Millie Uyuldert has a book she titled THE PSYCHIC GARDEN.  In this book, she wrote about the ability of plants to place themselves at the service of people who need healing from them.  She didn’t only do this, she cited copious empirical evidence of her thesis.
For instance, she explained that if you are always suffering from constipation.  Then, surprisingly, you find a pawpaw tree growing in your compound or neighbourhood it is a psychic proof that the tree has called to medically heal you with its edible leaves, seed and/or fruits.   This is what Millie Uyuldert is telling us with her psychic experiential insight.
Resurrection Plant Sighted
Given this background, I was on January 6, 2015 enthralled when I saw a resurrection plant growing in The Nigerian OBSERVER garden behind the oblong Building housing, The Weekend Observer, Sunday Observer, Sports Editor’s Department and the library.  You may ask why I was excited.  It was because this plant, known botanically as Bryophyllum Pinatum, was a rare sighting in the neighbourhood in the dry harmattan season. Furthermore, the plant was growing amidst a pile of toxic dirt which should be hindering, not promoting, its generation.
This plant has several healing properties.  Here are some of them.  It is beneficial for cough.  Also, women use the plant to cure a new-born baby’s umbilical cord while lactating nursing mothers can use it to improve milk flow.
In case you don’t know, the resurrection plant is neither a seed, sucker, root nor stem plant.  Therefore, if you want to propagate it, all you do is to plant the leaf.  Place the leaf’s bottom on the soil.  Then, use some soil to hold the leaf firmly to it.   That is all.  On the other hand, the plant is capable of self-propagation. Yes, it can plant itself unaided.  You don’t have to plant it in other words.  From the “ashes” of the leaf can arise a new plant.  Indeed, God and nature are great.  The bible says: “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seeds which is upon the face of the earth and every tree yielding seeds.  To you, it shall be meat.”
Umbrella Plant
Apart from the resurrection plant, today, I can authoratively tell you that once upon a time, there was an umbrella plant in The Nigerian Observer Square.  I don’t know the origin of the plant.  So, I cannot say whether it arrived there on its own in line with the thesis of Millie Uyuldert.
However, I can make this supposition about the plant.  It appeared not to have been planted at the square by a gardener.  If a gardener had done so, he would have located the plant at the centre of the square.  But this is not the case.  The  plant grew into a tree near a square line bordering the Account Department.
No professional gardener worth his salt would choose a square line to plant a seed that will produce a tree which will not serve as a hedge.  He wouldn’t do so also because the rooting system of the tree will grow underneath the building nearby and cause a crack in the building, weakening its integrity.
Now, to the second supposition.  If the umbrella plant wasn’t planted by a professional gardener, then I am speculating that someone ate the fruit of the plant and threw its seed on the spot or near it.  The wind came; floods arrived and eventually the seed, repositioned to grow in its final location.
Methinks that because of its foliage and unsafe closeness to the Account Department, the tree was hewn down.  And, down went with it all its health benefits.  I will only mention four of them.  Firstly, the fruit provides a rich supply of iron.  That is why its juicy endoderm is reddish in colour.  What a revealing signature for the fruit.
Secondly, the leaf used as an infusion acts as a diuretic. It stimulates the body to eliminate excess water clogging up the system.  Because of this activity of the leaf, sufferers of oedema have it as a handy remedy.  Thirdly, an infusion of the leaf induces drowsiness, sedation or outright sleep.  If you have a simple sleep disorder and you cannot afford more expensive imported nerviness or calmants that promote sleep, the umbrella plant leaf will be of help to you.  Note if your sleep disorder is due to calcium, melatonin, Vitamin D,  thyroid or other deficiencies then you require professional help.
Fourthly, the umbrella plant leaf is a therapy for managing high blood pressure by some practitioners.  The avocado tree plant’s leaf is added to the leaf of the umbrella plant for synergic effect in treating this ailment.
Plantain
There are two types of plantain.  You have plantago major with broad leaves and plantago lanceolata with small leaves.  The plantain at The Nigerian Observer garden is of the first type.  It brings forth plantain fruit which eaten unripe is a rich source of fibre, minerals and potassium in particular among other nutrients.  You could eat the ripe fruit but don’t overdo this.  This is because sweet foods are fattening as well as a delight to cancer cells and bacteria.
Also, don’t forget the plantain leaf has many medical uses.  One of it is that it is a deodorant for removing the smell of external sores or wounds.
Bitter leaf
Finally, The Nigerian Observer garden parades a bitter leaf plant.  It is growing near the canteen.  Everybody knows the plant.  But we ignore it because it is bitter.  Meanwhile, those who eat this leaf eliminate most of its nutrients by washing it.  Well, be informed.  The bitter leaf plant should be loved and cherished always.  Hear recently, Prof Ernest Izebhigie of Benson Idahosa University, Benin developed a drug from bitter leaf  for the management of diabetes, cancer and enlarged prostate.  Don’t you see what I mean?