Diet/ Food

Natural afrocentric remedies

natural remedies

natural remedies

In today’s post I would like to open up the topic of natural remedies. There is not a whole lot of literature out there on the variety of natural herbs and remedies but I have tried to pull a little bit together with a bit of help from Mama! Please note: if anyone out there knows a bit more about the natural remedies I mention here, please get in touch. Apologies, as we only knew the traditional non-English names for some of these.


I first came across this when my mom was over for a visit in London. She decided to make herself some tea from some powdered seeds which she got from Ghana. I smelt the brew and almost asked her to take the stuff as far away from the house as possible as the powder had a very strong pungent smell. I was just not ready for it. I asked her what on earth it was. It was dawadawa. This powder is made from the seed of the dawadawa tree, a tree of economic significance that grows in the northern regions of Ghana. The tree is of similar significance to that of the shea nut tree, which serves in reducing poverty amongst rural communities, especially women. You may find a little research has gone into the properties of dawadawa, but not a lot. From what I have read, it is used as a food additive to beef up the flavour and texture of soups and stews. All I know is that Mama was drinking it for its medicinal purposes. It is known to control diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Shea butter (nku)

Shea butter is very well known in the confectionary and cosmetics industry, however it is known to have medicinal properties. It is used as a moisturiser to soothe dry skin, a massage oil for pain management and for the relief of nasal congestion. ref: wikipedia


This wild flower is good for diabetes. Its leaves can be chewed raw and can add a wild touch to a salad when added to lettuce. It is good for diabetes and high blood pressure.


Now this is where it gets very difficult. All we know about this is that it is great for managing diabetes and is consumed as a hot drink when boiled or brewed.

Moringa leaf powder

Now this is just one natural product that is going through the roof but I will focus in brief on the leaf powder. This is rich in iron and helps to lower blood pressure and is great in assisting weight-loss!

If anyone out there knows a bit more about what I have started sharing here, please comment or simply get in touch.


ModernGhana – dawadawa as a packaged product – economic value of shea nut tree
Wikipedia – medicinal properties of shea butter
Sheabutter Cottage – Moringa

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  • Reply
    Mama Afrika
    October 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Funny thing… the first two times I’d ever heard of Red Bush Tea (Rooibos) was from a Zulu friend who recommended it to someone for skin troubles (they bathe babies in it who have very dry skin, etc). She then listed quite a few other medicinal uses for it, of which I only remember a couple.

    Then a second time, when years later, I read the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series of books which is based in Botswana and Mma Ramotswe (the books main character) was always sipping on her Red Bush Tea.

    All these years later, I have a cup of it daily because I just love the flavor; but do in fact, use it medicinally on occasion as well.

    Thanks for reminding us of the wisdom of our elders and the treasures our beloved continent holds for our healing!!

    • Reply
      October 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      Hey thanks mama! I love rooibos tea! And it has taken the world by storm you can get it in supermarkets from London to Australian cities! I think it is wonderful that we can eat to heal. What medicinal uses have you tried?

  • Reply
    Audie Joris
    November 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    great blog

  • Reply
    My Burnt Orange Rooibos Syrup « My Burnt Orange
    January 25, 2012 at 12:41 am

    […] add a little bit more about rooibos tea (by copy and pasting mamaafrika’s comment from my natural remedies […]

  • Reply
    Roni Dorris
    November 19, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Honestly, I am somewhat doubtful of its claim; but it would be a great loss and disservice to those who are suffering from diabetes if this claim is true and I did not share it. Before divulging more details of the natural remedy for diabetes by making use of lime, let us search for more information on lime, and see what it is offering. Lime contains vitamins A, B, C, G and the rare vitamin P.

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Roni, thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment. It looks as though it will be a number of years before we get concrete evidence for many African remedies, as well as more information on how to use them properly. In the meantime I hope getting the word out there about their existence will inspire more scientific research.

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