This blog is about Natural Living and when we can catch up with those that live a natural lifestyle, we will bring you their stories to inspire you and let you know just how much is possible in Nigeria! We are surrounded by Mother Nature and there is so much we can gain from tapping into what it has to offer. We begin with Mnena Orvaa who I met through the comments she left on the blog. I had to interview her because she always left super advice for other readers. Here's her story.
Hello! Introduce yourself (or like my Nigerian folks like to say, let us meet you!)
My name is Mnena Orvaa. I am 32, I am a lawyer. I am from Benue State. Mother to 2 boys. Only 1 is living.
I know that you are partial to Natural Living. How did you arrive at that or have you always led a natural lifestyle?
I have not always lived a natural lifestyle. My bias towards it began when I couldn't cure my stomach ulcer in hospital in 2010, and when in 2011 I started dealing with my son's asthma. As a child, I always had bouts of pneumonia.
Has it been difficult or expensive maintaining it?
I started my love affair with natural living as a means of dealing with various health challenges as I just mentioned. I found out that there is a link between natural, wholesome nutrition and managing most health challenges, especially asthma. Going from eating junk to eating vegetable salads and fruits daily proved expensive at first. With time I narrowed it down to the most powerful medicinal and antioxidant vegetables and that cut the cost. I narrowed it down to garlic, cayenne pepper, onions and pawpaw leaves juice. All of these raw for maximum benefit.
Where did you learn about living a natural lifestyle?
I first learned from books. 2 specific books, written by 2 different Nigerian women, who battled and survived breast cancer by faith and a total overhaul of their diets. Strictly back to nature. I did not give heed to them till I started facing problems of my own. It may be extreme but I have effectively enforced cooking without those seasonings we call Maggi or Royco or Knorr and so on and so forth. Then I learned from Femi Kusa. He writes very educating health articles on alternatives to Western medicine. From 'big pharma' conspiracies to local herbs and supplements. Find the articles on Thursdays in This Day Newspaper. Above all, I learned from the internet on a site called Earth Clinic.
What are the local things that you have found work for you?
Garlic and cayenne pepper have the tie at number one. Garcinia kola and ginger. Raw onion juice. Like I said, I have narrowed down my must haves in terms of nutrition to the most powerful antibiotic, antiviral-the ones that combat oxidative stress the most. Cheap and always locally available. Vitamin C is also very important.
Based on all you know now, what would you do for your children (male and female in terms of hair, nutrition, natural living as opposed to the way you were brought up e.t.c)?
In the past, I was so ignorant. I ate and fed my boy junk food. At a point I left for law school and antibiotics were abused when he had ordinary coughs. Not that then I couldn't have given him the antibiotics, because I also didn’t know better, but I would have been consistent to avoid resistance. Abuse of antibiotics and very poor nutrition eventually caused him to develop asthma. It pains me, but I cannot change the past. Nutrition wise he never takes the Bobo or the Viju milk or the Ribena or the Indomie and the cakes and biscuits that on certain days was all he ate. He never liked eating proper meals and I ignorantly indulged him. No sweets, no ice-cream. No chocolate. No foods from the box. Then as regards hair, I will not relax my daughter's hair as long as I am in charge. Maybe I try to compensate for what my ignorance caused my boy, I make his bathing soap myself, cook his meals, use Shea butter for his skin. I make sure he lives very close to nature and it has done him a lot of good. I also DO NOT give him synthetic antibiotics. Enough harm already.
Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for others?
Please, let us do our research. You will be amazed at your own lifelong ignorance! I have found as a fact that some solutions to huge health issues will be answered in natural living. It is our best bet to a healthy lifestyle. Have faith. Even cancer has been dealt with by returning to nature. I have dealt with ulcer and asthma and I know what nature can do. Never compromise on vitamin C. If you will not take it from food, supplement. The white unflavoured version. Be natural! Stay healthy!!
Lots of people are less bold than I am to make such claims but when you have truly overcome by such simple natural remedies you will be amazed. Nature will always be our solution. I truly believe.