Contributed by: Ruth Cely M. Jamelo
Six months ago, I experienced frequent stomach ache and drowsiness. Out of curiosity, I went to my doctor who recommended an ultrasound. The result showed that there was a lesion (scratch/blur) in my liver. Silimarin was then administered but I asked my doctor if it was alright to drink tanglad juice along with the medicine. The doctor found nothing wrong so for three months, I was persistent and religiously drank tanglad juice all throughout my medication. The lesion in my liver slowly disappeared and I was feeling better as pain was beginning to ease. Though I wasn’t sure if it was through the artificial medicine or tanglad, I’m confident that both were very instrumental in relieving me of my illness.
I would like to share with you now some facts about tanglad, as well as malunggay, as both of these are known to be beneficial in fighting the deadly disease of cancer and hope that we won’t take these greens for granted.
There is a claim that tanglad (lemon grass) can cure cancer. This has been reportedly tested with positive results in Israel. The story goes that it all began when researchers at Ben Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev discovered last year that the lemon aroma in herbs like lemon grass kills cancer cells in vitro, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. It claimed that a drink with as little as one gram of lemon grass contains enough citral to prompt the cancer cells to commit suicide in the test tube. The BGU investigators checked the influence of the citral on cancerous cells by adding them to both cancerous cells and normal cells that were grown in a petri dish. While the citral killed the cancerous cells, the normal cells remained unharmed. The success of their research led them to the conclusion that herbs like tanglad containing citral may be consumed as a preventative measure against certain cancerous cells.
Malunggay is everywhere and we sometimes neglect its significance. The leaves help strengthens the immune system; restores skin condition; controls blood pressure and relieves headaches and migraines. Prepared like a tea, it can help strengthen the eye muscles, heal inflammation of the joints and tendons and prevent intestinal worms and also to treat fever and asthma. It also helps increase semen count (that’s why it’s highly recommended for those who have difficulty in procreation), normalize blood sugar level thus preventing diabetes, and has anti-cancer compounds (phytochemicals) that help stop the growth of cancer cells, relax and promotes good night sleep and even heals ulcer. It is also recommended for lactating mothers because malunggay is known to have high amounts of calcium (four times the calcium in milk), which means that regular consumption of malunggay leaves help produce more milk for their babies. The young malunggay leaves that are boiled and taken as tea contains three times the potassium in bananas and four times the vitamin A in carrots. Moreover, an ounce of malunggay has the same Vitamin C content as seven oranges and two times the protein in milk. Amazing!
Thus are the wonders of tanglad and malunggay. I hope you won’t wait till you get sick like me before we take advantage of these herb and vegetable. You can even plant these in your own backyard because these can be grown without hassle. Let us all stay healthy and live cancer-free!
*For daily herbal medicinal use, just prepare malunggay tea which is about 1 cup leaves boiled in 1 and 1/2 glass of water. Drink this daily. You can improve the taste by adding lemon grass (tanglad) or pandan leaves. A single preparation can be stored up to 2 days in a thermos bottle, however, a fresh preparation is always recommended.