are witnessing
what may turn out to be the worst and most costly
blunder in the history of western science: the mass
poisoning of billions of people with a toxic food crop
Remember: GMOs are an anti-human technology. And
those who promote them are, by definition, enemies of
GMOs are unfit for human consumption
The GMO industry, not surprisingly, doesn't want any
independent research conducted on GMOs. They don't
want long-term feeding trials, and they most certainly do
not want studies conducted by scientists they can't
control with financial ties.
What they want is to hide GMOs in products by
making sure they're not listed on the labels. Hence the
biotech industry's opposition to Proposition 37
The tactics of the biotech industry are:
HIDE genetically modified ingredients in foods
FALSIFY the research to claim GMOs are safe
MANIPULATE the scientific debate by bribing
DENY DENY DENY just like Big Tobacco,
DDT, thalidomide, Agent Orange and
everything else that's been killing us over the
-6- Traditional African Clinic – October 2012
Continued on page 7
Continued from page 6 – The GMO Debate is Over
Monsanto is now the No. 1 most hated corporation in
America. The company's nickname is MonSatan. It is
the destructive force behind the lobbying of the USDA,
FDA, scientists and politicians that have all betrayed the
American people and given in to genetically modified
These seeds, some of which grow their own toxic
pesticides right inside the grain, are a form of chemical
brutality against children and adults. This is "child
abuse" at its worst. It's an abuse of all humans. It is the
most serious crime ever committed against nature and
all of humankind.
Science for sale
That's what you get with payola science... science "for
sale" to wealthy corporations. Nearly all the studies that
somehow conclude GMO are safe were paid for by the
biotech industry. Every one of those studies is
unreliable and most likely fraudulent. Every scientist
that conducts "research" for Monsanto is almost
certainly a sellout at minimum... and more likely a
jackal operative working for an industry of death.
Corporate science is fraudulent science. When
enough money is at stake, scientists can be bought off to
even declare smoking cigarettes to be safe. And they
did, throughout the 1950's, 60's and 70's. Some of those
very same scientists are now working for the Monsantos
of the world, peddling their scientific fraud to the
highest bidder (which always happens to be a wealthy
There is no poison these scientists won't promote as safe
-- even "good for you!" There is no limit to their evil.
There are no ethics that guide their actions.
GMO-promoting scientists are the most despicable
humanoid creatures to have ever walked the surface of
this planet. To call them "human" is an insult to
humanity. They are ANTI-human. They are demonic.
They are forces of evil that walk among the rest of us,
parading as authorities when in their hearts and souls
they are actually corporate cowards and traitors to
humankind. To pad their own pockets, they would put at
risk the very future of sustainable life on our planet...
and they do it consciously, insidiously. They feed on
death, destruction, suffering and pain. They align with
the biotech industry precisely because they know that
no other industry is as steeped in pure evil as the biotech
industry. GMO pushers will lie, cheat, steal, falsify and
even mass-murder as many people as it takes to further
their agenda of total global domination over the entire
food supply... at ANY cost.
This is war at the genetic level. And this kind of war
makes bullets, bombs and nukes look downright tame by
comparison. Because the GMO war is based on selfreplicating genetic pollution which has already been
released into the environment; into the food supply; and
into your body.
The hundreds of millions of consumers who eat GMO are
being murdered right now, with every meal they
consume... and they don't even know it. GMO-pimping
scientists are laughing at all the death they're causing.
They enjoy tricking people and watching them die
because it makes their sick minds feel more powerful.
These were the geeks in school who were bullied by the
jocks. But now, with the power of genetic manipulation
at their fingertips, they can invoke their hatred against
all humankind and "bully" the entire world with hidden
poisons in the food. That makes them smile. It's the
ultimate revenge against a world that mistreated them in
their youth. Death to everyone!
Society must respond in defense of life on Earth
The sheer brutality of what the GMO industry has
committed against us humanity screams out for a decisive
response. It is impossible to overreact to this. No
collective response goes too far when dealing with an
industry that quite literally threatens the very basis of life
on our planet.
To march government SWAT teams into the corporate
headquarters of all GMO seed companies and shut down
all operations at gunpoint would be a mild reaction -- and
fully justified. To indict all biotech CEOs, scientists,
employees and P.R. flacks and charge them with
conspiring to commit crimes against humanity would be a
small but important step in protecting our collective
futures. To disband all these corporations by government
order have their assets seized and sold off to help fund
reparations to the people they have harmed is but a tiny
step needed in the defense of life.
The truth is that humanity will never be safe until
GMO seed pushers and manufacturers are behind
bars, locked away from society and denied the ability to
ever threaten humanity again.
What the Nuremberg trials did to IG Farben and other
Nazi war crimes corporations, our own government must
now do to Monsanto and the biotech industry.
It is time for decisive intervention. Monsanto must be
stopped by the will of the People. The mass poisoning of
our families and children by an evil, destructive
corporation that seeks to dominate the world food supply
must be halted.
The GMO debate is over. The horrors are now being
revealed. The truth can no longer be hidden, and the
-7- Traditional African Clinic September 2012
Continued on page 9
African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
Volume 7, Issue 11
KILLER SEEDS: The Devastating Impacts of
Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Seeds in India
By Iqbal Ahmed
Global Research, 12 January 2012
Monsanto’s operation in India illustrates monopolization and manipulation of the market economy,
tradition, technology, and misgovernance. The world’s
largest producer of genetically engineered seeds has
been selling genetically modified (GM) in India for the
last decade to benefit the Indian farmers – or so the
In a country of more than 550 million farmers who are
largely poor and uneducated and the agriculture market
rife with inefficient business practices, the Indian
government sought to reform the market by eliminating
subsidies and loans to the farmers.
The government reform did not help the farmers. With
pressure from the World Bank and International
Monetary Fund (IMF), the Indian government has
“forced market liberalization on India which means the
elimination of government subsidies and governmentbacked loans to farmers.”
Enter Monsanto with its “magic” GM seeds to
transform the lives of the poor Indian farmers.
The U.S. agri-business giant took full advantage of its
entry into the Indian market. It entered into an
agreement with state governments including Rajasthan
and Andhara Pradesh to introduce a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) that dictated the terms of
disseminating the GM technology in Indian market.
For Monsanto, it is one thing to convince farmers to use
artificial seeds for the purposes of enriching their lives,
it is quite another to manipulate nature and technology
to profit from them.
The irony is GM seeds have not been effective in India
and the consequences are not as rosy as what Monsanto
had promised to deliver. Scathing reports of mass
suicides of Indian farmers broke out as recently as
three years ago when scores of farmers took their own
lives in order to escape the burden of high prices and
failure of Monsanto’s GM seeds.
Monsanto offered its GM seeds to the farmers of India
with hopes of reaping plentiful crops. Plain and mostly
uneducated farmers thought Monsanto had come to
provide a “magic” formula that would transform their
lives. They had no idea what was coming.
Monsanto’s seeds in India did not produce what the
company had promised and farmers hoped. The
expensive seeds piled up debts and destroyed farming
fields. In many instances, the crops simply failed to
materialize. The farmers were not aware that the GM
seeds required more water than the traditional seeds. And
lack of rain in many parts of India exacerbated the crop
With no harvest, the farmers could not pay back the
lenders. Burdened with debts and humiliation, the
farmers simply took their own lives, some by swallowing
poisonous pesticides in front of their families. To date, an
estimated 200,000 farmers have committed suicide all
To add to the misery, wives inherited the debts along
with the fear of losing their homes and lands. With no
money coming in, they also had to pull their kids from
the schools. The mass suicide among the Indian farmers
is known as the “GM genocide.”
In its company website Monsanto declares that its pledge
is “our commitment to how we do business.” And then
there are the business philosophies with virtuous words
like “integrity” and “transparency.”
Monsanto’s business practices in India quite remarkably
live up to the company’s motto. It purposefully leverages
its power and influence in government to penetrate
farming markets with motive but without morale.
Using its colossal market power, Monsanto craftily
penetrated into the Indian markets. Continued on page 9
-8- Traditional African Clinic September 2012
Continued from page 8 – KILLER SEEDS: The Devastating
Impacts of Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Seeds in India
Monsanto convinced the Indian government that its GM
seeds would produce better crops. According to a report
by Farm Wars, one former Managing Director of
Monsanto claimed that Monsanto manipulated research
data “to get commercial approvals for its products in
Indian regulatory agencies, instead of verifying the data,
simply remained compliant with the findings of what
Monsanto presented. “They did not even have a test tube
to validate the data and, at times, the data itself was
faked,” the Farm Wars report says.
Government regulations worked in favor of Monsanto to
monopolize the Indian seed market. For example, “Prime
Minister’s Office” in India pressured various state
governments to sign MOUs with Monsanto to privatize
the seed market.
Through these “vested interests” with the Indian
government, Monsanto eventually has monopolized the
GM seed market for more than a decade.
Unable to purchase traditional seeds, the farmers had to
pay a hefty price for the expensive GM seeds. Many
farmers had to borrow money from the local lenders to
buy Monsanto’s seeds. To cite an example of how
expensive the GM seeds are, 100 grams of GM cost $15
to the farmers compared with $15 for 1000 grams of
Vandana Shiva, a renowned scientist and activist in
India, wrote that Monsanto had also planned to control
water in India. Its aim was to control water supply
through privatization. In other words, Monsanto sought
to profit from water, a lifeline of Indian livelihood. By
seeking control of water, Monsanto also seized the
opportunity to benefit from the scarce water supply that
plagues communities throughout India.
Manipulation and Misinformation
The failure of Monsanto’s GM seeds was palpable. The
farmers held onto their hopes for better crops after they
had planted the “magic” seeds. Their crops never came.
Throughout the villages in India the harvest from the
GM seeds failed. The parasites destroyed the so-called
“pest-proof” GM seeds.
Monsanto uses methods of manipulation and
misinformation to reap their own benefits and profits at
the cost of the farmers who rely on organic methods to
grow their crops and animals, a tradition that existed in
India for centuries.
By a contractual clause, the farmers could not save
Monsanto’s GM seeds for reuse after the first season.
Whether or not the farmers understood this legal binding
would merit an examination to underscore the extent of
Monsanto’s market power and conniving business
practices. Misleading and forcing farmers to buy the GM
seeds through government policy and market monopoly
must be purged as part of reforming the Indian agricultural
Action against GM seeds
Prince Charles does not like what Monsanto is doing or
causing to the lives of farmers in India. He has expressed
his contempt for the “bio-tech leaders” and “politicians”
who have caused suicides among Indian farmers. His
charity organization promotes “long-term benefits of
sustainable agriculture” that would provide “decent returns”
to the farmers.
Facing pressure from the anti-GM seed activists, NGOs,
and local communities, the Indian government gave in. In
2010, Indian Environment Minister issued a temporary
“moratorium” on Monsanto to introduce genetically
engineered egg plant seeds in India. Only time will tell how
long this policy effects will last.
In a country where money, politics, and business often go
hand in hand, the farmers are at the mercy of their own fate.
Iqbal Ahmed is a public policy graduate student at George
Mason University, Arlington, VA. He completed a study abroad
program at Oxford University, UK in summer 2011 on European
Union (EU) policies. He has written for Foreign Policy Journal,
Journal of Foreign Relations, Foreign Policy in Focus, Global
Politician, Eurasia Review, and NPR’s “This I believe.”
Continued from page 7 – The GM Debate is Over
reaction from the public cannot be stopped.
Prediction: Activist attacks on GM seeds and the criminals
who promote them The era of GMO deception is history. A
food revolution is upon us. And if governments will not
halt the mass poisoning of our world by evil corporations, I
have no doubt that the People will, by themselves,
eventually invoke other necessary methods of halting this
I predict a future where -- and for the record I DO NOT
encourage this -- shipments of GM seeds to farmers are
raided and destroyed by activists. I predict Monsanto
employees being publicly named and shamed on websites. I
predict -- but DO NOT CONDONE -- scientists who
conduct research for Monsanto being threatened,
intimidated and even physically attacked.
Again, for the record, I DO NOT IN ANY WAY condone
-9- Traditional African Clinic September 2012
Continued on page 10
Continued from page 9 – The GM Debate is Over
Monsanto GM corn.
such behavior, but I predict it will emerge as an inevitable
reaction to the unfathomable evil being committed by the
GMO industry and all its co-conspirators. The "Army of
the 12 monkeys" may become reality. (See the sci-fi
movie "12 monkeys" starring Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis.)
Rospotrebnadzor said the country’s Institute of Nutrition
has been asked to assess the validity of the study.
What we are fighting for here is the protection of our
species. We are fighting for the sanctity of life on our
planet. Those who threaten that life must be stopped from
continuing to harm us. This evil must be put back in its
box and prevented from ever threatening us again.
Even Congress is starting to state the obvious on how evil
Monsanto really is. Just yesterday, Congressman Dennis
Kucinich demanded GMO labeling in a powerful speech.
Watch that at:
It has also contacted the European Commission’s
Directorate General for Health & Consumers to ask for
the EU’s position on the corn’s safety.
Consumer scepticism in the UK and Europe means GM
corn is not on supermarket shelves here, however it is fed
to farm animals, including hens, pigs and dairy cows.
Last week Monsanto said it did not think the French
study would affect its license to export the NK603 to
Europe but would wait to hear from EFSA.
The company said: ‘Based on our initial review, we do
not believe the study presents information that would
justify any change in EFSA’s views on the safety of
genetically modified corn products or alter their approval
status for genetically modified imports.’
Continued from page 2 – Russia suspends Import
and Use of American GM Corn
The biotech industry and university researchers involved
in GM research have mounted a major PR campaign over
the last year to win over sceptical consumers.
Separately, the European Food Safety Authority(EFSA),
has ordered its own review in to the research, which was
conducted at a French university.
In the past week, pro-GM scientists have been lining up
to undermine the French experiments and criticise the
way they were conducted.
The decision by Russia could be followed by other
nations in what would be a severe blow to the take-up of
the controversial technology.
However, a number of independent academics have
praised the French team’s work, describing it as the most
thorough and extensive feeding trials involving GM to
Historically, biotech companies have proved the safety of
GM crops based on trials involving feeding rats for a
period of 90 days.
However, experts at the University of Caen conducted an
experiment running for the full lives of rats - two years.
The findings, which were peer reviewed by independent
experts before being published in a respected scientific
journal found raised levels of breast cancer, liver and
The same trials also found evidence that consumption of
minuscule amounts of a commonly used weedkiller,
Roundup, was associated with a raised risk of cancer.
Both the GM corn, which carries the name NK603, and
Roundup are the creation of US biotech company
The decision by the Russians to suspend authorisation for
the American GM corn threatens to trigger a transatlantic
commercial and diplomatic row.
Mustafa Djamgoz, the Professor of Cancer Biology, at
Imperial College, London, said the findings relating to
eating GM corn were a ‘surprise’.
Prof Djamgoz, who describes himself as a neutral on
GM, said: ‘The results are significant. The experiments
are, more or less, the best of their kind to date.’
However, he said that it is now important to ensure they
are repeated with more animals by independent
laboratories to confirm the outcome. ‘We are not
scaremongering here. More research, including a
repetition of this particular study is warranted,’ he said.
The professor said it will take two to three years to get a
Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor,
said today that it has suspended the import and use of the
-10- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Leaked: US to Start ‘Trade
Wars’ with Nations Opposed
to Monsanto, GMO Crops
By Anthony Gucciardi
January 2, 2012
The United States is threatening nations who oppose
Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) crops with
military-style trade wars, according to information
obtained and released by the organization WikiLeaks.
Nations like France, which have moved to ban one of
Monsanto’s GM corn varieties, were requested to be
‘penalized’ by the United States for opposing Monsanto
and genetically modified foods.
The information reveals just how deep Monsanto’s roots
have penetrated key positions within the United States
government, with the cables reporting that many U.S.
diplomats work directly for Monsanto.
The WikiLeaks cable reveals that in late 2007, the
United States ambassador to France and business
partner to George W. Bush, Craig Stapleton, requested
that the European Union along with particular nations
that did not support GMO crops be penalized. Stapleton,
who co-owned the Dallas/Fort Worth-based Texas
Rangers baseball bats team with Bush in the 1990s,
Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a
target retaliation list that causes some pain across the
EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also
focuses in part on the worst culprits. The list should be
measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable
over the long term, since we should not expect an early
victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the
current path has real costs to EU interests and could
help strengthen European pro-biotech voices.
The Leaked Political Agenda Behind Monsanto’s
The ambassador plainly calls for ‘target retaliation’
against nations who are against using Monsanto’s
genetically modified corn, admittedly linked to organ
damage and environmental devastation. Amazingly, this
is not an isolated case. In similar newly released cables,
United States diplomats are found to have pushed
GMO crops as a strategic government and
Furthermore, the U.S. specifically targeted advisers to
the Pope, due to the fact that many Catholic bishops and
figureheads have openly denounced GMO crops. In fact,
the Vatican has openly declared Monsanto’s GMO crops as
a ‘new form of slavery’.
'A Martino deputy told us recently that the cardinal had cooperated with embassy Vatican on biotech over the past
two years in part to compensate for his vocal disapproval of
the Iraq war and its aftermath – to keep relations with the
USG [US government] smooth. According to our source,
Martino no longer feels the need to take this approach,' says
Perhaps the most shocking piece of information exposed by
the cables is the fact that these U.S. diplomats are actually
working directly for biotech corporations like Monsanto.
The cables also highlight the relationship between the U.S.
and Spain in their conquest to persuade other nations to
allow for the expansion of GMO crops. Not only did the
Spanish government secretly correspond with the U.S.
government on the subject, but the U.S. government
actually knew beforehand how Spain would vote before the
Spanish biotech commission reported their decision
regarding GMO crops. The cable states:
'In response to recent urgent requests by [Spanish rural
affairs ministry] state secretary Josep Puxeu and Monsanto,
post requests renewed US government support of Spain’s
science-based agricultural biotechnology position through
high-level US government intervention.'
Monsanto has undoubtedly infiltrated the United States
government in order to push their health-endangering
agenda, and this has been known long before the release of
these WikiLeaks cables. The U.S. is the only place where
Monsanto’s synthetic hormone Posilac is still used in
roughly 1/3 of all cows, with 27 nations banning the
substance over legitimate health concerns. Despite
Monsanto’s best attempts at incognito political corruption,
nothing can stop the grassroots anti-Monsanto movement
that is taking over cities and nations alike.
USDA Steps Back and Gives
Monsanto More Power over
By Anthony Gucciardi
December 27, 2011
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has
decided to deregulate two of Monsanto’s genetically
-11- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 12
Continued from page 11 – USDA Steps Back and Gives
Monsanto More Power over GMO Seeds
modified seed varieties, giving the company a further
grasp on the food supply of the nation. One of the
modified corn seed varieties is engineered to resist
drought conditions, and the other is an herbicideresistant soybean that has been genetically engineered to
produce more fatty acids. Of course research has found
that Monsanto’s GMO crops, despite claims to be
resistant to herbicides and pesticides, actually require
significantly more harsh chemicals. Apparently these
studies do not concern the USDA, an organization that
has always been adamant about genetically modifying
the entire food supply.
The USDA continues to grant Monsanto further power
over itself, despite evidence linking Monsanto’s
creations to health conditions and environmental
devastation. This is also the same organization that has
continually pushed for the approval of genetically
modified salmon, which was rejected by Congress due
to health concerns. The USDA is so dedicated, in fact,
that they decided to help forward the approval of
genetically modified salmon by generously funding the
cause with nearly $500,000.
The news comes after experiments with the seeds were
conducted in five African nations, funded by the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation. Monsanto’s droughtresistant corn seeds were given to African farmers
facing drought conditions, replacing traditional and
sustainable farming with Monsanto’s GMO crops. Bill
Gates himself has purchased 500,000 Monsanto stocks
as of August 2010, and has heavy ties with Monsanto
and even genetically modified mosquitoes which could
be released in Florida early next year.
The USDA has allowed Monsanto to run rampant,
modifying staple crops, food items, and even milk.
Monsanto’s rBGH is a synthetic hormone created
using molecules and DNA sequences that are a result
of molecular cloning, which has been linked to breast
and gastrointestinal cancer. In the United States, this
synthetic hormone is present in 1/3 of all milk.
Meanwhile, it is banned in 27 countries around the
globe. Marketed under the name Posilac, Monsanto has
since sold the brand to a division of Eli Lilly and
Company, Elanco Animal Health. Eli Lilly and
Company are the makers of suicide-linked Prozac, and
were able to cover up the 1980s research which found
antidepressants to breed even more depression and
It seems rather clear that the USDA has zero regard for
the research showing the negative effects of GMO crops
on the environment and public health. Instead, they allow
for Monsanto to steamroll through the approval process
and make a fortune modifying the planet. Monsanto has
ties within the deepest levels of government, and only
through hardcore activism will they be forced to answer to
Monsanto Capitalizes on
Drought and Enslaves
By Barbara H. Peterson
August 8, 2012
Monsanto is by far one of the greatest disaster capitalists
around. Not only does this paraiah of a company
manufacture and sell genetically engineered crops (GMOs)
that actually increase drought conditions, but it is now
poised to capitalize on the very same conditions that it
helps to cause.
In “Why in the World Are They Spraying?,” we talk about
how Monsanto has a patent on genetically engineering
plants able to withstand abiotic stresses such as drought
and how it stands to profit from the effects of “climate
change.” Therefore, with drought conditions worsening,
like any good disaster capitalist, Monsanto is about to cash
in. I expected it, others expected it, and here it is… just
what we’ve been expecting…
Monsainto to the rescue with programs for farmers hit by
the drought. Oh, by the way, there is that very tiny matter
of signing the 44 page indentured servant agreement, but
don’t worry about that little detail, we’re here to help
you… really we are…
Supporting Farmers’ Ability to Invest in 2013 Planting
While crop insurance will help farmers recover from a
portion of their losses as a result of the drought, the timing
of their claim payments may make it more difficult for
them to re-invest in their businesses and prepare for the
2013 planting season. Monsanto is helping their farmer
customers in affected regions by offering additional
prepay options and financing assistance for the purchase
of their seed. Farmers in impacted areas can call 1-855379-1212 to discuss their individual situation and explore
options with a Monsanto representative.
Monsanto’s Long-Term Research to Help Farmers
Continued on page 13
-12- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 12 - Monsanto Capitalizes on Drought
and Enslaves Farmers
Beyond this year’s devastating drought, Monsanto is
committed to helping farmers mitigate their risk over the
long term. The company’s work in plant breeding and
biotechnology is focused on developing innovative
products that can help farmers manage challenging
agronomic conditions and stressors to their cropping
systems. These products can help mitigate crop losses
and the broader impact those losses have on rural
GMOs are invasive. They take over other crops,
horizontally transfer genes to other species, and land in
our guts where they mutate, cause disease, and quite
literally change our DNA. This is genetic cleansing for
humans, animals, plants, and anything that breathes.
And who gets to pick and choose just which genes are
“okay?” Not you and me, that’s for sure. At least not
until our choices are so narrowed down that the only
things available have a “Made by Monsanto” stamp on
Aspartame made with
By Anthony Gucciardi
January 05, 2012
The manufacturers of the most prevalent sweetener in
the world have a secret, and it’s not a sweet one.
Aspartame, an artificial sweetener found in thousands of
products worldwide, has been found to be created using
genetically modified (GM) bacteria. What`s even more
shocking is how long this information has been known.
A 1999 article by The Independent was the first to
expose the abominable process in which aspartame was
created. Ironically, the discovery was made around the
same time as rich leaders around the globe met at the G8
Summit to discuss the safety of GM foods.
The 1999 investigation found that Monsanto, the largest
biotech corporation in the world, often used GM
bacteria to produce aspartame in their US production
plants. The end result is a fusion between two of the
largest health hazards to ever hit the food industry —
artificial sweeteners and an array of genetically altered
organisms. Both have led to large-scale debate, with
aspartame being the subject of multiple congressional
hearings and scientific criticism.
Scientists and health advocates are not the only ones to
speak out against aspartame, however. The FDA received a
flurry of complaints from consumers using NutraSweet, a
product containing aspartame. Since 1992, the FDA has
stopped documenting reports on the subject.
The process in which aspartame is created involves
combining an amino acid known as phenylalanine with
aspartic acid. First synthesized in 1965, aspartame requires
bacteria for the sole purpose of producing phenylalanine.
Monsanto discovered that through genetically altering this
bacteria, phenylalanine could be created much more
quickly. In the report by The Independent, Monsanto
openly admitted that their mutated bacteria are a staple in
the creation process of aspartame.
“We have two strains of bacteria – one is traditionally
modified and one is genetically modified,” said the source
from Monsanto. “It’s got a modified enzyme. It has one
amino acid different.”
Multiple studies have been conducted regarding genetic
manipulation, with many grim conclusions. One study
found that the more GM corn was fed to mice, the fewer
babies they had. Another study, published in the
International Journal of Biological Sciences, found that the
organs that typically respond to chemical food poisoning
were the first to encounter problems after subjects
consumed GM foods. The same study also states that GM
foods should not be commercialized.
“For the first time in the world, we’ve proven that GMO are
neither sufficiently healthy nor proper to be
commercialized. [...] Each time, for all three GMOs, the
kidneys and liver, which are the main organs that react to a
chemical food poisoning, had problems,” indicated GillesEric Seralini, an expert member of the Commission for
Consumer groups are now curious as to whether or not
other products secretly contain genetically modified
ingredients. Due to the fact that the finished product`s DNA
does not change when using genetically modified bacteria,
it is hard to know for sure. With the FDA ruling against the
labeling of GM salmon, it is becoming more of a challenge
to determine whether or not a product contains GM
ingredients. Consumers are voicing their opposition for GM
ingredients going incognito, with the largest growing retail
brand being GMO-free products.
“The public wants to know and the public has a right to
know,” said Marion Nestle, a professor in the Nutrition,
Food Studies and Public Health Department at New York
Unveiling the secret process in which aspartame is created
-13- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 14
Continued from page 13 – Aspartame made with
given a gene from the ocean pout, an eel-like fish, and a
growth hormone from a Chinook salmon.
acts as yet another reminder to stay away from
'The public wants to know'
Consumer advocates say they worry about labeling for
genetically engineered beef, pork and other fish, which are
lining up behind the salmon for federal approval.
artificial sweeteners, and one should choose
natural alternatives such as palm sugar, xylitol, or
FDA Rules won't require
Labeling of Genetically
By Lyndsey Layton
September 18, 2010
As the Food and Drug Administration considers
whether to approve genetically modified salmon, one
thing seems certain: Shoppers staring at fillets in the
seafood department will find it tough to pick out the
conventional fish from the one created with genes from
Despite a growing public demand for more information
about how food is produced, that won't happen with the
salmon because of idiosyncracies embedded in federal
The FDA says it cannot require a label on the
genetically modified food once it determines that the
altered fish is not "materially" different from other
salmon - something agency scientists have said is true.
Perhaps more surprising, conventional food makers say
the FDA has made it difficult for them to boast that
their products do not contain genetically modified
The labeling question has emerged as the FDA
determines whether to approve the fish, an Atlantic
salmon known as AquAdvantage that grows twice as
fast as its natural counterpart. The decision carries great
weight because, while genetically modified agriculture
has been permitted for years and engineered crops are
widely used in processed foods, this would be the first
modified animal allowed for human consumption in the
United States. The AquAdvantage salmon has been
"The public wants to know and the public has a right to
know," said Marion Nestle, a professor in the Nutrition,
Food Studies and Public Health Department at New York
University. "I think the agency has discretion, but it's under
enormous political pressure to approve [the salmon]
The debate will be taken up this week, with an advisory
committee meeting Sunday and Monday on whether to
allow the modified fish, and a separate panel meeting
Tuesday on whether the fish should be labeled. The panels
will offer recommendations to the FDA commissioner, who
will decide both matters.
The biotechnology industry is opposed to mandatory
labeling, saying it will only bewilder a public that is not
well informed about genetic engineering.
"Extra labeling only confuses the consumer," said David
Edwards, director of animal biotechnology at the
Biotechnology Industry Organization. "It differentiates
products that are not different. As we stick more labels on
products that don't really tell us anything more, it makes it
harder for consumers to make their choices."
The FDA defends its approach, saying it is simply
following the law, which prohibits misleading labels on
food. And the fact that a food, in this case salmon, is
produced through a different process is not sufficient to
require a label.
The controversy comes at a time when Americans seem to
want to know more about their food - where it is grown,
how it is produced and what it contains. Books criticizing
industrial agriculture have become bestsellers, farmers
markets are expanding and organic food is among the
fastest-growing segments of the food industry.
The FDA itself is part of a new effort to improve nutrition
information on processed foods.
In the European Union and Japan, it is nearly impossible to
find genetically modified foods, largely because laws
require labeling, said William K. Hallman, director of the
Food Policy Institute at Rutgers University. "No one wants
to carry products with such a label," he said. "The food
companies figure that consumers won't buy it."
There is nothing to stop salmon producers or food makers
in the United States from voluntarily labeling their products
-14- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 15
Continued from page 14 – FDA Rules won't require
Labeling of Genetically Modified Salmon
spread label because GMO refers to genetically modified
organisms and strawberries are produce, not organisms.
as genetically engineered - except a fear of rejection in
the marketplace, Hallman said. "I don't know of a single
company that does that," he said.
It told the maker of Spectrum Canola Oil that it could
not use a label that included a red circle with a line
through it and the words "GMO," saying the symbol
suggested that there was something wrong with
genetically engineered food.
The FDA maintains it can only require labeling if a
genetically engineered food is somehow different from
the conventional version - if it has an unusual texture,
taste, nutritional component or allergen, for example.
Although some consumer advocates maintain there are
important differences, the agency's scientists have
already said they see no "biologically relevant"
variations between the AquAdvantage salmon and
Consumers could be certain of getting the non-modified
version if they bought salmon labeled as "wild," but
most salmon consumed in this country is farmed.
Ever since the FDA approved the first genetically altered
material for use in food in 1992, when Monsanto
developed a synthetic hormone injected into cows to
increase milk production, the agency has held that it
cannot require food producers to label products as
In the intervening years, the use of genetically
engineered crops has skyrocketed; 93 percent of this
year's soybean crop is genetically engineered, according
to the U.S. Agriculture Department.
Byproducts of those crops - soy lecithin, for example are found in thousands of processed foods from
chocolate bars to breakfast cereal; none is labeled as
containing genetically modified ingredients.
No 'Hormone Free' either
The labeling matter is further complicated because the
FDA has maintained a tough stance for food makers
who don't use genetically engineered ingredients and
want to promote their products as an alternative. The
agency allows manufacturers to label their products as
not genetically engineered as long as those labels are
accurate and do not imply that the products are therefore
The agency warned the dairy industry in 1994 that it
could not use "Hormone Free" labeling on milk from
cows that are not given engineered hormones, because
all milk contains some hormones.
It has sent a flurry of enforcement letters to food makers,
including B&G Foods, which was told it could not use
the phrase "GMO-free" on its Polaner All Fruit
strawberry spread label because GMO refers to the
phrase "GMO-free" on its Polaner All Fruit strawberry
"This to me raises questions about whose interest the
FDA is protecting," said Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (DOhio), who has introduced legislation that would require
labeling for genetically engineered food. "They are
clearly protecting industry and not the public."
One state with a sizable salmon fishing industry - Alaska
- passed a law in 2005 that requires labeling of any
genetically engineered fish sold there.
"One side of the argument says let's give consumers
sovereignty over their food choices," Hallman said. "The
other says we've done the science on this and it's no
different, so if we put a label on it, we're implying it's
somehow risky and that's like government imposed false
Top 10 GM Foods to Avoid
By Elizabeth Renter
29 July 2012
Genetically modified foods have been shown to cause
harm to humans, animals, and the environmental, and
despite growing opposition, more and more foods
continue to be genetically altered. It’s important to note
that steering clear from these foods completely may be
difficult, and you should merely try finding other sources
than your big chain grocer. If produce is certified
USDA-organic, its non-GMO (or supposed to be!) Also,
seek out local farmers and booths at farmer’s markets
where you can be assured the crops aren’t GMO. Even
better, if you are so inclined: Start organic gardening and
grow them yourself. Until then, here are the top 10
worst GMO foods for your “do not eat” GMO foods list.
Top 10 Worst GMO Foods for Your GMO Foods List
1. Corn: This is a no-brainer. If you’ve watched any
food documentary, you know corn is highly modified.
“As many as half of all U.S. farms growing corn for
Monsanto are using genetically modified corn,” and
much of it is intended for human consumption.
-15- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued to page 16
Continued from page 15 Top10 GM Foods to Avoid
Monsanto’s GMO corn has been tied to numerous
health issues, including weight gain and organ
With little regulation and safety tests performed by the
companies doing the genetic modifications themselves, we
have no way of knowing for certain what risks these labcreated foods pose to us outside of what we already know.
2. Soy: Found in tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil,
soy flour, and numerous other products, soy is also
modified to resist herbicides. As of now, biotech giant
Monsanto still has a tight grasp on the soybean market,
with approximately 90 percent of soy being genetically
engineered to resist Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. In
one single year, 2006, 96.7 million pounds of
glyphosate was sprayed on soybeans alone.
3. Sugar: According to NaturalNews, geneticallymodified sugar beets were introduced to the U.S.
market in 2009. Like others, they’ve been modified by
Monsanto to resist herbicides. Monsanto has even had
USDA and court-related issues with the planting of its
sugar beets, being ordered to remove seeds from the
soil due to illegal approval.
4. Aspartame: Aspartame is a toxic additive used in
numerous food products, and should be avoided for
numerous reasons, including the fact that it is created
with genetically modified bacteria.
5. Papayas: This one may come as a surprise to all of
you tropical-fruit lovers. GMO papayas have been
grown in Hawaii for consumption since 1999. Though
they can’t be sold to countries in the European Union,
they are welcome with open arms in the U.S. and
6. Canola: One of the most chemically altered foods in
the U.S. diet, canola oil is obtained from rapeseed
through a series of chemical actions.
7. Cotton: Found in cotton oil, cotton originating in
India and China in particular has serious risks.
8. Dairy: Your dairy products contain growth
hormones, with as many as one-fifth of all dairy cows
in America are pumped with these hormones. In fact,
Monsanto’s health-hazardous rBGH has been banned
in 27 countries, but is still in most US cows. If you
must drink milk, buy organic.
9. and 10. Zucchini and Yellow Squash: Closely
related, these two squash varieties are modified to
The dangers of some of these foods are well-known.
The Bt toxin being used in GMO corn, for example,
was recently detected in the blood of pregnant women
and their babies.
But perhaps more frightening are the risks that are still
The best advice: steer clear of them altogether.
Briefing: Food Safety for
GRAIN media release | 5 May 2011
A new briefing by GRAIN looks at how “food safety” is
being used as a tool to increase corporate control over food
and agriculture and what people are doing about it.
School children in the US were served 200,000 kilos of meat
contaminated with a deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria
before the nation’s second largest meat packer issued a
recall in 2009. A year earlier, six babies died and 300,000
others got horribly sick with kidney problems in China when
one of the country’s top dairy producers knowingly allowed
an industrial chemical into its milk supply. Across the world,
people are getting sick and dying from food like never
Governments and corporations are responding with all kinds
of rules and regulations, but few have anything to do with
public health. The trade agreements, laws and private
standards used to impose their version of “food safety” only
entrench corporate food systems that make us sick and
devastate those that truly feed and care for people, those
based on biodiversity, traditional knowledge, and local
“Corporations are increasingly in the driver’s seat because
they set the standards and implement them while
governments merely frame the rules and clean up the mess,”
says GRAIN Director Henk Hobbelink. “These food and
agriculture standards are spreading everywhere and are
being used by Walmart and other corporations to organise
markets according to their interests.”
“Small-scale food producers, processors and vendors are
getting shut out of markets or criminalised for their
traditional practices, even though the corporate food system
is the central problem,” says Hobbelink.
People are resisting, however, whether its movements
against GMOs in Benin and “mad cow” beef in Korea or
campaigns to defend street hawkers in India and raw milk
-16- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 19
African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
Volume 7, Issue 11
Myths about Industrial Agriculture
Organic farming is the "only way to produce food" without harming the planet and people's
By Vandana Shiva
One example of an industrial agriculture myth is found in
"The Great Organic Myths" by Rob Johnston, published
in the August 8 issue of The Tribune. It tries to argue:
"Organic foods are not healthier or better for the
environment - and they're packed with pesticides. In an
age of climate change and shortages, these foods are an
indulgence the world can't afford."
This article had been published in the Independent and
rebutted, but was used by the Tribune without the
"The food revolution is the biggest revolution of our times, and
the industry is panicking," says Vandana Shiva [AFP]
Reports trying to create doubts about organic agriculture
are suddenly flooding the media. There are two reasons
for this. Firstly, people are fed up of the corporate assault
of toxics and GMOs. Secondly, people are turning to
organic agriculture and organic food as a way to end the
toxic war against the earth and our bodies.
At a time when industry has set its eyes on the super
profits to be harvested from seed monopolies through
patented seeds and seeds engineered with toxic genes and
genes for making crops resistant to herbicides, people are
seeking food freedom through organic, non-industrial
The food revolution is the biggest revolution of our times,
and the industry is panicking. So it spins propaganda,
hoping that in the footsteps of Goebbels, a lie told a
hundred times will become the truth. But food is
We are what we eat. We are our own barometers. Our
farms and our bodies are our labs, and every farmer and
every citizen is a scientist who knows best how bad
farming and bad food hurts the land and our health, and
how good farming and good food heals the planet and
Every argument in the article is fraudulent.
The dominant myth of industrial agriculture is that it
produces more food and is land-saving. However, the
more industrial agriculture spreads, the more hungry
people we have. And the more industrial agriculture
spreads, the more land is grabbed.
The dominant myth of industrial agriculture is that it
produces more food and is land-saving. However, the
more industrial agriculture spreads, the more hungry
people we have. And the more industrial agriculture
spreads, the more land is grabbed.
The case against industrial agriculture
Productivity in industrial agriculture is measured in terms
of "yield" per acre, not overall output. And the only input
taken into account is labor, which is abundant, not natural
resources which are scarce.
A resource hungry and resource destructive system of
agriculture is not land saving, it is land demanding. That
is why industrial agriculture is driving a massive
planetary land grab. It is leading to the deforestation of
the rainforests in the Amazon for soya and in Indonesia
for palm oil. And it is fueling a land grab in Africa,
displacing pastoralists and peasants.
-17- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 18
Continued from page 17 – Myths about Industrial
According to the FAO International Technical
Conference on Plant Genetic Resources in Leipzig
(1995), industrial agriculture is responsible for 75 per
cent biodiversity erosion, 75 per cent water destruction,
75 per cent land degradation and 40 per cent greenhouse
gases. It is too heavy a burden on the planet. And as the
270,000 farmers' suicides since 1997 in India show, it is
too heavy a burden on our farmers.
The toxics and poisons used in chemical farming are
creating a health burden for our society. Remember
Bhopal. Remember the Endosulfan victims in Kerala.
And remember Punjab's Cancer train.
Navdanya's forthcoming report "Poisons in our Food" is
a synthesis of all studies on the health burden of
pesticides which are used in industrial agriculture but
not in organic farming.
Industrial agriculture is an inefficient and wasteful
system which is chemical intensive, fossil fuel intensive
and capital intensive. It destroys nature's capital on the
one hand and society’s capital on the other, by
displacing small farms and destroying health. According
to David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agricultural
sciences at Cornell University, it uses 10 units of energy
as input to produce one unit of energy as food.
This waste is amplified by another factor of 10 when
animals are put in factory farms and fed grain, instead of
grass in free range ecological systems. Rob Johnston
celebrates these animal prisons as efficient, ignoring the
fact that it takes 7kg of grain to produce one kg of beef,
4kg of grain to produce 1kg of pork and 2.4kg of grain
to produce 1kg of chicken.
The diversion of food grains to feed is a major
contributor to world hunger. And the shadow acres to
produce this grain are never counted. Europe uses 7
times the area outside Europe to produce feed for its
Small farms of the world provide 70 per cent of the
food, yet are being destroyed in the name of low
"yields". Eighty eight per cent of the food is consumed
within the same eco-region or country where it is
Industrialization and globalization is the exception, not
the norm. And where industrialization has not destroyed
small farms and local food economies, biodiversity and
food are bringing sustenance to people. The biodiversity
of agriculture is being maintained by small farmers.
As the ETC report states in "Who Will Feed Us", “Pea-
sants breed and nurture 40 livestock species and almost
8,000 breeds. Peasants also breed 5,000 domesticated
crops and have donated more than 1.9 million plant
varieties to the world's gene banks."
"Peasant fishers harvest and protect more than 15,000
freshwater species. The work of peasants and pastoralists
maintaining soil fertility is 18 times more valuable than
the synthetic fertilizers provided by the seven largest
When this biodiversity rich food system is replaced by
industrial monocultures, when food is commoditized, the
result is hunger and malnutrition. Of the world's 6.6bn,
1bn are not getting enough food; another billion might get
enough calories but not enough nutrition, especially micro
Another 1.3bn who are obese suffer malnutrition of being
condemned to artificially cheap, calorie-rich, nutrientpoor processed food.
Half of the world's population is a victim of structural
hunger and food injustice in today's dominant design for
food. We have had hunger in the past, but it was caused
by external factors - wars and natural disasters. It was
localized in space and time.
Today's hunger is permanent and global. It is hunger by
design. This does not mean that those who design the
contemporary food systems intend to create hunger. It
does mean that creation of hunger is built into the
corporate design of industrial production and globalized
distribution of food.
A series of media reports have covered another study by a
team led by Bravata, a senior affiliate with Stanford's
Center for Health Policy, and Crystal Smith-Spangler,
MD, MS, an instructor in the school's Division of General
Medical Disciplines and a physician-investigator at VA
Palo Alto Health Care System, who did the most
comprehensive meta-analysis to date of existing studies
comparing organic and conventional foods.
They did not find strong evidence that organic foods are
more nutritious or carry fewer health risks than
conventional alternatives, though consumption of organic
foods can reduce the risk of pesticide exposure.
This study can hardly be called the "most comprehensive
meta - analysis"; the researchers sifted through thousands
of papers and identified 237 of the most relevant to
analyze. This already exposes the bias. The biggest metaanalysis on food and agriculture has been done by the
United Nations as the International Assessment of
Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for
-18- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 19
Continued from page 18 – Myths about Industrial Agriculture
Four hundred scientists from across the world worked for
four years to analyze all publications on different
approaches to agriculture, and concluded that chemical
industrial agriculture is no longer an option, only
ecological farming is.
Yet the Stanford team presents itself as the most
comprehensive study, and claims there are no health
benefits from organic agriculture, even though there were
no long-term studies of health outcomes of people
consuming organic versus conventionally produced food;
the duration of the studies involving human subjects
ranged from two days to two years.
Two days does not make a scientific study. No impact can
be measured in a two-day study. This is junk science
parading as science.
One principle about food and health is that our food is as
healthy as the soil on which it grows is. And it is as
deficient as the soils become with chemical farming.
Industrial chemical agriculture creates hunger and
malnutrition by robbing crops of nutrients. Industrially
produced food is nutritionally empty mass, loaded with
chemicals and toxins. Nutrition in food comes from the
nutrients in the soil.
Industrial agriculture, based on the NPK mentality of
synthetic nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium-based
fertilizers leads to depletion of vital micronutrients and
trace elements such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron.
David Thomas, a geologist-turned-nutritionist, discovered
that between 1940 and 1991, vegetables had lost - on an
average - 24 per cent of their magnesium, 46 per cent of
their calcium, 27 per cent of their iron and no less than 76
per cent of their copper (Ref: David Thomas "A study on
the mineral depletion of the foods available to us as a
nation over the period 1940 to 1991", Nutrition and
Health, 2003; 17(2): 85-115).
Carrots had lost 75 per cent of their calcium, 46 per cent of
their iron, and 75 per cent of their copper. Potatoes had
lost 30 per cent of their magnesium, 35 per cent calcium,
45 per cent iron and 47 per cent copper.
To get the same amount of nutrition, people will need to
eat much more food. The increase in "yields" of empty
mass does not translate into more nutrition. In fact it is
leading to malnutrition.
The IAASTD recognizes that through an agro-ecological
approach "agro-ecosystems of even the poorest societies
have the potential through ecological agriculture and IPM
to meet or significantly exceed yields produced by
conventional methods, reduce the demand for land con-
version for agriculture, restore ecosystem services
(particularly water) reduce the use of and need for
synthetic fertilizers derived from fossil fuels, and the use
of harsh insecticides and herbicides".
Our 25 years of experience in Navdanya shows that
ecological, organic farming is the only way to produce
food without harming the planet and people's health. This
is a trend that will grow, no matter how many pseudoscientific stories are planted in the media by the industry.
© 2012 Vandana Shiva. Dr. Vandana Shiva is a philosopher,
environmental activist and eco feminist. She is the
founder/director of Navdanya Research Foundation for
Science, Technology, and Ecology. She is author of numerous
books including, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age
of Climate Crisis; Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global
Food Supply; Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and
Peace; and Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development.
Continued on page 16 – Briefing: Food Safety for
in Colombia. The question of who defines “food safety”
is increasingly central to the struggle over the future of
food and agriculture.
“Real food safety and food quality comes from balances,
not extreme hygiene through industrial technologies,”
For a copy of the synopsis or the full briefing, Food
safety for whom? Corporate wealth versus people’s
health, please visit: http://www.grain.org/briefings/?id=222
Ugandan Scientists grow GM
Banana as Disease threatens
Country's Staple Food
Ban on GM crops waived after bacterial disease causes
annual banana crop losses of $500m
By Xan Rice in Galamba
9 March 2011
Most countries would resent being called a banana
republic. Uganda prides itself on it. A typical adult here
eats at least three times his or her body weight in bananas
-19- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 20
Continued from page 19 – Ugandan Scientists grow GM
Banana as Disease threatens Country's Staple Food
each year, more than anywhere else on Earth. Different
varieties are steamed, boiled, roasted, turned into gin and
beer, or simply peeled and eaten raw, such as the tiny
sukali ndizi, considered by some experts to be finest
banana in the world.
"Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 365 days a year," said
Arthur Kamenya, whose taste for the fruit is so strong he
quit his job as a graphic designer to grow it
commercially. "And people still crave more."
But it is a craving under threat. In recent years a
devastating bacterial disease has swept across Uganda
and, to a lesser extent, neighbouring countries, causing
annual banana crop losses to the region of more than
$500m (£310m). The rapid spread of banana
Xanthomonas wilt, or BXW, which destroys the entire
plant and contaminates the soil, "has endangered the
livelihoods of millions of farmers who rely on banana for
staple food and income", according to an article in the
journal Molecular Plant Pathology last year.
With no resistant varieties or chemical cures available,
growers such as Kamenya have been forced to destroy
large sections of their plantations. For smaller farmers the
damage has been so severe many have given up on the
But local scientists have not. On a sprawling campus
outside Kampala, Wilberforce Tushemereirwe and his
colleagues at the National Banana Research Programme
have been on a quest to defeat the disease by building a
better banana. This has involved adding to the fruit a
sweet pepper gene that has already improved disease
resistance in several vegetables.
Laboratory tests on the genetically modified bananas
have been highly promising, with six out of eight strains
proving 100% resistant to BXW. Field tests have now
started in a fenced-off, guarded plot on the edge of the
Results from the trials, expected later this year, could
have a strong bearing on the country's future food
security – and indeed its entire policy on agriculture. GM
crops are still banned in Uganda, and the scientists had to
get special permission just to conduct their tests. While
acknowledging that it is a highly controversial topic,
Tushemereirwe says the risk of doing nothing is too
"If we just leave this, bananas will slowly disappear from
Uganda," he said.
only identified further south in 2001, initially in Uganda
and then Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania. Uganda was particularly
vulnerable because of the scale of its banana production,
second only to India which has a population 35 times
With a single plant lasting for many years and providing
a large bunch of fruit every few months, bananas are a
key crop for small farmers. They are also a crucial source
of sustenance, accounting for more than 30% of
Ugandans' daily calorie intake. According to
Tushemereirwe, the average adult eats 200-250kg (440lb550lb) of bananas a year – and twice that in some areas.
Most of that is matooke, a long green banana, which is
usually steamed and mashed and eaten with beans, peanut
sauce or meat. That's what Kamenya planted six years
ago on his farm in Galamba, about an hour's drive from
the Ugandan capital. But soon he realised some of the
plants were sick, with yellowing leaves and the fruit
Kamenya, a powerfully built 37-year-old, was forced to
dig up 1,500 of his 4,500 plants, destroy them, and allow
the soil to lie fallow for at least six months. He also had
to sterilise his farm tools. This eventually helped control
the disease, though he still has problems. "Look how this
plant has rotted," he said, slicing through the trunk of a
banana plant with a knife to reveal yellow ooze.
Few areas of Uganda have escaped the disease, which is
transported by insects such as bees and wasps. But
traditional farming practices also ensured its rapid spread.
Infected "suckers" – young shoots of banana plants – are
shared with neighbours, while the use of banana leaves to
cover bunches of fruit headed to market quickly
transferred the disease to new areas.
In central Uganda, one of the main banana-growing
regions, BXW hit up to 80% of farms, sometimes wiping
out entire fields. Small-scale farmers, who could not
afford to let their gardens lie empty for months before
replanting, switched to other crops.
Tushemereirwe, with the International Institute for
Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and African Agricultural
Technology Foundation (AATF), decided a GM solution
was the best way forward. Academia Sinica, the
Taiwanese research institute that pioneered the sweet
pepper gene technology, agreed to issue them with a
royalty-free licence. The sweet pepper gene –
successfully transplanted into the other vegetables, but
never before a banana – produces a protein that kills cells
infected by disease-spreading bacteria.
BXW was first reported in Ethiopia in the 1960s, but was
-20- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 21
Continued from page 20 – Ugandan Scientists grow GM
Banana as Disease threatens Country's Staple Food
Leena Tripathi, a plant biotechnologist at IITA who
helped steer the project, said introducing the gene did not
affect the quality of the banana and presented no health
risks. "The beauty of the genetic engineering is that you
can be very precise," she said.
Other GM banana experiments are under way in Uganda,
including one to fortify the fruit with iron and vitamin A.
But concern about GM foods in Uganda means they
could face a long battle before any of the transgenic
bananas find their way on to the market.
First GM Camels to be
engineered for Drug
BY REHAB ABD ALMOHSEN
3 September 2012
[CAIRO] Researchers in Dubai hope to create the first
genetically modified (GM) camels capable of producing
pharmaceutical proteins in their milk,which can then be
processed to manufacture cheaper drugs for the region.
A study by Enoch Kikulwe, assistant professor of
international food economics at the University of
Göttingen, Germany, revealed more opposition to GM
crops among the elite than those in poorer villages. Most
studies show that better education led to more acceptance
of GM foods, he said.
The project aims to slash the prices of life-saving drugs
— including insulin, and clotting factors for treating
haemophilia — in the Middle East and North Africa,
according to Nisar Wani, head of the Reproductive
Biology Laboratory at Dubai's Camel Reproduction
Center, in the United Arab Emirates.
But for Kamenya the farmer, – who falls into the elite
category – the anti-GM stance was hypocritical. "Most of
the people against this have choices," he said, a pot of
matooke steaming nearby. "Somebody who is hungry
does not have a choice. GM, organic or whatever – you
have to feed the people."
The cost of camel milk in the region is comparable to that
of cow's milk, but the former is more suited to local
climates, said Wani. Camels are highly resistant to
disease, easier to maintain in the region's arid climate,
and are more efficient in converting food [into body
mass] than cows.
How to eat them, Uganda style
The super-sweet dessert bananas are the easy option. The
home-brewed banana gin is a choice for only the highly
adventurous. For authenticity, however, matooke, the
national staple that looks like buttery mashed potato on
the plate, is the only way to go.
"We are establishing camel cells modified with
exogenous [foreign] DNA, for use in producing
transgenic cloned animals, or GM camels," Wani told
SciDev.Net. "Hopefully we will transfer camel transgenic
embryos to surrogate mothers for the first time later this
Also known as east African highland bananas, the green
matooke fruits are for cooking only – ideally steamed on
an open fire. To start, water is poured into a large pot and
covered with banana stalks. The peeled bananas are
wrapped in the plant leaves, with the bundle lowered into
the pot, resting on the stalks, above the water.
Wani said he was unable to pinpoint when the first
transgenic animal would be born, as the calving rate for
cloned embryos was only five per cent, and "this rate gets
even smaller when transgenic cells are used".
The fruit is then steamed for a few hours, going from
hard to soft, white to yellow. Still wrapped in the leaves,
the bananas are then mashed.
"Producing a transgenic animal will bring the Emirates to
the top of the international research field," Serge
Muyldermans, head of the Laboratory of Cellular and
Molecular Immunology at Vrije University Brussel, in
Belgium, told SciDev.Net.* "However, so far they have
just been repeating what others are doing with goats and
The dish can then be served on a new leaf, together with
beans, other vegetables or peanut sauce.
It is an acquired taste, and to the uninitiated it can seem
heavy and bland. But once you've got it, Ugandans say,
there's no going back to rice and potatoes.
"We have crossed some critical barriers but still need to
do a lot of work to reach the final destination," he added.
"Cows would be better producers of transgenic protein as
they produce more milk," Muyldermans said. "But as
camels can be kept in arid areas and are used to living
under harsh conditions, they might be better suited to the
Continued on page 22
-21- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 21 – First GM Camels to be engineered
for Drug Production
The Reproductive Biology Laboratory was established in
Dubai in 2003, to study the reproductive techniques in
species from the region, particularly camels.
"[Previously] there was little or no literature available on
assisted reproductive techniques in camels, so we had to
standardise all the basic techniques one by one,"
explained Wani. "Finally, in 2009, we produced the first
cloned camel calf — named Injaz — and thereafter
produced many more."
The lab's researchers have established a cell bank from
'elite' camels, which excel in milk production and
adapting to drought and hot weather, and now plan to
clone these animals.
The researchers are also setting up a cell bank for the
region's other critically endangered species.
*This article was updated on 26 September 2012 to say that
Vrije University Brussel is in Belgium, not the Netherlands as
Tanzania: Cow's Milk Not
Suitable to Babies
By Dr Ali Mzige
27 May 2012
Tanzania Daily News
Milk is the perfect food for babies. Make no mistake:
breast is best for each of the 4,300 species of mammals
on earth, because each mammal's milk is precisely
designed and balanced for its own young.
That is why cow's milk is best for baby calves. Ideally
cow's milk shouldn't be given to human babies. In the
USA, the American College of Pediatrics strongly urges
that cow's milk should not be given to children until they
are at least 1 year old.
There are many good reasons for this. A few examples,
applicable to the US but it could be the same in many
parts of the world including developing countries.
Allergies and asthma have reached epidemic proportions
in the United States; it is also coming to us in the
developing world, including Tanzania, as we notice
happy wheezers (asthmatic children who are doing well).
Infants not exposed to cow's milk develop far fewer
They also experience much less colic, eczema, nasal and
bronchial congestion. Babies need the antibodies
(immunities) found in breast milk to protect them from
infectious diseases. Scientists have discovered more than
90 elements in mother's milk, with concentrations
changing to accommodate the needs of the developing
child. Mother's milk cannot be manufactured in any
laboratory on earth even if that work will be done in the
Breast milk is sterile, unlike cow's milk, which is
regularly contaminated. The protein in cow's milk is
suspected of being able to trigger Type 1 (juvenile)
diabetes. This condition is not easy to treat, and the
treatment of choice is life long insulin given by injection.
We are seeing cases of juvenile diabetes in our set up
now than in the past, may be because of better diagnostic
and medical health facilities that can cope and the parents
support and understanding.
Despite antibiotics, infants fed on formula or cow's milk
are 70 per cent more likely to develop diarrhea and ear
infections when compared to babies exclusively breastfed. Even after the age of one, as parents we need to
know how much milk should we feed our babies? On the
average it is the excessive milk that is offered to children
and adults that bring in obesity in the very early age in
Whole milk, when calculated in percent in calories, is 50
per cent fat (much of it saturated) and 20 percent protein.
It contains cholesterol and has no dietary fibre. Drinking
milk puts added burdens on already overloaded metabolic
system. Nonfat milk (skim milk) is the best choice for
those who wish to drink milk. It has no fat, and is
virtually cholesterol-free, yet retains its other nutrients.
It is true that milk is high in calcium, but that is not the
whole story. The dairy industry capitalizes on the concern
about osteoporosis (loss of calcium from the bones) and
pushes its products beyond all reason. International
studies have showed that a high calcium intake does not
necessarily insure or protect against osteoporosis.
Eskimos have eaten in excess of 2,000 milligrams of
calcium per day, yet osteoporosis is rampant in that
Generally speaking, cultures with the highest milk
consumption (we need to investigate on the Maasais)
have the highest rates of osteoporosis, a disease rarely
found in non-milk-drinking countries. While milk carries
plenty of calcium; its relatively high protein content,
when added to the large amounts of protein consumed in
the form of meat, chicken, and fish, actually sucks out
calcium from the bones as it is being metabolized.
-22- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 23
Continued from page 22 – Tanzania: Cow's Milk Not
Suitable to Babies
nonfat form-in small quantities such as in cooking or on
breakfast in porridge.
In order to save calcium loss people are advised, not to
take more calcium, but eat less protein, salt and caffeine.
This allows the body to conserve the calcium already
stored in the bones. Only 25 to 30 percent of the calcium
in milk is absorbed by the human body. The incidence of
coronary heart disease in North America is much higher
than in non-milk drinking cultures. Whole milk, with its
saturated fat and cholesterol, contributes to heart disease.
Certain proteins raise blood cholesterol levels, and
casein, a common milk protein, is one of the worst. Each
animal's milk is designed to fit the growth rates of its own
young. Human babies develop very slowly, and the
composition of human milk reflects the difference.
Animal milks may contribute to the earlier maturation
noted in many of today's children. After weaning humans
have a high percentage of lactose intolerance (inability to
digest milk sugar properly).
This is evidenced by excessive gas, cramps and diarrhea.
Roughly 75 percent of the world's population has this
Milk is the most common cause of food allergies. Those
who suffer from asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, hay fever
and digestive disorders do better when they stop drinking
milk. Several studies have implicated milk and other
dairy products as probable contributors to breast cancer.
In men who regularly drink more than two glasses of
milk per day, prostate cancer risk jumped 400 percent.
Just as some bacteria can survive the pasteurization
process, so do many viruses, including certain leukemia
and sarcoma viruses (causing cancer). Another worry
which has not occurred so far in Africa (as far as I know)
is that prions, which come from cattle with mad cow
disease, could contaminate the milk.
Not even boiling will inactivate these disease causing
prions. Infectious agents can be effectively transmitted
through milk, ice cream, and cheese. Hormones,
antibiotic residues, viruses, pesticides like DDT (which
many Tanzanians would like to use for killing
mosquitoes-but note if our milk and cows meat are
contaminated with DDT it will be unfit for human
consumption locally and internationally).
Aflatoxin contamination with animal feeds should be
avoided by feeding cows with properly hygienically
feeds. Aflatoxin (type of toxic fungus) in milk causes
cancer of the liver and kwashiorkor in children fed with
such milk. Point to note, many people live their whole
lives in good health without drinking milk or using other
dairy products. If used, milk should be consumed in
Monsanto’s Cloned Growth
Hormone rBST still
Contaminates US Milk
By Elizabeth Renter
July 2, 2012
Breast-feeding mothers are often cautioned against
eating and drinking certain things; it’s because some of
these things can find their way into their breast milk
and then their baby. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, that
some of the hormones and antibiotics given to dairy
cattle would make their way into your milk carton? One
hormone, recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST,
is given to about 20% of dairy cattle in the United
States, having unknown effects on individuals who
consume their milk.
Is rBST safe?
IS rBST safe? That depends on who you ask.
Companies like Monsanto, the original producer of
Posilac (an rBST) product had to reluctantly put safety
warnings on the sides of their packages—admitting that
it has about 20 “toxic effects” on the cows.
It’s a hormone that forces cows to produce more milk.
More milk = more money, but the hormone makes the
cows sick. Among other things, it causes mastitis
which is an infection of the udder. This infection causes
pus to be released into the milk. Yes, pus is in your
In turn, large scale dairy operations that use rBST must
use more antibiotics in the cows to counter the
infection causing effects of the hormones.
According to the Organic Consumers Association, Dr.
Samuel S. Epstein of the Cancer Prevention Coalition
rBST milk is chemically and nutritionally different
than natural milk.
Milk from cows injected with rBST is
contaminated with the hormone, traces of which are
absorbed through the gut into the blood of people
who consume this milk or products made from it.
-23- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 24
Continued from page 23 - Monsanto’s Cloned Growth
Hormone rBST still Contaminates US Milk
with high levels of the natural growth factor (IGF-1),
which is readily absorbed through the gut.
Excess levels of IGF-1 have been incriminated in
well-documented scientific publications as causes of
breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Additionally, IGF1 blocks natural defense mechanisms against early
Interestingly, numerous large and wealthy countries have
banned the use of hormones in milk including all countries
of the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Japan,
Canada, and New Zealand. The United States, obviously
What does this mean for you?
It simply gives you another reason to buy organic,
hormone-free dairy products (if you must consume dairy).
And if you think you can do without dairy—it’s just
another reason to go vegan or simply avoid dairy.
rBGH Milk Production: Animal
Cruelty, Genetically Modified
Hormones and E. Coli
By Brandon Turbeville
May 14, 2011
With the current controversy surrounding the govern-ment
crackdown on wholesome, organic, and locally produced
milk, it is important to understand the products we are
being pushed toward, as well as those we are being pushed
away from. While the benefits of organic and raw milk is
largely undeniable when compared to the industrially
produced substitute, the dangers of the latter are not
discussed quite as frequently. Of these dangers, rBGH is a
Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (also known as
Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin) is a genetically
engineered hormone that is injected into cows for the
purpose of increasing milk production. It is derived
from bovine somatotropin (bST) which is a hormone that
is produced naturally in the cattle by the pituitary gland.
This hormone is very important for growth and
development, as well as other functions of the animal’s
Sometime in the 1930s it was discovered that injecting
cattle with bST increased milk production. However,
because bST is produced in the animal itself, the only
source available was in the pituitary glands of the
slaughtered cattle. Genetic engineering thus came into
By removing the bovine gene which controls the
production of bST and inserting it into a bacterium
called Escherichia Coli (E. Coli), scientists and
manufacturers are able to reproduce large amounts of
bST. This is due to the fact that E. Coli replicates in the
human intestinal tract where it is originally found.
Essentially, it acts as an industrial unit for the
production of bST.
This Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is then
injected into the cattle where it replicates causing an
increase in milk production. This concept of genetic
combination is the foundation for the name
“Recombinant” Growth Hormone or Bovine
As with any GM food, there are very serious health
problems associated with the use of rBGH that affect
both humans and the animals that are injected with it.
Cows who receive the hormone, in addition to the
deplorable conditions in which they already find
themselves, often develop a condition called
mastitis, an extremely painful inflammation of the
Of the two forms of mastitis (infectious and noninfectious) non-infectious mastitis accounts for only
1% of the cases in existence and is mainly a result of
some kind of injury. The other 99% are a result of
infections largely due to bacteria produced by the
animals’ living conditions and the rBGH they receive.
There are subsequently four categories of mastitis:
peracute, acute, subacute, and subclinical. Of the four,
subclinical is the most difficult to diagnose due to the
lack of visible physical symptoms. For the most
part, it is detected by somatic cell counts.
However, the three other forms of mastitis do render
physical symptoms with the peracute form the most
pronounced. In this instance the cow’s bag become
swollen, red, hot, and/or sensitive to the touch. This is
extremely painful to the affected animal since she is
being continuously milked by automatic machines and
dragging her bag across the floor as she moves in what
little space there is. The animal may also suffer from a
fever, depression, shivering, rapid weight loss, lack of
appetite and even death.
Continued on page 25
-24- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 24 - rBGH Milk Production: Animal
Cruelty, Genetically Modified Hormones and E. Coli
Symptoms may be slightly less obvious or pronounced in
the other forms of mastitis, yet they are all part of the same
condition which is becoming more and more prevalent not
just in dairy cows but in beef herds as well. Due to lack
of appetite and reduced nutrition as a result of constant
milking (in the case of dairy cows) the amount of milk
produced from the animals affected in this way becomes
significantly smaller. Likewise, beef herds injected with
the chemical tend to be 7% to 12.5% smaller in terms of
Ironically, a hormone injected into animals to make them
more productive for dairy and beef often causes a
condition which reduces their output in both
categories. Even in animals who manage to avoid
chronic cases of infection, the milk yield as a result of
rBGH only increases by 11.3% to 15.6%.
Yet the increased rate of mastitis is not the only injury to
the animals as a result of rBGH. The Canadian Veterinary
Medical Association Expert Panel conducted a review of
the use of rBGH in dairy cows and reported that incidents
of lameness increased by as much as 50% in animals
treated with the hormone. The report also noted that
sterility (or non-pregnancy) as well as culling was
significantly increased as well. Twinning, placenta
retention, and abortion/fetal loss were also considered and
acknowledged as potential side effects of hormone
Yet the damage caused by rBGH does not stop with
animals injected with it. The repercussions of adding
rBGH to dairy cows extend all the way up the food chain
to the humans that consume the milk they produce. More
will be said about the effects of rBGH on humans in future
articles. However, the effects produced in the animals and
the cruelty issue alone should be enough to warrant a
boycott of milk produced using rBGH.
 “Bovine Somatotropin,” Iowa State University, p.1
 A good documentary regarding the conditions of animals in
large manufacturing plants is called “Earthlings.”
 “Mastitis in Beef Cows – Frequently Asked Questions”
Government of Alberta, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
 Section 7.2 “Report of the Canadian Veterinary Medical
Association Expert Panel on rBST.”
 “Mastitis in Beef Cows – Frequently Asked Questions”
Government of Alberta, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
 “The Issues: Artificial Hormones.” Sustainabletable.org
May 24, 2010.
 “Report of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
Expert Panel on rBST.” Conclusions and Recommendations.
Health Canada. November 1998.
http://www.hcsc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/vet/issues-enjeux/rbst-stbr/rep_cvmarap_acdv_14-eng.php Accessed May 17, 2010.
 “Report of the Canadian Veterinary Medical
Association Expert Panel on rBST,” Health Canada.
November, 1998. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/vet/issuesenjeux/rbst-stbr/rep_cvma-rap_acdv_tc-tm-eng.php
Would You Eat Lab-grown
By Tom Levitt
October 3, 2012
Lab-grown meat could help reduce the environmental
footprint of intensive farming. But will it ever appeal to
vegetarians or even more eco-conscious consumers?
Before the end of the year, Dutch scientists are
promising a high-profile debut for a burger made from
meat grown not on a farm but in their laboratory.
Synthetic or lab-grown meat involves taking a small
amount of cells from a living animal and growing it
into lumps of muscle tissue in the lab, which can then,
in theory, be eaten as meat by people.
As well as saving an animal, lab-grown meat also
reduces the negative environmental impact of modernday intensive meat production, including land use,
animal feed and greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast
to vegetarian, non-animal based alternatives to meat
like soya, tofu, Quorn or other vegetable proteins,
artificial meat has a much higher protein content as
well as tasting and having a more similar texture to
slaughtered animal meat.
The technology behind lab-grown meat has been
around since the late 1990s, but producing an
Continued on page 26
-25- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 25 – Would you Eat Labgrown Meat?
affordable and tasty meat product has proved
elusive….until now with two different researchers in the
US and Europe maintaining they are both confident they
are close to a breakthrough
Backed with US$400,000 (2.5 million yuan) of funding
from an anonymous donor, Professor Mark Post of
Maastricht University says he will be holding a public
tasting session of his lab-grown burger in the next few
However, he admits that his is only a demonstration of the
potential of lab-meat, and that he is still nowhere near
producing a cost-effective version.
Another researcher, Hungarian-born Gabor Forgacs from
the University of Missouri, appears closer after becoming
the first scientist in the US to publicly eat lab-grown meat
at a conference last year.
He was recently named by animal rights group PETA as
the most likely winner of its US$1 million prize for the
first mass-produced artificial chicken that is
indistinguishable from real chicken meat.
Forgacs previously worked on creating tissue and organs
for humans before realising the same technology could be
used to engineer meat. He has now started a company,
Modern Meadows, to develop his commercial lab-grown
meat, with the help of funding from the US Department of
Agriculture. “What we’re going to make is sort of a
consumerable biomaterial which is going to be made of
animal cells and have the character and texture of a certain
type of meat,” he explains.
“It may not end up being the hamburger we regularly eat
but it can become an ingredient in many things. Take the
analogy of flour. You don’t eat flour, it’s not very tasty but
you eat a zillion products that contain flour and are
Both Professor Post and Dr Forgacs say they are motivated
by the need to reduce the environmental impact of meat
production. The UN Food and Agricultural Organization
has estimated that 18% of global greenhouse-gas
emissions are accounted for by the livestock sector.
In contrast, research published last year from the
University of Oxford estimated that lab-grown meat
produces 78-96% lower greenhouse gas emissions than
conventionally produced meat within the EU. It also uses
99% less land and 82-96% less water.
"The rules of the game of meat production are not the
same as they were a hundred years ago," says Forgacs.
"It's not sustainable. We are destroying this planet with
intensive meat production. Seventy percent of arable land
today is one way or another connected to animals
through grazing animals or growing food for them.
We're running out of it."
Forgacs admits that initially at least, his lab-grown
meat is likely to be an expensive niche product, costing
something similar to Kobe beef (US$125 to US$395 a
"This product isn't going to be for the masses at the
beginning, it's going to be for eco-conscious people and
people who don't eat meat for ethical reasons," he says.
However, social scientists say it is still far from certain
whether or not consumers will accept and eat it. A
consumer worried about meat’s environmental cost
might also be wary of lab-manipulated food. Forgacs
and Post are both conscious of the bad publicity and
scepticism that has surrounded genetically modified
“The people making in-vitro meat, particularly those
working in the EU, are very aware of the risks of an
association with genetic modification,” explains Neil
Stephens, a sociologist from Cardiff University who
has been studying the emergence of lab-grown meat. “It
would be possible to use GM in making in-vitro meat
but scientists do not want to do that or associate their
product with GM.”
Beyond the GM-type food safety fears, there is still
widespread disagreement among scientists about how
to classify lab-grown meat. Forgacs, for one, says the
term lab-grown meat “turns people off right away.”
“Some want it to be meat, and recognised like any other
meat,” says Stephens. “Others think it is better to be
seen as a new type of meat and as such OK to taste or
look different. Then there is a minority who feel it is a
meat substitute, very meat-like but not meat.”
“I would argue that we are still at a point at which the
definition or categorisation of in vitro [lab-grown] meat
– what it is - remains unclear. The best description of it
is an ‘as-yet undefined ontological object’.”
Stephens says this and many other unanswered
questions about consumer acceptance will need to be
resolved before lab-grown meat ever reaches our
supermarket shopping trolleys.
“If it ever is a marketable product it will still be a small
one. It is not going to be plumped on our supermarket
shelves. It will initially have limited availability so will
have time to gain acceptability,” says Stephens.
-26- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Banned in 27 Countries,
Monsanto’s rBGH Inhabits
Many U.S. Dairy Products
By Anthony Gucciardi
December 19, 2011
Are you consuming Monsanto’s genetically engineered
growth hormone known as rBGH? The synthetic hormone
is created using molecules and DNA sequences that are a
result of molecular cloning, which has been linked to
breast and gastrointestinal cancer. Unfortunately, it is
estimated that around 1/3 of cows in the United States are
injected with this synthetic hormone, which means that
you have most likely been highly exposed to rBGH if you
live in the U.S. or have eaten U.S. dairy products.
RBGH is actually a synthetic version of natural bovine
somatotropin (BST), a hormone produced in cows’
pituitary glands. Monsanto was the first to create the
recombinant version from genetically eningeered E. coli
bacteria, releasing the result under the brand name
“Posilac.” Since then, a division of Eli Lilly and
Company, Elanco Animal Health, have acquired the
Posilac brand. It is important to remember that Eli Lilly
and Company are the makers of suicide-linked Prozac,
who were able to cover up the 1980s research which found
antidepressants to breed even more depression and
Despite public outcry and the warnings of international
health professionals, rBGH is the largest selling dairy
animal drug in America. In fact, the U.S. is the only
developed nation to allow for humans to consume milk
from cows given artificial growth hormone. Are U.S.
government officials truly convinced that rBGH is safe for
human consumption, or does it have more to do with the
fact that key political figures who were instrumental in the
approval of rBGH were actually affiliated with Monsanto?
Margaret Miller was in charge of preparing the report on
rBGH following its approval at Monsanto, she was later
the official in charge of reviewing her own report
as Deputy Director of Human Safety and Consultative
Michael R Taylor was a partner at the law firm that
represented Monsanto on a variety of issues. Afterwards,
Taylor became the FDA’s deputy commissioner for policy,
where he wrote the FDA’s rBGH labelling guidelines. In
these guidelines, it was claimed that there is no difference
between rBGH and regular milk. This stance is part of the
reason why rBGH is still legal in the United States. Taylor
then spent a few years working directly for Monsanto,
and has been brought back by Barack Obama as the
Food Safety Czar.
If the process in which rBGH was approved is not
suspect enough, peer-reviewed research has identified
rBGH as a risk factor for both breast and gastrointestinal cancer. It is evident that Monsanto and Eli
Lilly and Company are two companies that put profits
before public health.
UC Davis partners in $8.3
Million Effort to fight
May 14, 2012
The new research builds on ongoing clinical studies in
Africa, South Asia and South America of malnourished and
healthy infants and children and their mothers. (Steve
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, will
join in an international research effort to develop new
ways to diagnose, treat and prevent malnutrition in
infants and children around the world.
The Breast Milk, Gut Microbiome and Immunity
Project is funded by $8.3 million from the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation and will be led by the
Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Louis. UC Davis will receive $1.1 million of the total.
The UC Davis researchers who will participate in the
-27- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 28
project are nutritionist Kathryn Dewey and microbiologist
population of children who desperately need that
protection,” Mills said. “The opportunity to deliver
diet-based solutions in the near term – sourcing from
commercial milk operations – is truly exciting,” he
Severe malnutrition has long been thought to stem simply
from a lack of adequate food. But now scientists
understand the condition is far more complex and may
involve a breakdown in the way gut microbial
communities process various components of the diet.
More information about the UC Davis Foods for Health
Institute is available at http://ffhi.ucdavis.edu/. The
overall project will be led by Jeffrey I. Gordon at the
Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Continued from page 27 - UC Davis partners in $8.3 Million
Effort to fight Childhood Malnutrition
The community of intestinal microbes and its vast
collection of genes, known as the gut microbiome, is
assembled right from birth and influenced by babies’ early
environments and the first foods they consume, such as
Through the Breast Milk, Gut Microbiome and Immunity
Project, scientists will evaluate the relationship among first
foods, the developing community of microbes in the
intestine, and the developing immune system.
The new research builds on ongoing clinical studies in
Africa, South Asia and South America of malnourished
and healthy infants and children and their mothers; the
Gates Foundation also funds those studies.
“This multidisciplinary project will allow us to expand our
understanding of how to prevent infant malnutrition,
which is a major focus of the UC Davis Program in
International and Community Nutrition,” Dewey said.
“The results of these experiments will provide critical
information about whether the lipid-based nutrient
supplements that we are evaluating in ongoing research
have an influence on the collection of microorganisms in
the human gut, which will help us understand the impact
of our interventions on child growth."
As director of the International Lipid-Based Nutrient
Supplements Project, Dewey is involved with two projects
in Malawi that are providing biological samples for the
newly funded research consortium. More information
about the lipid-based nutrient supplement project is
available at: http://ilins.org.
As part of the new project, Mills and his colleagues at the
UC Davis Foods for Health Institute will examine the
complex, protective sugars in breast milk and characterize
specific bacteria in the guts of these infants. The
researchers also will look for similar protective sugars in
existing dairy products.
“This project will identify specific milk components from
commercial dairy streams, which -- in combination with
milk-responsive bacteria -- may extend the natural
protection of mother's milk past weaning to a fragile
Programming Starts from
29 May 2012
THE bigger your belt, the shorter your lifespan. Grow
fat today, die young tomorrow. These statements, in the
view of Professor Philip Abiodun, a professor of
Paediatrics and Consultant in Child Health, University
of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, supports the
essence of nutrition programming.
Abiodun, who points out that research has shown that
giving too much protein at the beginning of life tends to
make a child grow faster than that child would have
grown if fed breast milk, argues that such children who
grow too fast, are likely to become overweight and
obese as adolescents and later as adults.
"Obese children are likely to witness changes in their
body fat content leading to diabetes, hypertension,heart
disease and stroke. A child could be programmed from
the womb to become an obese adult.
When in the womb, an infant learns to store food,
because the food was not coming when they were not
being well fed by their mother, so they have low birth
weight. When they are born and are overfed with
protein, since they have been used to storing the food,
they continue storing and get fatter and fatter. So it is
like programming them to die young. "
Supporting the argument for breast milk, Abiodun
notes: "The protein content of cow milk from which
infant milk formulais made, is not just different in
quantity, but quality. There are more of whey proteins
in human (breast) milk while there is casein in cow
milk that causes fat cells to be built up and stored. The
Continued on page 29
-28- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 28 – Nigeria: Nutritional Programming
Starts from the Womb
whey proteins contain essential amino acids that are
easily digested and absorbed by the body.
"In order to match the protein content of human milk,
infant formula makers started increasing the protein
content in the cow milk and they now became so much
the children are getting too fat. The future consequences
of such early nutrition practices is what is known as
programming, that is, the way you feed your child while
in the womb and immediately after birth up till about two
years of life.
Increasing the protein in the cow milk causes increases
the amino acids, but now to some extent there have been
moves to decrease the proteins while increasing the
quantity of essential amino acids. It is all in the bid to
mimic breast milk.
The incidence of obesity is decreased with formulae
enriched with essential amino acids, better than the old
formula; however, breast milk is still the best. It is
natural, creates bonding betweem mother and child,
contains more immune factors, and we continue to
recommend it exclusively for the first six months. "Infant
formula is not supposed to compete with breast milk, but
if you must, pick those enriched with essential amino
Monsanto Investor Bill Gates
Says GMO Crops Needed to
By Anthony Gucciardi
January 28, 2012
Bill Gates, the heavy Monsanto investor who purchased
500,000 shares of the biotech giant in 2010, has been
touting Monsanto’s genetically modified creations as a
tool that is necessary to prevent starvation in poor
nations. The same poor nations where thousands of
farmers routinely commit suicide after being
completely bankrupt by Monsanto’s overpriced and
ineffective GM seeds.
The same company that we recently exposed to be
running ‘slave-like’ working conditions, forcing poor
workers to operate the corn fields for 14 hours per day
while withholding pay.
crops are going to save the world from starvation. Of
course, along with ‘saving the world from starvation’,
GMO crops also bring along a large number of
unwanted health and environmental effects.
A prominent review of 19 studies examining the safety
of these crops found that consumption of GMO corn or
soybeans can lead to significant organ disruptions in
rats and mice – particularly in the liver and kidneys.
Are Monsanto’s Devastating Creations Really the
Answer to World Hunger?
What’s more is that Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide,
Roundup, has been completely devastating farmlands for
years through the creation of resistant superweeds.
Experts estimate Roundup usage to result in the
destruction of over at least 120 million hectares of
farmland thanks to these superweeds.
Is it any wonder that in 2008 a startling report uncovered
Monsanto’s blatant abuse of poor farmers in the very
poor countries that will supposedly benefit from GMO
Thanks to an article in the Daily Mail, it was revealed
that thousands of farmers were committing suicide after
using Monsanto’s GM seeds. Due to failing harvests and
drastically inflated prices, the bankrupt poor farmers
began taking their lives — oftentimes drinking the very
same chemical concoctions provided by Monsanto as a
method of suicide.
‘We are ruined now,’ said the dead man’s 38-year-old
wife. ‘We bought 100 grams of BT Cotton. Our crop
failed twice. My husband had become depressed. He
went out to his field, lay down in the cotton and
Monsanto actually conned the farmers into buying their
GM seeds, majorly overpriced and performing far worse
than even traditional seeds. Monsanto went as far as to
charge these poor farmers £10 for 100 grams of GM
seed, while they could have purchased 1,000 times more
traditional seeds for the same amount. The result? A
career-ending harvest that led to mass farmer suicide.
It is quite clear that Monsanto really has no intention
of helping these farmers fight starvation in their
communities, as Monsanto investor Bill Gates would
have you think. You can view Bill Gates’ speech about
how GMO crops are the answer to starvation and see for
yourself how he puts such strong emphasis on that
According to Gates, this is the company whose GMO
-29- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Tanzania: Paleo Diet - an
Answer to a GMO
Contaminated Food Chain?
By Anne Outwater
9 September 2012
Tanzania Daily News
I just returned from a visit to the United States. It seemed
that most of the people I saw or spent time with were not
This perception might be a result of my imagination, or the
increasing age of my family and friends, or the downturned
economy. These perceptions may also be a result of
comparing them with people living in Tanzania, eating local
food, whom, all else being equal are in fact quite strong.
A lot of people in the US were complaining of chronic
stomach and digestive ailments, vague types of immunedeficiency diseases not HIV, weak bones and cartilage,
mental disorders of their children at an early age, and lack of
reproductive success. As much as corporations and even
much of the US government want to deny it, these chronic
weird unusual-tilnow ailments have a strong probability of
being related to the poor quality diet and the gazillion
pounds of pesticides that get sprayed over everything.
It is not easy right now in the United States if you want to be
a polite guest, go to a restaurant, or travel, to find a
completely GMO free diet. It is no wonder that people's
concern about the quality of the food is increasing. This
concern was evidenced in at least three ways: 1/The first
thing people seemed to want to talk about was the
Paleolithic Diet - many were practicing it, 2/ the increasing
numbers of Farmer's Markets, 3/ more products in the
supermarkets labeled "Organic" or GMO-free. Let me first
describe the Paleolithic Diet.
The Paleo Diet is based on the presumed diet that human
beings and our ancestors ate during the Paleolithic era-- the
Stone Age, a period of about 2.5 million years that ended
around 10,000 years ago with the development of
agriculture. The "Paleolithic diet" refers to the actual
ancestral human diet of wild plants and animals.
Modern human beings are genetically adapted to the diet of
our Paleolithic ancestors; human genetics have scarcely
changed since agriculture began. According to S. Boyd
Eaton, a proponent of the diet, "we are the heirs of inherited
characteristics accrued over millions of years; the vast
majority of our biochemistry and physiology are tuned to
life conditions that existed before the advent of agriculture
some 10,000 years ago.
Genetically our bodies are virtually the same as they
were at the end of the Paleolithic era some 20,000 years
ago." It follows therefore that an ideal diet for human
health and well-being is one that resembles this
ancestral diet. The Paleolithic diet consists of foods that
can be hunted and fished, such as meat and seafood,
and can be gathered, such as eggs, insects, fruit, nuts,
seeds, vegetables, mushrooms, honey, herbs and spices.
The diet was high in lean protein, polyunsaturated fats,
monounsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals,
antioxidants, and other beneficial phytochemicals.
Historical and anthropological studies show hunter
gatherers were generally healthy, fit, and free of the
degenerative diseases common in modern societies.
Archaelogical evidence shows in many parts of the
world that a decline in human health occurred with the
adoption of agriculture. Associated with the
introduction of domesticated and processed plant foods
in the human diet, are a general decrease in body size
and an increase in dental caries. Although some
supporters of the Paleo Diet accept butter, cheese,
yogurt, oils such as olive, macadamia, and sunflower,
and a bit of natural alcohol, most supporters exclude
grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and
More than 70% of the total daily energy consumed by
all people in the United States comes from foods such
as dairy products, grains, refined sugars, processed
vegetable oils and alcohol. Accumulating evidence
suggests that this mismatch between the modern diet
and lifestyle and our Paleolithic genome is playing a
substantial role in the current epidemic levels of
obesity, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure,
type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer found in North
People are thinking that adopting the diet and lifestyle
that mimic the beneficial characteristics of the
preagricultural environment may be an effective
strategy to reduce the risk of chronic degenerative
diseases. The Paleo Diet is a delicious way to eat, as
my friends and relatives showed me.
The Paleo Diet is becoming so popular in reaction to
the fear that food has come to induce in North America
- when you put something in your mouth, instead of
feeling comforted you become anxious about the high
probability you are feeding yourself poisons in the
forms of residual pesticides, GMOs, and cancer causing
additives. It didn't used to be like this but now it is.
-30- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Addicted to Cheese and Ice
Cream? The Opiate Qualities
May 14, 2012
Much has been written in the last several years about the
addictive qualities of dairy products due to a certain
protein found in great abundance in cow’s milk: casein.
Perhaps it was Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s seminal work,
The China Study, that was the catalyst for this new
understanding of dairy addiction.
In her new book, Main Street Vegan, 28-year vegan
author Victoria Moran, includes a chapter called Hooked
on Dairy, where she describes how we become
chemically and emotionally addicted to dairy, followed
by a chapter called The Vegan Dairy where she lays out
a concrete plan to ease into a dairy free existence while
still satisfying the cravings we once thought were the
exclusive domain of things like cheese and ice cream.
“Casein, one of the proteins in milk, crosses the bloodbrain barrier and becomes something called
casomorphins. Yes’m, that sounds a lot like morphine—
because casomorphin is also an opiod. Nature designed
it that way so young mammals would enjoy nursing,
come back for more, and live to reproduce themselves.”
“Human milk has only 2.7 grams of casein per liter.
Cow’s milk has 26. And because it takes, on average,
ten pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese or ice
cream, you’re looking at a lot of casein and resultant
casomorphin.” The result can be a major opiate
addiction that can cause people to have serious
Writer Jennifer Valentine of onegreenplanet.org recently
discussed yet another basis for craving dairy that could
be attributed to Umami: “Umami, or “savory” is an
often-overlooked but extremely important taste
experience. In fact, some scientists and dietitians have
even linked umami cravings to difficulty adhering to a
plant-based diet! Umami is often associated with animal
foods, especially grilled meat and aged cheeses, likely
due to their high levels of the amino acid glutamate.
However, there are plenty of plant-based sources of
umami! Fermented foods are high in umami flavor, and
roasting, caramelizing and browning foods (including
soy-based foods and vegetables) boosts that “savory”
Scientists create GM Cow to
cut Milk allergies in Children
Calf was cloned with extra genetic material that
'switches off' the protein allergen
02 October 2012
Scientists have created a genetically modified (GM)
cow that produces milk with low levels of a protein
known to cause allergic reactions in a significant
proportion of children. The researchers believe it could
one day lead to the sale of "hypoallergenic" milk from
herds of GM cows.
The calf had been cloned and genetically engineered
with an extra piece of genetic material that switched off
its natural gene for producing a milk protein called
beta-lactoglobulin, which is not present in human milk
and causes allergies in some young children.
Tests on the cow's milk showed that it contained less
than 2 per cent of normal levels of beta-lactoglobulin
and was far richer than usual in other kinds of milk
proteins, such as the caseins used in cheese-making.
The researchers also believe the GM cow's milk will
also contain higher concentrations of calcium than
The cow, however, was born without a tail which is a
rare congenital abnormality. The scientists believe this
was a result of the cloning process, similar to that used
to create Dolly the cloned sheep, rather than the GM
technique used to eliminate the milk protein.
The dairy industry produces hypoallergenic milk
formulas by removing certain bovine proteins with the
help of digestive enzymes but the industrial-scale
processing is expensive, causes the milk to taste bitter
and does not always remove the offending allergens,
the scientists said.
In developed countries, between 2 per cent and 3 per
cent of infants are allergic to the proteins found in
cows' milk so there is a demand to find ways of making
milk that is safer for them, the researchers said.
A person who is allergic to milk proteins can suffer a
range of symptoms, which can occur within minutes of
drinking milk or some hours later. They include
vomiting and gastrointestinal upsets, skin rashes and
A team, led by Goetz Laible from the University of
Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, used a
revolutionary technique called RNA interference
-31- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 37
African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
Volume 7, Issue 11
Aspartame -- History of Fraud and Deception
Today we have "Nutra-Sweet", which is widely used
in a plethora of consumables, despite a demonstrated
neurological reaction in some people. In February
1996, it was decided to also use the product name
"Benevia". It is estimated that as many as 20,000,000
people cannot metabolize phenylanine, and this
inability is genetically inherited by children. The
inability to metabolize phenylanine can lead to
mental retardation in children. This means a risk of
retardation for millions of children. A multi-billion
dollar enterprise, this substance is said to be "refined"
from "natural" substances. Like other "refined"
substances, it represents a health threat to the general
public. No long term studies have been performed to
evaluate the physiological effects of this substance,
yet the public is lead to believe it is absolutely safe.
Technically, the chemical is called aspartame, and it
was once on a Pentagon list of biowarfare chemicals
submitted to Congress.  Aspartame is in over
4,000 products worldwide and is consumed by over
200 million people in the United States alone. What
follows is a skeletal examination of the chronology
related to aspartame. A more detailed chronology is
given later in this chapter based on information
provided to us by the Aspartame Consumer Safety
Aspartame is produced by G.D. Searle Company,
founded in 1888 and located in Skokie, Illinois.
Searle is now owned by others. It is about 200 times
sweeter than the refined sugar that it is meant to
replace, and it is known to erode intelligence and
affect short-term memory. It is essentially a chemical
weapon designed to impact populations en masse. It
is an rDNA derivative made from two amino acids,
L-phenylalanine, L-aspartic acid and methanol.
Originally discovered during a search for an ulcer
drug in 1966, it was "approved" by the FDA in 1974
as a "food additive".
Approval was followed by a retraction based on
demonstrated public concern over the fact that the
substance produced brain tumors in rats. According to
the 1974 FDA task force set up to examine aspartame
and G.D.Searle, "we have uncovered serious
deficiencies in Searles operations and practices,
which undermine the basis for reliance on Searle's
integrity in conducting high quality animal research to
accurately determine the toxic potential of its
products." The task force report concluded with the
recommendation that G.D. Searle should face a Grand
Jury "to identify more particularly the nature of the
violations, and to identify all those responsible." 
In 1976, an FDA "task force" brought into question
all of G.D. Searle's aspartame testing procedures
conducted between 1967 and 1975. The final FDA
report noted faulty and fraudulent product testing,
knowingly misrepresented product testing, knowingly
misrepresented findings, and instances of irrelevant
animal research. In other word, illegal criminal
activity. Understandably scared, Searle officials
sought to suppress the FDA findings and obstruct
justice. They turned to Nixon and Ford administration
operative Donald Rumsfeld and elected him
"chairman of the Searle organization." In 1977, the
Wall Street Journal detailed the fact that Rumsfeld
made efforts to "mend fences" by asking "what Searle
could do" in the face of the changes. Also in 1977,
Dr. Adrian Gross, a pathologist working for the FDA,
uncovered evidence that G.D.Searle might have
committed criminal fraud in withholding adverse data
on aspartame. 
The FDA requested that U.S. Attorney Samuel
Skinner be hired to investigate Searle's aspartame
testing procedures in January 1977. Samuel Skinner
was the federal prosecutor responsible for convincing
the Grand Jury to investigate whether Searle willfully
and criminally withheld data that cast doubt on the
safety of aspartame. In February 1977, Skinner met
with Searle attorneys at the Chicago law firm of
Sidney & Austin.
-32- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 31
Continued from page 32– Aspartame: History of Fraud and
Suddenly, newly elected President Carter announced that
Skinner would not remain in office, and Skinner
thereafter announced that he would be hired by Sidney &
Austin. Obviously, Skinner then had to recuse himself
from the Searle prosecution. The case was taken over by
US Attorney William Conlon, who essentially sat on the
case, despite complaints from the Justice Department,
which was urging that a grand jury be convened to
prosecute Searle Company for falsifying Nutra-Sweet test
data. Failing to perform his duty, Conlon also joined
Searle's law firm in January 1979.
Skinner's defection from the FDA might have been
prompted by the results of the review of the Searle
studies. David Hattan, deputy director of the FDA
Division of Toxicological Review and Evaluation,
concedes that anyone reading the original FDA
investigation reports is likely to be "shocked" by what
they reveal. He says that the ensuing review of the Searle
studies, in which he was involved from the time of his
arrival in 1978, was one of the most thorough in the
agency's history. It included an unprecedented hearing
before a public board of inquiry composed of experts
from outside the agency. Arthur Hayes, Jr., then
Commissioner of the FDA appointed by Reagan, agreed
with Searle and the FDA's Bureau of Foods (now the
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition) that "an
appropriate analysis of the data showed no significant
increases in tumor incidence in rats exposed to aspartame
or DKP, one of the breakdown products of aspartame.
The board of inquiry rejected concerns that aspartame's
components could cause neurological damage.
In 1981, under pressure from the soft drink lobby, FDA
Commissioner Hayes approved the initial use of
aspartame in dry foods and as a tabletop sweetener,
discounting public complaints as anecdotal and ignoring
three FDA scientists. who voiced the fact that there
were serious questions concerning brain tumor tests after
having done an in-house study. Hayes was widely
profiled as a man who believed that approval for new
drugs and additives was "too slow" because "the FDA
demanded too much information." Hayes also ignored the
fact that the biased scientific studies paid for by Searle
were faulty. After leaving the FDA, Hayes took the
post of senior medical consultant for the public relations
firm retained by Searle.. A subsequent inquiry "found
In July 1983 it was approved for use in soft drinks in the
United States, followed three months later by approval in
Britain by the Ministry of Agriculture. All this was done
despite the fact that the Department of Defense knew that
aspartame was neurotoxic and harmful to human health.
These facts were deliberately suppressed by the
government. It is also interesting that in 1981 FDA
scientist Dr. Robert Condon, in an internal government
document, said "I do not concur that aspartame has been
shown to be safe with respect to the induction of brain
tumors." All safety was thrown aside because of
pressure from Searle. Considering the connections the
drug companies have to the medical and intelligence
community, it would not be surprising that there were
other factors involved in the pressure to adopt aspartame
into the diet of the population.
In 1984, the Arizona Department of Health began testing
soft drinks to ascertain the level of toxic deterioration
by-products in soft drinks. It was determined that soft
drinks stored in elevated temperatures promoted more
rapid deterioration of aspartame into poisonous methyl
alcohol (methanol). The FDA decided to ignore these
results. Public complaints about the effects of aspartame
began to come in. People complained of headaches,
dizziness, vomiting, nausea, blurred vision, seizures,
convulsions and a host of other reactions to aspartame.
Also in 1984, the Centers for Disease Control made the
fraudulent announcement that "no serious, widespread"
side effects of aspartame had been found. It was an
outright lie, and this announcement was quickly
followed by another from PepsiCo that it was dropping
saccharin and adopting aspartame as the sweetener of all
its diet drinks. Others followed suit, despite the January
1984 broadcast on CBS Nightly News where the chief
scientist for the FDA task force investigating Searle
publicly stated that Searle company officials made
"deliberate decisions" to cloak aspartame's toxic effects.
When a human consumes "Nutra-Sweet", it breaks down
above 85° not only into its constituent amino acids, but
into methanol, which further breaks down into
formaldehyde, which is carcinogenic and very toxic,
as well as formic acid and a brain tumor agent called
diketopiperazine (DKP). In a meek attempt to ward off
further public inquiry, the FDA in 1984 announced that
"no evidence has been found to establish that
aspartame's methanol by-product reaches toxic levels".
This was a direct lie, since Medical World News
reported in 1978, six years earlier, than the methanol
content of aspartame is 1,000 times greater than most
foods under FDA control. Furthermore, the methanol in
aspartame is "free methanol", which is never found in
nature. Methanol in nature is always accompanied by
ethanol and other compounds which mitigate the
methanol when introduced into the body.
-33- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 34
Continued from page 33 – Aspartame: History of Fraud and
In 1985, Searle Company was bought by Monsanto, the
maker of other insidious substances that manage to find
their way into human food, including Bovine Growth
Hormone (BGH). Senator Metzenbaum, commenting on
the FDA relative to the aspartame issue in 1985 said, "the
FDA is content to have Searle conduct all safety tests on
aspartame. That's absurd."
Supreme Court Collusion in Aspartame Coverup
Clarence Thomas Former Monsanto Lawyer
In 1986, the Washington Post reported that the Supreme
Court refused to consider arguments that the FDA had
not followed proper procedures in approving aspartame,
despite arguments that the product "may cause brain
damage." (Supreme Court obstructing Justice). Since
Bush-nominated Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
is a former attorney for Monsanto ,
it is unlikely that hundreds of millions of people will find
redress. There are also indications of ties between
Monsanto and elements in the CIA.
University of Illinois Fraudulent Study on Aspartame
In August of 1987, the University of Illinois, a recipient
of funding from Monsanto, issued a study "exonerating
aspartame of causing seizures in laboratory animals." The
fact that they were paid by Monsanto automatically
invalidates the results. US Senate hearings in 1987
showed that G.D.Searle used "psychological strategy" to
get regulators at the FDA "into a yes-saying habit" to
"bring them into a subconscious spirit of participation."
. More than half of 69 medical researchers polled by
the FDA in 1987 said they were concerned about
FDA Ignores Complaints of Neurological Symptoms
In 1989, the FDA received over 4,000 complaints from
people who described adverse reactions. Because the
FDA conveniently lists aspartame as a "food additive", it
removes the legal requirement for adverse effect
reporting to any Federal agency and the necessity for
safety monitoring processes. Research also indicates that
aspartame, when combined with glutamine products
(such as MSG, widely used in foods) increase the
likelihood of brain damage occurring in children.
Aspartame Affecting Airline Pilots
Some of the more interesting developments in 1989
surfaced in the Palm Beach Post on October 14th, where
an article by Dr. H.J. Robert described several recent
aircraft accidents involving confusion and aberrant pilot
behavior caused by ingestion of products containing
aspartame. Soft drink makers were notified of this
problem in 1991. It is interesting to note that after Samuel
Skinner left Sidney & Austin, Searle's law firm, he was
appointed Secretary of Transportation. Hence, he was in
charge of the FAA, just in time to head off complaints
from pilots affected by aspartame. His wife was
employed by Sidney & Austin. Later as George Bush's
Chief of Staff in 1991, during the Gulf War, he was in a
position to head off all inquiries relative to aspartame, no
matter where they were directed - to the FDA, FAA or
Department of Defense. This constitutes criminal
negligence and racketeering. George Bush, of course,
was an ex-director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
British News: "Nutrasweet Tests Faked"
On July 20, 1990, an article in the national British
newspaper The Guardian, entitled "NutraSweet test
results 'faked'", revealed that the British government had
finally been persuaded to review the safety of aspartame
after "receiving a dossier of evidence highlighting its
potential dangers." According to The Guardian, the
dossier alleged that laboratory tests were falsified, tumors
were removed from laboratory animals and animals were
'restored to life' in laboratory records. The dossier
against NutraSweet was compiled by Erik Millstone, a
lecturer at the Science Policy Research Unit at Sussex
University and author of two books on food additives. It
was based on thousands of pages of evidence, much of
which was obtained under the Freedom of Information
Act. The COT, Committee on Toxicity, was at the time
looking into consumption of artificial sweeteners and did
not possess the key documents covering alleged
mishandling of the safety tests which Millstone was
asked to provide.
The British Ministry of Agriculture and Department of
Health have never revealed the evidence upon which
approval was given in England for the distribution of
aspartame, maintaining that "these are matters of
commercial confidence." The British government does
not testing of its own but relies on safety tests provided
by the manufacturer, which of course constitutes a
conflict of interest. The 1990 article quoted the British
Department of Health as saying "NutraSweet is not a
health hazard on the available evidence, but people do
suffer 'ideosyncratic reactions' to food additives."
Interestingly, it was pointed out that three out of 14
members of the Committee on Toxicity have direct or
indirect links with the artificial sweetener industry,
according to David Clark, the Labour Party Agriculture
spokeman, who requested a Parliamentary Answer to
address questions of conflict of interest. Aspartame is
also sold in England under the product name "Canderel."
In 1990, the market for aspartame in England was
estimated at £800 million.
-34- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 35
Continued from page 34 – Aspartame: History of Fraud and
Dosing of the Military in the Gulf War
During the 1991 Gulf War, all military personnel were
provided free supplies of aspartame-laced soft drinks
together with experimental vaccines, nerve gas antidotes
and personal insecticides. They were also treated to direct
biochemical warfare compounds. The result is Gulf War
Syndrome, which is communicable and deadly, and
50,000 military personnel and their dependents are
wasting away before our eyes. Criminal negligence? Of
course. Criminal conspiracy? Yes. Genocide? Probably we're waiting to see.
Aspartame Alters Brain Chemicals That Affect
Independent tests on animals have shown that aspartame
alters brain chemicals that also affect behavior. The
chemical nature of aspartame was also shown to defeat its
own alleged "purpose" as a "diet aid", since high doses
instill a craving for calorie-laden carbohydrates. Then,
the aspartame-carbohydrate combination further increases
the effect of aspartame on the brain.
Fraudulent Claims of Aspartame as a "Diet Aid"
Interestingly, even the American Cancer Society
confirmed that users of artificial sweeteners gained more
weight than those who didn't use the products, further
undermining the supposed "purpose" for the existence of
aspartame in the food. Haven't we heard this kind of
criminal fraud before?
The major selling point of aspartame is as a diet aid, and
it has been demonstrated that the use of this product
actually causes people to consume more food. Normally,
when significant quantities of carbohydrate are
consumed, serotonin levels rise in the brain. This is
manifested as a relaxed feeling after a meal. When
aspartame is ingested with carbohydrates, such as having
a sandwich with a diet drink, aspartame causes the brain
to cease production of serotonin, meaning that the feeling
of having had enough never materializes. You then eat
more foods, many containing aspartame, and the cycle
continues. Monsanto's profit from its NutraSweet
Division was $993 million in 1990.
Governments Continue Suppression and Coverup on
In 1991, the National Institutes of Health. listed 167
symptoms and reasons to avoid the use of aspartame , but
today it is a multi-million dollar business that contributes
to the degeneration of the human population, as well as
the deliberate suppression of overall intelligence, shortterm memory and the added contribution as a
carcinogenic environmental co-factor. The FDA and the
Centers for Disease Control continue to receive a stream
of complaints from the population about aspartame It is
the only chemical warfare weapon available in mass
quantities (should keep the cone-heads happy) on the
grocery shelf and promoted in the media. It has also been
indicated that women with an intolerance for
phenylalinine, one of the components of aspartame, may
give birth to infants with as much as a 15% drop in
intelligence level if they habitually consume products
containing this dangerous substance.
FAA Collusion in Suppression of Facts on Aspartame
The March 1995 issue of The Pacific Flyer published a
pro-aspartame article in which it stated, "the Federal
Aviation Administration conducted its own cognitive
research and, according to experts, found no
contraindications that would prevent pilots, or anyone,
from ingesting aspartame." This flies in the face of
consistent reports from pilots who maintain they have
suffered severe and dangerous repercussions in the air
after drinking soft drinks containing aspartame. Virtually
every time, symptoms disappeared when aspartame-laced
drinks were discontinued. Over 600 pilots have
reported this problem.
FDA "Findings" on Aspartame Remain Based on
So, the faked Searle tests remain. The FDA bases its
findings on the faked Searle tests, and the Journal of the
American Medical Association, examining the FDA
findings, based on the faked Searle tests, announced "the
consumption of aspartame poses no health risk for most
people." Searle officials argue that the use of aspartame
as an artificial sweetener "has been officially approved
not only by the FDA, but by foreign regulatory agencies
and the World Health Organization" - based on Searlesponsored aspartame research, not independently
Symptoms of Aspartame Intoxication: Minimal to
The symptoms of aspartame intoxication include severe
headaches, nausea, vertigo, insomina, loss of control of
limbs, blurred vision, blindness, memory loss, slurred
speech, mild to severe depression often reaching suicidal
levels, hyperactivity, gastrointestinal disorders, seizures,
skin lesions, rashes, anxiety attacks, muscle and joint
pain, numbness, mood changes, loss of energy, menstrual
cramps out of cycle, hearing loss or ringing in the ears,
loss or change of taste, and symptoms similar to those in
a heart attack. In addition, aspartic acid chelates
(combines) with chromium - which is a necessary
element for proper operation of the thyroid gland. People
who consume large quantities of aspartame may end up
-35- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 36
Continued from page 35 - Aspartame: History of Fraud
with a false diagnosis of Graves disease and suffer
allopathic irradiation of their thyroid gland for no
reason. Complaints about aspartame represent 80-85%
of all food complaints registered with the FDA. More
than 6,000 complaints have been made concerning the
effects of aspartame. Thirty independent doctors and
scientists have conducted research on the adverse
effects of aspartame or have compiled supporting data
against its use.The use of NutraSweet® or Equal®
should be seriously curtailed or stopped.
Aspartame Use Part of Planetary Biomedical
The fact that tons of aspartame is pumped into the
world population each year, knowingly and
deliberately, especially with the historical and
documented record of fraud and misrepresentation,
constitutes a conspiracy of the highest order, as well as
criminal negligence. The rewards of continued use are
increased profits for the medical and pharmaceutical
industries and chemical companies who produce
aspartame and treat people suffering from the effect of
it. Aspartame is the only biochemical warfare product
on grocery shelves. And, the band plays on ....
Splenda Essentials revealed
as Chemical Sweetener
containing Chlorine Atoms
By S. D. Wells
October 19, 2011
(NaturalNews) Splenda Essentials, the latest marketing
venture from the makers of Splenda, includes vitamins,
amino acids, and sometimes even fiber. In an attempt
to win over uneducated consumers, the half real, half
synthetic sweetener now sounds like it might actually
be a healthy choice, but if a company sprinkled vitamin
C on toothpaste, or added some vitamin K to mint
flavored mouthwash, would you swallow it when you
were done cleansing your teeth and gums?
The new Splenda Essentials cleverly adds vitamin B
and antioxidants to its core ingredient sucralose, a
nonnutritive sweetener that does not grow in sugar
fields, nor does it appear naturally anywhere else on
Earth. Instead, sucralose is manufactured in
laboratories as a synthetic compound. In other words,
although Splenda is derived from sugar, at some point
during the manufacturing process, the sugar disappears,
and what remains are chlorinated atoms that are bulked
up with dextrose and maltodextrin.
In a courtroom in 2007, in a bitter battle over
"sweetness," the manufacturer of Equal contended that
the maker of Splenda, McNeil, was misleading millions
of consumers by fostering the notion, through
advertising, that Splenda is a natural product.
But McNeil made the argument that, "The sweetening
ingredient in Splenda is made by a process that starts with
cane sugar." It then added that, "Splenda is an artificial
sweetener that does not contain sugar," acknowledging
that the sugar disappears during the manufacturing
In fact, McNeil initially marketed Splenda with the
tagline, "Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar. But it's
not sugar." Then, after disappointing sales figures posted,
they dropped the last sentence, and sales went through the
In court, if you tell the judge half of the truth, and
purposely omit facts, you can be convicted of perjury
and deception, but when it comes to advertising and
marketing products in the United States, there is an
enormous gray area that companies can traverse and get
away with murder, or in this case, mixing a complex
chemical compound with vitamins and selling it as a
"healthy" sugar substitute.
What Splenda is really made from
Another deceiving aspect of the massively popular
synthetic sweetener is that the core ingredient's name is
sucralose, which is two letters fatter than sucrose, the
organic compound commonly known as table sugar. On
top of everything else confusing, the FDA has no real
standard set for the terms "all natural," so there are no
defined parameters in place in order for a manufacturer to
claim any product is truly all natural.
Despite its use of sugar as the starting point for making
sucralose, in no place do the words "sugar" or "sucrose"
appear on Splenda's ingredients list. That is because
under Food and Drug Administration regulations, it
cannot list a substance that has vaporized during the
Sucralose is produced by substituting three chlorine
atoms for three hydroxyl groups. Sucralose is not
approved for use in most European countries, where
national healthcare programs are prominent. Go figure.
So then what is the big deal with ingesting synthetic food
agents? The mother company of McNeil, Johnson &
-36- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 37
Continued from page 36 – Splenda Essentials revealed as
Chemical Sweetener containing Chlorine Atoms
Continued from page 31 - Scientists create GM Cow to cut
Milk allergies in Children
Johnson, contends that sucralose passes through the
body unabsorbed, yet according to the FDA's "Final
Rule" report, 11% to 27% of sucralose is absorbed in
humans, and the rest is excreted. The Japanese Food
Sanitation Council reports that up to 40% of ingested
sucralose is absorbed and can concentrate in the liver,
kidney, and gastrointestinal tract, having a negative
impact on overall health.
(RNAi) for "knocking out" the cow's gene for betalactoglobulin. The RNAi technique uses a natural method
for switching off genes without the need to generate
DNA mutations within the genes.
Dr. James Bowen, a biochemist and survivor of
aspartame poisoning, warns the general public about
Splenda, saying, "Sucralose is simply chlorinated
sugar." Bowen's research also reveals that sucralose can
shrink thymus glands (the biological seat of immunity)
and produce liver inflammation in rats and mice.
A study conducted on rats by researchers at Duke
University, one of the world's foremost patient care and
research institutions, determined that Splenda actually
contributes to obesity, destroys "good" intestinal
bacteria, and can prevent prescription drugs from being
Since real sugar is only 15 calories per teaspoon,
maybe everyone trying to manage their weight should
just use the real thing in their coffee or tea. Then it
would also be healthier to take the stairs instead of the
elevator, park further away from their destination and
walk it off, and buy vitamins from a local health food
The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, is one of the first
examples of the RNAi technique being used to create
farm livestock with novel traits. Other scientists are
working on ways of using RNAi to create new strains of
domestic animals that have a natural immunity to viruses
Bruce Whitelaw, Professor of animal biotechnology at
the University of Edinburgh, who was not involved in the
research, said the study demonstrates the power of the
RNAi technique. But he added: "Whether this is
commercially viable depends on how it would compare
against other methods. RNAi has a long history of
successful application in diverse species from plants to
worms. This is the first report for livestock… Time will
tell how widely applicable RNAi will be in GM livestock.
"This reduction in the level of one milk protein was
accompanied by an increase in others, namely the
caseins. This is notable since it represents one of the few
RNAi success stories in mammals and offers a good
example of how these technologies can be used," he
Mad Cow Disease May Infect
Through Milk despite USDA
By Anthony Gucciardi
April 27, 2012
Following the latest confirmed case of mad cow disease
in California, the USDA and the dairy industry alike are
struggling to assure consumers that drinking affected
milk poses no serious risk to your health.
Despite these warnings, some scientists have found
research that points to the contrary. In fact, two large
studies found that prions — pathogenic agents associated
with mad cow disease and other life-threatening
conditions — can actually transfer from animal to animal
via milk consumption.
Continued on page 38
-37- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 37– Mad Cow Disease May Infect
Through Milk despite USDA Claims
Mad Cow Disease May Infect Through
One such study, performed by a conglomerate of
French, Norwegian, and British researchers, actually
observed the presence of prions in sheep milk – the
very prions that the USDA says cannot inhabit US
dairy. Shockingly, this peer-reviewed study was
published back in 2008 in the journal PLoS Pathogens.
Why has the USDA not spoken of this study, or even
the second study that reached similar conclusions? In
case you’re unsure, let’s examine an excerpt from the
This finding indicates that milk from small ruminants
could contribute to the transmission of prion disease
between animals. It also raises some concern with
regard to the risk to humans associated with milk
products from ovine and other dairy species.
While it may not be a study correlating prions to cow
dairy milk, it is certainly cause for the USDA to launch
a full investigation and warn consumers of the potential
risks. Instead, the agency continues to insist that the
milk is completely safe. You may be wondering if this
still applies to the recent outbreak due to the fact that it
has been described as ‘rare’ and ‘atypical’ by the
USDA in official statements. Interestingly, there have
not been any studies regarding the transmission
between this ‘atypical’ mad cow disease and milk.
Therefore, the USDA ‘experts’ are completely in the
dark and ultimately bringing public health along with
According to Mother Jones, Consumers Union chief
scientist Michael Hansen confirmed the lack of
research, stating that he is unaware of any study
regarding the link between this rare form of the disease:
In a phone interview, Hansen stressed that previous
studies have suggested that “classic” BSE—not the
“atypical” one found in the California cow—does not
transmit through milk.
There is also another study that brings up the question
as to whether or not milk could transmit the disease.
Scientists in the UK revealed startling findings back in
2008 as well, demonstrating that the”transmission of
scrapie from ewe to lamb via milk (or colostrum)” was
entirely possible. Their work was published in BMC
Veterinary Research, another prominent journal.
The USDA is an organization that admittedly ‘doesn’t
know’ if you are eating cloned meat, and has repeatedly
chosen major corporations over public interest. Is it any
wonder why the organization is also failing to research
this issue to the full extent that it should?
The Harmful Effects of
By Rachel Morgan
June 8, 2011
Typically associated with Chinese food, monosodium
glutamate (MSG) is a common food additive used in
some restaurants and processed foods. MSG is used to
improve flavor as well as tenderize meat. MSG first came
under criticism in the 1960s following reports that intake
of MSG caused a number of negative physical reactions.
Both the FDA and the American Medical Association
consider MSG safe, but you may experience unpleasant
symptoms if you have an intolerance for it.
MSG is the sodium salts created from the amino acid
glutamate. The FDA approves the use of MSG for flavor
enhancement; however, food producers must list the
additive in a product's ingredients list if it is used. MSG
may develop on its own in food due to use of hydrolyzed
proteins, which are also flavor enhancers. These broken
down proteins provide the opportunity for free sodium
and glutamate to join, thereby producing MSG. The FDA
does not require producers to list MSG on nutrition labels
if the substance is formed in this way.
Consuming MSG may put you at risk for putting on
weight. A study published in June 2011 in the "American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition" examined data from 10,095
healthy Chinese adults. Researchers found that MSG
intake was associated with increased body mass index
among the adults; in fact, those that consumed the most
MSG were about 30 percent more likely to end up
overweight in comparison to the adults who ate the least
of the additive. More research is needed to understand the
MSG-weight link, but its possible effect on the hormone
leptin, which regulates appetite, may play a role.
MSG Symptom Complex
Perhaps the most well-known effects of MSG comprise
what is known as the MSG symptom complex, also called
Chinese restaurant syndrome, as it is a commonly used
ingredient in Chinese and other Asian cuisines. Most
cases are not serious and do not require treatment. The
symptoms, however, can be frightening. They include
headache, nausea, heart palpitations, chest pain, sweating,
-38- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 39
Continued from page 38 – Harmful Effects of Monosodium
facial pressure and weakness. Numbness and tingling in
various body parts, often in the neck or above, are also
Another potential consequence of having MSG
intolerance is the risk for migraines. These severe
headaches can affect the whole body, causing vision
problems, noise sensitivity and even vomiting. Many
factors come into play when it comes to your likelihood
of having migraines, with food intolerances being a
significant trigger. If you discover that MSG-containing
foods contribute to your headaches, it's best to eliminate
them from your diet or find ways to prepare food
without the additive. Although the exact cause is
unknown, MSG can trigger a migraine soon after you
Columbia University Health Services; MSG: Troublesome
Food Additive or Fantastic Flavor Enhancer?; August 2002
Food and Drug Administration: Food Safety: Natural
Flavorings on Meat and Poultry Labels
"American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; Consumption of
Monosodium Glutamate in Relation to Incidence of
Overweight in Chinese Adult: China Health and Nutrition
Survey (CHNS); Ka He, et al.; June 2011
MedlinePlus; MSG Linked to Weight Gain; Adam Marcus;
MayoClinic.com; Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): Is It
Harmful?; Katherine Zeratsky, RD, LD; January 2010
Loyola University Health System: Migraine and Vertigo
Harmful effects of MSG on
Function of HypothalamusPituitary-target Gland
accumulated in the abdomen of male rats treated with
MSG; weights of the body, pituitary and testis were
lower; beta-EP content in hypothalamus decreased while
L.EnK content increased; serum LH, FSH, TSH, GH and
TS levels all decreased in varying degrees while serum
PRL level significantly increased. The cAMP content
lowered in pituitary, but nor in testes; clear histological
changes occurred in testicular tissue; Se-GSH-Px activity
in both testis and adrenal gland lowered while LPO level
significantly increased. Both Se-GSH-Px activity and
LPO level in liver increased. These results indicate that
MSG is harmful to the function of the hypothalamuspituitary-target system of neonatal rats.
Biomed Environ Sci. 1995 Dec;8(4):310-7.
Continued from page 3 – Traditional African
Perception of Illness
An illness first considered normal as abnormal exists:
a) when modern medicines fail to achieve the expected
b) when there is a worsening or failure of the illness to
respond to treatment;
c) when there is an appearance of symptoms believed to
be peculiar to Africans;
d) when there is an appearance of additional symptoms
that in the light of traditional knowledge are regarded as
Many patients who choose traditional medical aid
initially or witch to it eventually also seek modern
medicine again.The change of therapy is more likely to
occur in the following circumstances.
a) when traditional medicines fail to cure the illness;
b) when the suspicions held by the patient and his social
group regarding the cause of the illness are not confirmed
by traditional practitioners;
Gong SL, Xia FQ, Wei J, Li XY, Sun TH, Lu Z, Liu SZ
c) when the patient and his or her social group are unable
to accept the traditional healers’s diagnosis;
Institute of Radiation Medicine, Norman Bethune
University of Medical Sciences, Changchun, China.
d) when the patient and his or her social group are
uncertain about the diagnosis or prognosis of the illness
and are willing to try both approaches to healing;
It has been demonstrated that neonatal administration of
monosodium glutamate (MSG) results in a clearly
defined lesion of the arcuate nucleus (AN) of the
hypothalamus. The present study shows that fat was
e) when the symptoms that were initially regarded as
strange or supernatural disappear.
In certain cases the same illness is refereed at different
stages or simultaneously to both modern and traditional
Continued on page 77
-39- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
Volume 7, Issue 11
Human Digestive System
By Marlene Alphonse
July 26, 2012
The human digestive system is a vital organ system in the body. This system is made up of
different organs, which function in a synchronized manner to assimilate food and expel
The human body is a complex system that consists of a
number of organ systems working in sync together for
the sustenance of life. Even if one of the organ systems
is absent or is malfunctioning, then it can affect the
entire body system. The human digestive system, also
called the gastrointestinal tract or GI tract, is one such
system whose main function is digestion. Food and
drink, when consumed, need to be broken down into
small parts so that the body is able to use them for
nourishment and energy. Digestion begins in the mouth
and ends in the small intestine. The food in the mouth is
mixed with digestive juices, and is broken down into
smaller molecules. It is then pushed into the stomach,
where further digestion takes place. The digested food
is assimilated in the blood and transported to the entire
The main function of the pharynx is the passage of
food and air to the respective organs.
Digestive System of the Human Body
If you observe the diagram of the digestive system, you
will notice that it is made up of different organs that
function together. With the help of the explanation
provided, you can understand the working mechanism
of this organ system.
The Mouth or Buccal Cavity
The mouth or the oral cavity is the starting point of the
digestive system. The buccal cavity has a set of 32
teeth, a tongue, and salivary glands. All these parts help
in the chewing and breakdown of food. There are three
types of salivary glands, categorized according to their
placement in the mouth - parotid, submandibular and
sublingual. The salivary glands release enzymes that
partially digest the food in the mouth before it is passed
to the stomach through the esophagus. There is also
another part in the oral cavity in the throat, known as
the pharynx. The pharynx is the common pipe for the
esophagus and the trachea (also known as wind pipe).
The esophagus, which is also known as the gullet or
food pipe, is a long narrow pipe that connects the
mouth to the stomach. The primary function of this
pipe is transportation of food and liquid from the
mouth to the stomach. The chewed food is passed
through the food pipe by the process of peristalsis.
Peristalsis is a process which consists of rhythmic
contractions of the muscles in the inner wall of the
esophagus to push the food through the pipe into the
Continued on page 41
-40- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 40 – Human Digestive System
The Stomach and Pancreas
The next important organ of the human digestive system
is the stomach, where the actual digestion takes place.
The stomach is located on the left side of the body below
the diaphragm and has a cardiac sphincter muscle at the
opening. This muscle further pushes the bolus (chewed
food) into the stomach from the gullet. Once all the bolus
is transported, the muscle closes and the stomach begins
its process of churning the food.
Gastric juices and enzymes are released in the stomach
which aid in the further digestion of the bolus.
Hydrochloric acid is also released during the process of
digestion which helps break the protein molecules into
peptides. The stomach wall has an inner lining that
secretes peritoneal fluid and mucus to protect the
stomach cavity from erosion due to the presence of
gastric juices and acid.
The pancreas is a small leaf-like gland located below the
stomach. This exocrine gland secretes digestive enzymes
(in the pancreatic fluid), through the duct into the small
intestine to assist in the digestion of chyme (partly
digested food). The primary purpose of this organ is the
metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and lipids (or fats).
The pancreas consists of tiny structures called the islets
of Langerhans which secrete insulin for the additional
function of maintaining the blood glucose levels.
The Liver and Gallbladder
The liver and gallbladder secrete enzymes for the
complete assimilation of food. The liver, which is the
largest gland in the body, also acts as a storehouse for
glycogen, vitamins and minerals. The liver produces an
enzyme called bile which metabolizes the fat and protein
molecules into smaller molecules for easy digestion. The
gallbladder is a tiny organ near the liver and is a part of
the biliary system. The gallbladder acts as a storehouse
for bile and also to increase its concentration. Together,
the liver and the gallbladder help to expel urea and other
toxic wastes from the body, through urine.
The Small and Large Intestine
While taking a look at the anatomy of the small intestine,
it can be seen that the organ is a thin wire-like structure
intertwined and connected to the large intestine. The last
stage of digestion takes place in the small intestine where
all the nutrients from the food are absorbed. The main
function of the small intestine is the absorption of
digested food. The digested food is then assimilated in
the small intestine and the waste is passed on to the large
intestine. A finger-like structure called appendix, which
is a vestigial organ, is connected to the beginning of the
large intestine (also referred to as cecum). The large
intestine then expels the waste out of the body to the
rectum. The rectum stores the undigested food or fecal
matter to be dispelled from the body through the anus,
which is the final part of the digestive system.
The digestive system carries out the vital function of
providing nutrition to the body. It is hard to imagine
what it would be like if this important system was
missing. For proper digestive health it is essential to
quit harmful vices like alcohol, smoking etc. Hence
you must also be aware of the common diseases of the
digestive system, so that you can prevent them from
occurring and also seek medical attention if you are
affected. Eat nutritious and stay healthy!
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF
By Michael Berry
Sweet, sour, bitter and salty. That's it, pal, unless you
want to count umami, the weird, nearly-indescribable
sensation associated with monosodium glutamate.
Which you probably don't, unless you're a chemical
senses researcher or about to chow down on cheap
Every time you stick something in your maw, one or a
combination of those four primary tastes alerts you to
vital information about that mouthful of matter. If it's
sweet, maybe it's got the nutrients your body needs to
keep running for another few hours. If it's salty,
perhaps you can replace some of those vital minerals
you just excreted through sweat or urine. If it's sour,
there's a chance it's not ripe and will give you a bad
bellyache. If it's bitter, watch out -- it could be poison
and your next swallow will be your last.
Of course, these are not the things you think about
when sitting down to an elegant, five-course French
meal or even while scarfing down a chili dog, fries and
a Bud at a baseball game. Mostly, you're hungry, and
you want something that tastes good. Simple as that.
-41- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 42
Continued from page 41 – The Physiology of Taste
But deciding what tastes "good" is anything but simple. A
food's flavor doesn't usually depend on data from a single
sense. Rather, smell, touch, sight and even hearing often
come into play, and the best methods of pleasurably
exciting those senses during a meal or snack occupies the
days of thousands of chefs, brewers, marketing flaks, and
scientists around the world.
Open your mouth and say, "Aaahh!" There's your tongue,
that pink, flexible muscle marinating in saliva.
You might call the little knobs dotting the surface of your
tongue taste buds, but you'd be wrong. Those are
papillae, and there are four kinds of them: fungiform and
filiform on the front half, foliate and vallate on the back.
The actual taste buds, described variously as resembling
either tiny navel oranges or onions, cluster together in
packs of two to 250 within the papillae. The buds in turn
consist of up to 100 cells, either receptor or basal.
When something tasty enters the mouth, its chemicals are
dissolved by the saliva, and the free-floating molecules
enter the taste bud through a pore in its center. If the
molecule binds to the tip of a receptor cell, it will excite
that cell into issuing a series of chemical and electrical
signals. It used to be thought that these electrical signals
would then be fired directly into the brain, but the process
turns out to be more complicated than that.
For example, sweet and some bitter taste stimuli activate
a chemical messenger known as gustducin, member of
the old and venerable G-family of proteins and cousin to
transducin, the protein in the eye which helps to translate
light into vision. In ways not completely understood, the
activation of gustducin inititates an electrochemical
dialogue among the receptor cells, which then transmit
their messages to the basal cells at the bottom of the bud.
The basal cells can also "talk" back to the receptor cells
and among themselves. Once everybody has their stories
straight, the data are relayed to the brain, to the gustatory
cortex to be specific. "Geez, that's sweet," you think.
buds detecting sweetness on the tip of the tongue. Those
were flanked by the salt-detecting buds, with the sour
ones running farther along the sides. The bitter buds,
last defense against gag-inducing toxins, lurked across
the back of the tongue.
Nice, neat, orderly. And not very accurate. There are
taste buds throughout the oral cavity, even on the upper
palate. Any bud is capable of detecting all the basic
tastes. It's just that some are more sensitive to a
particular taste than to the others.
The tongue map also neglects to take into account the
impact the other senses have on taste. In a lot of cases,
you pick up clues about the food you're about to eat
long before any of it gets into your mouth. Like that
left-over beef stoganoff that's been sitting at the back of
your refrigerator for a month. Chances are, you won't
even bother to dirty a fork before chucking that rank
mess into the Dispos-All. Your nose knows what's up,
that the last thing your body needs is a stomacheful of
virulent bacteria in cream sauce.
Smell, of course, doesn't simply warn against spoiled
food. It also increases your enjoyment of practically
everything you eat. Much of what we commonly refer to
as "flavor" is actually a combination of smell and taste,
with taste most often assuming the secondary position.
As a child, I read a book of scientific riddles which
included the question "When does an onion taste like a
strawberry?". The answer was "When you hold your
nose," and the text urged me to go to Mom's larder and
try the experiment myself. Loath to bite into a raw
Bermuda even with my nostrils clamped shut, I gave it a
pass, but the theory is still sound. With your eyes closed
and your nose pinched tight, you wouldn't be able to tell
the difference between, say, a chunk of apple and a
chunk of turnip. Anyone who's ever suffered with hay
fever or even just a bad head cold can verify that most
foods taste pretty much the same when your nasal
passages are clogged with excess mucus.
Salty and sour molecules don't seem to need to mess
around with the receptor tips, permeating the taste cells
directly through special channels in their walls. For
example, the channels allow electrically charged sodium
ions in and potassium ions out. As the interior of the cell
grows progressively more positively charged, it sets up a
small electric current that triggers more intercellular
messages and, once again, word is passed to the brain
that something salty, perhaps a pretzel, is about to
plummet down the esophagus.
On the way into your mouth, foods are already giving
off vapors that waft up into your nose. Once you start
chewing, more vapors travel the retronasal route, up the
pharynx and into the nasal cavities. At the back of each
cavity, the molecules hit the olfactory membrane, a
postage stamp-sized patch of yellowish gray tissue.
If you were paying attention in high school biology, you
may remember a map of the tongue that grouped the
The olfactory receptor cells are actually neurons, or
Each membrane contains an estimated 100 million
receptor cells, which sounds impressive until you realize
that a German shepherd reportedly has a billion of the
-42- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 43
Continued from page 42 – The Physiology of Taste
nerve cells, outfitted at their knobby ends with six to
twelve hair-like cilia. The cilia dangle into the thin layer
of mucus that coats the membrane and snag passing
particles for smell analysis.
Each receptor cell is connected by a single primary
olfactory neuron to one of the brain's two olfactory bulbs.
The primary olfactory neurons pass through holes in the
cribriform plate, a penny-thin bone at the front of the
cranial cavity upon which the olfactory bulb rests. The
primary neurons come together in structures known as
glomeruli and there meet secondary neurons.
Messages shoot across the synapses, the gaps separating
the primary and secondary neurons.Smell nerves fibers
then wind their way in complex paths throughout the rest
of the brain, particularly into the most primitive portions,
evolutionarily speaking. Some fibers reach the
hypothalamus, the center controlling appetite, anger, fear
and pleasure, while others continue into the
hippocampus, which regulates memories, or descend into
the depths of the brain stem, where such basic functions
as remembering to breathe are regulated.
That's why odors can generate extremely powerful
emotional responses. In Proust's masterwork, it probably
wasn't the sweet taste of that madelaine that unleashed
the remembrance of things past. Rather, it was likely to
have been the buttery odor that stimulated the narrator's
hippocampus and hypothalamus. See how an
understanding of neuroscience adds to the enjoyment of
interminable classics of French literature?
As for how you identify one particular scent from
another, the answers are far from clear-cut. In the 1930s,
researchers discovered that different areas of the
olfactory bulbs are sensitive to different types of smells,
that some receptors are stimulated by a particular odorant
while others aren't. A popular theory developed by in the
1960s by Dr. John Amoore of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture emphasized the shape of a molecule as a key
component of its perceived smell. He proposed five
primary classes of odors with specific molecular shapes:
camphor-like (spherical), musky (disk-shaped), floral
(kite-shaped), pepperminty (wedge-shaped) and etherlike (rod-shaped). He also suggested two other classes,
pungent and putrid, whose distinguishing characteristics
were not their shape, but the electric charge of their
particles. All in all, Amoore believed that there at least
thirty primary odors.
Like the tongue map of yore, Amoore's classifications
work as gross generalizations, but they don't come close
to revealing the whole picture. In 1991, researchers at
Columbia University, Drs. Richard Axel and Linda
Buck identified a family of genes that carry blueprints
for particular odor receptor proteins. It's pretty darn
large family, with as many as one thousand members.
Consequently, human noses contain roughly a
thousand types of receptor cells, and, because each
type may be capable of recognizing more than one
smell, the number of distinct odors capable of being
perceived by the human nose jumps up to an estimated
Just as many folks start out with 20-20 vision in their
youth and wind up wearing tri-focals come retirement,
your senses of taste and smell changes over time. The
average adult reportedly has approximately 10,000
taste buds, but children have more, including some
dotted along the inside of their cheeks. Infants seem to
arrive hard-wired to react to bitterness and sweetness,
though the ability to detect saltiness takes six months
or so to develop. The childish craving for sweets
typically declines during adolescence, probably as a
way of limiting caloric intake.
As you journey through adulthood, your sense of taste
remains at roughly the same level, although abusing
your taste buds, such as by smoking or repeatedly
scalding the tongue with hot beverages, obviously has
a dulling effect on them. Unlike all other brain cells,
the olfactory receptor cells in the nose are continually
dying off and regenerating themselves, but a gradual
loss of smell sensitivity is not uncommon in the
Sometimes, though, things go seriously awry,
permanently in some cases. It's estimated that between
two and four million Americans suffer from smell and
taste disorders. The complete loss of smell is called
anosmia, while a significantly reduced ability to detect
odors is referred to as hyposmia.
Viral infections and head trauma are among the leading
culprits. Viruses can kill off olfactory cells, which
usually grow back but sometimes don't. A blow to the
back of the head can send the brain careening at high
speed into the front of the skull, severing the delicate
connections between olfactory neurons. Exposure to
toxic chemicals can rob you of your sense of smell,
and benzene, chlorine, mercury and various
insecticides have all been implicated in various cases.
Loss of smell can also be one of the early symptoms of
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, leading some
researchers to theorize that the agents that cause those
maladies enter the central nervous system through the
olfactory nerve, damaging it in the process.
-43- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 44
Continued from page 43 – The Physiology of Taste
If called to sacrifice one of your senses, you might think
jettisoning smell would be the way to go. But according
to Dr. April Mott, Medical Director of the Connecticut
Chemosensory Clinical Research Center, patients with
anosmia cope with formidable obstacles to their physical
and mental well-being. First of all, remember that a
food's smell accounts for about three-quarters of its
flavor. Just imagine what it would be like if breakfast,
lunch and dinner tasted pretty much the same every
single day of your life. Also, because eating plays such a
focal role in our social lives, anosmia patients sometimes
feel isolated from their friends who enjoy the everyday
pleasures of going out for pizza or having a cocktail after
Other dangers and inconveniences abound for the smellimpaired. They can't smell smoke, detect gas leaks, spot
certain types of rotten food, or know immediately when
Junior needs his diaper changed. Some become
increasingly worried about their own body odor, taking
multiple showers every day to forestall any unwitting
Unpleasant tastes and smells chronically plague a small
percentage of patients with chemosensory disorders.
Sjogren's Syndrome, a fairly common ailment among
post-menopausal women, dries out the mouth and nose
and can sometimes produce a foul, soapy taste. Cancer
patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy
occasionally report phantom tastes or odors.
There's even reason to suspect that Louis XI, a 15th
Century king of France, suffered from an olfactory
disorder. The perception that everything around him
stank terribly no doubt contributed to his bad temper and
helped earn him the sobriquet of "the terrible king."
Synesthesia, wherein one sensation involuntarily conjures
up another, probably stands as the top nominee in the
category of Weirdest Sensory Syndrome. The fusion of
sound and color -- perceiving the musical note of high C
as possessing a red hue, for example -- has been noted in
the medical literature as far back as the seventeenth
century. In "The Man Who Tasted Shapes," however,
Richard E. Cytowic recounts the case of Michael Watson,
an art teach in North Carolina, who had the singular
ability to associate various tastes with a collection of
three-dimensional geometric shapes.
Cytowic describes how might feel to a synesthete to grab
a slice of chocolate mint pie from the 'fridge and eat it:
"As you do, you feel a dozen columns before you,
invisible to the eye but real to the touch. You set the fork
down and run your hand up and down their cool, smooth
surfaces. As you roll the minty taste in your mouth,
your outstretched hand rubs the back curve of one of the
columns. What a sumptuous sensation. The surface
feels cool, refreshing, even sexual in a way."
Sounds kind of scary, but Cytowic asserts that
synesthesia is a normal brain function in every person
but that reaches conscious awareness in only a handful.
In synesthetes, parts of the brain become disconnected
from each other due to a rebalancing of local
metabolism following a stimulus. Cytowic traces
synesthesia's ultimate origin to our old friend the
hippocampus, where the perception of subjective
experience is monitored.
Even for those of us not prone to synesthia, the sense of
touch provides another important facet to a food's
flavor. Is it slick like an oyster? Cold like a milk shake?
Full of carbonation like a Diet Coke? All of these
sensations and many more are registered by the
trigeminal system of nerve fibers.
The pungency of a wad of green mustard served with
sushi doesn't correspond to any of the four basic tastes.
Rather, the kick you get from it is a function of how
much pain it inflicts on nerve fibers in your mouth. Also
located in the tongue's papillae, these pain fibers are
actually wrapped around the taste buds.
Chemical irritants that humans have learned to like in
their food include capsaicin in chili peppers, the
gingerols in ginger, piperin in black pepper and the
various isothiocyanates in onions, mustard, radishes and
horseradish. You consider them "hot" because they
stimulate only a subset of the pain fibers in your mouth,
not all of them. But that subset also includes sensors
that monitor temperature, hence the burning sensation
associated with even an ice-cold super-jalapeno.
Why do some folks prefer to eat foods that actually
inflict pain? In a study done at the University of
Pennsylvania in 1980, Dr. Paul Rozin hypothesized that
eating chilis and the like releases endorphins, the
euphoric, pain-killing neurochemicals responsible for
the fabled "runner's high." Or maybe it's simply that, as
they say, variety is the spice of life, and a bit of oral
irritation now and then pleasurably broadens the
spectrum of flavors.
As to the reason why some people can cheerfully
withstand the ravages of irritant-packed food and others
bolt for the water fountain at the first nibble on a
wayward jalapeno, part of it is no doubt genetic, but
there's also a phenomenon known as "transient
desensitization." Keep eating chili after chili, and your
-44- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 45
Continued from page 44 – The Physiology of Taste
mouth is going to get hotter and hotter. Take a break,
though, maybe two or five minutes, and when you
resume your meal, the burning sensation won't be quite
so fierce.… Desensitization can last hours, and people
who make a habit of eating spicey food may be partly
desensitized virtually all the time.
Wouldn't you know it, but one fine example of these
different sensory sensations working in concert occurs
when you drink a glass of beer?
According to Dr. Gary K. Beauchamp, Director of the
Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, one of
beer's primary components, namely the alcohol,
stimulates all three sensory systems. "It stimulates taste,
being a little bit bitter itself. It stimulates olfaction,
having a sort of sweet odor. And it stimulates the
trigeminal system, giving the drink some bite. That's
probably one of the reasons why it's be difficult to make
an alcohol-free beer that has the same characteristics as a
Just as beer manufacturers are continually monkeying
around with their product's basic recipe to fill new
marketing niches, chemosensory researchers are always
on the alert for new methods of boosting flavor while
removing a food's less healthy ingredients (sugar, salt,
fat, etc.). So far, the search for an artifical sweetener, for
example, has relied purely on serendipity, but, according
to Dr. Beauchamp of Monell, that may change as
scientists develop a better understanding of molecular
chemistry. He says, "Once we have identified what the
sweet receptor is, we'll be able design sweet molecules.
Even though there are clues suggesting there will never
be a salt substitute, we may be able to make a salt
There's no telling exactly what the Brave New World of
Flavor might hold. Perhaps no-fat, low-sodium, lowcalorie kibble that packs the appetite-fulfilling power of a
sixteen-inch deep-dish pizza with a dozen different
In the meantime, as you think about what gives your
brain's gustatory cortex the biggest jolt for the money,
you might do well to contemplate the words of
nineteenth-century art critic John Ruskin: "Taste in the
only morality. . .Tell me what you like, and I'll tell you
what you are."
(c) 1994 by Michael Berry
Digestion and Absorption of
The gastrointestinal (GI) system includes the
gastrointestinal tract (mouth, pharynx, esophagus,
stomach, small intestine, large intestine) and accessory
organs (salivary gland, liver, gallbladder, pancreas)
that secrete substances into the tract via connecting
GI system breaks down particles of ingested food into
molecular forms by enzymes (digestion) that are then
transferred to the internal environment (absorption).
Functions of GI organs
The GI tract begins at the mouth, where digestion
begins with chewing. Saliva containing mucus and the
enzyme amylase is secreted from 3 pairs of salivary
glands, located in the head. Mucus moistens the food
and amylase partially digests polysaccharides
(starches). Food then reaches the stomach through the
pharynx and esophagus.
The stomach is the sac that stores and digests food
macromolecules into a solution called chyme. Glands
lining the stomach secrete hydrochloric acid that
dissolves food particles and protein-digesting enzymes,
Final stages of digestion and most of the nutrient
absorption occurs in next portion of the tract: the small
intestine. The small intestine is divided into 3 segments
- duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.
The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach.
From its exocrine portion it secretes (1) digestive
enzymes and (2) a fluid rich in HCO3- ions to
neutralize the acid from stomach. The liver secretes
bile. Bile contains HCO3- ions and bile salts to
solubilize fats. Bile reaches the gall bladder through
hepatic ducts and is stored in the gall bladder between
meals. During a meal, bile is secreted from the gland
by smooth muscle contraction and reaches the
duodenum portion of the small intestine by the
common bile duct.
Monosaccharides, amino acids and mineral salts are
absorbed by transporter-mediated processes while fatty
acid water diffuses passively.
Undigested material is passed to large intestine, where
it is temporarily stored and concentrated by
reabsorption of salts and water. Finally, contractions of
rectum, the last part of large intestine, expel the feces
through the anus.
Continued on page 46
-45- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 45 – Slow Digestive System
Structure of GI Tract Wall
The luminar surface is covered by a single layer of
epithelium containing exocrine and endocrine cells. The
exocrine cells disintegrate and discharge into the lumen,
releasing their enzymes. The epithelia with an underlying
layer of connective tissue (lamnia propia) and muscle
(muscularis mucosa) are called mucosa. Below the
mucosa is a layer of inner circular and outer longitudinal
smooth muscle called muscularis externa, which provides
the forces for moving and mixing the GI contents. The
outermost layer of the tube is made up of connective
tissue called serosa. The luminar surface of the tube is
highly convoluted into projections called villi and
microvilli; both of which increase total surface area for
absorption. The center of each villus has a single bluntended lymphatic vessel called lacteal. Venous drainage
from the intestine transports absorbed materials to the
liver for processing via the hepatic portal vein.
Digestion and Absorption
Digestion begins in the mouth by salivary amylase and
completed in the small intestine by pancreatic amylase.
Monosaccharides, such as glucose, galactose and
fructose, are produced by the breakdown of
polysaccharides and are transported to the intestinal
epithelium by facilitated diffusion or active transport.
Facilitated diffusion moves the sugars to the bloodstream.
Proteins are broken down to peptide fragments by pepsin
in the stomach, and by pancreatic trypsin and
chemotrypsin in the small intestine. The fragments are
then digested to free amino acids by carboxypeptidase
from the pancreas and aminopeptidase from the intestinal
epithelium. Free amino acids enter the epithelium by
secondary active transport and leave it by facilitated
diffusion. Small amounts of intact proteins can enter
interstitial fluid by endo- and exocytosis.
Fat digestion occurs by pancreatic lipase in small
intestine. A monoglyceride and two fatty acids are
produced in the digestive process. Large lipid droplets are
first broken down into smaller droplets, by a process
called emulsification. Emulsification is driven by
mechanical disruption (by contractile activity of GI tract)
and emulsifying agents (amphipathic bile salts).
Pancreatic colipase binds the water-soluble lipase to the
Digested products and bile salts form amphipathic
micelles. These micelles keep the insoluble products in
soluble aggregates from which small amounts are
released and absorbed by epithelial cells via diffusion.
Free fatty acids and monoglycerides then recombine
into triacylglycerols at the smooth ER, are processed
further in the Golgi and enter the interstitial fluid as
droplets called chylomicrons, which are then taken up
by the lacteals in the intestine.
Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed and stored along
with fats. Most water-soluble vitamins are absorbed by
diffusion or mediated transport. Vitamin B12, because
of its large size and charged nature, first binds to a
protein, called intrinsic factor, which is secreted by the
stomach epithelium, and is then absorbed by
The stomach absorbs some water but most is absorbed
at small intestine by diffusion.
Regulation of GI Processes
Control mechanisms of the GI system regulate
conditions in the lumen of the tract. Reflexes are
(1) Distension of wall by volume of luminal contents
(2) Chyme osmolarity
(3) Chyme pH
(4) Chyme concentrations of specific products.
Neural Regulation of the GI tract
Impulses to the GI muscles and exocrine glands are
supplied by enteric nervous system, the local nervous
system of GI tract, which allows local, short reflexes,
independent of CNS. Long reflexes through the CNS
are possible via sympathetic and parasympathetic
nerves, which also innervate the GI tract.
Endocrine cells are scattered throughout GI epithelia
and surface of these cells is exposed to the lumen.
Chemical substances in the chyme stimulate them to
release hormones into blood.
Phases of GI control
Each phase is named according to where the receptor
for a reflex is located. These phases do not occur in
1. The cephalic phase is initiated when sight, smell,
taste, chewing, and emotional states stimulate
receptors in the head. Reflexes mediated by
sympathetic and parasympathetic fibers activate
secretory and contractile activity.
-46- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 47
Continued from page 46 – Slow Digestive System
2. The gastric phase is initiated by distension, acidity, and
the presence of amino acids and peptides in the stomach.
This phase is mediated by short and long reflexes and
activates the secretion of gastrin.
3. The intestinal phase is initiated by distension, acidity,
osmolarity of digestive products in intestine and is
mediated by GI hormones and short and long neural
Mouth, Pharynx, and Esophagus
Chewing is controlled by somatic nerves to the skeletal
muscles and the reflex activation of mechanoreceptors on
the palate, gums and tongue.
Autonomic nerves in response to chemoreceptors and
pressure receptors in mouth stimulate saliva secretion.
Swallowing is mediated by pressure receptors on walls of
pharynx, which send impulses to the swallowing center in
the medulla oblongata. The center activates muscles in
the pharynx and esophagus. Multiple responses occur in a
temporal sequence. The palate is elevated to prevent food
from entering the nasal cavity, respiration is inhibited and
the epiglottis covers the glottis to prevent food from
entering trachea (windpipe). The upper esophageal
sphincter opens and food enters the esophagus and moves
toward the stomach by muscle contractions called
peristaltic waves. Food then moves to the stomach when
the lower esophageal sphincter opens. A less efficient, or
faulty, lower esophageal sphincter results in the reflux of
gastric contents into the esophagus (gastro-esophageal
reflux), this reversal results in heartburn and over time
contributes to ulceration of esophagus.
Epithelium lining the stomach invaginates into the
mucosa, forming tubular glands. Parietal (oxyntic) cells
secrete acid and intrinsic factor and chief cells secrete
enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells, which secrete
histamine, and other cells that secrete somatostatin. The
antrum, a lower portion of the stomach, secretes gastrin.
Increased protein content in a meal stimulates release of
gastrin and histamine, which in turn stimulates HCl
secretion. Somatostatin inhibits acid secretion by
inhibiting the release of gastrin and histamine.
Enterogastones in the duodenum also inhibit gastric acid
The precursor pepsinogen, which is produced by chief
cells, is converted to pepsin by the acid in the stomach.
The stomach produces peristaltic waves in response to
the arrival of food. The pyloric sphincter between the
stomach and duodenum opens to release small amounts
of chyme into the duodenum with each wave. These
waves are generated by pacemaker cells in the
longitudinal smooth muscle layer and are spread out by
gap junctions. Gastrin, distension of stomach etc.
stimulate gastric motility while distension of
duodenum inhibits it.
Inactive trypsinogen is secreted by pancreas and is
later converted by the intestinal enzyme enterokinase
to active trypsin, which digests proteins. Pancreatic
amylase and lipase are secreted in active forms. The
pancreas also secretes bicarbonate ions.
Secretion of pancreatic enzymes is stimulated by
cholecystokinin (CCK), the secretion of which is
triggered by the detected presence of fatty acids and
amino acids in the small intestine. The secretion of
bicarbonate ions is stimulated by secretin, which is
triggered by acidity in small intestine.
Bile contains bile salts, which solubilize fats, and
bicarbonate ions, which in turn are used to neutralize
stomach acids. Bile salts, secreted by hepatocytes
(liver cells) enter the GI tract and are reabsorbed by
transporters in the intestine and are returned to the liver
via the portal vein. This recycling pathway is called the
The sphincter of Oddi controls the entry of the bile
duct into the duodenum. When the sphincter is closed,
secreted bile is shunted into the gallbladder. The
presence of fat in the intestine releases CCK, which
relaxes the sphincter to discharge bile salts into the
The most common motion of the small intestine is
stationary contraction and relaxation, called
segmentation. Segmentation results in little net
movement. The chyme is mixed and brought into
contact with the intestine wall and then moved slowly
toward the large intestine. The movements are initiated
by pacemaker cells in the smooth muscle layer.
After most of the materials are absorbed, segmentation
is replaced by peristaltic activity called migrating
motility complex, which moves any undigested
material to the large intestine. The candidate intestinal
hormone, motilin, initiates migrating motility.
The large intestine consists of 3 parts: the cecum,
colon and rectum. The primary function is to store and
concentrate fecal material for elimination. Chyme
-47- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 48
Continued from page 47 – Slow Digestive System
enters the cecum through the ileocecal sphincter, which
relaxes and opens as a result of the gastroileal reflex.
Na+ is absorbed along with water. K+ and HCO3- ions are
secreted into the lumen. Undigested polysaccharides
(fiber) are metabolized to short-chain fatty acids by the
residing bacteria and these are then absorbed by
diffusion. A small amount of vitamin K is also produced
and absorbed. Bacterial metabolism produces a mixture
of gases, called flatus.
Motility and Defecation
Regular contractions of the circular smooth muscle
produce a slow rhythmic segmentation movement. The
undigested material moves slowly in order to provide
resident bacteria time to grow and multiply. Following a
meal, there is a wave of intense contraction, called mass
movement. The internal anal sphincter is made of smooth
muscle and closes the anus, while the external anal
sphincter is made of skeletal muscle and is under
voluntary control. Both sphincters regulate the anal
opening and closing. Mass movement of fecal material
into the anus initiates the defecation reflex, which is
mediated by mechanoreceptors. The two sphincters open
to expel the feces. If defecation is delayed, rectal contents
are driven back into colon by reverse peristalsis until the
next mass movement.
Pathophysiology of the GI Tract Ulcers
Ulcers are eroded areas of gastric surface and breaks in
the mucosal barrier, which expose the underlying tissue
to corrosive action of acid and pepsin. Damage to
underlying blood vessels may cause bleeding.
The vomit reflex results in the forceful expulsion of toxic
gastric contents. This reflex is coordinated by the
vomiting center in the medulla oblongata. Various
mechano- and chemo- receptors in the stomach and
elsewhere can trigger this reflex. Increased salivation,
sweating, heart rate, pallor etc. accompany the reflex.
Abdominal muscles contract to raise abdominal pressure
while the lower esophageal sphincter opens and gastric
contents are forced into the esophagus (retching). If the
upper esophageal sphincter opens, contents are then
expelled from the mouth (vomiting). Excessive vomiting
can lead to loss of water and salts, which will ultimately
result in dehydration.
Excessive secretion of water insoluble cholesterol in bile
results in formation of crystals, called gallstones, which
can close the opening of gallbladder or the bile duct. If a
stone prevents bile from entering the intestine fat diges-
tion and absorption decreases. If a stone blocks the
entry of the pancreatic duct, it prevents pancreatic
enzymes from entering the intestine, thus preventing
the digestion of other nutrients. A blocked bile duct
inhibits further secretion of bile, resulting in
accumulation of bilirubin in tissues, producing a
yellowish coloration called jaundice. Jaundice is
common in newborns and is rectified by sunlight
Lactose intolerance results from a lack of the enzyme
lactase which digests lactose, the sugar in milk. The
lack of lactase results in the incomplete digestion of
lactose to glucose and galactose.
Constipation and Diarrhea
Constipation is the absence of defecation due to
decreased motility of the large intestine. This results in
excess absorption of water from feces, making it hard
Dietary fiber, which is not digested in small intestine,
can produce distension and increase motility.
Diarrhea results from decreased fluid absorption, or
increased fluid secretion resulting in increased luminal
fluid, which in turn, causes distension and increased
motility. Diarrhea results in decreased blood volume,
loss of water and other nutrients.
Slow Digestive System
Slow digestive system is usually an indication of
something wrong with the diet. However, it also
suggests the presence of underlying digestive disorders
like diarrhea and constipation.
The food that we consume is absorbed and its nutrients
are subsequently sent to different organs through the
blood. All this can happen only when the digestive
system is working at its best. Digestive system for kids
or adults is a complex structure and its proper
functioning is very important for overall health.
However, a slow or sluggish digestive system isn't able
to perform its assigned function effectively. That is
why a person experiencing a bout of slow digestion is
bound to feel extremely uncomfortable post lunch or
dinner. Nausea, bloating and vomiting are the most
common symptoms of sluggish digestive system that
occur after having meals.
The food that we consume is absorbed and its nutrients
-48- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 49
Continued from page 48 – Slow Digestive System
are subsequently sent to different organs through the
blood. All this can happen only when the digestive
system is working at its best. Digestive system for kids or
adults is a complex structure and its proper functioning is
very important for overall health.
However, a slow or sluggish digestive system isn't able to
perform its assigned function effectively. That is why a
person experiencing a bout of slow digestion is bound to
feel extremely uncomfortable post lunch or dinner.
Nausea, bloating and vomiting are the most common
symptoms of sluggish digestive system that occur after
Constipation or common digestive problems like diarrhea
and irritable bowel syndrome can make the digestive
system sluggish. However, if none of these digestive
disorders are present, then a slow digestive system can be
due to the following reasons:
Too Much Protein in the Diet
Although protein is good for health, excessively high
amounts of protein in the diet can slow down the
digestive health. This is because, the body has to really
work to digest protein. Unlike simple carbohydrates,
proteins are heavy, hence are not easy to digest and so
when its presence is alarmingly high in everyday meals,
the consequence is a slow digestive system.
Gastroparesis is a condition that is typically marked by
poor functioning of the muscles. As we all know, the
ingested food passes through the stomach and eventually
enters the intestine, where digestion takes place. A point
to note that although food is digested in the stomach,
most of the digestion occurs inside the intestine. Experts
say that the intestine is the place where nutrients are
observed and eventually circulated in the bloodstream to
various parts of the body.
However if the food stays for longer time in the stomach,
this can affect the digestion process. This condition is
known as gastroparesis, in which the stomach takes more
time to transfer the ingested food to the intestine. This
happens because the stomach muscles that are assigned
the task of pushing the food to the intestine, lose their
ability to work efficiently. Gastroparesis is the result of
malfunctioning of the vagus nerve that regulates
movement of muscles lining the stomach wall.
Deficient in Stomach Acids and Digestive Juice
The bile, a yellowish brown fluid manufactured by the
liver promotes breakdown of fats, thereby playing a key
role to keep digestive health in optimal condition.
However, if the liver is damaged, it can decrease the
bile production. Liver diseases like jaundice and
hepatitis are likely to interfere with the normal
digestive rate. This can slow down the digestion
process substantially. The stomach cells also release
certain acids for better digestion. However, insufficient
production of stomach acids can have a negative
impact on the digestion rate.
Patients taking certain medication like antibiotics and
painkillers on a regular basis can reduce the population
of good bacteria residing in the stomach and the
intestine. Good bacteria aid in digestion and so when
their presence decreases, it can slow down the
Treatment will depend on what is making the digestive
system so slow. The underlying cause has to be
identified, so as to begin the treatment in the right
direction. A well-balanced diet high in easily digestible
foods may help to resolve the issue associated with
high protein. The doctor may also prescribe digestive
enzymes that are available in the form of tablets to
kick-start the digestion process. For gastroparesis,
patients are advised to modify their diet. Usually, the
diet for gastroparesis, involves inclusion of foods easy
to digest. Also avoiding heavy meals is necessary as it
can aggravate gastroparesis symptoms. Having 4-5
small-sized meals, instead of two large meals is the
best way to manage gastroparesis.
Avoid or Minimize Consuming Cold Drinks
Drinking soft drinks or normal chilled water can also
make the digestive system sluggish. After having a
heavy lunch or dinner, many have the habit of
grabbing a bottle of water from the refrigerator to
quench their thirst. This can hinder the digestion of
Usually, the food consumed stays in our stomach for at
least 2 hours, which is necessary for proper digestion.
However, the ingested food does not spend much time
in the stomach (hardly 20 minutes) when people drink
cold water during or immediately after meals. This is
why; digestion can become slow, so one should opt for
water that is stored at normal room temperature.
Ditch Caffeinated Beverages
Coffee consumption and even soda, too can be
detrimental to digestive health. To be honest, drinking
coffee can reduce your ability to digest food.
Indigestion is a common complaint in people who have
been taking coffee for quite some time. Coffee is
-49- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 50
Continued from page 49 – Slow Digestive System
basically an acid forming beverage and it is a common
knowledge that acidic foods are notorious for causing
digestion problems. It is observed that drinking coffee
increases the production of HCl in the stomach. So, every
time you drink coffee, the stomach responds by
producing more than normal amounts of HCl. Over time,
the stomach loses its ability to produce adequate HCl,
which impedes digestion.
Go For Fresh Foods
The habit of eating packed and processed foods should
also be stopped as it can damage the digestive system and
cause gas and bloating. Organically grown foods are
found to be higher in essential vitamins and minerals in
comparison to foods that involve use of synthetic
pesticides. Eating foods that are fresh and properly
cooked can go a long way in maintaining digestive
system. Having raw foodstuffs such as a vegetable salad
daily is equally important to keep the digestive system in
optimal condition. On the whole, a healthy diet that
focuses more on eating vegetables, fruits and whole
wheat products can correct a sluggish digestive system.
On the whole, an easy solution to boost digestive health,
is to follow a suitable diet and lead an active lifestyle.
High fatty foods such as hamburgers and pizza need to be
either avoided or consumed in moderation. Raw foods are
also difficult to digest, so make sure that the food is
properly cooked. Eating habits like chewing the food
properly and following a regular exercise routine can also
contribute immensely to keep digestion problems at bay.
The Digestive System, the
Gallbladder, Acid Reflux and
the Antacid Debacle
By Dr. Alexander
July 24, 2009
digested foods and prevents the other particles form
invading the body. In addition the Gastrointestinal
System (GI system) has the highest amount of nerve
cells in the body after the brain.
Sometimes things go wrong with this system and we
try to fix it by blocking acid production with drugs or
cutting out gall bladders or parts of the intestine. All of
these are the sad result of our incomplete
understanding of the human body. But we really don’t
even have that excuse because what is discussed here
has been know for decades but not implemented. Why?
Topic for a different day!
Acid Reflux happens when the gastroesophageal valve
whose job it is to prevent stomach acid from going
back up the delicate esophagus is not completely
functioning. So acid irritates the comparatively
vulnerable cells of the esophagus and causes
discomfort. The typical allopathic response to this
ailment is to prescribe acid blockers. This is what I did
too for many years even though deep inside my love of
physiology told me there was something wrong with
this approach. It was not till I worked with Dr.
Jonathan Wright in Seattle that I realized how severe
the consequences of such an approach can be.
After all, the acid phase of digestion is critical for
absorption of Vitamin B 12, the breakdown of proteins
and assimilation of most minerals and trace elements.
Some individuals have to live with a genetic condition
where they are unable to make hydrochloric acid.
These individuals are at a higher risk of various
diseases including esophageal and stomach cancer,
stomach polyps, infections of the gastrointestinal tract,
osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases.
Even the Wall Streeet Journal caught on to the dangers
of using todays strong acid blockers. In their issue of
October 10th, 2005 is an article titled “The Hidden
Dangers of Heartburn’, Tara Pope talks about the
dangers of using the modern ‘Proton Pump
Inhihibitor’. She points out a five fold increase in
cancer of the esophagus since the widespread
introduction of acid blockers in the medical system.
The human digestive system is nothing short of
miraculous. Its intricacy and amazing detail is beyond
anything that has been designed by the human scientist.
Acid blockers may help the symptoms of reflux but
does not alleviate the cause of the reflux itself.
It takes diverse food groups, chews and kneads them to a
pulp, subjects them to extremely acid conditions and then
alkaline conditions. It pulses, contracts, expands and
pours out enzymes, hormones and other digestive juices.
So what do you do if you have reflux or digestive
issues? It turns out quite surprisingly that more than
3/4ths of patients with Reflux have low stomach
Acid!! (Number based on my clinical experiences).
The weak acid production in turn decreases the
stimulus for the valve to shut and hence causes reflux.
Then a highly selective, constantly changing proactive
membrane called the Intestinal Lining lets in only the
-50- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 51
Continued from page 50 – The Digestive System, the
Gallbladder, Acid Reflux and the Antacid Debacle
So the problem in what has often been termed
hyperacidity could be actually decreased acid
production? Crazy as it initially sounds – in 3 out of 4
cases of reflux the cause is decreased production of
hydrochloric acid. Other important causes of heartburn
are unhealthy and excessive diets, food allergies and
high intakes of caffeine.
My advice to anyone with reflux or other digestive
problems is to go to a health care professional with a
holistic outlook. Possible causes of low stomach acid
like infection with a bug called Helicobacter pylori will
be ruled out. (This seems to be one reason probiotics
can help heartburn.) There are ways to assess acid
production and the integrity of the stomach mucous
lining to withstand acid production.. Once those things
are squared away they will help you look at how to
replace the acid that you should be making. Chances are
not only will your reflux go away, but the biggest
benefit of all is that your digestive system will be able
to function normally. And that is imperative for a
As tragic as the use of Acid Blockers, is the often
unwarranted surgeries that are done on the gall bladder.
While there are situations where surgery is indicated
and helpful, the vast majority of gall bladder surgeries
are preventable and can do more harm than good. This
is specially when there are no actual stones in the gall
bladder but based on a test called a HIDA scan, you are
told your gall-bladder is not functioning and ejecting
out as much bile as it should. This problem can be
addressed by cleaning up the diet, adding essential fatty
acids like olive oil and eliminating food allergens.
I was sitting in a plane flying to Seattle once and next to
me sat this young Mexican guy who had just moved to
the US and dutifully taken up the American fast food
lifestyle. He had been experiencing fatigue, pains in his
gut and had been told that he needed his gall bladder
taken out. Having nothing much else exciting to do in
the air, I explained to him in detail what he could do to
turn the situation around. He took my card and about
two months later I got a happy, relieved and grateful email from him on how not only his problems had
resolved but he felt better than he had in a long time. I
have to add the usual disclaimer that the FDA does not
necessarily endorse my views and that this is not
intended to be medical advice, but information you can
use to find your way to optimum health.
Can Ginger Beat Out The
Multi-Billion Dollar Acid
By Sayer Ji
August 19, 2012
Did you know that the multi-billion drug category known
as "acid blockers," despite being used by millions around
the world daily, may not work as well as the humble
ginger plant in relieving symptoms of indigestion and
Ginger is a spice, a food, and has been used as a medicine
safely for millennia by a wide range of world cultures.
Research on the health benefits of ginger is simply
staggering in its depth and breadth. In fact, the health
benefits of ginger have been studied extensively for over
100 health conditions or symptoms, making it one of the
world's most versatile, evidence-based remedies.
The biomedical literature on acid blockers, on the other
hand, is rife with examples of the many adverse health
effects that come with blocking stomach acid production
with xenobiotic, patented drugs, i.e. proton pump
inhibitors and H2 antagonists. What started out as
"heartburn" – which in its chronic form is now called
"acid reflux" or "gastroesophageal reflux disorder" – soon
becomes stomach acid barrier dysfunction, when these
drugs remove the acid which protects us from infection,
helps to break down food, and facilitate the absorption of
minerals and nutrients.
The list of 30+ harms is extensive, but here are a few of
the most well-established adverse effects you may not be
-51- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 52
Continued from page 51 – Can Ginger Beat out the MultiBillion Dollar Acid Blockers?
Gastric Lesions and Cancer
underlying nutritional, environmental, emotional context
to lead to the problem in the first place, unchanged.
While taking a ginger pill is usually a better choice than a
chemical one, for most folks, ginger should be consumed
in whole forms, in moderate and balanced quantities,
along with a nourishing, organic, whole-food and
traditional foods diet, in order to move beyond the
paradigm of popping pills, or proprietary fractions of
herbs in order to balance out the pendulum of extremes.
Back to our friend – our "plant ally" – ginger. What
happens when Pharma meets Farm in a biomedical
face-off? When acid-blocking drugs are compared in
efficacy to our little spicy ginger root? Well, this is
what the journal Molecular Research and Food
Nutrition found back in 2007 ...
Titled, "Inhibition of gastric H+, K+-ATPase and
Helicobacter pylori growth by phenolic antioxidants of
Zingiber officinale," the study set out to determine the
anti-ulcer and anti-Helicobacter plyori (a bacteria
commonly implicated in ulcer formation) capacity of
ginger extracts versus conventional acid-blocking
agents, such as lansoprazole (trade name Prevacid).[i]
Researchers found that one fraction of ginger exhibited
six- to eight-fold better potency over lansoprazole at
inhibiting acid production (specifically, gastric cell
proton potassium ATPase activity).
But, this was not all. Ginger was also found to have
potent antioxidant properties, protecting both lipids
from peroxidation (rancidity) and DNA damage,
leading the researchers to conclude that specific
fractions within ginger have "potential in-expensive
multistep blockers against ulcer."
Also, whereas drugs which interfere and/or remove the
stomach acid barrier also deactivate acid-dependent
protein-digesting (proteolytic enzymes) such as
pancreatic protease, and increases the risk of infection
as a result of the loss of the anti-infective effects of the
stomach's acid, ginger actually has an exactly opposite
set of benefits: it contains a proteolytic enzyme several
hundred times more potent than the one found in
antibacterial, antiviral and antiparasitic properties,
to name but only a few of its 40+ distinct
While this study focused on specific isolates of the
whole ginger plant, it must be remembered that whole
plants are not drugs, nor should be reduced to
"nutraceutical" magic-bullets in order to become new
palliative drug alternatives, which is to say, symptomrepressors, leaving the real healing job of changing the
Either way, I think its time with awaken from the
sorcery-like spell of pharmacia (Greek word meaning:
drug, potion, charm, spell, poison), and realize everything
we already need is likely in our backyard, our
refrigerators or cupboards – if not altogether within
Additional Relevant Research:
Water Extinguishes Stomach Acid 175x Faster Than Some
[i] Mugur N Siddaraju, Shylaja M Dharmesh Inhibition of
gastric H+, K+-ATPase and Helicobacter pylori growth by
phenolic antioxidants of Zingiber officinale. Mol Nutr Food
Res. 2007 Mar;51(3):324-32. PMID: 17295419
Out of Africa -- Bacteria, As
Well: Homo sapiens and H.
Pylori jointly spread Across
ScienceDaily (Feb. 16, 2007) — When man made his
way out of Africa some 60,000 years ago to populate the
world, he was not alone: He was accompanied by the
bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which causes gastritis in
many people today. Together, man and the bacterium
spread throughout the entire world. This is the conclusion
reached by an international team of scientists led by Mark
Achtman from the Max Planck Institute for Infection
Biology in Berlin, Germany. The researchers also
discovered that differences developed in the genetic
makeup of the bacteria populations, just as it did in that
of the various peoples of the world. This has also given
scientists new insight into the paths taken by man as he
journeyed across the Earth (Nature online, February 7,
More than half of all human beings are infected with
Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that can cause stomach
-52- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 53
Continued from page 52– Out of Africa: Bacteria As Well
Homo sapiens and H. Pylori jointly spread Across the
ulcers. Like humans, the bacteria are also split up into
numerous regional populations. A team of
scientists led by Mark Achtman at the Max Planck
Institute for Infection Biology, François Balloux at the
University of Cambridge and Sebastian Suerbaum at
Hanover Medical University have found signs of the
parallel evolution of man and H. pylori. Using
demonstrated that H. pylori must have left East Africa
at the same time as man - around 60,000 years ago.
This astonishing conformity was uncovered by
scientists when they compared the nucleotide
sequencing patterns in the DNA of human and H.
In order to characterise the individual populations, the
scientists employed the principle of isolation by
distance. According to this principle, the genetic
distance between two populations has a linear
correlation with the length of the migration paths taken
since they were separated. "It's actually quite logical,"
explains Dr. Mark Achtman, "because in the time that
elapses after a population leaves its point of origin, the
number of mutations in its genetic makeup continually
However, while man was spreading throughout the
world, human populations had to repeatedly pass
through what scientists call genetic bottlenecks: when
a population shrinks, the gene pool also becomes
smaller. These losses in genetic diversity linger, even
when the population starts once again to increase in
number. Since the Homo sapiens populations usually
had to pass through several genetic bottlenecks on
their way across the globe, their genetic diversity
declined the further they journeyed from their origin in
Scientists have now uncovered similar signs of
historical population migration in the genetic makeup
of H. pylori. However, the genetic diversity of the
bacteria is larger than that of man. This paves the way
for researchers to use H. pylori data to work out the
migratory movements of modern man. "The parallels
between the spread of man and of H. pylori are truly
astonishing," says Achtman. "This bacterium could
help us attain further information on aspects of human
history that are still hotly disputed today if we
analyzed H. pylori in conjunction with human data."
For example, after leaving East Africa, the H. pylori
population spread through limited localities in
southern Africa, West Africa, Northeast Africa, India and
The genes of bacteria isolated in Europe, for instance, reveal
influences from Central Asia - an indication that human
immigrants came to Europe from Asia.
The migration paths taken by modern man as he colonized the
world. 60,000 years ago, Homo sapiens left his original home in
East Africa - taking the bacterium Helicobacter pylori with him.
The abbreviation kyears stands for thousand years. (Image: Max
Planck Institute for Infection Biology) Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
(2007, February 16). Out Of Africa -- Bacteria, As Well: Homo
Sapiens And H. Pylori Jointly Spread Across
Helicobacter Pylori Infection Causes, Symptoms and
What is Helicobacter Pylori Infection?
Manifesting as either an acute or chronic illness,
Helicobacter pylori is an infectious disease responsible for
more than 90% of duodenal ulcers and 80% of gastric
ulcers. It is also responsible for atrophic gastritis and
infected persons have a 2- to 6-fold increase in their risk of
developing gastric cancer and mucosal-associatedlymphoid-type (MALT) lymphoma. H. pylori is probably
the most chronic infection in human beings; approximately
two-thirds of the world's population is infected with the
bacterium. In the United States, it is estimated that 10% of
Americans suffer from peptic ulcer disease (PUD). H. pylori
is most prevalent among older adults, African Americans,
Hispanics, and lower socioeconomic groups. Incidence
occurs earlier and at increased rates in developing countries;
however, prevalence of infection is probably decreasing in
What are the Causes of Helicobacter Pylori Infection?
H. pylori is a gram-negative, spiral microaerophilic
bacterium that occurs in the gastric mucus layer or the
-53- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 65
African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
Volume 7, Issue 11
Diabetes: From Ancient Egypt to Modern
By Stephen Daniells
18 July 2011
It has been called a pandemic and a silent killer:
Diabetes is a growing specter for public health
agencies across the world. In the first part of our
special series on diabetes, NutraIngredients examines
the underlying condition and gets a grip on how big
the issue is.
The condition exists in various types, most notably type-1,
type-2, and gestational. All types are characterized by
excessive levels of glucose in the blood because the
pancreas does not produce enough or any insulin, a
hormone that facilitates the uptake of glucose by the cells.
Diabetes is not a new disease, being first documented
in 1550BC in Egypt. Back then diabetes, or what the
historians believe was diabetes, was described as a rare
disease. According to an exhibition on diabetes and
endocrinology by the Royal College of Physicians of
Edinburgh (Scotland), an Egyptian manuscript
mentions “the passing of too much urine”, which
historians take as the first reference to diabetes.
It may also be that the insulin does not function adequately,
a condition known as insulin resistance.
We had to wait a further 1600 years for a complete
clinical description and name for the condition, when
the Greek physician Aretaeus used the word diabetes
(from the Greek meaning ‘siphon’) and noted “the
excessive amount of urine which passed through the
The development of high blood sugar levels during
pregnancy, called gestational diabetes, is known to boost a
woman’s risk of subsequently developing type-2 diabetes,
as well as putting the offspring at increased risk of
childhood obesity and diabetes as they get older.
The condition may have been rare 3,500 years ago, but
it is not anymore.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO),
diabetes affects over 220 million people globally and
the consequences of high blood sugar kill 3.4 million
every year. If such statistics weren’t scary enough, the
WHO is predicting deaths to double between 2005 and
The total costs associated with the condition in the US
alone are thought to be as much as $174 billion, with
$116 billion being direct costs from medication,
according to 2005-2007 American Diabetes
Type-1 diabetes occurs when people are not able to produce
any insulin after the cells in the pancreas have been
damaged, thought to be an autoimmune response.
The disease is most common among people of European
descent, with around two million Europeans and North
Type-2 diabetes – which reportedly accounts for at least 90
percent of cases – traditionally occurs in people over 40, a
statistic that is changing:
A recent article in The Lancet by scientists from Australia,
Denmark, and Canada noted that:
“Until 1990, type-2 diabetes was seldom seen in young
people and inpregnant women, but this is no longer the
“In some countries type 2 diabetes is still rare in children
and adolescents, for instance in Germany, where
prevalence is 2.3 per 100 000 in people aged 0-20 years.
The incidence of type-2 diabetes in young people has,
however, become greater than that of type-1 diabetes in
some ethnic groups, as seen in the USA (12.1 vs 7.4 per 100
Continued on page 55
-54- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 54 – Diabetes: from Ancient Egypt to
000 in Asians and Pacific Islanders aged under 20 years,
and 19.0 vs 15.7 per 100 000 in African Americans aged
“In young people type-2 diabetes associated with obesity
frequently remains undiagnosed and is difficult to
manage”. (July 2011, Vol. 378, Pages 169-181)
How to stop it
Diet and exercise are seen as key to the prevention of
developing type-2 diabetes. The WHO states simply:
“Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a
normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use can
prevent or delay the onset of type-2 diabetes”.
Studies have indicated that specific nutrients may offer
benefits for people at risk of diabetes, or already living
with the condition. To date, the most widely reported
nutrients include chromium, magnesium, calcium,
potassium, vitamin B3, and antioxidants such as vitamin
C, E and selenium.
Oxidative stress has been reported to be a key driver in
the onset of insulin resistance, while diabetes itself is
associated with increased levels of oxidative stress, and
this can promote the development of diabetes-related
complications (Journal of Biochemical and Molecular
Toxicology, 2003, Vol. 17, pp. 24-38).
There is also some evidence on the importance of vitamin
D to reduce the risk of diabetes. For example, a study
published in Maturitas (2010, Vol. 65, pp. 225-236)
suggested that the highest blood levels of the vitamin
were associated with a 55 per cent reduction in the risk of
type 2 diabetes , with researchers pointing out that the
potential mechanism is not fully understood.
Another interesting area of research concerns coffee: A
meta-analysis published in the Archives of Internal
Medicine in 2009 concluded that consumption of three
to four coffee may reduce the risk of developing diabetes
by 25 per cent. The potential bioactive compounds in the
beverage responsible for the reported benefits may
include magnesium, antioxidant lignans or chlorogenic
The Glycemic Index (GI) is also highlighted as a means
of controlling blood sugar levels, since slow release
carbohydrates – those with a low GI – may help balance
blood sugar levels.
Commenting on supplements versus foods, the American
Diabetes Association states: “There isn’t research that
clearly points to supplementation, so always think first
about getting your nutrients from foods”.
There has also been a proposed microbial element to
diabetes. Preliminary data from Denmark indicated that
bacterial populations in the gut of diabetics differ from
The study, reportedly the first to look at intestinal
microbiota in humans with and without type-2 diabetes,
was published in the open-access peer-reviewed journal
“Our data suggest that the levels of glucose tolerance
or severity of diabetes should be considered while
linking microbiota with obesity and other metabolic
diseases in humans,” wrote researchers from the
University of Copenhagen.
“It is especially important for developing the strategies
to modify the gut microbiota in order to control
metabolic diseases, since obesity and diabetes might be
associated with different bacterial populations,” they
Prevalence Higher in Blacks'
By Winifred Ogbebo
5 March 2012
Diabetes as you know does not really have a cure, not
at this time. It's a lifelong disease. But the good thing
about it is that if it's managed well, one can live a
normal life. But if it's not, it has a lot of complications
that can lead to death. This summation was given by Dr
Sunny Ekwunife, a Consultant Physician (Family
Health/ General Medicine) at Cedar Crest Hospital,
Abuja, in this interview with WINIFRED OGBEBO
How do you manage diabetes?
Management is a multi -approach. First of all, if you
know why you have diabetes, for example, there are
different types of it if you know the type you have, you
will either control it by exercise, weight loss, taking
care of the kind of food you eat and then if it Type 1
diabetes or Insulin dependent diabetes, you have to use
the Insulin daily, Type -2 is usually controlled by
drugs. The most important thing is, in addition to your
drugs, you must watch your weight, you must watch
-55- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 56
Constitued from page 55 - Nigeria: 'Diabetes Prevalence
Higher in Blacks'
the insulin, we now have a lot of sugar in our blood and
that's why we have diabetes.
what you eat and you must exercise. Those are the things
that can keep diabetes under control in addition to the
What are the complications from diabetes?
We have what is called the short term complications and
long term complications.
Do slim people have diabetes?
Oh sure. There are different types of diabetes. You have
Type -1 or Insulin dependent diabetes which runs in the
family. Usually, people get diabetes because they cannot
make insulin or because their body cannot utilize the
Insulin they make or both of them. So those that cannot
make insulin usually are Insulin dependent. That means
they have to prime them to give them insulin. That's why
its called insulin-dependent diabetes. This occurs in a lot
of young children but it can occur in anybody- young
teenagers, young adults and so on. That's why its called
Type-1. You have Type -2 which is the major class of
diabetes. It can occur in older adults and also it's
becoming a little more rampant-that is, more common
even among young people because of obesity. A lot of
people are getting so fat now and that's the reason why a
lot of people can get it now even though it usually occurs
in people older or older adults. Now, anybody can get it
because of obesity. That means if you watch your weight
especially and watch what you eat, you can control adult
onset diabetes, known as Type-2 diabetes.
Firstly, if they don't have the insulin to break down the
sugar, what happens is that it's now back in the blood
and you now have what is called hyperglycemia, that
means too much sugar in your blood. You feel thirsty a
lot, confused. Sometimes you feel you are in heaven
when you're not. That means hallucinating. You pass out
even without expecting it, and some people have
seizures and some things like that.
In slim people, what happens is that it may be hereditary.
So what you do is to make sure if your mum, dad,
siblings, grand-mum, grand -dad on either side has
diabetes, you must monitor or check for this at an early
age. For example, it runs in my family. I am diabetic. But
I do a lot of exercise and I take my pill. I also check my
sugar once every day or every other day. The key for me
is to watch what I eat, exercise, maintain my weight and
take my pills. A lot of people don't believe I am diabetic.
Mine was adult onset after the age of 45 and above, I
started having the manifestations.
Importance of Insulin to life
Usually, anytime we eat food, the food gets digested and
eventually the body turns it into sugar- glucose that is in
the blood. Remember we have different parts of the body
called tissue, so how does this sugar go to all these parts?
Because glucose is the only way our body can utilize as
energy so what happens is that it is made by a tissue
called Pancreas which is utilized by our bodies to carry
those sugars from the blood to different parts of the body
especially the brain. Without the energy of glucose
supplied to the brain, we cannot function with our
muscles, our liver cells, and any part of the body without
that energy. That's why it's so function with our muscles,
our liver cells, and any part of the body without that
energy. That's why it's so critical that if we don't make
Now, that is a very easy thing to manage once you know
that the person is diabetic and this can happen. Once he
comes to the hospital, it's something that is an
emergency. You give him a lot of fluids because the
person gets dry. What the sugar does once you have a lot
of sugar is that it tends to dry up the person and you
have to give the person a lot of fluid, and of course,
insulin. So this is one aspect of what you call too much
sugar. You also have what is called diabetic ketoacidosis
.This occurs lots more in very young people. What
happens is that when you remember that for you to be
diabetic especially Type- 1, remember you don't make
enough insulin and when you don't make enough
Insulin, you know what happens. You cannot break
down the food to sugar and you know the body is built
in a unique way. When you are fasting, running or
excited, the body develops adrenaline and if it
recognizes that it does not have enough sugar, it starts
breaking down its own self- muscles, liver cells to make
that glucose. Once that happens, it makes some glucose
but at the same time, it makes what is called fatty cells,
fatty acids which can also be broken down into ketones.
And that's when you get ketones acid in the urine and
that's why it's called ketone diabetic. It still presents with
the same complications, frequent urine, confusion and
sometimes you get a kind of odour in the mouth due to
tketones. The most important thing is that when you test
the urine of that person, you see ketones in it. They also
undergo the same kind of treatment by giving them lots
of fluid and a little bit of insulin. When that happens,
your potassium and sodium might go down because of
hydration. So you have to put them back again by
Long term complications of diabetes
If you don't control diabetes, it can lead to kidney
failure. People can be on kidney transplant or dialysis,
and heart attack. Worst of all, for most men, it can affect
sexual performance. Diabetes causes nerve damage and
-56- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 57
Continued from page 56 - Nigeria: 'Diabetes Prevalence
Higher in Blacks'
when that happens, the nerve that supplies blood to the
penis and other areas can no longer do so. It also
happens to women but more of that in men because of
our disposition. It's so critical that sometimes it leads to
blindness, stroke, and heart attack. Some diabetics have
their legs amputated because diabetes cuts off blood
circulation to their legs and they lose sensitivity. They
don't feel anything when they step on a nail or any sharp
object though they get easily injured because of the
nerve that is damaged which can no longer carry blood
vessels or glucose to that area to tidy up infection. That's
why a diabetic patient should never walk without
slippers or shoes. He should check his foot and eyes
once every year or two. He must control his blood
pressure if he has any and his cholesterol, it's very
Is diabetes prevalence higher in blacks?
To an extent, yes. The reasons are, first of all, it's
genetically motivated. Secondly, the diet. Remember if
you don't watch what you eat, avoid a lot of
carbohydrates and if you don't exercise, you are prone to
it. The Type -2 especially, which is the majority of
diabetes, usually, it's adult onset, meaning that it comes
out at an older stage . But a lot of teenagers get it now
because of obesity. If you are big or fat, you have a
tendency to have diabetes, and not only that, high blood
pressure, stroke and cancer. All these things are tied to
your weight. Your weight can affect them a lot. So
weight is so critical to preventing a lot of diseases. As a
matter of fact, what I tell my patients is that if you lose
weight, everything comes down but if you add weight,
everything goes up. You may not need any medication
but if you're obese, you have a more chance of Type -2.
Now, you start testing for Type -2 diabetes in overweight
kids, 10 years and older for every two to three years and
adults that are 40 years or above, whom has a family
history. It may not have a cure but you can control it and
live a normal life.
Soy and Soy Products linked
to Type-1 Diabetes and
By Shona Botes
April 20, 2011
(NaturalNews) Over the past few years, soy has been
hailed as a miracle health food. Unfortunately, the
complete opposite is true. Soy has been linked to a
myriad of health conditions such as infantile leukaemia,
various forms of cancer, type-1 diabetes, malnutrition,
thyroid dysfunction and even erectile dysfunction.
Research has shown that babies who have been fed soybased formulas were at higher risk for developing type-1
diabetes and thyroid disease later in life. Soy-based
formulas also contain up to 1000 times more aluminium
than non soy-based formulas.
Soy contains a large amount of anti-nutrients (otherwise
known as toxins). One of these is what is referred to as
enzyme inhibitors. Enzyme inhibitors block the action of
the enzymes which are required to digest proteins. Even
cooking the soy at high temperatures does not break
down these inhibitors. As a result, consuming soy and
soy products can lead to conditions such as reduced
protein digestion, excessive bloating, a deficiency of
essential amino acids, abnormal thyroid functions, a
higher risk of breast cancer in women who have had
ovaries removed and abnormal blood clotting. Mineral
deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc
have also been reported.
Soy isoflavones are another form of soy product which
is found in almost all so-called diet products like protein
shakes and 'health bars.' People who are trying to fall
pregnant, those who have difficulty urinating under
normal circumstances, breastfeeding moms, those with
kidney problems and prostate cancer and anyone
suffering from peanut allergies should avoid this
The consumption of soy products is especially harmful
for men as it has been known to cause them to form
breasts, and it is also reported to lower or even destroy
their sex drive. Studies also showed that it causes men to
lose arm, chest and leg hair.
The amount of oestrogen contained in 100 grams of soy
protein is equivalent to that of one high-dose birth
control pill. In women, this can be responsible for the
onset of early menopause, hot flushes, PMS and many
other hormone-related issues.
Soy contains a high number of phytoestrogens. These
are an oestrogen-like chemical which is produced by
plants. A study estimated that babies who are being fed a
soy-based formula are being fed the equivalent of around
five birth control pills worth of oestrogen every day.
This amount of oestrogen is thought to be responsible
for the increased amount of learning disabilities and
cases of ADD/ADHD. It is also thought to be
-57- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 58
Continued from page 57 – Soy and Soy Products linked to
Type-1 Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction
responsible for the fact that girls are now going through
puberty from as young as eight or nine years old.
That being said, the only safe forms of soy to consume
are those which have been properly fermented, such as
Japanese natto and properly prepared Chinese tofu.
Anti-Diabetes Drugs May
By D. Holt
March 08, 2012
(NaturalNews) Statin drugs are prescribed to lower
cholesterol in the UK for obese patients, and also to
those who have type-2 diabetes. But according to the
Food and Drug Administration in the USA there is a risk
of developing diabetes if you take statins -- so much so
that the FDA has demanded that warnings of the risk of
the development of diabetes on put the labels of statin
drugs distributed within the US. In the UK,
however,there has been a reluctance to include a
labelling policy as it would cause patients to be adverse
to their treatment.
Do statin drugs cause diabetes?
The link is a 'statistical' one; there is an increased risk of
being affected by the risk of diabetes if you take the
medicine. However, the link between the medicine and
the side effect is severe enough for the FDA to act,
which is a factor that the UK government seems to
disregard. Other cases of this disregard for the research
of other nations includes the banning of all except eight
artificial food colors in the USA and other nations,
whereas the UK still allows several of these banned
colors to remain on the market.
Yet again, the medical establishment seems to think the
way forward is treating a condition with a drug that has
the side effect of causing the same problem it is treating.
Diabetes is a serious disease that can be prevented with
education about good nutrition and exercise; however,
there is no profit in this and therefore we have to tolerate
the pushing of drugs to control this affliction.
The same can be said for depressionthat is treated with
antipsychotic drugs which can cause depression and
carry a suicide risk. A simple way to avoid depression is
good diet, meditation and an outlook on life that
embraces celebration of achievements no matter how
small, the treatment of problems as opportunities for
improve-ment, and conflict as a means to communicate
and build relationships.
Natural living is the answer
Diabetes, cancer, stress, depression, addiction and
obesity are diseases of the modern Western world
caused by a lifestyle of unnatural living both in diet and
approach. Whilst we harm the environment and each
other in the pursuit of profit and material gain, we lose
sight of the things that are important to us and our
loved ones. Also, whilst we tread upon the earth we
should understand the need for balance at all costs and
the effect of disturbing this balance. If we eat an
unhealthy fatty and sugary diet, we will harm ourselves
and cause diabetes, obesity and other illnesses requiring
expensive drugs that in turn mean more harm is done.
On the other hand, a balanced lifestyle means we are
much more statistically probable to not endure the
issues and afflictions connected to the Western diet.
It is the way of the corporate world to suck us in by
promising great taste and a world akin to the cottage in
the story of Hansel and Gretel. However, it is also
"natural law" that there is cause and effect; to reduce
need for these drugs, all adults must take responsibility
for what they put in their mouths, even if it is only to
reduce the profits of the greedy corporate machine.
Is There a Link Between Soft
Drinks & Pancreatic
By Bonnie Vanaman
Jun 20, 2011
There were 9.4 billion cases of carbonated soft drinks
sold in the United States in 2009, according to
"Beverage Digest," and the National Cancer Institute
reported 43,140 new cases and 36,800 deaths from
pancreatic cancer in 2010. What many researchers have
been trying to determine is if there is a link between all
that soft drink consumption and pancreatic cancer.
Although study results are inconclusive, there are other
reasons your pancreas would be a lot happier if you
swapped your next can of soda for water or juice.
-58- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 59
Continued from page 58 – Anti-Diabetes Drugs May Cause
The pancreas is an organ in your abdomen behind the
lower part of the stomach that produces enzymes to
help digest food and hormones to help regulate sugar
metabolism. It's not clear what causes cells in your
pancreas to develop genetic mutations that lead to
cancer, but pancreatic cancer has a high mortality rate
because it typically doesn't present any symptoms until
it's already in the advanced stages. When symptoms do
occur, they may include upper abdominal pain that
radiates to your back, dark urine, pale stools that float,
yellowed skin and eyes from jaundice, loss of appetite,
weight loss, nausea, vomiting, weakness and depresssion.
A Positive Link
Research into the link between pancreatic cancer and
soft drinks is strongly mixed. One study that did find an
increased risk of the cancer among soda drinkers
involved 60,524 adults in the Singapore Chinese Health
Study over 14 years. The results, published in "Cancer
Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention" in February
2010, found that Individuals who consumed two or
more soft drinks per week increased their risk of
developing pancreatic cancer by nearly two-fold
compared with those who didn't consume soft drinks. A
second multi-year study among 77,797 women and
men in Sweden, reported in 2006 in the "American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition," found that consumption
of sugar-containing soft drinks was also positively
associated with the risk of pancreatic cancer.
On the other hand, Italian researchers investigated 326
pancreatic cancer cases and 652 matched controls
between 1991 and 2008 who were involved in several
different studies in Italy and other countries. The
findings were published in "Cancer Causes & Control"
in January 2011 and concluded that the risks of
developing pancreatic cancer was no different among
people who drank sodas and those who didn't.
The Obesity Factor
Obesity and type 2 diabetes appear to be linked to an
increased risk for cancer of the pancreas, perhaps due
to an abnormal glucose tolerance. The Nurses' Health
Study, which followed 90,000 women for eight years,
found that nurses who had one or more servings a day
of a sugar-sweetened soft drink were twice as likely to
have developed type 2 diabetes during the study than
those who rarely consumed them.
Researchers have also found a link between drinking diet
sodas and metabolic syndrome, a collection of risk factors
for heart disease and diabetes that includes abdominal
obesity. A research team from the University of Minnesota
reported in the journal "Circulation" in 2008 that the risk of
developing metabolic syndrome was 34 percent greater
among subjects who drank one can of diet soda a day
compared with those who didn't drink any.
Cancer: Utilizing the Doctor
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Hosea
By Mauris L. Emeka
What most of us learn during our lifetime about cancer is
not the truth; and because of our misperception, we
erroneously assume cancer to be something that it is not.
All too many people think that cancer is the presence of a
malignant tumor, and that if the tumor(s) can be removed
either surgically, or with chemicals then the body is said to
be "cancer free". This incomplete understanding is a big
part of why cancer is fast becoming the number one cause
of death. People die from this disease for three main
reasons: 1.) lack of information, 2.) lack of discipline, and
3.) blind trust in their cancer doctors. Unfortunately, not
many cancer patients play an active role in their own
recovery. They do not take responsibility for their
condition by redirecting their lives, and fundamentally
changing the way they nourish themselves. Instead, they
say to the doctor, 'you fix it'. The doctor proceeds to try
and 'fix it' by focusing almost exclusively on the tumor
symptom, while ignoring the underlying condition in the
body that caused the symptom to appear.
The malignant tumor symptom that's commonly called
cancer is NOT cancer. Cancer is actually the underlying
process that gives rise to the tumor symptom, and the
tumor is merely an indication that a metabolic process
within the body has gone wrong. We know, for instance,
that smoke rises from fire. But the smoke is not the fire, it
is an indication or symptom of the fire. Instead of focusing
only on locating and treating the symptom of cancer, a
better use of our time would be to create an environment in
the body that supports health instead of supporting
cancerous activity that produces tumor symptoms.
But it's not just sugary sodas that may cause problems.
-59- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 60
Continued from page 59 - Cancer: Utilizing the Doctor
The good news is that it is within our power to address
the underlying malfunctioning process; each of us can
do it if we have the right commitment to dietary and
lifestyle changes. No one else can do it for us! The idea
is to change the chemistry in the body to make it less
conducive for the cancerous process to thrive. That
change involves three main things: 1.) making the body
chemistry less acidic and more alkaline, 2.) introducing
more digestive enzymes (especially enzymes that digest
protein) and more oxygen at the cellular level, and 3.)
detoxifying the body and strengthening the immune
The three things just mentioned can go a long ways
toward enhancing the body's innate healing power,
enough to suppress the cancerous process and cause the
'doctor' who resides inside the body to go to work. For
example, nearly all raw fruits, vegetables create a more
alkaline and less acidic chemistry. On the other hand,
cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment, and they
CANNOT thrive in an alkaline environment. A
preponderance of cooked food makes the body chemistry
more acidic, so does all animal products and grains.
For reasons too extensive to detail in this article, it is
vital to note that a whole food plant-based diet is best for
preventing and overcoming cancer in its various forms.
Certain raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts are particularly
beneficial, as they introduce beneficial digestive
enzymes into the body. Chlorophyll rich leafy vegetables
facilitate oxygen circulation at the cellular level, and
oxygen suppresses cancer cell growth while enhancing
healthy cells. Dr. Otto Warburg, a German scientist, won
a Nobel Prize in the early 1940s for discovering that
cancer cells thrive on a process called fermentation,
which requires simple sugars and no oxygen.
A few especially strong cancer fighting foods include
collard greens, wheat grass, garlic, aloe vera, papaya and
papaya seeds, pineapple, millet, apricot kernels,
blackberries, raspberries, lima beans, and curcumin
spice. These foods are especially useful in normalizing
the acid/alkaline balance by making body chemistry less
acidic. In addition, they increase the flow of oxygen at
the cellular level, and introduce critically needed fiber
into the body. It is seldom noted, but in fact, the fiber in
foods binds with and removes cancer promoting
harmones. On the other hand, animal products and
refined foods have no fiber, and they promote a cancer
friendly acidic environment. An 1882 article in Scientific
American begins with the following words: "Cancer is
more frequent among branches of the human race where
carnivorous habits prevail."
Last but not least, a strong immune system is our first line
of defense against cancer. Unfortunately, our immune
system is often ineffective because of lifestyle choices that
we make. Here are some things that compromise and
depress the immune system: consumption of
polyunsaturated oils and partially hydrogenated oils (they
make digestion difficult),chemotherapy, stress, and
inadequate sunlight, dehydration, and lack of rest and
regular exercise. The natural approach to cancer is based
on making the body healthier by reversing the
conditions that allow cancer to thrive. As is noted
here, it is vital to strengthen the immune system, and
change the internal environment so that cancer cells are
simply not welcomed.
Essentially, cancer is a clarion call to drastically change
the way the body is nourished to make it more enzyme
rich, oxygen rich and less acidic in its chemistry. Those
who heed that call can overcome this dreaded disease.
"Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. They
come to us not knowing that truth. We are at our best when
we give the doctor who resides in each patient a chance to
go to work." ---Dr. Albert Schweitzer
"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb
bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and
every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to
you it shall be for meat." --- Genesis 1:29
Mauris Emeka currently resides in Oberlin, Ohio. He is the
author of "Cancer's Best Medicine", second edition, copyright
2008, and "Fear Cancer No More", copyright 2002. His website
Bowel Cancer 'could be
fuelled by E coli Stomach Bug'
Two-thirds of the 21 samples taken from bowel cancer
patients contained the bug, compared to just one in five of
those taken from healthy people
By Fiona Macrae
20 August 2012
One of Britain’s most common cancers could be fuelled by
the E coli stomach bug, scientists believe.
The breakthrough raises the prospect of a vaccine against
bowel cancer, which claims 16,000 lives a year and is the
second most common form of the disease in women after
Continued on page 64
-60- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
Volume 7, Issue 11
Infectious Diabetes and Obesity - A New
Genetically Engineered Plague?
By Sydney Ross Singer
October 24, 2007
The following vital information is, frankly, frightening;
as it means that we have entered into a new world of
disease never before imagined. This is not a conspiracy
theory. When you read what follows, you will
understand why this issue may already be known by a
select few, but kept from the public domain.
The issue has to deal with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Over the last several decades, obesity and diabetes have
become epidemic. Children, adults, poor people,
wealthy people, Americans, Africans - all over the world
people are becoming obese and developing diabetes. We
are concerned that the current epidemic of obesity and
diabetes may be caused by a new problem, never before
considered because it never before existed.
Of course, when you think of the cultural/lifestyle
causes of obesity and diabetes, the answer quickly
comes that these people need to eat less and exercise
more. Our lifestyles have become sedentary, and people
have become more spectators, and less doers. And
catering to this "market" is a large supply of dietary
products, weight loss methods, and pharmaceuticals,
It is this insulin that plays a key role in the new crisis.
Insulin, of course, is a hormone. It is active in very
minute concentrations. All hormones are chemical
messengers and facilitators that allow our body's organs
to keep integrated and modulated as they perform their
vital functions. Insulin is a very important hormone,
responsible for getting sugar (glucose) from the
bloodstream absorbed by the cells, which need the sugar
for energy. The cells have receptors for insulin on their
cell membranes, which act as "locks" for which the
insulin is the "key", turning on the cell to take up the
Without the effect of insulin, the cells would not be able
to drink up the sugar from the bloodstream, and would
starve. The blood "spills" the sugar out in the kidneys,
and into the urine. This condition of reduced insulin
activity and sugar in the urine is called diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is a rarer form of the disease, in which
the pancreas, the organ that manufacturers and releases
insulin into the bloodstream, reduces or stops its insulin
production. These people can die without insulin being
provided in drug form. Type 2 diabetes constitutes 90%
of diabetes cases, and is typically associated with
overeating and obesity. It is often cured by dietary and
other lifestyle changes.
However, not all people recover. There are also other
conditions that can lead to obesity and diabetes. One is
having too much insulin. If you have too much insulin in
your bloodstream, it will cause your cells to take up so
much sugar that it lowers your blood sugar level, a
condition called hypoglycemia. This makes you hungry,
so you would eat more to raise you sugar level back up.
But the high insulin quickly sends that new sugar into
the cells for storage as well, along with water to help
keep the sugar in solution. This makes the cells swell, as
well as make fat cells convert the sugar into more fat,
ultimately leading to obesity. Since the cells also
become less sensitive to insulin because of the high
levels, it also causes diabetes.
Hyperinsulinemia, then, causes obesity and diabetes.
This condition is also epidemic, and parallels the current
diabetes and obesity trends. More and more people are
developing these problems every day, at an alarming
rate. It is as though diabetes and obesity were
contagious, spreading from person to person, like some
Actually, this is what we are afraid may be happening!
It has to do with genetic engineering, and the production
of human insulin in certain species of bacteria and yeast.
-61- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 62
Continued from page 61 – Infectious Diabetes and Obesity
- A New Genetically Engineered Plague?
There was a time when diabetics needing insulin would
receive insulin from a pig's pancreas. As you can
imagine, taking injections of pig insulin could lead to
allergic reactions. Far better, some thought, to have
human insulin to give to humans. But there was simply
no source of human insulin. Until genetic engineers
found a way!
Insulin is a protein, even though it is a hormone. Some
hormones are steroids, like estrogen and testosterone.
These are produced in the cells by a metabolic process
that starts with cholesterol and, through a series of
enzymatic reactions, produces the final steroid
hormone. Other hormones are proteins, directly coded
for in the DNA of the cell's genes. Other protein
hormones are growth hormone, and glucagon.
genetic research and manipulation with another microorganism - Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as
Baker's yeast. That's right, the same yeast used to make
bread, wine, beer, and other foods. It wasn't long after
Genentech's E. coli success that another company,
Novonordisk, developed a Baker's yeast engineered to
produce human insulin. Both these GMO's - the E. coli
and Baker's yeast that both produce human insulin - are
now virtually the only sources of insulin for diabetics.
Animal insulin manufacturers can not compete with this
cheap, genetically engineered human insulin supply.
It may sound like a good idea to have all this genetically
engineered insulin cheaply available, given the epidemic
of obesity and diabetes. But what is the price of having
these GMO's making human insulin?
The price, we believe, is that these GMO's are causing
the obesity and diabetes epidemics!
We all have genes that code for these protein
hormones. Genetic engineers have been able to find
these genes, and cleanly cut them out of the section of
DNA in which they are normally located. They took the
human gene for insulin and placed it into the DNA
chain of a bacterium. This makes the bacterium "part
human", so to speak, in that the bacterium now makes
human insulin. All you have to do is extract the insulin
from the bacterium, and you have a relatively
inexpensive source of human insulin.
Just as with all new technology, there are accidents.
Novonordisk reports several accidental spills of
genetically modified, human-insulin producing Baker's
yeast! For example, in one case in 2004, according to
Novonordisk, "During the cleaning process, 10 litres of
media containing GMO were discharged directly into the
sewage system. Normally the media would be discharged
into a tank. When the operator saw the accidental release,
the discharge of the media was stopped and the sewage
system was disinfected."
The idea is simple to state, but it took science decades
to develop this technology of splicing genetic
information from one organism and putting it into
another organism - of another species! The possibilities
are endless. But like all technology, there is also a cost.
Every new invention that changes the world has its
advantages and disadvantages, its rewards and its risks,
its successes and its failures.
There have been other such incidents over the years. Eli
Lilly admits to many dozens of "serious environmental
events", in fact, 29 such events between 2003 and 2005.
The bacterium chosen to be the recipient of this human
gene is the commonly found, and well studied, E. coli.
Our intestines team with trillions of E. coli bacteria.
Some E. coli strains cause disease, and are the leading
cause of food poisoning. Most are benign, and are our
constant intestinal companions. Why use this particular
bacterium for genetic engineering? It has to do with its
genetic make-up, and the ease with which E. coli DNA
can be manipulated, even with foreign DNA.
The effect of these organisms on the environment is an
experiment in the making. While these companies say
their E. coli and Baker's yeast are too weak from
laboratory conditions to survive and compete in the wild,
the fact is that they don't really know what will happen
until it actually does happen. It's all so new, that the
impacts of a spill are still considered a mystery.
Obviously, the "Precautionary Principle" is not in effect
The company that developed genetically engineered E.
coli that makes human insulin was Genentech. They did
this in 1978. Eli Lilly, another drug company,
purchased the license for this process, and is now the
producer of human insulin from E. coli.
But if these GMO's did get out, the manufacturers assert,
they are harmless to humans. Of course, since there are
no published scientific studies of what happens when a
human is infected with these GMO's, this is another
optimistic assumption by these manufacturers. What
would happen? One can make some educated guesses
based on known medical knowledge. What would happen
if you had bacteria and/or yeast in your intestines that
were producing insulin?
Besides E. coli, scientists have also done a great deal of
Your intestinal fluid would be high in insulin, produced
-62- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 63
Continued from page 62 – Infectious Diabetes and Obesity
- A New Genetically Engineered Plague?
by the genetically modified microbes. Some of that
insulin would be absorbed into the bloodstream. This
would make your blood high in insulin, causing
hyperinsulinemia. Over time, this would make you
obese and diabetic, a known outcome of
Since GMO's would be producing insulin in your
intestines, your pancreas would reduce its insulin
production, since more is not needed. This would
eventually create dependence on the GMO insulin
absorbed from your intestines. The level of GMO's in
your intestines will rise and fall depending on your diet
and intestinal health. Some times, if the level is high,
the insulinemia would be higher. Other times, the
GMO's can virtually disappear, causing a shortage of
insulin, catching the pancreas by surprise, before it has
time to reactivate its insulin production. It would be as
though you were taking varying doses of insulin
medication at erratic times. Your blood sugar and
metabolism would be a mess. You would be obese,
diagnosed as a diabetic, and ironically prescribed more
Are these GMO's as harmless as their manufacturers
claim? We may just be starting to see just how harmful
they can be.
It is not only insulin that is produced in E. coli and
Baker's yeast. Human Growth Hormone is also
manufactured this way. What would happen if GMO's
making growth hormone colonized your intestines?
Excessive growth hormone would be absorbed into
your bloodstream, and over time this can lead to in
excessive body growth, arthritis, carpel tunnel
syndrome, excessive snoring from enlarged throat,
impaired vision, headaches, fatigue, menstrual
disorders, high blood pressure, and - diabetes!
Then there is the hormone glucagon, which has the
opposite action as insulin. That is, this hormone raises
blood sugar by making the cells give up their sugar
stores. This hormone is also manufactured in
genetically engineered E. coli and Baker's yeast.
Having these GMO's in your intestines would also
cause havoc to your blood sugar level and metabolism.
So here is the crisis. There are drug companies making
human hormones in the most common bacterium that
humans live with - E. coli - and in the yeast commonly
used for our food supply - Baker's yeast. Both of these
genetically modified microbes have entered the
environment. These GMO's constitute a new threat to
human health, as our intimate contact with them may
lead to their colonization of the human intestinal flora.
Besides accidental releases of these GMO's there is the
deliberate selling of old GE yeast to pig farmers. Once
the yeast is used to make insulin, the yeast is heated to
inactivate it, and the resulting slurry is sold for animal
feed. However, yeast (and E. coli) are known to make
very heat stable spores, which can theoretically survive
the heating process. A few surviving spores out of
trillions of yeast cells is statistically insignificant. But
those spores can enter the environment and reproduce,
and possibly enter the food chain and human (or
Of course, before everyone gets alarmed that a new
plague has come, there needs to be more research. If
these GMOs have contaminated our environment and
are causing diabetes and obesity, then it should be
possible to take intestinal samples from some obese,
diabetic people and find the offending, rogue microbes.
Ideally, this is something that the manufacturers of
these GMOs should be paying for. However, these
manufacturers should not be doing the research
themselves. It is not wise to trust research into a GMO
leak with the company that makes the GMO. If insulin,
growth hormone, glucagon, and other hormones are
being produced in human intestines, causing a
pandemic of obesity and diabetes and who knows what
else, then the results would be too important and
damaging to the manufacturer to trust it to anyone but a
But who would that third party be? Government
regulation of the genetic engineering industry is
minimal. Lobbying by GE companies is extensive, and
effective. The attitude of the government has been that,
since the GE industry could be harmed by safety
regulations based on the precautionary principle, we
must all accept the technology now to let the nascent
industry get established, and wait for an obvious
disaster before making any impositions. As a result, the
industry is policing itself, which is as big a mistake as
letting these corporations tinker with these microbes in
the first place.
The big question is, if the results showed that this
nightmare of infectious obesity and diabetes, spread by
GE bacteria and yeast, is, indeed, a reality, then will the
public be told? You don't have to be a conspiracy
theorist to see that the truth may be untold. Of course,
perhaps not surprisingly, the result of an insulinproducing GMO spill would be increased cases of
diabetes, and this would translate into higher sales of
insulin. Those responsible for the problem would be the
first to benefit from it.
Continued on page 64
-63- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 63 - Infectious Diabetes and Obesity - A
New Genetically Engineered Plague?
Perhaps these organisms could be called GERMs, or
Genetically Engineered Rogue Microbes. We believe
there needs to be a broad discussion of this threat posed
by GERMs to human health. Endocrinologists will have
to work with gastroenterologists, nutritionists, and
epidemiologists as they explore this new form of disease contagious hormonal disease. Public health experts will
have to advise the public and institutions on ways to
minimize the spread of these GERMs. There should be a
department at the Centers for Disease Control that is
dedicated to GERM Surveillance and epidemic control.
How do you personally take precautions against a coming
GERM plague, especially when it will probably be
emphatically denied by these companies and their
government accomplices? How will medicine meet the
challenge of diagnosing and treating diseases caused by
GERMs? Is there any way to put this genie back into its
Whether or not it is too late remains to be seen. Research
is desperately needed, along with continuous monitoring
of commercial Baker's yeast supplies for food production,
and peoples' intestinal contents for signs of GERMs. Our
food and our homes may be contaminated with GERMs.
Some E. coli and Baker's yeast have been modified to
produce, not hormones, but drugs and enzymes. Obesity
and diabetes may only be the beginning of a series of
health problems that confuse doctors, disable and kill
patients, and are spread from person to person in a
handshake or in a piece of bread or a glass of beer.
We have been sold the advantages of Genetic
Engineering. The creation of new GERMs, and the havoc
they cause, may be the high price we are forced to all pay
for this awesome, terrifying technology.
Sydney Ross Singer is a medical anthropologist and director of
the Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease, located in
Hawaii. His unique form of applied medical anthropology
searches for the cultural/lifestyle causes of disease. His
working assumption is that our bodies were made to be healthy,
but our culture and the attitudes and behaviors it instills in us
can get in the way of health. By eliminating these causes, the
body is allowed to heal. Since most diseases of our time are
caused by our culture/lifestyle, this approach has resulted in
many original discoveries into the cause, and cure, of many
Continued from page 60 – Bowel Cancer Fuelled by E. Coli
breast cancer and the third most diagnosed in men.
The elderly, who are most at risk of the bowel cancer,
could also be screened for the ‘sticky’ strain of E coli
that makes a DNA-damaging poison.
Although the idea that a bug is involved in cancer might
seem strange, it is not unheard of, with a virus being to
blame for most cases of cervical cancer and a bacterium
strongly linked to stomach cancer.
Now, tests on mice and people, carried out in the UK
and US, have pointed to E coli being a strong suspect in
The concern surrounds a version that sticks well to the
inside of the lower bowel, or colon. It also contains
genes that make a poison which causes the type of
damage to DNA usually seen in cancer.
Although we usually think of E coli as causing food
poisoning, these strains had been thought to live in the
bowel without causing any problems.
However, tests show them to be much more common in
bowel cancer patients than in healthy people.
Two-thirds of the 21 samples taken from bowel cancer
patients contained the bug, compared to just one in five
of those taken from healthy people, the journal Science
Experiments also showed that mice inoculated with the
bug are at very high odds of developing bowel cancer –
as long as the E coli carries the poison-making ‘pks’
Liverpool University’s Dr Barry Campbell, a co-author
of the study, said: ‘The research suggests that Ecoli has a
much wider involvement in the development of colon
cancer than previously thought.
‘It is important to build on these findings to understand
why this type of bacteria, containing the pks genes, is
present in some people and not in others.’
Professor Jonathan Rhodes said: ‘The bottom line
message is that there seems to be a strong association
between a type of E coli and the development of colon
‘And given that this type of E coli is specifically able to
damage DNA and inflict the sort of damage you get in a
cancer, it is very likely it has a causative role, at least in
The scientists, who collaborated with scientists from the
University of North Carolina, aren’t sure why some
Continued on page 65
-64- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 64 – Bowel Cancer Fuelled by E. Coli
people who have the bug go onto develop cancer and
But factors such as genes and diet are probably important.
Professor Rhodes said: ‘The literature on colon cancer
taken as a whole suggests that having the right genes,
taking exercise, possibly taking an aspirin a day, limiting
red meat and eating plenty of leafy green vegetables all
have a protective effect.’
If the link is confirmed, it could lead to tests for the rogue
form of E coli being included in bowel cancer screening
for the elderly.
In the long-term, a vaccine that stops the bug from taking
root is also possible, added the professor. There is a
precedent for this – the HPV vaccine which is given to
teenage girls wards off infection by the human papilloma
virus - the bug behind the majority of cases of cervical
Henry Scowcroft, of Cancer Research UK, said: ‘This is
an intriguing study in mice suggesting that the bacteria in
our gut may play a role in the development of bowel
‘This would make sense, as we know that being infected
with bacteria called H pylori can increase the chances of
developing stomach cancer.
‘But since this study only involved mice and is still at an
early stage, it’s not yet clear whether E coli is actually
linked to bowel cancer in humans at all, let alone whether
this knowledge could be used to help improve things for
patients or people at risk.’
Continued from page 53 – Helicobacter Pylori
Infection - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
epithelial lining of the stomach. Transmission is believed
to be via an oral-oral or fecal-oral route, but the exact
source remains unknown. Humans are the only known
reservoirs; however, infected water sources may also be
implicated. Iatrogenic infection via contaminated
endoscopes has also been documented.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Helicobacter
Although H. pylori infections are wide-spread, not all
infected persons become symptomatic. Acute infection is
characterized by gnawing or burning epigastric pains,
which typically occur when the stomach is empty,
between meals, and in the early morning hours. The pain,
which may persist for minutes to hours, is often partially
relieved by eating or taking antacids and H 2 blockers.
Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, loss of
appetite, and bleeding - which can manifest as
hematemesis, hematochezia or melena. Severe or
prolonged bleeding can cause anemia, fatigue, and
weakness and hypotension. Comorbid conditions such as
cardiopulmonary disease may be exacerbated by
significant blood loss. Chronic infection may result in the
finding of gastric carcinoma or MALT lymphoma.
Diagnosis for Helicobacter Pylori Infection
H. pylori can be diagnosed through serologic tests that
measure H. pylori antibodies in the blood. The 13 C-urea
breath test, involving the drinking of a special carbonlabeled urea formula and subsequent measuring of expired
CO 2 levels, is also available. Upper endoscopy is the
diagnostic test of choice; histological identification ofthe
bacterium via tissue biopsy remains the gold standard.
The biopsy urease test, based on the bacterium's ability to
produce urease, may also be undertaken and provides for
rapid identification at the time of biopsy. The 13 C-urea
breath test is more reliable than serology for the detection
of active H. pylori infection in children. Below 10 years
of age, serology is insufficiently sensitive for clinical
purposes, whereas the 13C-urea breath test remains a
Differential diagnoses to consider include: functional
gastrointestinal disorder, viral gastroenteritis, pancreatic
disease, and gastric cancer.
Treatment for Helicobacter Pylori Infection
Anyone with active PUD, a documented history of PUD,
early gastric cancer or MALT lymphoma should be tested
for H. pylori infection and treated if found to be infected.
H. pylori can be effectively eradicated with antibiotics.
Currently, there are five Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) approved treatment regimens consisting of 1 to 2
weeks of one or more antibiotics such as tetracycline,
metronidazole or clarithromycin, plus either ranitidine
bismuth citrate, bismuth subsalicylate, or a proton pump
inhibitor. (See FDA-approved treatment options for
Helicobacter pylori.) Treatment regimes for children have
not yet been formalized. Eradication rates range from
70% to 90%, depending upon the regimen used, antibiotic
resistance patterns, and patient compliance.
Conditions resulting from substantial bleeding, such as
hypotension, anemia, and cardiopulmonary complications should also be treated accordingly. Retesting after
treatment may also be prudent in cases of complicated
-65- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 66
Continued from page 65 – Helicobacter Pylori Infection Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Special Considerations and Prevention Tips for
Helicobacter Pylori Infection
Monitor for signs and symptoms of bleeding, such as
hypotension, tachycardia, dyspnea, fecal occult
blood, occult blood in vomitus, and decreased
Be aware that tarry black stools may result from
bismuth and iron preparations and do not indicate
Active gastric bleeding may require insertion of a
nasogastric tube; the patient may be unable to take
oral nutrition during the acute episode.
Discontinue nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Utilize appropriate personal protective gear when
performing patient care activities that may result in
soiling with bodily discharges, such as blood, feces,
Advise patients that past infection with H. pylori
does not confer immunity.
Advise people to wash hands thoroughly, before and
after eating food - and should only eat food which
has been properly prepared, and to drink water from
a safe, clean source only.
Since the mode of transmission of H. pylori is
unknown, stress the importance of thorough hand
washing after using the toilet.
Role of Helicobacter pylori in
Pathogenesis of Upper
Respiratory System Diseases
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is one of the frequently
encountered micro-organisms in the aerodigestive tract.
Although infections caused by H. pylori are this
common, the exact mode of transmission has not been
fully understood yet. Oral-oral, fecal-oral and
gastrointestinal-oral routes are the possible modes of
transmission. This infection is usually acquired in
childhood and may persist for the whole life of the
patient. However, about 80% of the infected humans are
asymptomatic. Human stomach was considered to be the
only reservoir of H. pylori until bacteria were discovered
in human dental plaque, in oral lesions, in saliva, in tonsil
and adenoid tissue. It is suggested that H. pylori enters
the nasopharyngeal cavity by gastroesophageal reflux and
colonize in the dental plaques, adenoid tissues and
tonsils. From these localizations, the bacteria ascend to
the middle ear and to the paranasal sinuses directly or by
the reflux again and may trigger some diseases, including
otitis, sinusitis, phyrangitis, laryngitis and glossitis. But
still, the exact mechanism remains unclear.
PMID: 18942285 MEDLINE
Vomiting virus outbreak
October 1, 2012
BERLIN — A vomiting virus outbreak has struck
German health authorities say the number of children that
have fallen ill with the vomiting and diarrhea after eating
food from school cafeterias and daycare centers has risen
from about 4,500 to 8,400.
Authorities in Berlin and the surrounding eastern German
states reported the new gastroenteritis cases Saturday,
while laboratory investigations to determine the exact
cause of the outbreak were still under way.
Berlin's health department says the sicknesses are
moderate and most children recover within two days
without requiring to be hospitalized.
In Saxony state, at least 16 cases of norovirus, a mostly
food- or water-borne illness, were proven, according to
German news agency dapd.
The government-affiliated Robert Koch Institute said
Friday that all facilities where the illness occurred likely
received food from a single supplier.
Obesity Causes over 100,000
Cancers Per Year
By James Schreiber
July 26, 2011
NaturalNews) As it turns out, fat tissue isn't just a
-66- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 67
Continued from page 66 - Obesity Causes over 100,000
Cancers Per Year
dormant storage depot for calories. According to the
American Institute for Cancer Research, more than
100,000 cancer cases in the U.S. are linked to excess
body fat - most of them are preventable.
The data shows that on top of the list of obesity-linked
cancers is endometrial cancer, followed by esophageal,
pancreatic and kidney cancers, among others. Increased
body fat is linked to:
49% of endometrial cancers (20,700 cases/year)
35% of esophageal cancers (5,800 cases/year)
28% of pancreatic cancers (11,900 cases/year)
24% of kidney cancers (13,900 cases/year)
21% of gallbladder cancers (2,000 cases/year)
17% of breast cancers (33,000 cases/year)
9% of colorectal cancers (13,200 cases/year)
A groundbreaking - and startling - study published in
ACS' Journal of Proteome Research proved that fat cells
actively secrete dozens of hormones that act as chemical
messengers in various parts of the body. Scientists
suspect that these chemical signals may promote not only
cancer, but also a wide range of other chronic diseases,
including diabetes and heart disease.
"The evidence is clear," said Laurence Kolonel, MD,
PhD, Deputy Director of the Cancer Research Center of
Hawaii and member of the American Institute for Cancer
Research (AICR) expert panel. "If people sustain a
normal body weight and remain physically active
throughout life, it will have a major impact on cancer
The recent research adds to the growing body of
evidence concerning the many negative effects of obesity
on cancer incidence. Previous studies have shown that
excess fat tissue causes increased levels of inflammation
compounds in the bloodstream and promotes oxidative
stress on the body, leading to DNA mutation and
diminished immune function. Both of these factors are
conductive for not only the formation of diseased cells,
but also their multiplication.
Reducing Your Risk
If you don't want to fall prey to a chronic degenerative
disease such as cancer, maintaining a healthy weight,
reducing stress and choosing alkaline forming foods will
do wonders in maintaining optimum health.
minutes of physical activity five days per week or
more. Shedding excess weight can be beneficial even
after diagnosis. "An increasing number of studies
suggest that regular physical activity improves cancer
survival, even among survivors who are overweight or
obese," explained Melinda Irwin, PhD, MPH,
Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Yale School of
"That's really the take-home message here."
Obesity Epidemic Taking
Root in Africa
ScienceDaily (Jan. 1, 2010) — The urban poor in subSaharan Africa are the latest victims of the obesity
epidemic. Researchers writing in the open access
journal BMC Public Health claim that overweight and
obesity are on the increase among this group.
Abdhalah Ziraba worked with a team of researchers
from the African Population and Health Research
Center, Nairobi, Kenya, who used data from seven
African countries to investigate changes in body mass
index (BMI) between early 1990s and early 2000s. He
said, "Despite being the least urbanized continent,
Africa's population is becoming increasingly urban and
its cities are growing at unprecedented rates. In spite of
rampant poverty in urban areas, access to cheap foods
with a high content of fat and sugar is commonplace."
The researchers found that the number of people
overweight/obese increased by nearly 35% during the
study period. Those of higher socio-economic status
were more likely to be overweight or obese, but the rate
of increase in obesity was higher in the poor group.
According to Ziraba, "Given the chronic nature of most
diseases associated with obesity and by extension the
huge cost of treatment, the prospects look grim for the
already under-funded and ill-equipped African health
care systems unless urgent action is taken."
The American Cancer Society recommends at least 30
-67- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
What's the Main Cause of
Obesity -- Our Genes or the
ScienceDaily (Sep. 12, 2012) — The ongoing obesity
epidemic is creating an unprecedented challenge for
healthcare systems around the world, but what
determines who gets fat? Two experts debate the issue on
Timothy Frayling, Professor of Human Genetics at the
University of Exeter thinks that genetic factors are the
main driver for obesity in today's environment. Twin and
adoption studies show consistently that variation in body
mass index has a strong genetic component, with
estimated effects of up to 70%, he says.
Studies also show that people carrying two copies of a
gene associated with obesity (the FTO gene) are, on
average, heavier than those carrying two copies of the
A recent study of over 200,000 people showed that the
FTO variant had a stronger effect in sedentary people
than in those who are physically active, while studies of
physical activity in schoolchildren suggest that education
may not be as important as we think, he adds.
"Although DNA variations explain only a small
percentage of the variation in body mass index, they
provide proof of principle that genetic factors influence it
over environmental factors," writes Frayling.
In conclusion, he says, genetic factors influence
substantially where you are on the body mass index scale
in a given population at a given time, and evidence is
accumulating that these genetic factors may operate
largely through appetite control.
He adds: "If true, plans based on changing our
environment, such as banning the sale of supersized
sugary drinks, may be more successful than plans to
increase awareness through education."
But John Wilding, Professor of Medicine at the
University of Liverpool believes that changes in our
environment are responsible for increasing obesity.
He acknowledges the role of genetics in the regulation of
body weight, but argues that the rapid increase in obesity
seen over the past 30 years cannot be due to genetic
In contrast, the evidence that the environment has
changed is overwhelming, he says.
He points to the recent fall in the cost of energy dense
foods, alongside successful promotion by the food
industry, and a decline in physical activity due to
changes in transport, technology, and the built
environment as key drivers for the obesity epidemic.
It will be important to identify genetic causes for rare
cases that may be treated, he says. However, changes to
the food and physical environment are going to be
essential if we are to have a meaningful impact on the
He calls for "a radical approach … backed by strong
legislation influencing food production and marketing,
and ensuring the built environment and transport
systems are designed to encourage active living."
In summary, he says "obesity is a complex disorder
with both genetic and environmental causes. The
predominant driver is environmental, and changes to
the environment will be essential if we are to tackle the
T. M. Frayling. Are the causes of obesity primarily
environmental? No. BMJ, 2012; 345 (sep11 1): e5844 DOI:
J. Wilding. Are the causes of obesity primarily
environmental? Yes. BMJ, 2012; 345 (sep11 1): e5843 DOI:
On the Causes of the
Obesity Epidemic, maybe
By The Mermaid’s Tale
May 16, 2012
Interesting how much various perspectives differ on the
light they can shed on a subject. Obesity is a
significant and increasing problem in the US and much
of the rest of the world. Why? The answer depends on
who you ask. A geneticist says it’s genetic, and
probably billions of research dollars have been spent on
looking for genes ‘for’ obesity.
An epidemiologist is likely to say it’s gene by
environment interaction, though these days an
epidemiologist may well finger only genes, given that
identifying environmental risk factors for complex
traits, even those for which environmental factors are
clearly primary, has so often proven to be daunting.
-68- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 69
Continued from page 68– On the Causes of the Obesity
Epidemic, maybe Everyone’s Right
Many epidemiologists excuse their jumping onto the
genomic bandwagon with the rationale that yes, genetic
effects are weak, but we need to know them anyway
because once they are identified they can be regressed out
of the search for the real (to them, environmental) effects.
A nutritionist might say it’s diet, and/or not enough
exercise, and the girth of the diet section of any bookstore
tells you how many ways that explanation can be parsed.
Indeed, that girth itself is an indicator of the size of the
problem — a simple and cheap epidemiological stand-in!
Some people pick out a single component of the diet —
sugar is a big one these days; we blogged about that here –
as the culprit. A lipid scientist might chalk it up to leptin,
a hormone involved in regulating appetite and
metabolism. A person struggling with his or her weight
might say it’s personal weakness.
And now mathematics weighs in. An interview with an
applied mathematician at the NIH was reported in
yesterday’s Science Section of the New York Times
Times. Carson Chow is at the National Institute of
Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, where they
have a growing interest in mathematical study of obesity.
Why not, math is technical, opaque, and so has sex
appeal! Chow was hired in 2004, at which time he had
little knowledge of obesity, but quickly learned.
I could see the facts on the epidemic were quite
astounding. Between 1975 and 2005, the average weight
of Americans had increased by about 20 pounds. Since the
1970s, the national obesity rate had jumped from around
20 percent to over 30 percent.
The interesting question posed to me when I was hired
was, “Why is this happening?”
When he first arrived, Chow worked with a mathematical
physiologist who had developed a model of obesity that
involved “hundreds of equations”, including all the usual
variables — height, weight, exercise, caloric intake, and
so on. Chow says he pared it down into a simple
equation, the essential message of which is that the
obesity epidemic has been caused by “the overproduction
of food in the United States.”
This is interesting, but not the first time this explanation
has been proffered. ‘Food chain journalist’ Michael
Pollen has also blamed obesity on overproduction of
food. In particular, the excess of nitrogen after World
War II, and its subsequent use as a fertilizer, which meant
more corn being grown, and thus more corn-based
processed food, all dependent on farm subsidies. And, it
has long been felt that the generally post-war epidemic of
obesity and related disorders in Native Americans was
due to sedentary, depressed lifestyles and the openended availability of cheap calories.
But, overproduction of food can’t really be the answer
by itself, because excess corn can sit in the field until
the cows come home if no one is going to buy it or
what’s made from it. Someone had to convince the
consumer to buy, and then eat the stuff. So then,
maybe it’s the advertising industry that’s responsible
for the obesity epidemic. Those paid-deceivers lie (so
to speak) at the heart of many of the more serious
problems in the US these days, after all. Indeed, Chow
believes that if the industry stopped marketing food to
children that would be a start. (Oh, no, can’t limit free
speech, bleats Madison Avenue, claiming in effect that
making you obese is their first-amendment right!)
Further, Chow says, “You simply have to cut calories
and be vigilant for the rest of your life.” Vigilant in
resisting the appeal of all that food that’s being flashed
at you wherever you look.
But maybe there is no single cause of obesity. Maybe
obesity is yet another complex trait and, collectively,
everyone is right. Perspective is important — if you’re
studying leptin, what matters to you is not why there’s
so much excess food in the marketplace, but why
people want to eat it. If you’re a geneticist, nothing
matters except your next GWAS. It’s like the question
of what causes AIDS — is it HIV, needle sharing,
poverty? It’s all of the above.
This is, in a way, a lesson for much of life — including
evolution and genetic causation. Life is not about
single factors. If it were, or had been, it would be far
too vulnerable to extinction. The buffer of complexity
spares life, while the complexity of buffets generates
Some Symptoms of Gastric Ulcers
Gastric ulcers generally cause a dull aching
pain, often right after eating
Eating will not relieve pain as is the case with
other types of ulcers
Indigestion and heartburn, or acid reflux
Nagging pain in the upper abdomen area below
Episodes of nausea
A noticeable loss of appetite
Unplanned weight loss
-69- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
Volume 7, Issue 11
USE OF SPICES AS MEDICINES
History & Special Collections
UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library
The ancient Middle Eastern civilizations utilized all
types of plant, animal and mineral products to treat
disease. The ancient Egyptians developed a somewhat
more sophisticated pharmacopoeia, although magic
and religion were always utilized as part of therapy.
Nevertheless, the Egyptian priests, physicians and
embalmers became familiar with a significant number
of herbs and spices, some of which (such as cinnamon
and myrrh – which were expensive imports) they
employed in embalming preparations. The Ebers
Papyrus, which was written in Egypt about 1500 B.C.,
mentions the use of several spices as medicines,
including coriander, cumin, fenugreek and mint. The
Old Testament recognized the role of apothecaries in
compounding ointments; the holy anointing ointment
consisted of myrrh, cinnamon, cassia and calamus in
olive oil. The exotic spikenard from India was used to
anoint Jesus; this fragrant herb is regarded as a
perfume source. See a list of spices and their medical
use: Medical Use of Spices.
Peppers were known as an important import from India
in biblical times. These spices were used in wine as
medications for stomach pain, and similar spiced wines
were used therapeutically for centuries afterwards by
Greeks, Romans and medieval Europeans. One famous
spiced wine that was popular in medieval Europe was
named ypocras or hippocras, after tissanes that were
prescribed by Hippocrates: a typical recipe would
include cinnamon, ginger, melegueta, nutmeg,
galingale and honey in wine. Many other sweetened
spiced wines were used for pleasure or as prescriptions
for numerous diseases. The warming qualities of
peppers derived from peppercorns, long-pepper,
melegueta (Guinea pepper from Africa) or cubebs
would make these pungent wines suitable for use on
cold evenings or for diseases characterized by excess
of cold humors such as the excessive phlegm of
respiratory tract inflammatory conditions. Similar
spiced wines, ciders and mead are used today, but they
are prepared mainly for their festive value, such as
their characteristic use at Christmas time.
Many commercial wines, cordials and liqueurs
contain proprietary mixtures of herbs and spices.
Cardamon, aniseed, allspice, cloves, cinnamon,
ginger and other spices and herbs such as juniper are
favorites, while mints and other herbs such as celery
might be used as garnishes as much as flavors.
Undoubtedly, folk remedies and family traditions
lead to many people favoring specific spicy
beverages for a spectrum of health purposes varying
from aphrodisiacs and digestives to cold
preventatives and bronchitis therapies.
One drink of past days was piment, consisting of
wine flavored with honey and various spices. The
word piment has been used to mean capsicum
pepper (chiles), allspice (also called pimento) or
black pepper (pimienta). The word is related to the
Latin pigmentum, meaning pigment: this word was
often applied to the colorful imported spices from
Asia. The Anglo-Saxons prepared a sweet, spicy
wine which they called “piment”; this was called
“pigment” by the Danes who used it. The
apothecaries who were entrusted to make this wine
were known as pimentarii. Chaucer refers to such
people making hippocras or the similar glarry. The
pimentarii of Byzantium prepared many medical
products according to the needs of physicians.
ANTIDOTES and MITHRIDATIUM
Poisoning was a favored means that was employed
in ancient Greece and Rome to eliminate enemies.
In the 1st century B.C., Mithridates VI, King of
Pontus (located in present-day Turkey) worked with
his physician to devise an effective antidote to all
Two hundred years later, Galen wrote about
antidotes, and he credited the King of Pontus with
creating a “mithridatium” that contained 41
-70- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 71
Continued from page 70 – Use of Spices as Medicines
ingredients. By that time other famous antidotes had
been described; some of these persisted in use for
centuries, including one devised by Galen. The most
popular of the herbal antidotes besides mithridatium
included galene, diascordium and philonium, which were
named for their inventors. A generally used antidote that
was alleged to be effective against venomous bites and
stings was called theriaca; the theriacas of Damocrates
and those produced in Cairo, Venice and other large
cities became very popular.
The word “theriaca” was corrupted to the word “treacle”
in English, especially for preparations of herbs in a thick,
sweet base. The famous 17th century herbalist Nicholas
Culpeper declared that the virtues and inexpense of garlic
made it the “poor-man’s treacle”, and that it can be used
as an effective panacea. Most of the other forms of
theriacas and the various mithridatiums contained dozens
of constituents, including exotic spices such as ginger,
cinnamon, cassia, malabathrum, galbanum, cardamon,
nard, pepper, frankincense, myrrh and saffron. Although
these ineffective multiherb remedies remained in official
use until the 19th century, they have spawned a host of
similar tonics and stimulants that contain a comparable,
illogical array of herbs and spices that enjoy a wide
market today. See section on Spices as Aphrodisiacs. The
only differences in today’s theriaca equivalents are the
incorporation of various modern constituents such as
vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and newly fashionable
A similar group of medical recipes included bitters or
“hiera”, which were introduced in Greece for use in the
Temples of Ascalepios. The components and the number
of constituents varied considerably over the ages,
although aloes and cinnamon were commonly used.
These were prescribed as purgatives and tonics, and were
eventually recommended as valued panaceas for a great
number of different disorders. Their use persisted –
despite no evidence of effectiveness – for many
centuries. Today, some European countries still make
available similar bitter tonics (such as the ancient Hiera
picra or “holy bitter”), and they are marketed as nonspecific remedies; people regard them as digestives,
cough medicines and so on.
SPICES AND PUTREFACTION
In all medical systems of Asia and Europe, spices have
been used both as therapeutic foods and as medicines.
Despite the contrasting opinions of different experts who
insisted on their indications, there is little evidence of
any specific benefit from most spices. Many pungent
spices are unattractive to animals (excepting most,
humans, many birds and some rodents), and they do
have some antimicrobial, gastrointestinal, and mucusloosening properties. Modern studies suggest that
garlic, onion, allspice and oregano are the most potent
antibacterial and antifungal agents; thyme, cinnamon,
cloves and chile peppers are among the next best, while
cardamon, black and yellow pepper, ginger, anise and
celery seeds are less effective. However, there is lack
of uniformity in findings, and this may reflect nonuniformity in source material. Furthermore, some fungi
and bacteria use spices as supportive media for their
Although it is often claimed that exotic spices were
sought as valuable food preservatives, this is not
correct. Thus, simple pickling with common-place
vinegar, garlic and mustard can preserve and flavor
food almost as well as dehydrating and salting can.
Honey and strong sugar soultions can also be used as
food preservatives. There is little evidence that pepper,
cloves, nutmegs, ginger and other expensive spices
were used as alternatives to garlic, etc. to preserve food
or to delay the spoilage of cooked dishes. Their use in
their countries of origin is not related to spices serving
as an alternative to refrigeration, since they are usually
added to fresh foods as flavors. In particular, they add
zest to a bland diet based on rice and other highcarbohydrate
concentrations of spices that would be needed to
significantly retard food spoilage by microorganisms
would result in an overwhelming flavor that may be
worse than that of the decaying food.
While it is true that ancient recipes suggest that spices
were added in extraordinary large amounts to banquet
recipes, it is not clear how many people were meant to
be served. It is likely that in practice large amounts
were used only if a huge number of people were to
participate in the feast. Thus, the actual amount of spice
per individual may have been closer to what is
acceptable today. Moreover, banquets were an
opportunity to enjoy a prolonged bout of gorging, and it
is likely that little food remained to be preserved from
putrefaction over the ensuing post-banquet days.
The evidence does not support claims that spice
imports were driven by a need to either disguise the
taste of spoiled food or to prevent putrefaction of
cooked dishes. Furthermore, when coffee, tea, tobacco
and snuff became fashionable in the 18th century,
spices in food became less acceptable; thus, spice use
declined in France and many other countries, even
though methods for food preservation had not
Continued on page 72
-71- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 71 – Use of Spices as Medicines
It is noteworthy that honey was recognized to be an
effective preserver of meats and other foods. In ancient
times honey was applied to wounds, and more recent
studies have shown it to be more effective than
granulated sugar. Honey may have more than a simple
osmotic effect that contributes to its bactericidal and
fungicidal benefits. History records that when Alexander
the Great died in Babylon, his body was encased in
honey in a tomb for transfer to Alexandria for burial.
There is no evidence that any spices are superior to or
offer additive benefits to honey as a food preservative.
WHAT IS A SPICE?
The name spice is derived from the word species, which
was applied to groups of exotic foodstuffs in the Middle
Ages. Aromatically scented herbal products have been
used since ancient times to flavor foods and for preparing
incenses and perfumes. Exotic imports obtained from
Asia were particularly appealing to Greeks and Romans,
who spent vast fortunes on trade with Arabia, which was
the center of the spice trade.
Rare spices were utilized in cooking as a sign of wealth
in Rome, and later in Medieval and Renaissance times,
and the privileged developed an exaggerated taste for
spicy foods. The need to supply European markets
spurred explorations, culminating in the extraordinary
voyages that resulted in the discovery of the New World
and demonstrated that the globe could be circumnavigated by sea. The fabled Spice Islands of
Indonesia became the site of horrendous colonial
practices by competing European powers. The desire to
control spice sources took the British to India, the
Portuguese to Brazil, the Spanish to Central and South
America and to the Philippines, the French to Africa, and
the Dutch to Indonesia. However, each country feuded
with others to establish a monopolistic control over the
spice-growing regions and the major trade routes.
Today, many of the valued old spices, such as nutmeg,
have lost their fabulous attraction, while the more lowly
garlic, peppers and other commonplace kitchen herbs
have become, paradoxically, increasingly popular. It is
now impossible to give a strict definition of a spice: the
word suggests an imported tropical herbal plant or some
part of it that is valued for providing color and aromatic
flavoring along with stimulating odor for use in cooking
and in condiments, as well as in candies, cosmetics,
fragrances and medications. A host of such products
utilize spicy herbs varying from ajowan and aniseed to
wasabi and zedoary. Indeed, the term spice could include
chocolate, coffee, kola nuts, tea, wine and olive oil, since
these mouthwatering delicacies are generally imported
from tropical or sunny countries into the more
temperate countries of northern Europe and North
America to give a zestful taste to food products and
beverages. See a list of spices by Taste and Hotness.
SOURCES OF SPICES
European countries over the last two thousand five
hundred years have found the allure of spices to be
irresistible. The wide prevalence of garlic, onions and
chives, radishes, mustard and horseradish, and the
availability in Mediterranean countries of herbs such as
mint, thyme, basil and saffron, made these well
distributed flavors seem less appealing to the
sophisticated taste buds of the more wealthy. The
Romans, and then the Portugese, Dutch, and finally the
British, were attracted to India by a persisting appetite
for pungent peppercorns (the source of yellow and
black pepper). Major importing countries came to
appreciate the other curry spices of India, such as
cardamon, turmeric, ginger, and cloves, while the
British greatly overextended their welcome by staying
on for tea. To this day, the British involvement in India
is symbolized on every dining table by the presence of
salt and pepper; the British came for pepper, but left
when Gandhi aroused his country by symbolically
flouting the tax on salt. Perhaps a cup of tea at the end
of the meal emphasizes a more lasting value of the
British interaction with India.
China and its neighboring countries supplied cassia,
cinnamon, licorice, rhubarb and sugar. Coffee
originally came from Yemen; chocolate as well as
tomatos from Central America and the Yucatan; chile
peppers in addition to potatos from Bolivia and Peru.
The allure of trade for the valuable spices that could be
transported successfully over vast distances was
spurred by an increasing appetite in Europe for new
spicy culinary experiences. The desire to monopolize
major spices and the need to control the profitable sea
routes were the driving forces that led to many of the
dramatic events of history during the past 2000 years.
In ancient times, Arabia, Syria and Egypt provided
well-organized marketing sites along the major
recognized spice routes from which Asiatic spices were
sent on their final land or sea journeys to the great spice
ports of Europe, such as La Spezia, Venice and Genoa
in Italy, Seville in Spain, Lisbon in Portugal, and the
major port cities of England, Belgium and Holland.
The most important of the exotic spices in Medieval
Europe was Asian pepper; this could be transported,
stored and traded as peppercorns without any loss in its
taste. The great growth of the pepper trade in Europe
-72- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 73
Continued from page 72 – Use of Spices as Medicines
that occurred between the 12th and the 16th centuries
was controlled by Venetian importers, and their
enormous income led to the richness of Venice and its
prominent role in the patronage of the arts of the
Extraordinary efforts were often made to mislead
merchants as to the source of origin of spices, but it was
gradually realized that the most uniquely desired flavors
came from the indigenous plants of the Moluccas, or
Spice Islands, where cloves and nutmeg grew. The
Portugese, Dutch and British each tried to establish spice
monopolies in these coveted islands. Eventually, French
and other adventurers were able to transplant many
precious spice plants to other sites. Currently, nutmegs
are grown in Grenada in the Caribbean, and in
Madagascar. More cloves are produced in Zanzibar than
in Indonesia, where they now need to be imported to
meet the demands of manufacturers of the popular kretek
tion and promote digestion. Pungent spices can cause
sweating, which may even cause a cooling sensation in
tropical climates; on the other hand they can add a
sense of inner warmth when present in cooked foods
used in cold climates. Local and inexpensive herbs and
flavors, such as garlic, onion and horseradish, sufficed
for the poorer people of old Europe, but influential, rich
hosts would wish to impress or politically intimidate
their guests with the liberal use of rare exotic spices.
These expensive imports could be added in large
amounts and in complex mixtures to each course and to
accompanying alcoholic beverages to provide a
gustatory statement about the wealth, power and
initiative of the host. Thus, spices served to make a
political statement when a baronial lord invited
possible rivals to an expensive display of profligacy at
a sumptuous banquet.
It is noteworthy that some spices have moved in the
opposite direction, and have been transplanted into
Africa and Asia from the New World. Thus, the fiery hot
chiles that are so characteristic in the cooking of India,
China and other countries of the Far East were imported
and established there following the 16th century
exploration of the New World of the Americas where
these peppers are native. Similarly, mustard and
coriander were imported into Asia from Europe, where
they were so commonplace; they then became important
culinary flavors in Indian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese
and other ethnic cooking of the Orient. Chocolate was
transplanted from Mexico to Africa, but it was developed
as a confectionary by the Europeans, including the Swiss
who popularized milk chocolate.
Spices also fitted into philosophic concepts of
improving health, since it was understood that they
could affect the four humors (blood, phlegm, yellow
bile and black bile) and influence the corresponding
melancholic). Thus, ginger would be used to heat the
stomach and improve digestion; clove was believed to
comfort the sinews; mace would prevent colic and
bloody fluxes or diarrhea; nutmeg would benefit the
spleen and relieve any bad cold. Cinnamon, one of the
most popular flavors in cooking, was considered to be
particularly good for digestion and for sore throats. Hot
pungent spices were used more liberally in winter diets
or to treat “cold” diseases accompanied by excess
phlegm. It is noteworthy that rheumatism was believed
to be caused by abnormal “rheum”, or phlegm; the
appropriate therapy would be pepper – just as it is
today, with the topical use of capsaicin, a chile pepper
One spice, licorice, which is very popular in China, is
largely unknown in the U.S., where so-called licorice
candy is usually made of molasses and corn oil with
anise or fennel flavoring and artificial coloration. On the
other hand, so-called cinnamon is often an inferior
related spice, cassia; both are marketed as sticks of bark
that are currently harvested from trees in Sri Lanka and
many other countries. Variants of common spices are
numerous: thus, the “peppers” include peppercorn, black
and yellow pepper, chiles, cayenne pepper, long pepper,
paprika, bell pepper, grains of Paradise (African
melegueta), cubeb, allspice (pimento), and Szechuan
pepper (anise pepper).
Spices, along with salt, would have been incorporated
in mixtures to pickle and preserve meats; the pungent
spices were useful for relieving the salty taste of such
foods. Aromatic spices, such as cloves, cardamon and
mint, would be useful to disguise the foul breath of
onion and garlic eaters who were likely to have
additional halitosis from caries and gingivitis. Burnt
spices or incenses could be used to help counteract the
malodors that were prevalent in rich homes that lacked
sanitary mechanisms for the disposition of excreta and
rotting foods. Some spices, such as pepper and
cinnamon, do have antimicrobial properties, but their
reputation as food preservatives is unwarranted.
WHY WERE SPICES IMPORTANT?
Spices can improve the palatability and the appeal of dull
diets or spoiled food. Piquant flavors stimulate saliva-
One fascinating tribute to the value of spices, such as
peppercorn, was their acceptance in medieval times as
-73- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 74
Continued from page 73 – Use of Spices as Medicines
a substitute for money; thus, some landlords would be
paid a “peppercorn rent”. Conquerers would accept spice
stores as booty or as a victory tax. The flow of pepper
along trade routes provided opportunities for trade taxes
to be imposed at major trading cities by Arabians,
Egyptians, Turks and Venetians. The increasing custom
duties in the 15th century resulted in a 30-fold rise in the
price of Indian pepper, at a time when the social desire
for pepper and other exotic spices was maximal. Changes
in pepper prices had an effect on national economies and
on aggressive reactions comparable to that seen in the
Western appetite for fuel oil today.
Chocolate pods at one time were so valued that they also
were used as the equivalent of money by Aztecs. The
excessive value of spices in Europe is revealed by the
fact that Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe
started with five ships which were supplied to last their
250 or so crew members for many months; the
expedition limped home with only one ship and an
emaciated crew of 18 surviving men who returned to
Spain in 1522 after their three-year horrendous
expedition. Despite their enormous losses, the incredibly
valuable cargo of 50,000 pounds of cloves and nutmegs
from the Moluccas made the enterprise seem like a
Numerous herbs have been classified as spices, but
currently many are grown so readily that they are seen as
common food flavors rather than aromatic spices. The
alliacious herbs – garlic, onion, shallot and chive – could
be regarded as both foods and flavors, while radish,
daikon, watercress and other pungent leaves and flowers
are used as salad flavors. Mustard, horseradish and salsas
containing chiles are used as condiments, while peppers,
capers, fermented fruits (including grape juice), mango
and vegetables are used as pickles or chutneys. Thus,
herbs such as marjoram, oregano, basil, mint, parsley,
sage, tarragon, thyme, savory, rosemary, sesame, poppy
seeds, bay leaves and celery seeds could be considered as
flavorful culinary ingredients, as fragrant herbal
medicines or as inexpensive, easily grown spices.
Perhaps all flavorful herbs that are used in food
preparation and for modifying disease states or
improving specific aspects of health need a special
classification as “spicy herbs”. This would exclude other
comparable spice-like products such as orange peel,
juniper berries, anchovy paste, pungent honeys, flavorful
vinegars, perfumy agents such as myrrh and rose water,
fashionable cooking oils, exotic fruits, and unusual items
that are used parochially in different parts of the
world – such as ajowan, annatto, lemon grass and
Most spicy herbs do have traditional medical values.
All could be regarded as digestants, carminatives
(which help remove excess air from the stomach) and
bowel function improvers. Many are used in
aromatherapy as topical agents that improve skin
condition and result in pleasurable sensations such as
relaxation or calmness. Some may be used as incenses
or room air fresheners, or be incorporated in cosmetics
and body lotions, both for their pleasant sensory
qualities and for possible healing properties. A few
herbs, such as mint (containing menthol), basil, thyme
and sage, are often used to treat pharyngitis, coughs
and bronchitis, and they are likely to be used in
combination with medical herbal extracts from
eucalyptus, camphor, benzoin, aloes and so on.
Culinary herbs thus span the continuum between foods,
medicines and exotica, and therefore they rightly earn
their place in the spice section in markets and in either
the spice rack or bathroom cabinet (or both!) at home.
See a list of spices by Taste and Hotness.
Spice Exhibit URL:
Chocolate: A Superfood for
By Mark Burhenne, DDS
March 01, 2011
A dentist recommending CHOCOLATE? Yes, that’s
right, you read correctly.
Recent studies emerging from Japan, England, and the
U.S. support the fact that chocolate is effective at
fighting cavities, plaque, and tooth decay in the mouth.
In fact, it's better than fluoride according to some.
Dark chocolate (I can’t speak for sugary milk
chocolate) doesn’t deserve its bad rap as a cavitycausing treat. It may actually help prevent cavities!
And here's where the gauntlet gets thrown down.
Compounds in chocolate may be more effective at
fighting decay than fluoride. Researchers are predicting
that one day, the compound found in chocolate called
CBH will be used in mouthwashes and toothpaste.
-74- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 75
Continued from page 74– Chocolate: A Superfood for
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth turn
sugar into acids, which eat away at the tooth’s
surface and cause cavities. Compounds in the cocoa
bean husk have an anti-bacterial effect and also fight
against plaque. This makes chocolate less harmful
than many other sweet foods your dentist might warn
you against because the antibacterial agents in cocoa
beans offset its high sugar levels.
This research has even revealed that the cocoa extract
is more effective than fluoride in fighting cavities. To
many, this is shocking news, but for me that's not
saying much. I'm not a big fan of ingesting fluoride,
and I think it has long been over-hyped (more on that
in future posts).
The compound CBH, a white crystalline powder
whose chemical makeup is similar to caffeine, helps
harden tooth enamel, making users less susceptible to
tooth decay. This specific compound has been proven
effective in the animal model, but it will it will take
another two to four years before the product is
approved for human use and available for sale (in the
form of mouthwashes and toothpastes).
In the mean time, however, one can "administer" this
compound via the ingestion of chocolate. Eating 3-4
oz of chocolate a day is a great way to take advantage
of this wonder compound and lower your chance of
getting cavities. What an easy and fun
recommendation a doctor can make; it’s been called
the food of the gods, a supposed aphrodisiac, and the
drink that Casanova favored.
Now, this isn’t an excuse to binge on bonbons, nor
ditch your floss and toothbrush.
For the best therapeutic effect (yes, I'm still
talking about chocolate), it's best to chew on
cacao nibs. Most will find this option
The second best choice, is dark chocolate with
less than 6-8 grams of sugar per serving - organic
if possible. Be aware that chocolate is a calorierich food, so modify your calorie intake
Raw chocolate is even a better choice, as it it less
processed, and more of the antioxidants are left
Do all of this for your teeth, but enjoy the other
benefits of mood elevation and better blood flow as
With the recent findings, it's now more true than ever,
that chocolate is a superfood. Chocolate has over 300
chemical compounds in it, making it one of the most
complex foods we know of, and I predict that many
new compounds in chocolate beneficial to us will
surface over time and cement its nutritional star rating.
Turmeric Medicinal Use
From many years awareness of turmeric and its use as
medicine is continuously increasing. A flowering plant,
Turmeric, in the ginger family, is commonly used as a
food coloring and is one of the basic ingredients in
curry powder. To heal many health disorders like liver
problems, digestive disorders, treatment for skin
diseases and wound healing turmeric has long been
used in Medicinal as an anti-inflammatory. Curcumin is
the active ingredient in turmeric which has been shown
to have a wide range of therapeutic effects.
Turmeric is considered as a digestive bitter and a
carminative. It can be added into foods including rice
and bean dishes to improve digestion, reduce gas and
bloating. It is a cholagogue, stimulating bile production
in the liver and encouraging excretion of bile via the
gallbladder. This improves the body's ability to digest
fats. For chronic digestive weakness and/or congestion
turmeric is recommended. It can be taken as a single
extract or in the form of digestive bitters, which
combine turmeric with other bitter and carminative
herbs. Turmeric is beneficial for people who feel tired
after consuming meals or who experience gas and
bloating. Whatever way turmeric is consumed it is
beneficial to both the digestive system and the liver.
Turmeric is beneficial for its influence on the liver. In
-75- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 76
Continued from page 75 – Turmeric Medicinal Use
spring more consumption of herbs and foods can
strengthen the liver. Turmeric shares similar liver
protectant compounds that milk thistle and artichoke
leaves contain. It is said to shrink engorged hepatic
ducts, so it can be useful to treat liver conditions such as
hepatitis, cirrhosis, and jaundice.
Recent scientific research confirm that turmeric can cure
host of diseases, also they found that turmeric restrain
the growth of various types of cancer. Turmeric is used
for the treatment of skin cancer or pre cancerous skin
conditions. Both topical and internal uses are beneficial.
Turmeric may helpful in preventing the blockage of
arteries that can gradually cause a heart attack or stroke
in one of two ways. Turmeric makes cholesterol levels
low and inhibited the oxidation of LDL (bad
cholesterol). Oxidized LDL deposits in the walls of
blood vessels and contributes to the formation of
atherosclerotic plaque. Turmeric may also prevent
platelet build up along the walls of an injured blood
vessel. Platelets collecting at the site of a damaged blood
vessel cause blood clots to form and blockage of the
artery as well.
Turmeric may help relieve the symptoms of
osteoarthritis because of its ability to reduce pain and
Menstrual problems of Woman
For women who experience monthly menstrual cramps,
try using turmeric extract or bitters twice daily for two
weeks prior to expected menstruation. Turmeric is an
antispasmodic to smooth muscles so it reduces digestive
and menstrual cramping. It should reduce the severity of
pain, if not ease them completely. Certainly, diet and
standard of living have a reflective influence on the
menstrual cycle, but turmeric is a great addition.
Bacterial Infection / Wounds
Turmeric is useful as an external antibiotic in preventing
bacterial infection in wounds.
Curcumin may prove to be as effective as
corticosteroids in the uveitis (inflammation of the uvea,
the middle layer of the eye between the sclera - white
outer coat of the eye and the retina - the back of the eye)
the type of eye disorder.
Other Health Disorders
Turmeric decreases congestion and inflammation from
stagnant mucous membranes. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory to the mucous membranes, which coat the throat,
lungs, stomach and intestines. Regular use of turmeric
can benefit from Colitis, Crohn's disease, diarrhea, and
post-giardia or post salmonella conditions. The itching
and inflammation that accompanies hemorrhoids and
anal fissures can reduce by use of turmeric. Turmeric
can also benefit skin conditions including: eczema,
psoriasis and acne, for those it is potent detoxifier.
"Turmeric gives the energy of the Divine Mother and
grants prosperity of health. Turmeric is effectual for
purification the chakras, as well as purifying the path of
the subtle body."
Dangerous Food Additives
By Madhura Pandit
December 10, 2010
Do you know that there are several dangerous food
additives which you regularly consume through the
medium of foods and drinks? This article will give you
more information on food additives to avoid.
We gorge on our favorite fast food, pizzas, Chinese
dishes, etc. without bothering about the ingredients used
in these dishes. Secondly, most of us calorie conscious
people, avoid sugar and use aspartame instead. Thirdly,
we also love to add a lot of color to our foods and hence,
use food colors. However, does any of think whether
these food additives are good for our health or not?
Many of these products are termed as dangerous food
additives and are not meant for regular consumption. Let
us take a look at the list of harmful food additives that
one should avoid.
Most Dangerous Food Additives to Avoid
The most common dangers of food additives and
preservatives is that these can lead to abdominal pain
and discomfort. One may experience nausea, vomiting,
flatulence, etc. on consumption of these products.
However, there are some food additives that can lead to
more severe side effects, like they can increase the risk
of cancer or many other fatal diseases. The following are
such dangerous food additives which should be avoided.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
One of the most common food additive, food enhancer
and flavoring agent, Monosodium Glutamate or MSG, is
commonly found in Chinese cuisine. It is found in a
variety of packaged and processed sauces, salad
-76- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 77
Continued from page 76 – Turmeric Medicinal Use
dressing, gravy, soy sauce; fish, chicken and sausage
products. Monosodium Glutamate side effects include
headache, nausea, migraine, Alzheimer's disease,
abdominal inflammation, and sudden cardiac death.
If you are a regular user of Nutra-sweet and Equal, think
twice! It contains aspartame which is also one of the
most dangerous food additives today. Apart from these
products, it is also found in diet sodas, and products that
claim 'no sugar'. Aspartame is linked to several cancer
types like leukemia, lymphoma, etc. It is specially
advised not to be used during pregnancy. Dangers of
aspartame also include weight loss, hair loss, memory
loss, confusion, etc.
Potassium bromate is banned in most of parts of the
world but, not in the United States. This product is
specially added to flour while making biscuits and rolls
to increase their volume. It was found to be a cause of
cancer, when tested on animals. In some parts, one may
come across food product packages, containing
potassium bromate, warning of cancer.
Olestra is fat substitute, used as a food additive, widely
popular under the brand name Olean. This additive is
harmful to the human body as it does not get absorbed in
the body. Consumption of this product leads to
abdominal discomfort, stomach cramps, diarrhea,
flatulence, etc. On the other hand, regular consumption
of this product also decreases the body's ability to absorb
natural and beneficial fats.
These were some of the most dangerous food additives
food additives that you need to avoid, as they are
harmful to health. Rather than adding the spice and color
to your food artificially, you can favor food safety by
opting for natural, freshly made and raw food to have a
healthy and disease free life! Take care!
Continued on page 39 – Traditional African
Perception of Illness
This happens where people involved have made a
distinction between medicine and practice. Many
modern medicines are often better than traditional; they
relieve symptoms better and faster than many traditional
medicines. It is for this reason that many people now
resort to modern medicines when ill.
Most of the preserved meats contains a dangerous food
additive that is sodium nitrate. Foods like hotdogs,
bacon, ham, smoked fish, breakfast sausages, luncheon
meats, corned beef, etc, contain this food additive which
is believed to turn carcinogenic when exposed to the acid
in the stomach. Regular consumption of cured meats is
also believed to be one of the reasons for causing cancer
On the question of medical practice, however, Western
ideas have little in common with those found in Africa.
Practices such as change of climate, exercise, and
cutting down on smoking, are not generally found in
African culture. On the other hand, such things as
offering to placate spirits or ancestors, rubbing oneself
with a chicken or goat in order to transfer the sickness to
that creature, are not generally recommended by modern
doctors as curative techniques. Thus, the power of
modern medicines in relieving symptoms may be sought
from the modern doctor, while the practices suggested
by the traditional healer for relieving the basic cause of
illness, plus the hope he gives the patient, may also lead
the patient to him.
Dangerous Food Additives List
Apart from the above mentioned harmful ones, there are
several other food additives to avoid. The following is a
list of such products that one should be aware of and
These facts should alert us to the possiblility that the
process by which the definition of the illness is arrived
at, the people making the definition and the situation in
which the definition is made may all be important in
understanding illness behavior.
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
Calcium Disodium EDTA
The inclusion of spirits in a discussion of causes of
illnesses often puzzles many modern medical scientists.
Spirits are unobservable objects. And because of this
Continued on page 78
-77- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 77– African Traditional Perception of
they belong to a realm about which the Western scientist
has no accumulated empirical knowledge. Western or
modern medical science has, therefore, tried to disown
this level of knowledge. Modern medicine is rooted in
scientific method; illness is viewed as a natural
phenomenon that can be explained in terms of physical
processes and therefore curable by rational methods.
Traditional medicine has added another dimension, that
is, non-scientific or subjective knowledge. They are right
because medical knowledge is, in fact, produced in
society of objective and subjective ways because
medicine deals with human beings who exhibited both
objective and subjective dimensions. Non-scientific or
subjective knowledge has a place in the practice of
Psychology can help us understand one way by which
spiritis can cause illnesses. People who believe in spirits
can become sick and a result of this belief. They believe,
for example, that ancestors can punish them if they
commit certain anti-social acts. The ancestors, when
offended, can punish an individual with illness and in
extreme cases, with death. Thus, when people who
believe in spirits commit certain anti-social acts that they
believe will offend their ancestors, they may well
become sick. After all, what people believe to be true is
true in its consequences. Emotional shock induced by
prolonged and tense emotion due to the belief that one
has been attacked or is about to be attacked by spirits is
often sufficient to cause illness or death.
Because these spirits are considered to be of such
immense importance in the general concepts of health
and illness, religious rituals and invocations, magical
methods constitute integral parts of African traditional
medicine and are often applied to the advantage of the
Witchcraft is another major cause of illness. Many
people agree that witches exist in society. On the other
hand, modern science has taken the view that witches do
not exist except in the minds of certain people. The
difference of opinion has been caused by two main
factors. There is, firstly, the absence of a shared, clear
and correct definition of African witchcraft. People who
take part in the witchcraft debate do not usually argue
about the same thing. The second cause of conflict has
been the reliance on the part of many people on the
English or European literature relating to witchcraft. It is
from this literature and not from personal experience or
research that their ideas of witchcraft were acquired.
There are important differences between European and
African witchcraft ideas. Witchcraft in Africa includes
harmful medicines, harmful charms, harmful magic and
any other means or devices in causing any injury to any
person or animal or property. The connection between
the use of certain types of harmful medicines and
illnesses can easily be demonstated. Other ways such as
the use of certain charms and contagious magic are
It is important, however, to bear in mind that many
people who accuse others of witchcraft are not seeking a
legal ruling of the matter. The accusation may be a
response to situations of anxiety and stress or means for
the expression of social strains and tensions. The
accusation may also be a means of social control or of
social rupture, or a means of adaptation to rapid and
disruptive social change. These are not legal issues; they
are cultural, social and psychological issues that
nonetheless call for urgent attention. In other words,it is
not always helpful to try and prove whether an
individual accused of witchcraft is in fact a witch; it is
often more useful to examine the events that led to the
accusation of witchcraft and attempt to solve the social
Many people believe that abnormal illnesses may to a
certain extent be avoided or prevented by wearing
charms, making the necessary offerings to the ancestors,
behaving in such a way thatdoes not make enemies, and
avoiding plaes where witches may attack one. But all
these measures may fail. Curative measures must then
involve the use of medicines to correct the bodily
condition and also rituals to remove the bad cause.
What is E.coli?
By Nakato Lewis
The bacteria Escherichia coli was named for an Austrian
doctor, Theodor von Escherich (1857-1911), who first
isolated the genus of bacteria belonging to the family
enterobacteriaceae, tribe Eschericheae. This bacterium
is the common inhabitant of the intestinal tract of man
and other animals. Because of its difficult name, it is
usually referred to as E.coli. We need these bacteria to
breakdown cellulose and it assists in the absorption of
vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin.
What is E.coli O157:H7?
Not all forms are so helpful. E. coli O157:H7, which
was first identified in 1982, is a particularly nasty
version. It secretes a powerful poison, called a verotoxin
that binds to receptors on human kidney, brain and gut
-78- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 85
African Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
Volume 7, Issue 11
Think Twice: How the Gut's "Second Brain" Influences
Mood and Well-Being
The emerging and surprising view of how the enteric nervous system in our bellies goes far beyond just
processing the food we eat
By Adam Hadhazy
February 12, 2010
As Olympians go for the gold in Vancouver, even the
steeliest are likely to experience that familiar feeling of
"butterflies" in the stomach. Underlying this sensation is
an often-overlooked network of neurons lining our guts
that is so extensive some scientists have nicknamed it
our "second brain".
A deeper understanding of this mass of neural tissue,
filled with important neurotransmitters, is revealing that
it does much more than merely handle digestion or
inflict the occasional nervous pang. The little brain in
our innards, in connection with the big one in our skulls,
partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in
certain diseases throughout the body.
Although its influence is far-reaching, the second brain
is not the seat of any conscious thoughts or decisionmaking.
"The second brain doesn't help with the great thought
processes…religion, philosophy and poetry is left to the
brain in the head," says Michael Gershon, chairman of
the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at New
Medical Center, an expert in the nascent field of
neurogastroenterology and author of the 1998 book The
Second Brain (HarperCollins).
Technically known as the enteric nervous system, the
second brain consists of sheaths of neurons embedded in
the walls of the long tube of our gut, or alimentary canal,
which measures about nine meters end to end from the
esophagus to the anus. The second brain contains some
100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord
or the peripheral nervous system, Gershon says.
This multitude of neurons in the enteric nervous system
enables us to "feel" the inner world of our gut and its
contents. Much of this neural firepower comes to bear in
the elaborate daily grind of digestion. Breaking down
food, absorbing nutrients, and expelling of waste requires
chemical processing, mechanical mixing and rhythmic
muscle contractions that move everything on down the
Thus equipped with its own reflexes and senses, the
second brain can control gut behavior independently of
the brain, Gershon says. We likely evolved this intricate
web of nerves to perform digestion and excretion "on
site," rather than remotely from our brains through the
middleman of the spinal cord. "The brain in the head
doesn't need to get its hands dirty with the messy
business of digestion, which is delegated to the brain in
the gut," Gershon says. He and other researchers explain,
however, that the second brain's complexity likely cannot
be interpreted through this process alone.
"The system is way too complicated to have evolved only
to make sure things move out of your colon," says
Emeran Mayer, professor of physiology, psychiatry and
biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of
Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles
(U.C.L.A.). For example, scientists were shocked to learn
that about 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral
nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the
brain and not the other way around. "Some of that info is
decidedly unpleasant," Gershon says.
The second brain informs our state of mind in other more
obscure ways, as well. "A big part of our emotions are
probably influenced by the nerves in our gut," Mayer
says. Butterflies in the stomach—signaling in the gut as
part of our physiological stress response, Gershon says—
is but one example. Although gastrointestinal (GI)
turmoil can sour one's moods, everyday emotional wellbeing may rely on messages from the brain below to the
-79- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 80
Continued from page 79 - Think Twice: How the Gut's
"Second Brain" Influences Mood and Well-Being
brain above. For example, electrical stimulation of the
vagus nerves—a useful treatment for depression—may
mimic these signals, Gershon says.
Given the two brains' commonalities, other depression
treatments that target the mind can unintentionally
impact the gut. The enteric nervous system uses more
than 30 neurotransmitters, just like the brain, and in fact
95 percent of the body's serotonin is found in the bowels.
Because antidepressant medications called selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increase serotonin
levels, it's little wonder that meds meant to cause
chemical changes in the mind often provoke GI issues as
a side effect. Irritable bowel syndrome—which afflicts
more than two million Americans—also arises in part
from too much serotonin in our entrails, and could
perhaps be regarded as a "mental illness" of the second
Scientists are learning that the serotonin made by the
enteric nervous system might also play a role in more
surprising diseases: In a new Nature Medicine study
published online February 7, a drug that inhibited the
release of serotonin from the gut counteracted the bonedeteriorating disease osteoporosis in postmenopausal
rodents. (Scientific American is part of Nature
Publishing Group.) "It was totally unexpected that the
gut would regulate bone mass to the extent that one
could use this regulation to cure—at least in rodents—
osteoporosis," says Gerard Karsenty, lead author of the
study and chair of the Department of Genetics and
Development at Columbia University Medical Center.
Serotonin seeping from the second brain might even play
some part in autism, the developmental disorder often
first noticed in early childhood. Gershon has discovered
that the same genes involved in synapse formation
between neurons in the brain are involved in the
alimentary synapse formation. "If these genes are
affected in autism," he says, "it could explain why so
many kids with autism have GI motor abnormalities" in
addition to elevated levels of gut-produced serotonin in
Down the road, the blossoming field of neurogastroenterology will likely offer some new insight into
the workings of the second brain—and its impact on the
body and mind. "We have never systematically looked at
[the enteric nervous system] in relating lesions in it to
diseases like they have for the" central nervous system,
Gershon says. One day, perhaps there will be wellknown connections between diseases and lesions in the
gut's nervous system as some in the brain and spinal
cord today indicate multiple sclerosis.
Cutting-edge research is currently investigating how the
second brain mediates the body's immune response; after
all, at least 70 percent of our immune system is aimed at
the gut to expel and kill foreign invaders.
U.C.L.A.'s Mayer is doing work on how the trillions of
bacteria in the gut "communicate" with enteric nervous
system cells (which they greatly outnumber). His work
with the gut's nervous system has led him to think that in
coming years psychiatry will need to expand to treat the
second brain in addition to the one atop the shoulders.
So for those physically skilled and mentally strong
enough to compete in the Olympic Games—as well as
those watching at home—it may well behoove us all to
pay more heed to our so-called "gut feelings" in the
Feeding Our Melanin
By The Body Temple
December 16, 2011
Chlorophyll's molecular structure is similar to the
hemoglobain of human blood and melanocytes. Hemoglobin is our body's oxygen transporter. From a chemical
standpoint, the components of chlorophyll are almost
identical to those of hemoglobin.
A German chemist, Dr Richard Wilsstatter, determined in
1913 that the two molecules closely resemble on another.
He found that hemoglobin is composed of four elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen - organized
around a single atom of iron. Hemoglobin's iron content
is the main reason we need a dietary supply of that
Continued on page 81
-80- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 80 - Feeding Our Melanin
Chlorophyll has the same elements, however they are
organized around a single atom of magnesium.
Melanocytes are cells that produce melanin, a dark
pigment responsible for the coloration of hair and skin.
In addition to being found in the skin, melanocytes are
also present in the brain, inner ear, heart, and eye, among
other locations in the body. They usually are buried
below the surface. The cells produce melanin in response
to environmental cues, including exposure to ultraviolet
radiation and certain chemicals. The melanin travels out
of the melanocytes and up to the surface of the tissue
where the cells are found.
Melanin also plays some other roles in the body,
including the brain, where it appears to be a source for
the basic ingredients for some neurotransmitters in
people with limited melanin production in the brain,
reductions in some neurotransmitters have been
observed. The brain synthesize chemicals to make up for
its lack and chlorophyll is a strong source of nutrients
needed to support healthy brain pineal regeneration.
Perhaps dandelion is more popular as an ornamental
flowering plant than as a medicine. The flowers of
dandelion look brilliant and can be seen in various
gardens and parks. There are many varieties of
dandelion, but the common dandelion is scientifically
known as Taraxacum Officinale. Dandelion, which
literally translates into "lion's tooth" in French, is rich in
vitamin-A, C, iron and calcium and detoxifiers which
explains its use in medicines. We shall find out what we
can do with dandelion apart from using it to decorate our
gardens and rooms.
Bone Health: Dandelion is rich in calcium, which is
essential for growth and strength of bones, and is rich
is anti oxidants like vitamin-C and Luteolin, which
protect bones from age related damages due to free
radicals, such as weakening and loss in density.
Liver Disorders: Dandelion can help liver in many
ways. While its anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and
Luteolin keeps it functioning in full gear and protect
it from aging, other compounds in it help treating
hemorrhage in liver, maintaining proper flow of bile
etc. It also stimulates liver and promotes digestion
The benefits of various green foods seem related to their
chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll has the power to
regenerate our bodies at the molecular and cellular level.
Diabetes: Dandelion juice can help diabetic patients
by stimulating production of insulin from pancreas
and thus help keeping low the blood sugar level.
Since it diuretic in nature, it makes the diabetic
patients urinate frequently which too helps remove
the extra sugar from the body. Moreover, diabetics
are prone to renal problems. The diuretic properties
of dandelion can help removing the sugar deposition
in the kidneys through urine. Moreover, dandelion
juice is slightly bitter to taste, which also effectively
lowers sugar level in the blood, as all bitter
It is known to help cleanse the body, fight infection, help
heal wounds, and promote the health of the circulatory,
digestive, immune, and detoxification systems.
Chlorophyll consumption increases the number of red
blood cells and, therefore, increase oxygen utilization by
the body. Chloropyll also reduces the binding of carcinogens to DNA in the liver and other organs. It also
breaks down calcium oxalate stones for elimination,
which are created by the body for the purpose of
neutralizing and disposing of excess acid.
Urinary Disorders: Dandelion is highly diuretic in
nature. Thereby it helps clean deposits of toxic
substances in the kidneys and the urinary system.
Moreover, its disinfectant properties inhibit microbial
growth in the urinary system. In fact, the diuretic
properties of dandlion are so strong that in French its
is also called "pissenlit" which means “urinate in
Skin Care: Dandelion sap, also known as dandelion
milk, is useful in treating skin diseases which are
caused due to microbial and fungal infection, as this
sap is highly alkaline and have germicidal,
insecticidal and fungicidal properties. Care should be
taken while using this sap as to avoid its contact with
eyes. This sap can be used on itches, ringworm,
eczema etc. without risk.
Two of the best sourcces of chlorophyll are wheat grass
and barley grass. Grass - this humble plant that we walk
on, mow and usually take for granted is an amazing
doorway to health.
Health Benefits of Dandelion
By Aparup Mukherjee
The health benefits of dandelion include relief from liver
disorders, diabetes, urinary disorders, acne, jaundice,
cancer and anemia. It also helps in maintaining bone
health, skin care and weight loss.
Continued on page 82
-81- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
sugarcane juice, since it replaces the sugar in the
body which is very much lowered due to action of
bile, causing extreme fatigue and weakness.
Continued from page 81- Health Benefits of Dandelion
Acne: Dandelion juice is a good detoxifier, diuretic,
stimulant and anti oxidant. These four properties
make it a good treatment for acne. Before we know
how it treats acne, we must know what causes it.
Acne is caused mainly during teens, when the body
undergoes many physiological and hormonal
changes. The hormones, which bring about changes
in the body, if do not maintain proper ratio among
themselves or are not regulated properly, tend to
deposit as toxic substances in the body which tend to
come out with sweat through the sweat glands or
sebaceous glands on the skin. Now, during these
changes, these glands secret more oils which, mixed
with dead skin, block the pores and the secretion is
obstructed. Due to this, these toxic substances
cannot escape and result in acne. This is further
worsened by the microbial infections on the effected
places. Dandelion juice, being a stimulant, diuretic
and detoxifier in nature, can help regulate proper
secretion of hormones, increases sweating and
widens up the pores facilitating removal of toxics
through sweat and also through urine, as it is diuretic
too. Its sap, if externally applied on acne, can inhibit
Weight Loss: Our urine contains up to 4% of fats.
So, more we urinate, more water and fats are lost
from the body. Dandelion, being diuretic in nature,
promotes urinating and thereby helping lose weight
without side effects.
Cancer: Dandelion is high in anti oxidants such as
vitamin-C and Luteolin which reduce the free
radicals (very much responsible for causing cancer)
in the body, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. It
also detoxifies the body, which also helps protect
Jaundice: Jaundice is primarily a disorder of the
liver in which it starts over producing bile, which
ultimately gets into the blood stream damaging the
whole metabolism. The excess of bile is also
reflected through color of the skin, eyes etc. The
treatment of jaundice includes three main steps.
First, checking production of bile; second, removal
of excess bile from the body and third, fighting the
viral infection. Dandelion is very helpful in all of
these. It promotes liver health and regulates bile
production. Being diuretic in nature, it promotes
urination through which the excess bile is removed.
Finally, being anti oxidant and disinfectant in nature
due to presence of vitamin-C and Luteolin, it fights
viral infection too. It is more beneficial if taken with
Gall Bladder Disorders: Dandelion is very
beneficial for gall bladder and liver, as it improves
their functioning, protects them from ill effects of
oxidants and infections and regulates secretions from
Anemia: Dandelion has pretty good iron, vitamin
and protein content. While iron is the integral part of
hemoglobin in the blood, vitamins (particularly
vitamin-B) and protein are essential for formation of
red blood cells and certain other components of the
blood. This way dandelion can help anemic people.
High Blood Pressure: Urinating is an effective way
of lowering blood pressure. In fact, most of the
modern drugs for lowering blood pressure are based
on this phenomenon. Dandelion juice, being diuretic
in nature, increases urinating, both in quantity and
frequency and thus helps lower high blood pressure.
The fiber in dandelion is also helpful in reducing
cholesterol and thereby assists lowering of blood
pressure, since cholesterol is one of the factors which
make blood pressure high. Then there is potassium,
which is in plenty in dandelion juice and is very
effective in lowering blood pressure by replacing
Other Benefits: Dandelion can also be used as a
vegetable and is a good source of fiber. It promotes
digestion. In old days it was also used to treat scurvy,
due to presence of vitamin-C in it. It also has healing
effects on dyspepsia, infections in the stomach,
intestines and urinary system.
Capsicum or otherwise known as Cayenne Pepper and
there are number varieties are found such as red pepper,
green pepper, bell pepper, chili pepper and yellow
pepper. Capsicum belongs to the nightshade family group
of plants like tomatoes, egg plants and botanically to the
family of Solanaceae, and scientifically called as
Capsicum annum. The most common variety found and
available in all seasons is Green Pepper or Capsicum.
Though it is native of America and now it is being
-82- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 83
Continued from page 82 - Capsicum Nutritional Benefits
cultivated in all tropical regions of the world. Capsicum
green variety is mostly available in the market.
Capsicum or Cayenne Pepper is widely used as
vegetable, spice, medicine as well for its nutritious and
Capsicum or Cayenne Pepper consists of vital
carotenoids like, Lutein, carotene, capsorubin and
capsanthin, and comprises of proteins and fats, Vitamins
such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1,
B2, B3 and Capsaicinoid Oleoresin, alkaloidal
glycosides like Solanine and Solasadine and Coumarin
or Scopoletin, which are termed as essential
phytonutrients that provide numerous health benefits.
Capsicum nutritional benefits include; Capsicum or
Cayenne Pepper improves eye sight as it is rich in
Vitamin A, maintains healthy skin and mucus
membrane. Capsicum boosts immune system, prevents
regular infections such common cold and fever due to
the rich content of Vitamin C. It prevents the damage to
tissues and cells, caused by free oxygen radicals, as it
eliminates scavenging radicals due to the rich source of
antioxidants. Capsicum hastens the metabolism process
and helps to burn more calories thereby aids to lose
weight, as it stimulates digestive secretions to improve
digestion. Capsicum reduces triglycerides levels in the
blood thus lowering Cholesterol thus regulates
hypertension, thereby preventing Cardiovascular
Due to the presence of laxative properties, it relieves
constipation. The other important medicinal benefits are,
it is likely to stimulate the release of neurotransmitters
and endorphins that is produced in the brain, which in
turn provide relief from pain and inflammation.
Capsicum is proved to be beneficial for diabetic patients
also, as it regulates glucose levels in the blood.
Capsicum is also used for the treatment of chronic
rhinitis. It also lowers the assimilation of fatty
substances and as such this effect, helps to lose weight,
prevents accumulation fats, and prevents Obesity.
Capsicum improves reproductive health, and prevents
the formation of cancerous tumors and cells by blocking
the supply of oxygen to such cells making them to die,
and as such it prevents cancers.
Capsicum is recommended for the treatment to boost
metabolism process, to reduce obesity, to treat
respiratory disorders. Capsicum or Cayenne Pepper is
used as external application to treat pain due to arthritis,
rheumatoid arthritis and painful conditions of joints,
muscles, and back pains. The presence of Vitamin C
found in Capsicum plays an important role in preventing
blood clots as the recent studies proved. The Researchers
also proved the effect of antioxidant known as Capsaicin
that effectively destroys the bacteria called as Vibrio
vulnificus that causes food borne bacterial disease.
One teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper mixed with a glass of
hot water, prevents heart strokes naturally in progress, if
it is taken on regular basis as per the advice of Doctors,
and as such this process can be termed as life saving
process. Capsicum relieves mild depression and anxiety,
provides relief from chronic fatigue syndrome, it reduces
blood pressure as it dilates blood vessels, and helps to get
rid of addiction. It provides relief from sore throat if it is
gargled. By sprinkling of capsicum one can prevent
frostbites. Capsicum aids to remove toxic substances
from the body, provides relief from colic pain, provides
relief from gastrointestinal disorders such as flatulence,
bleeding ulcers and diarrhea, and heals cluster headaches,
cures diabetic feet, itching palms as well. Capsicum is
also used for the treatment of kidney disorders, vascular
headaches, thyroid malfunction, menstrual disorders,
asthma and pleurisy.
To conclude, the information cited above is only for
educative purpose and to create awareness among the
people about the medicinal, health and nutritional benefits
of Cayenne Pepper or Capsicum. Considering the
potential health benefits of Capsicum vegetable, it can be
added as one of the ingredients in the preparation of food
items, and can be added to the regular diet to ward off
regular health disorders. Before trying to use Capsicum as
home remedy for various ailments, consult Doctor or
nutritionist to treat the health disorders accordingly.
How Aloe Vera Can Help You
Achieve Weight Loss?
By Aqeel Syed
June 25, 2011
Aloe vera is no doubt one of the wonder herbal products
that has taken the world by a storm. It is now the main
product of some companies in the 500 fortune companies
in the world including Forever Living Company based in
the USA. Of the many purported health benefits, many
consumers wonder if aloe vera can help them achieve
their weight loss goals.
Yet this product is not really new to the traditional herbal
medicine industry. It has been used for treatment of
-83- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued on page 84
Continued from page 83 - How Aloe Vera Can Help You
Achieve Weight Loss?
Seek professional advice: even though most natural
products are not known to have bad reactions with
human body system, it helps to seek advice from your
physician. Depending on the soil type that the aloe
plant was grown, you may find high amounts of
sulfur in the aloe product.
Start off by cleansing the colon: the effectiveness of
your digestive system often contributes to weight
gain. Therefore before you get into weight loss
program, take the specially formulated Aloe vera
solution that helps to remove the toxic wastes that
often remain in the colon.
Avoid the high calorie foods: however much Aloe
vera products that you consume, you will be
neutralizing the effects of Aloe by eating foods that
have higher amounts of calorie. The extra calorie
would end being converted into fats and stored in
adipose tissues. Therefore make a decision to
completely cut off the use of foods high in calories
and less in fiber content. These are often junk foods
and foods high in fats.
Ensure that you have a regular program of
exercising: there is no magic to cutting weight
without an actual physical process. The biochemical
process such as enhanced metabolism in the cells will
only aid the body to burn the fats faster but would
still require the actual metabolic process.
human and animal illnesses and also as beauty products
in almost all the continents in the world. Due to its
preference for warmer climates, it is found in the tropics
and does well in countries along the equator.
The leaves and the roots are used in most cases. A
concoction is made from these parts of the plant and
taken as it is r sweetened to dull the bitter taste. Mixtures
can be made with other products with medicinal benefits
such as honey products, vanilla or used as a cream.
How Aloe vera contributes to Weight Loss
It aids in removal of extra water in the cells: all
metabolic processes end up releasing water as a byproduct. This means that your body generates water
from internal sources besides the external or water
that you drink.
Other medicinal benefits of Aloe Vera
Helps build enough supply of vitamins and minerals
• Enhances the circulation of blood: by cutting down
which help in burning excessive fats: there are
on the fatty acid deposits, Aloe vera helps in the veins
Vitamins such as B12 that are required for
and capillaries to have more space and a low better
metabolism. By taking Aloe vera, you would
circulation of blood. This improves individual
improve the availability of the B12 and other similar
performance in work because of being more alert.
vitamins. The body therefore becomes efficient in
The blood will carry more oxygen and other nutrients
energy utilization, reduces the false hunger and
which are essential for body function. The threat of
reduces energy intake. The high metabolism also
high blood pressure is reduced.
increases demand for drinking water and this helps
clean the body organs.
• Boosts immune system: Aloe vera on its own has
antibiotic properties and even anti-protozoa effect.
Promotes a lean body: the use of Aloe vera helps in
catabolism of fatty acids and leaves little stored in • Improves the immune system: it cleans the fat
the skin and other body organs such as the heart
deposits in the blood capillaries which allows more
muscles. The individual becomes leaner and has a
space for blood flow.
feel good effect.
• Promotes cartilage formation: this is because Aloe
It reduces body mass index: this results in less
vera supplies the materials required for cartilage
energy demanded leading to less food intake.
formation such as sulfur based amino acids.
It is rich in collagen protein: and therefore promotes •
muscle development and weight loss.
How to Ensure Effective Use of Aloe vera in Weight
Contains essential amino acids: the Aloe vera drink
is rich in Serine, Methionine and Threonine. These
are amino acids that have sulfur bonds and therefore
good for the formation of hair and nails.
Continued on page 85
-84- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 84 – How Aloe Vera Can Help You
Achieve Weight Loss?
In finishing, Aloe vera is definitely a wonder drug. Its
benefits are proven scientifically and therefore
guaranteed results. You can take it without a doctor’s
prescription therefore safe for most of the family
members. You could also mix it with other foods and
therefore very easy to serve. If you may be having
allergic reactions, then you need to seek medical advice.
Continued from page 78 – What is E. Coli?
cells and kills them. Not all people have the receptors,
which explain why some people and animals, including
cattle that get O157:H7 become very ill and some don't.
E.coli 0157:H7 is a mutant form of this bacteria found
specifically in the intestinal tract of cattle. According the
United States Department of Agriculture, the muscle of
cattle, which we eat as meat, is sterile. It is only after this
meat comes in contact with the contents of the intestines
or the feces of infected cattle does it become
Up until the late 1970's no one had any idea of what was
causing this strange illness now known as E.coli
poisoning or "the hamburger disease. The symptoms
were severe abdominal cramps, followed by bloody
diarrhea. Some of the infected people came down with
hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which starts by
shutting down a victim's kidneys and then attacking and
shutting down just about every organ in the body. There
is no cure for HUS, and it is very often fatal. The USDA
believes that the incidences of E.coli poisoning are
increasing. Today HUS is the leading cause of kidney
failure in children. For some odd reason E.coli appears
to affect primarily children and senior citizens.
Escherichia coli is one of the most diverse bacterial
species with several pathogenic strains with different
symptoms and with only 20% of the genome is common
to all strains. Because of its long history of laboratory
culture and ease of manipulation, E. coli also plays an
important role in modern biological engineering and
Considered a very versatile host for the production of
heterologous proteins (a protein experimentally put into
a cell that the cell does not normally make), researchers
can introduce genes into the microbes using plasmids,
allowing for the mass production of proteins in industrial
fermentation processes. Genetic systems have also been
developed which allow the production of recombinant
proteins using E. coli. One of the first useful applications
of recombinant DNA technology was the manipulation of
E. coli to produce human insulin.
Another example was the use of impure modified bacillus
bacteria (E. coli), in the mass production of tryptophan in
late 1980s and early 1990s that cause 37 deaths and 1500
disabilities. Tryptophan is an amino acid used by the body
to make serotonin. Tryptophan is a routine constituent of
most protein-based foods or dietary proteins. It is
particularly plentiful in chocolate, oats, dried dates, milk,
yogurt, cottage cheese, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry,
sesame, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds,
spirulina, bananas, and peanuts. Despite popular belief
that turkey has a particularly high amount of tryptophan,
the amount of tryptophan in turkey is typical of most
poultry. There is also a myth that plant protein lacks
tryptophan; in fact, tryptophan is present in significant
amounts in almost all forms of plant protein, and abundant
Aspartame is also genetically engineered in E. coli
bacteria. The stuff you find in your toilet. The vats are full
of toxic sludge. Then they press it into a white powder
and you're consuming it along with those vitamins in Diet
Coke. Aspartame has caused an epidemic of obesity and
diabetes. Aspartame makes you crave carbohydrates so
you gain weight. It's addictive because the free methyl
alcohol causes chronic methanol poisoning. This affects
the dopamine system of the brain and causes addiction.
Aspartame can precipitate diabetes, simulates and
aggravates diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy, destroys
the optic nerve, causes diabetics to go into convulsions
and to lose their limbs, and interacts with insulin.
Modified E. coli have been used in vaccine development,
bioremediation, and production of immobilised enzymes.
The use of the bacterium E. coli, reconfigured to consume
nuclear waste and waste from chemical and biological
weapons, has been supported by a team at LBNL
(Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). E. coli was one
of the first organisms to have its genome sequenced; the
complete genome of E. coli K-12 was published by
Science in 1997.
E. coli O104:H4 A Newly
Emergent Pathogen Excerpts
A deadly new strain that has picked up the Shiga toxin
genes with the help of a virus that smuggles genes
Prof. Joe Cummins
-85- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 85 – E. coli O104:H4 A Newly
The outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli
O104:H4 began in Germany in May 2011. Between 2
May and 14 June 2011, 3,332 cases were reported,
including 818 cases of HUS (haemolytic uremic
syndrome, or bloody urine) were reported from 13
European Union Member States, and 36 patients died.
Over 95 percent of the afflicted were from Germany and
the vast majority live in, or have travelled to northern
Germany. Cases were also found in US and Canada.
Some 100 patients have such bad kidney damage in
Germany that they need an organ transplant or will
require dialysis treatment for the rest of their lives. E.
coli O104:H4 is a new strain more threatening than E.
coli O157:H7 that has killed many in North America and
Europe during the past thirty years.
Origin of E coli O157:H7
The toxic strain O157:H7 emerged in the United States
during the 1980s, and has since caused illness and death
globally. Ten years ago, Mae-Wan Ho argued that
genetic engineering may have contributed to the rapid
evolution of E. coli 0157:H7, which has many genetic
differences compared to the common harmless E. coli
strain. Indeed, it is legitimate to question whether
genetic engineering over the past 40 years may have
contributed to the accelerated rate at which new and
recurrent strains of antibiotic and drug resistant
pathogenic viruses and bacteria have been emerging
during the same period. Along with the toxin genes, the
toxic strains contain plasmids bearing antibiotic
resistance. For example, analysis of O157 strains from
Nigeria showed that one or resistance plasmids were
present and an aquatic O157 isolate containing two
plasmids was resistant to seven drugs, including
ampicillin, cefuroxime, ciprofloxacin, cotrimoxazole,
nalidixic acid, nitrofurantoin and tetracycline. A Greek
study of milk from cows, goats and sheep showed that
all 29 E. coli O157 isolates displayed resistance to a
wide range of antimicrobials, with the Shiga toxin
positive isolates being, on average, resistant to a higher
number of antibiotics than those which were Shiga toxin
negative. All E. coli O157 isolates were found to be
resistant to ampicillin, an antibiotic used in human
medicine for the treatment of coliform infections.
Origin of E. coli O104:H4
The first isolates of the E. coli O104:H4 with Shiga toxin
date back to 2001, and were described by scientists as
HUSEC41. It turned up again in 2006, in a woman who
contracted HUS in Korea. The current O104:H4
outbreak strain is a recombinant of two pathogenic E.
coli types, enterohaemolytic E. coli (EHEC), causing
haemolytic uremic syndrome HUS, and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), a recognized cause of diarrhoea in
children in developing countries. Recent outbreaks
implicate EAEC as a cause of foodborne illness in
industrialized countries. EAEC infection causes bacterial
cells to form biofilms that adhere to the intestinal mucosa
and elaborate enterotoxins and cytotoxins, which result in
secretory diarrhoea and mucosal damage. EAEC's ability
to stimulate the release of inflammatory mediators may
also play a role in intestinal illness. E. coli O104:H4 may
have arisen through mating between male and female E.
coli that produced recombinants bearing new and deadly
gene combination or by repeated horizontal gene transfer,
resulting in deadly strains.
E. coli O104:H4 also contains an array of antibiotic
resistance genes conferring resistance to ampicillin
apiperacillin/tazobactam, cefuroxim, cefuroxim-zxetil,
sulfamethoxazol, exceeding the numerous resistance genes
found in previous lethal outbreaks. The antibiotics are
predominantly available in medical applications. The
convergence of multiple antibiotic resistance genes and
novel toxins suggest that the lethal bacteria originated in a
hospital or hospitals.
Is there any defence against the newly emergent toxic
bacteria? Researchers found that children treated with
antimicrobials had a relative risk of 14.3 of developing
HUS. They concluded that antibiotic treatment of children
with E coli O157:H7 gastroenteritis significantly increases
the risk of developing HUS. Some antibacterial drugs,
sulfamethoxazole, increase the induction of phagemediated production of Shiga toxin and increase the risk
of development of HUS. Most authorities recommend
supportive treatment only in patients with Shiga toxin–
producing E. coli infection. Recent animal studies found
that virulence was inhibited by zinc in Shiga-Toxigenic
Escherichia coli in animals but that treatment has not yet
been used with humans. Composting manure may be
enough to prevent the spread of toxic, foodborne E coli, if
the strain is harboured by livestock. O104:H4 does not
appear to be harboured by livestock, but rather by human
hosts. So personal hygiene especially of food handlers are
of primary importance in preventing infection; giving no
substance to those who try to implicate organic farming in
the recent outbreak.
-86- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Continued from page 88 – Cassia Alata
Other investigations revealed that water extract from
Cassia alata leaves contained potential antifungal agents
against C. albicans and antibacterial agents against E. coli,
for the treatment of opportunistic infections in patients
afflicted with (AIDS). These results were comparable to
commercial antifungal drug amphotericin B and antibiotic
The leaf extracts also exhibit various pharmacological
properties: antimicrobial, anti-fungal activities as well as
anti-inflammatory effects. The therapeutic efficacy of
Cassia alata leaf extract against Pityriasis versicoloriias
been reported and finally the anti-aging effect of Cassia
alata was demonstrated allowing the use of extracts of
Cassia alata in cosmetic and/or dermatological skin care
The main medicinal uses of Senna alata are as a laxative
or purgative and in the treatment of skin problems. For
laxative purposes usually a decoction of the leaves is
drunk, and less often the flowers, roots or the stem are
Skin problems treated with Senna alata include ringworm,
favus and other mycoses, impetigo, syphilis sores,
psoriasis, herpes, chronic lichen planus, scabies, shingles,
eczema, rash and itching. Skin problems are most often
treated by applying leaf sap or by rubbing fresh leaves on
Other ailments treated in tropical Africa with Senna alata
include stomach pain during pregnancy, dysentery,
hemorrhoids, blood in the urine (schistosomiasis,
gonorrhoea), convulsions, heart failure, edema, jaundice,
headache, hernia, one-sided weakness or paralysis.
Decoctions of the wood are used to treat liver problems
(jaundice), urticaria, rhinitis, and loss of appetite caused
by gastro-intestinal problems.
From the leaves of Senna alata a number of anthraquinone
derivatives have been isolated. Crude leaf extracts have
shown antibacterial activity against a range of bacteria.
Antifungal properties and antitumour activity have been
confirmed by tests. The bark of Senna alata contains
tannins. The petals contain anthraquinones, glycosides,
steroids, tannins and volatile oil. Extracts of the petals
have bactericidal activity against gram-positive bacteria
but not against gram-negative bacteria.
Bosch, C.H., 2007. Senna alata (L.) Roxb. [Internet] Record
from Protabase. Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors).
PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources
végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands.
WE ARE WHAT WE EAT
GM foods have permeated every part of the food
industry and the dangers we all face are coming to the
surface. Do we all eat the same food? We can
understand that people with ways and means eat better
than those without. But the haves and have nots seem to
be on two different planets. This should have nothing to
do with class differences, which places a value on life in
monetary terms. Our food and our medicine are being
genetically manufactured for profit, many using the
bacteria, E. coli. This bacteria, normally found in our
digestive tract and in the digestive tract of all warmbloodied animals, is being genetically manipulated to
help create deadly life-threatening biological toxins,
vaccines, pharmaceutical drugs, artificial vitamin and
food supplements, foods, milk, organisms that bind
heavy metals (bio-remediation) and explosives, just to
name a few. The application of E.Coli in genetic
engineering starts from the cradle to the grave.
Most of our digestive diseases centers on the food we
eat and let’s face it, we are eating contaminated food,
even down to the animals, the soil and the water. If
diabetes was rare in ancient Egypt, then the question of
whether this is a genetic disease or environmental
becomes mute. We are told that our bodies have not
changed in 20,000 years. What has changed is the food
we eat and our environment. It’s easier to blame people
for their diabetes and obesity when the fault may not be
theirs alone. We can alleviate some of our own digestive
problems using traditional spices like cayenne pepper,
ginger and herbs like aloe vera and cassia alata, not to
mentioned use of the culinary herbs. Wars have been
fought over the availability of spices.
Our digestive system is a work of art. It has its own
brain, nervous system and of course, melanin. 95% of
serotonin is found in the gut. 70% of our immune
system is aimed at the gut to expel and kill foreign
invaders. It’s a regular food factory supplying the
necessary energy and nutrients to all parts of the body to
maintain its existence. So who needs GM food with all
the health problems that are coming to light? Do we
want to eat ourselves into extinction? How could we
maintain existence on this planet without the body? We
would be required to join the spirit world.
Blackherbals – A Marcus Garvey Pan-African
University’s Community Site of Knowledge
-87- Traditional African Clinic October 2012
Our aim at The African Traditional Herbal
Research Clinic is to propagate and promote the
awareness in Afrikan peoples at home and abroad of
their health, biodiversity, history and cultural
richness. We gather pertinent information on these
issues and disseminate these freely to our people in
Uganda, the rest of the continent, and anywhere in
the Diaspora where Afrikans are located…. One of
the main ingredients for increasing poverty, sickness,
exploitation and domination is ignorance of one's
self, and the environment in which we live.
Knowledge is power and the forces that control our
lives don't want to lose control, so they won't stop at
anything to keep certain knowledge from the people.
Therefore, we are expecting a fight and opposition to
our mission. However, we will endeavor to carry
forward this work in grace and perfect ways.
“Where there is no God, there is no culture.
Where there is no culture, there is no
indigenous knowledge. Where there is no
indigenous knowledge, there is no history.
Where there is no history, there is no science
or technology. The existing nature is made
by our past. Let us protect and conserve our
SPECIAL EVENT: CLINIC OPENING
PLACE: AFRIKAN TRADITIONAL HERBAL RESEARCH CLINIC
Herbs of the Month
SENNA LEAVES (OMUCHULA)
Cassia alata L. or senna is a shrub, 2-3m high, widely
distributed in the tropical countries.It is native to South
America, but has been planted widely for medicinal and
ornamental purposes and is now pantropical. In many
countries, including most countries of tropical Africa, it
has become naturalized and is often considered a weed.
It is is known as ringworm shrub, winged Senna, candle
tree or ringworm Cassia, owing to its traditional use of
the juice from fresh leaves or as leaf decoction against
ringworm, eczema, pruritis, itching, scabies, ulcers and
others skin diseases.
Cassia alata leaves are used in Africa for the same
properties. The flowers are used in bronchitis, asthma and
other respiratory ailments. Other uses of Cassia alata are
as an antihelminthic, antibacterial, laxative, diuretic, for
uterine disorders. In Africa, cassia is also used for
digestive complaints such diarrhea, cholera, dysentery,
gastritis and heartburn. Continued on page 85
Afrikan Traditional Herbal Research Clinic
54 Muwafu Road, P.O. Box 29974
Ntinda, Kampala, Uganda East Africa
Phone: +256 (0) 702 414 530
Email: [email protected]
ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED
Street Number and Name
City, Country, etc.
-88- Traditional African Clinic October 2012