6th World Nursing and Healthcare Conference
University of Winnipeg, Canada
Title: Indigenous herbs and foods for sustainable heath care systems
Biography: Michael O. Eze
The biochemical basis for sustaining good health lies mainly in continued consumption of fresh foods and clean air. Thus we are able to maintain homeostasis: Keeping our internal chemistry optimally stable. Homeostatic imbalance spells ill-health. Many diseases are associated with inflammation: stimulation of the immune system. Inflammation leads to production of copious amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) yielding oxidative stress (OS). OS causes oxidation of cellular DNA, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates etc. Accumulation of oxidized forms causes aging, cancer, degenerative diseases, and death. Thus, inflammation and homeostasis are at the core of Health and Wellness. We therefore recognize unique chemical species and biochemical principles serving as common denominators in diseases and health. Intervention strategies targeted towards these commonalities are warranted, especially for Indigenous peoples (as in Canada) who rely on traditional remedies. Herbal resources provide antioxidants and other phytochemicals, producing healing outcomes towards good health. Our work has revealed the role of herbal antioxidants in quelling OS and installing wellness. The common denominators connect the diseases: Infectious to chronic (e.g., Human papilloma virus to cancers) and chronic to chronic (e.g., diabetes and its complications). The herbal phytochemicals also deal with infectious agents. For example, Neem plant (Azdirachta indica) extracts cure many ailments including malaria. Recently, Neem antimalarial principles have been formulated into the antimalarial capsule “IRACARP” by ROCITUS IJU International Ltd in Nigeria. This success story of harnessing local Indigenous resources should inspire similar bold steps against other ailments, for instance diabetes using Indigenous Canadian Labrador Tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum) and other herbs.