Good health and well-being are among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations Member States, providing a shared blue print to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.
Ensuring people’s healthy lives is critical to sustainable development. This contributes to the development of a country’s GDP as it ensures productive employment and reduces the cost of illness care.
According to the United Nations, health crisis greatly affect humanity. Covid-19 for instance disrupted essential health services, making people prone to anxiety and depression as well as lowering life expectancy globally and derailing progress of diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV AIDS.
In a bid to promote the achievement of SDG 3, different organizations and companies have come up with different innovations to boost the wellbeing of people.
Botanic Treasures for instance is a company under the KCV portfolio. The company has empowered over 300 smallholder farmers to grow Moringa oleifera which is considered a highly nutritious vegetable plant. The company produces nutritional supplements and fortified foods that combat malnutrition and degenerative diseases, as well as supporting food security.
Elizabeth Mbogo, the Chief Executive Officer says that Moringa helps stop the spreading of the cells to other parts of the body. “For those who have embraced moringa as a lifestyle and maybe they get cancer along the way because they probably started late tend to heal faster, go through chemotherapy very well without severe side effects”.
Mbogo narrates how a 2.8 by 2.4 breast cancer growth in one of their clients, 65 years old, vanished within four rounds of chemotherapies.
“There are other patients we met who were on chemo 11 and the growth was still there. We offer them nutrition cancelling in terms of what to eat because there are foods which actually feed the growth”.
According to Mbogo, moringa has the ability to kill pain. “If you have a toothache, a migraine, period pains etc., moringa nuts are very good painkillers”.
“There are people who complain of migraines and are not tumor related which can go for days. You just need to chew two nuts of moringa everyday depending on the level of the pain”.
She says that moringa root capsule also works well and can give fast relief. “The root capsule’s processing is very stringent. It’s very good for sciatic nerve pain, lower back pain, arthritic pain, joint pain, shoulder pain and bone inflammations”.
Botanic Treasures products aim at fostering high consumption of the under-utilised moringa leaf powder as an ingredient for local food and beverage products in Kenya.
Moringa plant is a drought-resistant tree of the Moringaceae family, native to the Indian subcontinent. It is also known as drumstick tree from the shape of the seeds.
The seeds have been studied by various researchers and numerous beneficial findings have been recorded.
An abstract by the National Library of Medicine indicated that Moringa had positive effects on the prevention of Chronic Diseases:
Moringa leaves contain many bioactive compounds which may influence lipid homeostasis. Its extracts have shown hypolipidemic activity, due to inhibition of both lipase and cholesterol esterase, thus showing its potential for the prevention and treatment of hyperlipidemia. It also has a strong effect on lipid profile through cholesterol reducing effects.
Moringa leaves has high concentrations of antioxidants which can be used by patients with inflammatory conditions such as cancer, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. The extracts of moringa also contain tannins, saponins, flavonoids, terpenoids and glycosides, which have medicinal properties which have proven to be effective antioxidants, antimicrobial and anti-carcinogenic agents.
Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effect
The moringa extracts stimulated both cellular and humoral immune responses in cyclophosphamide-induced immunodeficient mice, through increases in white blood cells, percent of neutrophils and serum immunoglobulins.
The moringa leaves have been exhibited to reduce plasma and to restore hepatic and kidney damage induced by drugs. Tested on rats, similar findings were gotten and in guinea pigs, treatment of moringa leaves prevented non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
The beneficial activities of moringa leaves on carbohydrate metabolism have been shown by different mechanisms. In a study, where diabetes was induced peritoneally by injection with streptozotocin, rats were fed the equivalent of 250 mg/kg of moringa for 6 weeks, using control and diabetic animals. The groups consuming moringa extract had significant decreases in malonaldehyde and improvements in the inflammatory cytokines.
The Moringa leaves contain several bioactive compounds which when used stabilized blood pressure. A recent study reported that moringa reduced vascular oxidation in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Effects on Ocular Diseases
Moringa leaves, pods and leaf powder contain high concentrations of vitamin A, which can help prevent night blindness and eye problem.
Studies have shown that moringa inhibit the growth of several human cancer cells. Studies conducted on rats have also shown that the plant can prevent cancer.
KCV has fronted itself as a key player in promoting the achievement of the SDGs by providing financial and managerial assistance to innovative early and growth stage businesses in agribusiness, water, commercial forestry, renewable energy and waste management.