It was until about two years ago that I began to take Dogonyaro for more seriously than we do in Nigeria, where its major use is as an anti-malaria.
Two years ago at the A-SNAPP conference in Accra, Ghana (I am missing this year?s this week in Zambia), the Kenyans displayed candles made from the Dogonyaro plant. Every mosquito flees when you light the Dogonyaro candle. I remember this column reported that the aroma of Dogonyaro powder in a pack which I left on the writing desk in my bedroom was enough to send all rats and Co*kroaches packing, although they were in session, that time being their mushrooming season! Now, I have discovered India has a lot more to offer on Dogonyaro.Mosquito bite
For the young woman whose whole family is constantly troubled by mosquitoes and malaria fever simply because their geno?type is AA, here is a formula from India: Dogonyaro, being a mosquito repellant, plant it around the home.
After night bath, rub the oil of the seed over the body and go to bed. If the oil is not readily available, grind the dry leaves to powder and seep in fine grade coconut oil or pure virgin olive oil for one or two weeks for maximum infusion. It may help as well. In India, this recipe has been reported to work wonders in rice growing areas where stagnant water in rice fields breed mosquitoes which, in turn, spread Japanese Encephalities (JE). In controlled experiments, two per cent neem oil mixed with coconut oil and applied to exposed parts of the body was found to provide protection against mosquito bites for 12 hours.Falling hair
For the woman whose hair is faIling, Dogonyaro oil is reported to be a good tonic. In Ghana, I learned that Dogonyaro ash or oil extracts used as fertilizer is phytotonic. Plants treated with it not only enjoy protection against disturbing and menacing pests, they grow taller and bigger, reproducing better, than they ordinarily would have. Listen to this, mix few drops of neem oil with coconut oil to stop falling hair and to enhance growth. It prevents greying of hair. In case of baldness due to disease, other than hereditary, continue the treatment for three months. Contraceptive
Dogonyaro could be a double-edged sword. It could be a fertility plant and at the same time a contraceptive: As a contraceptive, cotton is soaked in the oil and kept in the ---- about 15 minutes before an affair. The oil is said to kill sperms and hamper their speed. No side effects to the cervix, ---- or womb are reported, I guess because it is not hormone based. To the bargain, this recipe is reported to help in many problems of the secret place such as inflamation, whites and STDs.Food preservation
In India, women store grains for months on end, if not for years, in jute sacks treated with Dogonyaro extracts and by adding dry Dogonyaroleaves to the foodstuff. But it would appear that it is in pharmaceuticals and toiletries that this miracle plant is used to full value. The whole plant (fruit, seed, leaves, bark and roots) have all kinds of uses, either as antiseptics or antimicrobials, in the treatment of such health conditions as urinary disorder, diarrhoea, malaria, bronchitis, skin infections, diabetes, hypertension, septic sores and even inflammatory diseases. The active ingredient reputed for antimalarial activity is named as gedunin, a limonoid.
India produces about 83,000 tonnes of Dogonyaro oil every year. And because demand is ever expanding, the government has banned export of the seed, from which the oil is made. About a quarter of the oil produced goes into soap industry, which produces for bathing and laundry purposes.Chewing stick
While the Indians made lots of Dogonyaro dog soap to control ticks, flees and lice, the Germans, who, like other Europeans and America have just woken from a long slumber, use it to make herbal hair tonic and nail oil. No part of this plant is a waste. In India, Banglasdesh and Pakistan (remember they all used to be one country), the Dogonyaro twig are used by millions of people every day as disposable toothbrushes. Sounds very much like the Nigerians of my youth- sounds also like when I had no money for toothpaste in my days at Nsukka. For goodness sake, who will give this country Dogonyaro plantations and, from them, disposable medicinal toothbrushes in place of these disease-breeding no value adding nonsense we run over our gums and teeth every day?
From India comes stimulating reports that Dogonyaro -based toothpastes and powders are proving their mettle in definite products. Oh my! Only this week, a gentleman asked me what he could do about this gum which got badly irritated and even bled an being scratched any time he ate meat.
We had reasoned Apple Cider Vinegar and Nettle could firm up the gums and stop the bleeding, the apple being a good vitamin C source, and both being astrigents. What about Dogonyaro, a confirmed hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) to rid the body of gum irritating wastes? Encouraging for this thought is the following report: "The inhibiting effect of aqueous neem extract upon bacterial properties influencing plague formation has recently been confirmed (Wolnisky et al 1996)."