Hello everyone, especially the members of the herbal hive community! Honestly, I didn't know about the existence of this community until a reblog about the posting challenge popped up on my feeds earlier today. Now, for those of us who do not know, this challenge is simply asking us to “give thanks for just one herb that has made a difference to our personal life”. You can read about the details here. Moreso, this post is my entry to the challenge. Read along with me if you wish to know the herb I'm most thankful for 🤗.
Talking about herbs, I totally dislike them… I'd be lying if I said I was fanatical of such. Perhaps because I see them as drugs and I fear drugs due to it's common appalling taste. Although, there might be some with better tastes, I don't know. Actually, I know little or nothing about herbs 🤷.
However, reading this challenge, I began to see things from a different perspective. Herbs are in fact, one of the best things nature has blessed us with and so, we should appreciate them at least. Thanks to their medicinal value, herbs have provided cures and preventions to many diseases. What would we possibly do without them?
I never thought I'd say this in a lifetime but Vernonia amygdalina is one herb I'm thankful for. What's that? You asked? Well, it's an indigenous plant that grows in tropical Africa. Asides it's botanical name, this herb is better known as “bitter leaf” in English. Although in my country Nigeria, it's got different native names depending on the ethnic group. We call it “Onugbu” in my native language (Igbo).
Bitter leaf is a herb that's popularly known and can be found in shrubs almost anywhere you look. People could grow them in their farms, gardens and use them for consumption. Back in our home, my mom often plants them in a large vase since we don't have a homestead or garden yet. Matter of fact, she was the one who introduced me to this herb.
I recall a few years ago, I was having really terrible stomach aches plus my blood sugar level was a little high. After getting scolded and banned from consuming too much sweet things, my mom prepared a concoction with this herb. She plucked some of it's leaves, washed them thoroughly with salt and squeezed out it's juice. Afterwards, she sieved out the leaves and poured the juice into a cup for me to drink. Then, I didn't think it'd taste as bad as it stank, so I quickly took a gulp and spat out almost immediately. It was terrible and distasteful!
My mom however managed to manipulate me into consuming the whole glass 😅. And to my greatest surprise, it worked like magic! My stomach ache literally disappeared after a short while. And overtime, I continued drinking the concoction until my blood sugar normalized.
I would normally take 2 glasses of the “green juice” a day… To be honest, it wasn't easy at first as I felt like throwing up with each gulp. I mean, it's not called “BITTER leaf” nothing. But somehow, I got used to its bitterness and got my healing.
Funnily enough, my mom even incorporated this herbal drink into our diet. She believes it helps to flush out impurities from the body system and regulate blood pressure. Prior to my healing experience, I used to believe it was nothing but a myth. However, it's the truth. It really works with consistent and adequate intake. I would recommend it to anyone, any time!
It would also interest you to know that its versatility is one special attribute of this herb. As much as Vernonia amygdalina is medicinal, it's also commonly used as vegetables for cooking soup. In my tribe, it's used in the preparation of “Ofe Onugbu” (bitter leaf soup). This is one of my favorite local dish in my country, it's delicious 😋 when prepared properly and it's healthy as well.
In conclusion, I'm saying thank you Vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf plant) for existing to cure my stomach upsets, regulate my sugar level and satisfy my taste buds as a medicinal herb and a staple ingredient for my favorite soup 😊.
THANKS FOR READING! ❤️