The Hunter Who Couldn’t Find The Leaf Of Life

Certain stories make your ears tingle and captures your attention

Two snakes fighting

Certain stories make your ears tingle, capture your attention and make you feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Since childhood, I have heard certain stories from my original native country, Ghana. Many of these stories are real, like that of Okomfo Anokye, who danced and chanted down the golden stool from heaven. 

Since the golden stool is still available in the Ashanti Kingdom and the sword he planted and said no one can pull it out, still stands at the place, there is no room to say that the stories are untrue.

I still think about this story, because I don’t know if it’s true or false. A hunter went hunting for a deer to feed his family. It was very sunny, as usual in tropical Africa. Tired and thirsty, he leaned his back against a tree, as he sits in the shade of a very big tree. Adjacent him, he witnessed something he had never experienced in his entire life as a professional hunter.

The hunter was treated to a dramatic fight between two deadly snakes. The fight which lasted over thirty minutes resulted in the death of one of the snakes. The hunter wasn’t sure if the snake was actually dead or was in coma because the creature was lifeless and every effort of the other snake to revive the dead reptile or bring it back to life was futile.

The live snake abandoned its lifeless opponent and went into the bush. Less than a minute the reptile emerged from the bush with a leaf in its mouth and inserted into the mouth of the dead snake, then suddenly the creature woke up and the two retreated into the bush. The amazed hunter tried to find the leaf the snake brought to wake the dead, but his search yielded to fruitless result.

He was totally disappointed and frustrated, as the wise snake didn’t leave behind a piece of the leaf for him to identify what that magic leaf was.  Could that leaf wake up a dead body? That was the question spinning in his mind. This is more than a mystery. God will never reveal everything to man because of greed. The rich would have bought everything to live forever and the poor man would never get the chance to enjoy a second life.

Health: How Africans Survived On Traditional Medicine Long Before The White Man’s Medicine

Neem 1

The magic tree called Neem

In 1832, the Scottish merchant McGregor Laird led an expedition to the Niger Valley and out of 48 people that accompanied on the expedition, 37 lost their lives. These experiences led to the belief that Europeans could not survive in coastal West Africa, which came to be known as ‘The White Man’s Grave.’ Because Europeans noticed that Africans survived much better in the region from these fevers. Despite malaria killing many Africans as well, they acquired resistance to malaria in their childhood, baffling European physicians.

The loss of 37 expeditioners not only revealed that Europeans can’t settle in Africa that time but also demanded how Africans had been able to survive on that harsh continent of deadly malaria? From generation to generation, ancestors pass on their expertise in herbal medicine preparations to families. One of Africa’s powerful concoctions against malaria is prepared from leaves of a neem tree.

The neem tree, biological name (Azadirachta indica) is a unique tree, and the leaves are the most complex leaves on the planet. The neem tree has over 130 different biologically an active compound. The trees grow in tropical and semi-tropical regions.

About the Neem Tree:

Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a tree in the mahogany family. Native to India and throughout Southeast Asia, neem trees grow in tropical and semi-tropical regions. The neem tree grows quickly and can reach heights over 100 ft tall. With its surprising variety of uses and benefits, the neem tree is known as the ‘cure of sickness’ in West Africa, because of its extreme bitterness.

The main components of neem leaves include protein (7.1%), carbohydrates (22.9%), minerals, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and carotene. But the leaves also contain glutamic acid, tyrosine, aspartic acid, alanine, praline, glutamine and cysteine-like amino acids, and several fatty acids. Without toothpaste or brush, a piece of chewed neem tree gives a clean teeth brush and fresh mouth each morning. Another life-saving tree is the Kuntan tree (Uapacca Guiniensis.) The cover of the tree was used to treat fractured bones.

Enjoying corn porridge without sugar

Asaba

The miracle berry or fruit, known as Asaba in the central region of Ghana, serves sugar because it contains a protein called miraculin that tastes sweet enough to replicate the effect of sugar.

There was no sugar, yet our ancestors enjoyed herbal tea and cornmeal porridge. A plant which bears small reddish fruit, called miracle fruit, serves as a substitute for sugar. The fruit contains a protein called miraculin that tastes sweet enough to replicate the effect of sugar. After eating berry fruit, everything sour, such as lemon or vinegar tastes sweet in the mouth.

Africa is endowed with many plants that can be used for medicinal. Some of the herbs heal high blood pressure, skin diseases, sore throat, arthritis, digestive problems etc. Many of the drugs consumed throughout the world for health purposes, were manufactured from herbs taken from Africa and Asia because those herbs grow in tropical countries. For example, African ginger is a very powerful medicine.

Many around the world wonder how Africans live, especially those in the villages without electricity. Frankly speaking, there is everything available to make life easy for them just like those living in modern cities. Before health centers were built our ancestors deliver babies at home successfully and the child’s umbilical cord was treated with herbal medicine.

Food Preservation in Africa

Have you ever wonder how Africans preserved food without electricity? If there is no electricity, there wouldn’t be any fridge or storage facilities but the food is best preserved in such a way that it doesn’t get rotten. With smoldering wood, generating intensive heat, which adds a layer of desiccation to preserving qualities, fish, meat and other kinds of seafood are smoked. The heat of the fire dehydrates all the liquid from the fish or meat and makes it last longer without rotten.

Salt and the sun also play a major role in traditional food preservation in Africa. For example, fish are well preserved with salt and Cocoa beans are spread in the sun to dry for many days, before they are exported or used to manufacture cocoa products, such as chocolates, drinks, beverages and body lotions consumed locally.

Fish 4

Fish smoking is one of the oldest traditional ways of food preservation in Ghana.

The Palm Tree: The Subsistence Of Life In Africa

Below is a link to another article revealing the traditional life in Africa.

https://joelsavage1.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/the-palm-tree-the-subsistence-of-life-in-africa/

Could Poor Drainage System Leads To Flood And Fire Disaster In Ghana?

Fire 3

Gas explosion in the city of Accra: Wednesday, June 3, 2015.

Ghana is mourning once again, after the Melcom shopping mall disaster in 2012. Without warning tragedy has struck. “This loss of life is catastrophic and almost unprecedented. A lot of people have lost their lives and I am lost for word.” These are the comments of Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama, while visiting the scene of the blast, following a heavy torrential rainfall in the city of Accra.

During a heavy rainfall, people taking shelter from the rain at a gas station, unexpectedly find themselves engulfed by fire, following an explosion. According to eyewitness, the the strong blazing fire burnt everyone across its path. The Red Cross and emergency services retrieved dozens of bodies from the gas station in central Accra, where the fire occurred on Wednesday night, at about 10 pm.

Waste disposal, recycling and poor drainage systems, remain a key challenge facing many African countries, including Ghana. It’s not arguably that many cities in Africa are extremely dirty with garbage-choked drains, gutters and blockage of sewage pipes. Indiscriminately disposal of wastes such as plastic and polythene plastic and uncollected waste blocked holes and gutters brewing bad odour that engulfs the environment.

Apart from malaria and other tropical diseases, poor drainage system often leads to common floods, leading to death and destruction of properties. In the past, Ghana’s capital and its surroundings have experienced heavy rain and flooding, often causing mass destruction and taking lives. The question: How can the Ghanaian government prevent such tragedies?

It is always easier said than done, but there wouldn’t be any success or failure if one doesn’t try to do something. The Ghanaian government should consider embarking on a good waste disposal and underground drainage facilities. Ghana deserves it as a great nation, years after independence.