Anglican Church of Kenya to promote use of medicinal herb

By Henry Neondo

The Anglican Church of Kenya in western parts of the country is championing growth and use of a herbage locally known as dodo for its medicinal value.

This follows recent discovery of the herb’s medicinal value after a number of sickly users claimed to have had substantial changes in their health status with continual use.

The herb, whose scientific name is Grain amaranthus is a commonly edible herb used as a vegetable in parts of Western Kenya and thanks to the discovery of its other potentialities could soon be turned into cash crop.

A programme coordinator with the Anglican Church of Kenya, Zacharia Masakwa said that the plant’s seed was discovered to have improved the health of patients suffering from Aids, skin diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes dramatically when consumed.

Some patients have been eating the seeds of the plant mixing it with cassava or cereals like maize, wheat, sorghum and millet but it is not yet clear if any of its medicinal values are related to any other additive from these other traditional African foods.

Dodo seeds can also be ground into flour suitable for porridge.

But while Masakwa now claims the church is encouraging farmers to grow the crop, local medical practitioners are hesitant to confirm the apparent medicinal value of the dodo plant saying that the matter needs a lot of research.

The ACK’s enthusiasm seems to have the backing of the United States development agency agricultural research hand book which shows that the plant has a protein content of up to 78 percent as compared to 68% and 72 percent of soya beans and milk respectively.

When consumed, the book adds, it releases 162 mg of calcium and 455mg of phosphorous into the body.
The book says that the vegetable has Amino Acid in the leaves, which are rich in a vitamin called lysine.
Apart from these values expectant mothers could benefit form 10.5 mg of iron found in it. Its carbohydrates content is 16 percent.

Some 200 farmers have a total of about 100 acres under the crop in Machakus division, Teso district in Western Kenya.

An acre can produce about 600 kgs of dodo seeds per year. The ACK has been buying the seeds at shs 40 per kilo.

There is a good market for the seeds in Nairobi and other major towns. The dodo stalk and chaff are used of animal feed.

No comments:

google pagerank checker by