Palm oil is as vital in
the lives of Tropical
region dwellers as olive in the Mediterranean region.   Hence, as the use of olive oil expands from religious offerings to medicine, so is palm oil.  But as olive tends to recently become universal.  Palm oil is mostly restricted to its immediate vicinity.
Fresh palm oil is the most common antidote for ingested poisons amongst indigenous people of south-south Nigeria.  It is effective only before the poison is absorbed into systemic circulation.  Palm oil is the most popular cooking ingredient in this area.  Hence, it becomes the first aid in case of poisoning. Children are forced to drink large quantity of the oil to either regurgitate the poison or neutralise its effect.
Table sugar plus red oil is a remedy for children.  Local people believe that it could reduce the intensity of cough.
As early as the late 1980 red palm oil was still in use for the treatment of fresh wounds and cuts. Here, iron metals is heated red hot, held close to the wound and the red palm oil is poured on the hot iron to drip down very hot oil on the wounds. This is usually associated with a killing pain of hot oil cooking the tissues around the injury.
Skin rashes, measles, boils and itches are some of the skin infections that are treated with red palm oil.  Local people are of the opinion that rubbing red palm oil on boil helps to hasten the process of pox formation, hence they rely on this process to reduce pains associated with boils and abscesses. There is also, the application of the oil to the skin to reduce skin itches.  Sometimes, the oil is applied alone, other times, it is mixed with some herbs and other materials to form what is called native herbal medicine.
For generations red palm oil has been revered as both a nutritious food and valuable medicine.  Even now, scientists are beginning to recognise the value of the prized plant in the treatment and prevention of several diseases.
It was prized by the Pharohs of ancient Egypt as a sacred food.  The oil was so highly valued that it was entombed with the Pharohs so that they would have access to it in the afterlife.
Throughout history palm oil has served as the primary source of dietary fat for countless people. Its nutritional and healing properties have been recognised for generations.  Until modern far generations.  Until modern medicine arrived red palm oil was the remedy of choice for nearly every illness in many parts of Africa.
When someone was sick, taking a cup full of palm oil was common.  Even today, many people in the villages relay on this age-old method of treatment.  Palm oil is regarded among many as essential in the diet for pregnant and nursing women inorder to assure good Health for the mother and child.  Today, scientists are recognising the value of red palm oil in the treatment and prevention of many diseases.
Scientifically, palm tree is known as Elaeis Guineensis, palm oil is believed to originate from West Africa.  However, archaeological evidence palm oil consumption was found in Egypt over 5000 years ago.
Essentially, it contains balanced mixture of saturated monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, providing a higher level of bioavailable nutrients than any other vegetable source. Like coconut oil, palm oil is rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which mobilise body fat stores, increase the metabolic rate and are great source of energy.
Palm oil is a rich source of antioxidants, especially, vitamin C. While the health benefits of vitamin E are widely known, less widely known is the fact that vitamin E in a complex of many constituents broken into two groups: tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta) and tocotrienods (alpha, beta), gamma and delta).  And while alpha tocopherol is the form most commonly marketed as vit-E, the full spectrum of both tocopherols are required for optimal assimilation.
The super antioxidant tocotrienols are particularly important for optimal health.  These natural antioxidants act as free radical scavengers and are believed to play a protective role in cellular aging, arthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers now believe that the tocopherols and tocotrienols together provide constituents that help limit damage during a heart attack.
Red palm oil not only supplies fatty acids essential for proper growth and development, but it is packed with assortment of vitamins, anti-oxidants and other phytonutrients important for good health.  For instance, the red colour comes from carotenes such as beta carotene and lycopene – the same nutrients that give tomatoes and carrot and other fruits and vegetables their rich red and orange colours.
Carotenes are valuable nutrients and powerful anti-oxidants. They are also, important because the body can convert them into vitamin A, an essential nutrient.  Vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness, weaken bones, lower immunity and adversely affect learning ability and mental function.
Vitamin A is only found in animal foods.  Such foods are too expensive for many people.  Carotenes in fruits and vegetables can supply the needed vitamin A if an adequate amount of fat is also consumed.  Carotenes require fat for conversion into vitamin A.  Unfortunately, those who can not afford animal products often do not eat much fat either.
According to Dr. Egbuehi, Red oil is the richest dietary source of provitamin A carotene and alpha-carotene.  It has 15 times more provitamin A carotenes than carrots and 300 times more than tomatoes.  This has made it a valued resource in the treatment of vitamin A deficiency.  Just one teaspoon a day of red palm oil supplies children with the daily recommend amount of vitamin A. Nursing mother is encouraged to supplement their diet with palm oil to enrich their milk with the vitamin.
Studies, however, show that adding red palm oil into the diet can double or triple the amount of vitamin A in mother’s milk.  The children are not only getting the vitamin A they need but other important nutrients as well.  Red palm oil is a virtual powerhouse of nutrition.  It contains by far, more nutrients than any other dietary oil.  In addition to beta-carotene and lycopene, it contains atleast 20 other carotenes along with vitamin E, vitamin K, Co10. Phenolic acids and glycolipids.
Red palm oil is loaded with no many nutrients and antioxidants, its like a natural dietary supplement.
The depletion of antioxidants including antioxidants including antioxidants including antioxidant, enzymes is known to increase the risk of complications in conditions such as CVD, diabetes and cancer.
Oil-Red Palm oil can minimise oxidative damage through its potential ability to increase antioxidant, enzymes etc.
Red palm oil may therefore, play a role in the prevention and treatment of oxidative injuries to explore and support this hypothesis.
Antioxidant enzymes are the main defense component of the biological systems in both humans and animals.  Endogenous antioxidants as intracellular defense systems protect cells from free radical damage and extensive lysis but are not 100 per cent.
Therefore, the intake of dietary derived antioxidants such as those present in Red palm oil could be of significant importance in curtailing the cumulative oxidative damage to macromolecules.
Peace and joy.

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