Miriam Kwari Herbal Space
Hello Friends. Welcome, to herbal space. This week our eyes are set on thorns . . .
Prickly pear cactus — DHOROFIYA: Is promoted for helping in treating diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and hangovers. Some preliminary evidence shows that prickly pear cactus can decrease blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes
The prickly pear plant has three different edible sections: The pad of the cactus, can be used as a vegetable. I use the leaf diced in preparation of my scrambled egg for breakfast. It mixes well with the carrot, onion, peppers, tomatoes and oregano spice that I also use in the preparation of my scrambled egg. “Yummy . . . uuuum.” You should join me for my home made breakfast, one of these fine days. The flower petals can be used as a garnish or added to salads. The pear, can be eaten like any other fruit and can be dried, ground and the powder used as a tea.
Cactus juice is extremely low in calories, about 15 calories per cup, which means you can enjoy drinking quite a bit of this juice without it affecting your daily intake of calories. However, it does have the ability to fill you up and deliver a number of key nutrients, so you can prevent snacking and overeating without compromising your diet!
AID FOR DIGESTION
This juice has been recommended for intestinal problems for centuries, as it can form a protective layer in the gut that lowers inflammation levels and soothes the discomfort of irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and diverticulitis. It can also help clear up problems with bloating and cramping and constipation, as it clears out the colon and digestive tracts.
CONTROL OF DIABETES
One of the soluble fibre that are available in this juice is pectin, which has a strong effect on blood sugar levels in the body. This compound can help regulate insulin and glucose levels in the body, making it a great ally for those suffering from diabetes or people at risk of developing this disease.
Cactus juice is helpful in preventing the growth of all forms of cancer cells. Prickly pear juices are rich in antioxidants that help in inhibiting the growth of prostate cancer cells and colon cancer cells as well.
LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
Cactus juice has a lot of potassium, making it excellent for lowering blood pressure and symptoms of hypertension. This can lessen the strain on the heart and lower your chances of heart attack and stroke.
If you suffer from conditions like headaches, inflamed bowels, arthritis, gout, chronic muscle pain or high stress levels, then ‘‘dhorofiya’’ leaf juice is your friend. The anti-inflammatory properties of this juice are precisely what you need. The phyto-chemicals and other antioxidants in the juice provide most of these soothing benefits.
We are not encouraging anyone to drink alcohol in excess, but, if it so happens and you have a hangover, then you need prickly pear juice. Alcohol in excess can cause inflammation, and cactus juice can directly counter that, while also addressing some of the most common symptoms of a hangover, such as nausea and headaches.
The anti-spasmodic nature of the active ingredients in cactus juice makes it a popular juice for women experiencing painful menstrual cramps. This juice can act rapidly to eliminate all abdominal discomfort and tightness often accompanies a woman’s period.
2 large cactus pads (or 2-3 prickly pear fruits)
1 cup of water
Step 1: Remove any spines still stuck in the pad with a knife.
Step 2: Peel the pads and chop them into small cubes.
Step 3: Add the chopped cactus to your blender, along with the oranges, lemon and water.
Step 4: Blend thoroughly until the consistency is even.
Step 5: Place cheesecloth over a bowl or container and strain the blended mixture through it.
Step 6: Press on the cactus pulp in the cheesecloth, removing as much juice as possible.
Step 7: Discard the cactus pulp, refrigerate the juice, and serve chilled!
If you do not have a blender, do not worry. Go ahead and crush the cubes using the old fashioned wooden spoon. I call it, “kutsonda-tsonda.” It works wonders too. Enjoy the week and remember to sip on Graviola.
The writer, Miriam Kwari is a Herbalist from Mutare and can be contacted on +263773378571 or 12 Herbert Chitepo Street, Oasis Building, Mutare