Saturday, 31 August 2013


This is to inform the general public, particularly, candidates seeking admissions into the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) for the 2013/2014 Academic Session, that the Post-UTME Screening Exercise earlier postponed has been re-scheduled to hold from Wednesday 4th to Friday 6th September, 2013 at the University Main Campus, Alabata Road, Abeokuta. 

Candidates are expected to check the FUNAAB website at or FUNAAB Admission portal at for verification of their venue, examination date and time.

Please note that, candidates need to have earlier completed the on-line application for admission and paid the required Portal Access Fee to qualify to be scheduled for the Post-UTME Screening e-test. Candidates are advised to undertake the Screening e-test ONLY ONCE and adhere strictly to their schedules. Candidates are also advised to ONLY visit the University website for information on admission.

Please note that Direct Entry candidates are exempted.

The information provided above was gotten from the university website  which was signed by M. O. Ayoola, JP 
FUNAAB/REG./S&A/10B/VOL.1, the Registrar and Secretary to the Senate. 

Thursday, 29 August 2013


This is to inform candidates who have applied for admission into the University of Lagos and didn't find their names on the merit list that it is another opportunity for them to gain admission into the University of Lagos. A few vacancies exist for supplementary admission considerations in the following Faculties/degree programs:

PROCEDURE FOR APPLYING: Interested candidates who have the registration requirements and scored 40% and above in the University’s post-UTME exercise to earn aggregate scores of 50% and above are eligible to apply.  Such eligible candidates should follow the procedure described below:
  • Pay the sum of N1000 Naira for ‘Change of Course’ at any branch of ECOBank, First Bank, WEMA Bank, UBA, GTB, Access Bank,Union Bank and Zenith Bank to collect a login PIN.
  • On the homepage, click on ‘2013/2014 change of course’ Link on the Prospective Students Section of this website.
  • Enter Jamb Registration Number and Pin.
  • Update the online form by selecting the appropriate proposed course and the O’level results.
  • Preview the completed form before submitting and printing. ONCE SUBMISSION IS MADE, EDITING WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.

For further information and clarification, please contact: The Admissions Office, 1st floor, Senate House, University of Lagos, Akoka

Telephone: 08182715706, 08182715899, 08182714951, 08182716045, 08182715896, 07043278267, 07045515017, 07043278269, 0704339831, 07043349832 and 08182716045.

The information provided above is as seen on the university site which was signed by the registrar and secretary to the council in person of Dr. (Mrs.) Taiwo Folasade Ipaye, MNIM.


This is to inform candidates who must have applied for admission into the University of Lagos that the Admissions Unit of the University of Lagos has released the list of candidates offered provisional admissions to various degree programs for the 2013/2014 Academic Session.

The list is available and you can access it by Clicking here

Students who have gained admission is required to read the instruction below

For the purposes of registration, each candidate is required to provide 12 passport-sized photographs in addition to the original and four photocopies of the under listed items:
1.      UTME result slip.
2.      UNILAG post-UTME result slip.
3.      SSCE/GCE/NECO Statement of Result.
4.      Clear copy of computer printout (in the case of private candidates) of result page, duly certified by the principal.
5.      Letter of reference from a reputable Clergyman/Imam/Lawyer/Senior civil servant.
6.      Birth Certificate/Sworn Declaration of Age.
7.      Testimonials from primary and secondary schools attended.

  • Candidates must have attained the age of sixteen (16) years by October, 2013 to be eligible for registration.
  • Impersonation is a serious offence and anybody found guilty of this offence will have the offer of provisional admission automatically withdrawn; further to which the person will be handed over to the police/law enforcement agent.
  • The mode of dressing should be formal. 
  • Candidates not properly dressed will not be attended to.   
  •  Parents/guardians/members of staff not connected with registration are not expected at the venue of the registration exercise.
This information  was  provided as seen directly from the university site which was signed by the Registrar  and Secretary to the Council Dr. (Mrs.) Taiwo Folasade Ipaye, MNIM.

Good Luck!

Ginger and It's Economic Importance

Ginger was given its official botanical name Zingiber officinale, it belongs to the family Zingiberaceae. Linnaeus derived the genus title Zingiber from its Indian Sanskrit name singabera which means shaped like a horn. (Christopher et. al.,2000). Ginger the underground stem, or rhizome, of the plant Zingiber officinale – has been used as a medicine in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions since ancient times. In China, for example ginger has been used to help digestion and treat stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea for more than 2,000 years. Ginger has also been use to help treat arthritis, colic, diarrhea, and heart conditions. (Althman et. al.,2001). In addition to being used as a medicine, ginger is used throughout the world as an important cooking spice. The traditional medicine form of ginger historically was called Jamaica ginger; it was classified as a stimulant and carminative and used frequently for dyspepsia, gastroparesis, slow motility symptoms, constipation, and colic.

In Nigeria, three types are in use. "Tafin giwa" (elephant foot or yellowish variety) with plump rhizome, "Yat sun biri" monkey finger or Black ginger with small compact rhizomes and a third "foreign" rather smaller and darker often referred to as, Main and China. Two varieties of ginger are popularly grown in Nigeria at present. These are yellow ginger (Taffin giwa) and Black ginger ("Yaltsun biri). These are highly rated for their oil and oleoresin. The crop is locally called Chitta in Hausa language, Oso-ala or Oso-Chikwu in Igbo and Ata'le in Yoruba. Efforts are however being made by National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI) to broaden the genetic base of ginger in Nigeria through breeding works and collection. The production of ginger in Nigeria started in 1927(Annual 1982). It is grown extensively, mainly in the North Central area of Nigeria in Kaduna, Nasarawa, Benue, Niger and Gombe with Kaduna as the major producer.

The important active components of the ginger root are thought to be volatile oils and pungent phenol compounds (such as gingerols and shogaols). Ginger or ginger root is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It leads its name to its genus and family (Zingiberaceae). Other notable members of this plant family are tumeric, cardamom, and galangal. It is a perennial reed-like plant with annual leafy stems, about a meter (3 to 4 feet) tall.

Ginger produces clusters of white and pink flower buds that bloom into yellow flowers because of its anaesthetic appeal and the adaption of the plant to warm climates, ginger is often used as landscaping around subtropical homes. Traditionally, the rhizome is gathered when the stalk withers; it is immediately scalded, or washed and scraped , to kill it and prevent sprouting.

The characteristic odour and flavour of ginger is caused by a mixture of zingerone, shogaols and gingerols, volatile oils that compose one to three percent of the weight of fresh ginger (Blunden et. al., 2008). Ginger oil has been shown to prevent skin cancer in mice and a study at the University of Michigan demonstrated that gingerols can kill ovarian cancer cells. Gingerols (1- [4’-hydroxy- 3’methoxypheny] -5-hydroxy -3-decanone) is the major pungent principle of ginger (Cekanova et. al., 2008). The pungent taste of ginger is due to nonvolatile phenylpropanoid –derived compounds, particularly gingerols and shogaols, which is form from gingerols when ginger is dried or cooked.

Ginger in Medicine
  • Ginger helps in motion sickness.
  • It helps in pregnancy related nausea and vomiting
  • It helps in chemotherapy nausea
  • It helps in nausea and vomiting after surgery
  • It helps in osteoarthritis

Ginger in Food Production
  • Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice. Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste they are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or just cooked as an ingredient in many dishes.
  • They can also be steeped in boiling water to make ginger tea. To which honey is often added; sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added. Ginger can also be made into candy, or ginger wine. (Govindarajan, 2005).
  • The juice from old ginger roots is extremely potent and is often used as a spice in Indian recipes, and is a quintessential ingredient of Chinese, Korean and many South Asian cuisines for flavouring dishes such as seafood or goat meat and vegetarian cuisine.

Ginger acts as a useful food preservative.
  • Powdered dry ginger root is typically used as a flavoring for recipes such as gingerbread, cookies, crackers and cakes, ginger ale, and ginger beer.
  • Candied ginger is the root cooked in sugar until soft, and is a type of confectionery.

Ginger in Folk Medicine
  • Ginger  herbs may provide short-term relief of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.
  • In Burma, ginger and local sweetener made from palm tree juice are boiled together and taken to prevent the flu.
  • In China, ginger is included in several traditional preparations. A drink made with sliced ginger cooked in water with brown sugar or kola is used as a folk medicine for the common cold.
  • In Indonesia, ginger is used as a herbal preparation to reduce fatigue, reducing “winds” in the blood, prevent and cure rheumatism and control poor dietary habits.
  • In the Philippines, ginger is known as luya and is used as a throat lozenge in traditional medicine to relieve sore throat. It is also brewed into a tea known as salabat.
                                                                                                         Source: (Grieve, 2000)

Certain precautions must be taken in the use of Ginger and this includes:
  • Ginger interferes with some medications, including warfarin. Ginger is contraindicated in people suffering from gallstones, as it promotes the production of bile.
  • An acute overdose of ginger can result in central nervous system over-stimulation, a state called ginger intoxication or “ginger jitters”.
  • Allergic reactions to ginger result in a rash, heartburn, bloating gas, belching and nausea, particularly in the powdered form.

References for further reading:

  1. Bliddal, H., Rosetzsky, A. and Schlichting,  P . (2000). A randomized placebo-controlled cross-over study of ginger extracts and ibuprofen in Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage, 8 :9 -12.
  2. Chaiyakunapruk, N. (2006). The efficacy of ginger for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting: a meta-analysis. American Journal of  Obstetrician and Gynecology 194 (1): 95-9.
  3. Christopher, J. R. (2000). Ginger Zingiber officinale Zingiberaceae.” Doctor Christopher’s Newsletter, Springville 7(3):10-12. UT, Christopher Publications
  4. Dahleen, M. (1979):“Ginger.” Horticulture 57:24
  5. Govindarajan, V. S. (1982). “Ginger-Chemistry, technology, and quality evaluation: Part 1.” Critical Reviews in Food and Nutrition 17, (1):1-96, citing Parry, J., Spices. 1:2 York, Chemical Publishing Co. 
  6. Langner, E., Greifenberg S. and Gruenwald, J. (1998). Ginger: history and use. Advance in Therapy. 15 (1): 25-44. 
  7. Purseglove, G.(2000). Spices. A Modern Herbal Journal. 1:448.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Economic and Medicinal Importance of Pawpaw

Pawpaw, botanically known as Carica papaya is a short-lived, fast growing, woody, large herb. It is about 10-12ft in height. It branches only when injured. All parts contain latex. The hollow green or deep purple trunk is straight and cylindrical with prominent leaf scars. Its diameter may be from 2 or 3 inches to over a foot bases, belonging to the family Caricaceae  (Morton, 2007). In sunny locations, it's trees typically assume a pyramidal habit, straight trunk and lush, long drooping leaves that turn brown and gold in colour during the fall.

It's Flowers emerge before leaves in mid spring. The blossoms occur singly on previous year’s wood and may reach up to 5cm in diameter. Flowers are strongly protogynous and require cross pollination although some trees may be self-compatible. Pollination by insect is consistent with the presentation appearance of the flower dark-coloured petals and waxy. Fruits are oblong, cylindrical berries that are typically 3-15cm long, 3-10cm wide and weigh from 200-400g. This fruit has a ripe taste that resembles a creamy mixture of banana, mango and pineapple. Shelf life of a ripened fruit stored at room temperature is 2-3 days, within the fruits, there are two rows of numerous black seeds encased in mucin coat, they may be up to 3cm long.

Pawpaw is believed to have originated from temperate woody lands in the eastern US. The American Indian is credited with spreading the pawpaw across the eastern US to the Gulf. Fossils prove that pawpaw is indigenous to the US.The seed was also distributed to the Caribbean and south-east Asia during the Spanish exploration in the 16th century where it spread rapidly to India, the pacific and Africa. Pawpaw is grown in all the tropical countries and many sub-tropical regions in the world. In Nigeria, it is locally known as 'Ibepe', 'ojo' and 'gwanda' and it's leaves, seeds and  fruits are used in the treatment of diseases like Gonorrhoea, syphilis, amoebic dysentery, malaria, convulsion and also papain enzyme as meat tenderizer.

Kingdom:                         Plantae
Order:                               Brassicales
Family:                             Caricaceae
Genus:                              Carica
Species:                            Papaya
Botanical Name:              Carica papaya

Economic importance of pawpaw
1) The ripe fruit which is soft to thumb pressure is usually delicious and rich in taste.
2) The unripe pawpaw has been used in centuries by women as natural contraceptive when eaten in large quantities (Oderinde et al.,2005)
3) The young leaves of pawpaw are consumed as vegetable in many Asian and pacific regions.
4) The black seeds which resemble pepper corn when grinded can be used as substitute for black pepper.
5) Papain which is a proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzyme derived from papaya is very important in breweries just because of its ability to hydrolyse protein during fermentation process. Papain is used in pharmaceutical industry in production of dugs and in food industries in production of jellies and candies (Timesis, 2000).
6) Papain is also used in textile industry.
7) The bark of pawpaw tree is used in fishing net and rope production.
8) The cultivation of pawpaw serves as source of income for farmers.
9) Use of pawpaw in cosmetics: papain which an enzyme derived from papaya fruit serves as ingredient in the production of papaya soap, papaya body cream and papaya facial cleanser. It is rich in vitamins that help the skin remain clear, spot-free and soft. Vitamin C which is an antioxidant present in the fruit is known to exfoliate dead skin cells. It is also used for natural face lift, it reduces premature ageing in skin. The fruit also contains vitamin A which accelerates formation of new cell in skin. The fruit is also used in treating skin problems like pimples and eczema, papaya ointment is used for the production of lip balm which known to prevent the lip from drying and chapping (Timesis, 2000).

Medicinal Importance of Pawpaw
Pawpaw is packed with medicinal virtues which were fully recognized even in ancient times. It helps in digestion and breaking down of protein from the food we eat to amino acid;

1) Pawpaw is excellent for digestive movement: It is loaded with dietary fibres which regulate bowel movement and prevent constipation. It helps to remove toxins out of  the digestive tract and keep the system healthy, dietary fibres are known to prevent all types of diseases that have to do with digestive system and because this fruit is so rich in dietary fibres, it can serve as an alternative. So, eating pawpaw will not only give you a healthy digestive system but can also prevent the risk of digestive diseases.

2) Pawpaw keeps the lungs healthy: It keeps the lungs healthy by providing vitamin A which could help to reduce the effect of toxins found  in cigarette.

3) Pawpaw contains anti-oxidants: One of the benefits of eating pawpaw is that it prevents cholesterol oxidation, it is used as preventive treatment against strokes, diabetes and heart disease. It also prevents oxidation of cancerous cells. So, adding daily serving of pawpaw to your meal lessen your risk of developing cancer and heart diseases.

4) Eliminates intestinal parasites: There is evidence that papaya seeds eradicate intestinal parasites and the seeds are effective against E. coli, salmonella and staph infections because of its anti-bacterial properties.

5) Pawpaw boosts male virility:  Another great benefit of pawpaw is to boost male virility. An enzyme called arginine which is present in pawpaw is known in the medical community to boost blood flow around the penis. Arginine boosts nitric acid in the body  to relax the muscles surrounding the blood vessels that supply blood to the penis. A more concentrated form of arginine which is found in pawpaw is used to treat erectile dysfunction.
Pawpaw leaf is useful in the treatment of malaria.

6) Unripe pawpaw has been used in centuries past by women as a natural contraceptive and induce abortion when eaten in large quantities.

7) Remedy for acne:  Pawpaw is used to prevent formation of puss and swelling  of skin disorder such as acne. This is done by applying the juice of papaya to the affected area, also application of the juice to wound will help speed up the healing process.

8) Kidney protection: Research has been found that extract from pawpaw seeds may protect the kidney from toxins that induce kidney failure.

9) Papain which is an enzyme found in pawpaw can be applied tropically in an ointment to treat burns, rashes and cuts. 

In conclusion, Carica papaya  is a wholesome fruit which is known for its nutritional, digestive and medicinal properties. Nutritionally, pawpaw is an excellent source of vitamin A, C (Ascorbic acid) and E. It is also rich in essential B-complex such as folic acids, pyridoxin (vitamin B6). It is also a rich source of calcium and anti-oxidant such as beta-carotene and lycopene. Pawpaw contains enzymes such as papain and chymopapain which increase the quality of proteins in the whole organism, pawpaw also boosts immune system due to the presence of dietary fibres which replenish and play a vital role in metabolism. Pawpaw revitalizes the body to maintain an healthy body system. Hence, it is important to add pawpaw as part of our meal.

References for further reading
  • CRFG.,  (1998). California Rare Fruit Growers.  Fruit facts (3) 22-30.
  • Danielone, E.F.,  Torres F.,  Quinones, W.,  Cardona, G.,  Archbold, R.,  Roldan, J.,  Brito I.,  Luis, J.G.  and Lahlou, U. E. (1997). A phytoalexin from papaya fruit. Phytochemistry, 1997, vol. 44, no2, pp. 255-256.
  • Lohiya, N. K.,  Manivannan, B., Mishra, P.K., Pathak, N., Sriram, S., Bhande, S.S. and Panneerdoss, S. (March 2002). "Chloroform extract of Carica papaya seeds induces long-term reversible azoospermia in langur monkey". Asian Journal of Andrology 4 (1): 17–26. PMID 11907624. Archived from the original on October 18, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-18.
  • Morton, J.F. (2007). Papaya. In: Fruits of warm climates. pp. 336–346.
  • Oderinde, O., Noronha, C., Oremosu, A., Kusemiju, T., Okanlawon, O.A. (2002). "Abortifacient properties of Carica papaya (Linn) seeds in female Sprague-Dawley rats". Niger Postgrad Medical Journal 9 (2): 95–8.
  • Timesis, A., (2000). Technology Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship Information Service. Papain from pawpaw Tanesen Mag. Pg. 25-42.
  • Titanji, V.P., Zofou, D., Ngemenya, M.N. (2008). "The Antimalarial Potential of Medicinal Plants Used for the Treatment of Malaria in Cameroonian Folk Medicine“ . African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines 5 (3): 302–321.

Production Of Citrus Fruit In Nigeria: Problems and Prospects

Fruits are natural staple food of man containing essential nutrients in adequate proportion. Fruits are excellent sources of minerals, vitamins and enzymes. They are easily digested and bring about a cleansing effect on the blood and the digestive tract. Hence, the ailments usually caused by the consumption of unnatural foods can easily be treated with fruits. Apart from being a very good source of food, fruits are also good medicine.  Citrus is one of the most important fruit crop grown all over the world. Citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and folic acid, as well as a good source of fiber. They are fat free, sodium free and cholesterol free. In addition they contain potassium, calcium, foliate, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), phosphorus, magnesium and copper. Citrus species are grown for the juice of their fruits. The commonly grown citrus species belong to the family Rutaceae. The most important Citrus species grown are;

Common name                   Botanical names                   Local names in Nigeria
Sweet orange                      Citrus sinensis                      Osan mimu, Orombo didun       
Grape fruit                          Citrus paradisi                      Osan gerepu, Osan paya
Lime                                   Citrus aurantifolia                Osan-wewe, Afotanta, Epe nkirisi,
Lemon                                Citrus limon                         Osan-laimu, Oroma-nkirir, Babban leemui
Tangerine                           Citrus reticulata       
Sour orange                       Citrus aurantium                   Osan, orombo-igun,gangan, Olomaoyibo

Sweet Orange

In Nigeria, about 930,000 tons of citrus fruits are produced annually from an estimated hectarage of 3 million hectares of land (FAO, 2008). Citrus is grown in the rainforest and guinea savannah, most of these farmlands is in the remote part of the country with poor roads. About 30-50% of these citrus fruit get spoilt on the way before getting to the final consumers in the urban centres. Citrus fruits are the highest value fruit crop in terms of international trade. There are two main markets for citrus fruit; The fresh fruit market and The processed citrus fruits market (mainly orange juice).

Most citrus production is accounted for by oranges, but significant quantities of grape fruits, lemons and limes are also grown. While the origin of citrus fruits cannot be precisely identified, researchers believe they began to appear in Southeast Asia around 4000BC. From there, they slowly spread to Northern Africa, mainly through migration and trade. Worldwide trade in citrus fruits did not appear until the 1800’s and trade in orange juice developed as late as 1940. Total production and consumption of citrus has grown strongly since the 1980’s. Current annual worldwide citrus production is estimated at over 105 million tons, with more than half of these being oranges. (FAO, JUNE 2008). The rise in citrus production is mainly due to the increase in cultivation areas, improvements in transportation and packaging, rising incomes and consumer preference for healthy foods (UNCTAD, 2008).

Major citrus producing states in Nigeria include Benue, Nassarawa, Kogi, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Taraba, Ekiti, Imo, Kwara, Edo, and Delta. Fruit industry in Nigeria began under the western Regional government of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the 1950’s. As a result of the down-turn in cocoa trade, consequent upon some pervasive microbiological attack, the government decided to start a pilot project in the cultivation of citrus and other fruits primarily as a way of providing farmers with an alternative source of income. Thus, the Lafia caning factory in Ibadan was born in 1954, and to feed the factory, there was the establishment of Apoje Citrus Farm, backed with an aggressive Farm settlement scheme. Interestingly, this has been bought by Funman Agricultural Product Ltd and it serves as its manufacturing base. From that small beginning in the 1950’s, fruit juice manufacturing in Nigeria has taken a giant leap. This quantum leap was facilitated by the government’s ban on the importation of fruit juice; a challenge to which the local manufacturers reacted positively by increasing their production quality and quantity-wise to meet what would have been a massive shortfall in aggregate supply (Taiwo, 2005).

Although there has been an improvement in citrus fruit production in Nigeria over time, challenges still being faced in the areas of production, harvesting, post harvesting, processing, marketing and storage are preventing us from fully exploiting the best of citrus production. Some of these problems include:
1) Funding
2) Inadequate government support in policy formulation
3) Concrete assistance like subsidizing the supply of seedlings
4) Unavailability of adequate volume of fruits feed the industry as most processing industries still import concentrates
5) Inaccessibility of rural areas where large amount of the fruits are produced due to poor road network.
6) Poor qualities of fruits, mainly traditional varieties with poor yield and are difficult to harvest.
7) Non-utilization of appropriate post-harvest storage technology to preserve the fruits before processing which leads to huge loss.
8) Lack of organized farmers and marketing system that ensure sustainable production, marketing and processing of fruits.
9) Little or no support from the government to grow, market, store and process fruits and poor infrastructural facilities and integrated packaging requirement (Chase, 2007).

In order to solve the aforementioned problems, the following should be considered;
1) Supplying of input i.e. seedlings, fertilizers, pest and disease control chemicals.
Providing integrated approach to fruit cultivation and modern fruit storage facilities by the government.
2) Centres for local manufacture of fruit processing equipment should be put in place to create a functioning technology of fruit processing.
3) Adequate funding with time limit  to come out with product like tetra-pack machine, juice extractor, juice extractor etc., used in the manufacturing of juice.
4) Attention should be paid to power generation in bane of industrial production as a way of enhancing the production of high quality fruit products, as this will reduce the wastage and provide the much needed concentrates for the fruit juice factories and save the country from enormous amount of foreign exchange being spent on concentrates (Taiwo,2005).
5) Government should encourage the youth to get involved agriculture, specifically, production of fruits by organizing them into co-operatives that enable them to access credit facilities.

In addition, banning of importation by the government bodies will tremendously increase the opportunities in the fruit industries. The rise in the volume of production i.e. increase in citrus cultivation can readily translate to poverty reduction among rural farmers. For the entrepreneurs in the industry, it has been projected that very soon fruit juice will become a constant at our breakfast tables and the first thing you grab from work. In addition, it has a great potential for export especially in the west coast, where indeed a lot of export is taking place (Utoro et al., 2006).

References for further reading
  • Anon. (2003).Fruit farming. Encyclopedia Britannica. Deluxe Edition CD-ROM. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.
  • Chase , W.G.(2007). Production of Citrus Fruits.Proceeding of International Society of Citriculture, 3:1365-1373.
  • Taiwo , T.A. (2005). Production of Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Legumes.Root crops in Nigeria; Problems and Prospects. University Press, Vol. 1, Pg 9.
  • Thomas , H.S.(2008). Projections of world production and consumption of Citrus to 2010.
  • Utoro , E.U. and Sanni , G.A. (2006). Journals of United States Agency for International Development; Production of Citrus, 6:23-24.
  • Yeboah , E.G. (2001). African Workshop for Improvement of Fruits crops in Nigeria. University Press, 6th Edition, 8: 41-52.

Significance Of Green Plants In Stabilizing The Environment

Plants are the largest and oldest organism on Earth. Green plants are the only life forms that can manufacture their own food using energy from sunlight via photosynthesis. The primary mechanism green plants have for capturing sunlight energy is the pigment chlorophyll contained in the chloroplast which gives them their green colour. Green plants provide most of the World’s free oxygen and also remove carbon dioxide from our environment. Plants are virtually everywhere. It is impossible to think about an environment without plants. Even environments like the hot desert or freezing Polar Regions have plants. These plants have adaptations that help them survive the harsh condition.

Life on earth depends on green plants. Humans, like other animals, cannot manufacture food themselves. Directly or indirectly, what they eat comes from green plants. Green plants are essential to food chains. Various animals, birds, insects and microbes feed on green plants like maize plant, cabbage, which are subsequently eaten by larger animals. Green plants especially trees provide habitat for many animals and shelter for smaller plants and our environment. Green plants are use for aesthetic purposes, reduce pollution, reduce soil erosion and are use for medicinal benefits. Green plants are the key to life. Plants are essential to the balance of nature and in people's lives. Green plants are the ultimate source of food and metabolic energy for nearly all animals, which cannot manufacture their own food.

Some of the roles of green plants in the environment includes:
1) Release of oxygen to the atmosphere: An important byproduct of photosynthesis is oxygen. Green plants, i.e., those possessing chlorophyll, manufacture their own food and give off oxygen in the process called photosynthesis, in which water and carbon dioxide are combined by the energy of sunlight. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the leaf of a green plant produces 5 ml of oxygen in an hour. A green plant with 30 leaves would, therefore, produce 150 ml of oxygen in an hour or 3.6 liters of oxygen in a day. Probably the most important role of green plants in the environment is the release of oxygen.

2) Absorption of Carbon Dioxide: Plants use carbon dioxide to manufacture their food in the process of photosynthesis, thereby removing it from the environment. The World Bank estimates that 20 percent of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is a result of deforestation. A single tree is estimated to absorb 1.33 tons of carbon dioxide per 100 years, or an average or just over 26 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

3) Natural Cooling: Green plants provide natural cooling in our environment. Trees block the heating effect of the sun.

4) Provision of food: Green plants are essential in food chains. Various  insects, birds and animals feed on the green plants and are subsequently eaten by larger animals, which are themselves subsequently eaten by even larger animals. For example, a rabbit eats grasses. The rabbit is eaten by a fox, which may be subsequently eaten by a mountain lion. Much of human nutrition depends on green plants, either directly or indirectly.

5) Protection: Green plants, especially trees, provide cover and shelter for many animals and plants. A tree may provide adequate shade for smaller plants underneath. The same tree may provide an ideal place for a bird to build a nest. The removal of the trees, allow wind and water agent to remove the topsoil of many farms, and thus causing severe crop damage.

6) Green plants helps to reduce pollution: Trees, bushes and other greenery plants growing in cities can reduce levels of two of the most worrisome air pollutants by eight times more than previously believed, a new study has found. Thomas Pugh and colleagues explain that concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and microscopic particulate matter (PM), both of which can be harmful to human health can be removed from our environment. The study also concluded that placement of grass, and other green plants can reduce the concentration of NO2 by as much as 40% and PM by 60%, much more than previously believed. Green plants also reduce pollution indirectly, this benefit is seen where fertilizers and pesticides are used. Both of these compounds can harm wildlife and contaminate local water sources through runoff from watering and rain.

The properties of medicinal plants have been used since ancient times to cure diseases. At present, in technologically advanced countries like the United States, an estimated 60% of its population use medicinal plants to combat certain diseases. Examples include:
1) Garlic (Allium sativum) locally called 'ayo' or 'ayuu' is one of the best natural antibiotics, also used in treating high blood pressure.

2) Jute plant (Corchorous olitorius) locally called 'ewedu' is used in treatment of measles

3) Drumstick Tree (Moringa  oleifera) locally called 'Eweigbale' and 'Okweoye ibe' is used to cure arthritis.

4) Barbados Aloe (Aloe vera) gel locally called 'Ahon erin' is used for wound healing, acne and ease discomfort on skin irritation and insect bite.

5) Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) locally called 'koko' is used in treatment of heart diseases.

6) Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), opens the lungs and encourages breathing, clears clogged nasal congestion making eucalyptus one of the best cold remedies.
Green plants play an important role in disease prevention. Green plants are our food and can also be our natural medicine.

Some of the products obtained from green plants includes:
1) Wood which is gotten from green plants and are used for buildings, furniture, paper, cardboard, musical instruments and sports equipment. This wood serves as a source of income especially in industries and lumbering.

2) Cloth which is often made from cotton, flax or synthetic fibers derived from cellulose.

3) Fuel which include firewood, many other biofuels. Coal and petroleum are fossil fuels derived from green plants. 

4) Pesticides which include nicotine, rotenone, and pyrethrins.

5) Drugs which are obtained from green plants and they are used to combat so many diseases.

6) Natural Products: Green plants are the source of many natural products such as fibers, essential oils, natural dyes, pigments, waxes, tannins, latex, gums, resins, alkaloids, amber and cork. Products derived from plants include soaps, paints, shampoos, perfumes, cosmetics, turpentine, rubber, varnish, lubricants, linoleum, plastics, inks, chewing gum and hemp rope.
Green plants are also a primary source of basic chemicals for the industrial synthesis of a vast array of organic chemicals. These chemicals are used in a vast variety of studies and experiments

Peace Lily Plant

Spider Plant

 Houseplants can help to create a healthier environment. New research shows that some houseplants can do more than just make a home look cozy and inviting. For example, did you know that having a Peace lily (Spathiphylum wallisii) in your bathroom can prevent mould? Studies have shown that peace lilies can reduce levels of microscopic mould spores in the air by 60%. The flowers sop up the mould organisms through their leaves, then shuttle the spores to the roots for food. This is good for bathrooms since it prevents spore buildup on shower curtains and tiles. The result: less sneezing, not to mention less scrubbing for you. Research has revealed green houseplants can remove nearly 90% of toxins from indoor air within two days. The spider plant (Cleome hassleriana) is one of the most powerful air cleansers. Leaf pores filter harmful substances and absorb mould-spore allergens and traces of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde (a colorless gas emitted by some carpet materials and furniture). These guards against wheezing, headaches and brain fog.

One of the impact of human activities on green plants is deforestation which has been described as the cutting down of trees without planting others in their place. This was necessitated by a demand for land for cultivation, need for firewood, need for land to build industries and houses, need for wood for furniture and paper e.t.c. Moreover, the above needs has also brought problems like destruction of carbon sinks, Soil erosion, destruction of animal habitat and medicinal plants, Greenhouse effect and Global warming.

In conclusion, it is a known fact that plants are indispensable when it comes to the purification of our environment, reducing this deforestation and a good attitude of afforestation remains the surest way to maintain our green plants.

Moringa oleifera: It's Relevance in Orthodox Medicine

Plants have played a significant role in maintaining human health and improving the quality of human life for thousands of years and  has valuable components of medicines, seasonings, beverages, cosmetics and dyes. Herbal medicine is based on the fact that plants contain natural substances that can promote health and alleviate illness. One of such plant is Moringa oleifera, which invites attention of the researchers worldwide for its pharmacological activities. In Nigeria, the tree is known as Zogale in Hausa, Gawara in Fulfulde, Okwe Oyibo in Igbo, and Ewe Igbale in Yoruba language. It is commonly known as Drumstick tree , Horseradish tree, Never Die tree, West Indian Ben tree, and Radish tree.


Moringa oleifera has for a very long time been  identified by some traditional herbalists to cure many diseases, and even used as food and  nutritional supplement, but it is only of  recent that modern scientists began to reap out its benefits. Out of the several researches they have conducted they found it to have medicinal, nutritional as well as raw material values.

Moringa Oleifera  is a multi-purpose tree with a variety of potential uses. Its leaves, pods, seeds, flowers, roots are edible, and have different nutritional and medicinal values. Moringa oleifera is a small, graceful, deciduous tree with sparse foliage, often resembling a leguminous species at a distance, especially when in flower, but immediately recognized when in fruit. The tree grows between 8-12m height. The generic name comes from the Sinhalese name ‘morunga’ .The Moringa  oleifera  tree grows mainly in semi-arid tropical and subtropical areas. While it grows best in dry sandy soil, it tolerates poor soil, including coastal areas. It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree that is native to India, Africa and the Middle East.

The family Moringaceae is rich in compounds containing the simple sugar rhamnose, and it is rich in a fairly unique group of compounds called glucosinolates and isothiocyanates. For example, specific components of Moringa preparations that have been reported to have hypotensive, anticancer, and antibacterial activity include
1) 4-(4'-O-acetyl-a-L-rhamnopyranosyloxy)benzyl isothiocyanate
2) 4-(a-L-rhamnopyranosyloxy)benzyl isothiocyanate
3) niazimicin
4) pterygospermin
5) benzyl isothiocyanate and
6) 4-(a-L-rhamnopyranosyloxy)benzyl glucosinolate.

While these compounds are relatively unique to the Moringa family, it is also rich in a number of vitamins and minerals as well as other more commonly recognized phytochemicals such as the carotenoids including b-carotene or pro-vitamin A (Lowell Fuglie et al, 1987).

Phytochemicals are protective and disease-preventing particularly for some forms of cancer and heart diseases.  The most important action of these chemicals with respect to human beings is somewhat similar in that they function as antioxidants that react with the free oxygen Molecules or free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals can damage the cells of our bodies and must be removed.

According to Hartwell (1967–1971), the flowers, leaves, and roots are used in folk remedies for tumors, the seed for abdominal tumors. The Root juice is applied externally as rubefacient or counter-irritant. Leaves applied as poultice to sores, rubbed on the temples for headaches, and said to have purgative properties. Bark, leaves and roots are acrid and pungent, and are taken to promote digestion. Oil is somewhat dangerous if taken internally, but is applied externally for skin diseases. Bark regarded as antiscorbic, and exudes a reddish gum,sometimes used for diarrhoea. Roots are bitter, act as a tonic to the body and lungs, and are expectorant, mild diuretic and stimulant in paralytic afflictions, epilepsy and hysteria.

Moringa oleifera seeds are effective against skin-infecting bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The alkaloid spirachin (a nerve paralysant) has been found in the roots.  A decoction of the flowers is used as a cold remedy. The gum is diuretic, astringent and abortifacient and is used against asthma. The roots and bark are used for cardiac and circulatory problems, as a tonic and for inflammation. Others are it lowers the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, promotes the normal functioning of the liver and the kidney, beautifies the skin, promotes proper digestion, acts as an antioxidant, takes care of the immune system of the body, It is an anti inflammatory, gives a feeling of general wellness and supports the normal sugar levels of the body.

All over the world every part of the Moringa tree has been used effectively against varying ailments. Some of the remedies are described here but there is no guarantee they will work for every cases. For instance, the leaves are used for the following:

1) To stop bleeding from a shallow cut, apply a poultice of fresh leaves.
2) There is an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effect when applied to wounds or insect bites.
3) Extracts can be used against bacterial or fungal skin complaints.
4) Leaf tea treats gastric ulcers and diarrhoea.
5) Eating Moringa food products is good for those suffering from malnutrition due to the high protein and fiber content.

1) Flower juice improves the quality and flow of mothers’ milk when breast feeding.
2) Flower juice is useful for urinary problems as it encourages urination.

1) If eaten raw, pods act as a de-wormer and treat liver and spleen problems and pains of the joints.
2) Due to high protein and fibre content they can play a useful part in treating malnutrition and diarrhoea.

1) Used for their antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties to treat arthritis, rheumatism, gout, cramp, sexually transmitted diseases and boils.The seeds are roasted, pounded, mixed with coconut oil and applied to the problem area. Seed oil can be used for the same ailments.
2) Roasted seeds and oil can encourage urination.
3) They can also be used as a relaxant for epilepsy. 

Roots, bark and gum
1) The roots and the bark have all of the properties described above but are more concentrated.
2) Therefore much more care should be taken if using them as medicines.

In conclusion, Moringa oleifera boosts energy in a natural manner, and is a remarkable source of nutrition. Individuals ingesting it say that their ulcers are healed, tumors restricted, there are reduction in the arthritis pains and inflammations, controlled blood pressure, the skin problems are restored, and finally they have stronger defenses against diseases. Another property of the Moringa  Oleifera leave can lower the blood pressure and promotes good sleep.  It is also a coagulant agent; it can attach itself to hazardous bacteria and other materials, a process that is surmised to occur in the body too. The happy outcome is more sustained energy without any over-activity, balanced hormone and gland system, controlled blood pressure, and a rested nervous system. Simple analysis made shows that it's leaves contain:7 times the vitamin C in oranges, 4 times the calcium in milk, 4 times the vitamin A in carrots, 2 times the protein in milk and 3 times the potassium in bananas. 

 References for Further Reading 
  • Abuye. C., Omwega. A.M and Imungi. J.K (1999) Familial tendency and    dietary of goitre in Gamo-Gofa, Ethiopia. East African Medical   Journal   76:447-  451. NUT 
  • D'souza,J. and Kulkarni, A.R. (1993) “Comparative studies on nutritive   values of tender foliage of seedlings and mature plants of Moringa   oleifera” Lam. J.Econ.Tax.Bot., 17 (2) pp479-485. 
  • Eilert, U. (1978) “Antibiotic Principles of seeds of Moringa   oleifera”. Indian   Medical Journal 38 (235) 1013 – 1016. 
  • Hartwell, J.L. 1967–1971. Plants used against cancer. A survey. Lloydia 30–34. 
  • Morton, J.F. (1991). The horseradish tree, Moringa pterygosperma    (Moringaceae) A boon to arid lands? Economic Botany 45 (3)   pp318-333 
  • Verma, S.C, Banerji .R., Misra .G., Nigam S.K. (1976). Nutritional value of   moringa. Current Sci. 45(21):769–770

Honey: Looking at it's Nutritional and Unconvectional Applications

Honey is the most widely consumed food product from insects. It is a key element in thousands of folk remedies, health and beauty aids and other practical uses. In Nigeria for instance, it serves a variety of purpose. It is popularly known as 'OYIN' among the Yorubas. Honey is made by bees and contains the insects enzymes, as well as sugars, water and oil. Bees fly to flowers and extract the nectar from the plants. The honey is stored within the bees' bodies. After a bee visits enough flowers to get its fill, it returns to the hive and regurgitates the nectar, which is consumed by bees that are not involved in the collection process. The enzymes within the bodies of these "house bees" evaporate much of the water in the nectar, creating honey. The finished liquid is stored in honeycomb cells within the hives and is used for nourishment by all the bees in the colony. Fortunately, individual hives produce far more honey than is actually necessary for the colony's survival. The honey ripens within the honeycomb and eventually becomes a tasty and consumable product.

Honey is stored by insects as a primary food source in wax. Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharide’s, fructose and glucose and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar. It has attractive chemical properties for baking and a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners. Most micro organisms do not grow in honey because of its low water activity of 0.6 (Wahdan, 2006). Honey has a long history of human consumption, and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavoring, it is also used in various medicinal tradition to treat ailments.

Honey has been around for a long time. It is difficult to say how long people have been gathering and consuming honey but our earliest historical records indicate that we have enjoyed the work of bees for quite a long time. Fossil evidence shows that bees were working their magic over 150 million years ago, which means that even the earliest people may have made use of honey. In the earliest Hindu Vedic texts, honey and its evolution are described elaborately. It is used as a metaphor to describe the Sun as honeycomb. The bees incubate in the cells to form honey which is called “the nectar of the Sun”. Another metaphor states that the four Vedas, the Hindu scriptures, are represented by the honeycomb which is stated to be "sweet, beautiful, golden like the Sun". It is also described as a "blend of all the Nectars of many flowers." The knowledge of honey represents "oneness of everything." In Hindu rituals, honey is one of the five ingredients of the "five Nectars", the other four being the ghee, milk, sugar and buttermilk. Honey has been used in Ayurveda medicine in India for at least 4000 years. In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, within specific bee species, curative honey is categorized under eight distinct types. Overall, more than 634 remedies with honey as an ingredient have been propounded to tackle a wide range of health problems and many of them are said to be of complex formulation. A popular concoction to cure intestinal worms is that of honey with juice of Parrot Tree fruit, Buteamonosperma (called palash in Sanskrit).(Melana et al., 2007)

In 1446, it was used as the therapeutic drug in combination with alum to treat ulcers, and in 1623, it was used as an antiseptic and a mouthwash. From Biblical times, "milk and honey" have been said to denote fertility. Honey has been part of baptismal ritual traced to about 100 AD. In ancient Islamic literature, honey bees have been extolled for their "intelligence, industry and creativity." The Qur'an mentions it as medicine to cure human illness.(Melana et al., 2007)

Scientists have revealed that honey has powerful anti-bacterial properties on at least sixty species of bacteria, and unlike antibiotics, which are often not able to tackle certain types of bacteria, honey is non-toxic and has strong effects. The composition of honey includes sugars such as glucose and fructose and also minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. Depending on the quality of the nectar and pollen, the vitamins contained in honey are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and C. The pH of honey is commonly between 3.2 and 4.5. This relatively acidic pH level prevents the growth of many bacteria. The non-peroxide antibiotic activity is due to methylglyoxal (MGO) and an unidentified synergistic component.

Honey is primarily a saturated mixture of two monosaccharaides. This mixture has a low water activity. Most of the water molecules are associated with the sugars and few remain available for microorganisms, so it is a poor environment for their growth. If water is mixed with honey, it loses its low water activity, and therefore, no longer possesses this antimicrobial property. Hydrogen peroxide is formed in a slow-release manner by the enzyme glucose oxidase present in honey. It becomes active only when honey is diluted, requires oxygen to be available for the reaction, thus it may not work under wound dressings, in wound cavities or in the gut. It is active only when the acidity of honey is neutralized by body fluids, it can be destroyed by the protein-digesting enzymes present in wound fluids, and is destroyed when honey is exposed to heat and light. Honey chelates and deactivates free iron, which would otherwise catalyze the formation of oxygen free radicals from hydrogen peroxide, leading to inflammation. Also, the antioxidant constituents in honey help clean up oxygen free radicals.
When honey is used topically, as, for example, a wound dressing, hydrogen peroxide is produced by dilution of the honey with body fluids. As a result, hydrogen peroxide is released slowly and acts as an antiseptic(wahdan, 2006). Honey as special gift has been used medicinally as a cure for lots of ailment and some of them are: Burns, Abrasions, Hay Fever, Cough, Indigestion, Lip balm, Arthritis, Bladder infection, Cholesterol, Overall Immune System Health, Dental Hygiene, Halitosis, Hair Loss, Honey Bath, Hair Shine, Hair Conditioner, Cleansing Scrub, Firming Mask (Altman, 2010).

Unconditional applications of Honey
 Skin Moisturizer: Honey, when mixed with eggs and some flour, is an effective skin moisturizer. Although it should be gently formulated, so it can be used by people with sensitive skin. Mix four tablespoons of honey with a couple of egg whites and a few tablespoons of flour, depending on your desired consistency. Stir the mixture until it thickens. When the mixture is ready, you can use it as a hand and body lotion or a moisturizing face mask, eliminating the effects of dry skin.

Antiseptic: Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical used for cleaning wounds and helping them heal quickly. Honey happens to contain a good amount of this chemical Which it releases when it is diluted in water or body fluids. When applied on an open wound, the glucose, contained by honey, is diluted and gradually releases hydrogen peroxide. The substance facilitates faster healing of wounds.

Acne Remover: Honey might be a gentle skin moisturizer but it is certainly tough on acne. With constant exposure to the bee fluid, pimples eventually wither and fade. Apply a small amount of honey on the pimply regions of your face. Cover them with adhesive bandages. Soon, your zit attack will be nothing more than a distant viscous memory.

Energy Booster: Why buy palpitation-inducing energy drinks when you already have honey? Mix honey with some water then drink the solution. Honey’s glucose content will be absorbed by the brain and in the bloodstream, reducing fatigue in the process. You’ll be healthy and quite happy just by consuming the simple solution.

Enhances Vitamin A: Vitamin A is the nutrient that fosters better eyesight, especially when consumed in significant quantities. If you mix items that are rich in Vitamin A with honey, the effects are slightly increased.

Medicinal Importance of Honey Includes:
Improves Blood Flow: Honey, being rich in glucose, is known to improve the blood flow through the fortification of blood’s formation. Glucose provides energy in the bloodstream, which is distributed throughout the body. As a result, the blood produced has the proper consistency, flowing smoothly through the blood vessels. Glucose is believed to prevent capillary damage due to its ability to improve your blood flow.

Colon Damage Prevention: Colitis, a disease that damages the colon, induces much discomfort to those affected. You can minimize the effects of the disease if you drink some honey daily. The antioxidants found in honey is said to strengthen and improve the resistance of the colon. In addition, it is used in folk medicine as a means for curing colon-related conditions.

Remedy to Burns: A burn is not only painful, the marks also last for a good number of days before healing up. By applying honey on your burn, the hydrogen peroxide released cleans the wound and soothes the inflammation. As a result, the burn marks will heal in a few days with less pain. Use honey as a dressing for maximum results.

Antibacterial Solution: Bacteria and germs find it difficult to survive when covered in honey, given its acidic pH balance and viscous base. The microorganisms will be trapped in the sticky acidic base, which is too abrasive for their exteriors, killing them off eventually. Apply honey on a wound, scratches or an inflamed region, in conjunction with an antiseptic.

Diabetic Ulcer Remedy: Curing ulcer entirely is largely done by modern medical techniques. Though, you can speed up the healing process if you use honey as a topical solution. Honey is also believed to help in reducing the effect of sore throat.

For Further Reading, See References Below:
  • Short, A.L., Jennifer H.T. and Diamond. A.W. (2003). "Identification and quantification of antioxidant components of honeys from various floral sources, Agric Food Chemistry (21): 5870–5877.
  • Subramanian, R.T. Hebbar, H.U. Rastogi, N. K. (2007)."Processing of Honey: A Review".International Journal of Food Properties. 10: 127.p. 396–397
  • Wahdan, A. H. (2006). Causes of the antimicrobial activity of honey. Infection 26 (1): 26–31.
  • Lusby, P.E. and Coombes, A.W.  (2002). Honey: a potent agent for wound healing? Journal of wound, ostomy, and continence nursing : official publication of The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society / WOCN29 (6): 295–300. London.
  • Altman, N.H. (2010). The Honey Prescription: The Amazing Power of Honey As Medicine.Inner Traditions / Bear & Company.p. 60–62. 
  • Malena, S.F. Miano, D.D.  (2007). Milk and honey: essays on ancient Israel and the Bible in appreciation of the Judaic Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego.Eisenbrauns.p. 29.
  • Ishikawa, Y.D. (2008). "Inhibitory Effect of Honeybee-Collected Pollen on Mast Cell Degranulation In Vivo and In Vitro". Journal of Medicinal Food 11 (1): 14–20. 
  • Bilsel, Y.R. Bugra, D.O.Yamaner, S.A. Bulut, T.R. Cevikbas,U.R. and Turkoglu,U. E. (2002). "Could Honey Have a Place in Colitis Therapy". Digestive Surgery 29: 306–312. London.