Hey! Introduce yourself (or like my Nigerian folks like to say, let us meet you!)
My name is Opeyemi,I love nature, cooking, travelling(when I can), reading and being a mum. I’m Nigerian ,and from Osun state but I reside in Ibadan. Right now, I’m a livestock farmer and in my free time,I make my own cosmetics.
I know that you are partial to Natural Living. How did you arrive at that or have you always led a natural lifestyle?
I’ve always been fascinated with nature, since I was little. I remember in my parents’ old house, though there was no space to plant things, I’d still look for old boxes, walk a distance to get good soil and plant vegetables ranging from peppers to tomatoes. Though, it was overcrowded, I loved doing it.
I also couldn’t stand seeing people having open sores or wounds. And growing up, we always had Shea butter and some folk remedies lying around the house. So if I saw anyone who had wounds or sores, I used to just mash up those things I found lying around that I THOUGHT could help, heat them up if I needed it liquid and then treat. Amazingly, it worked. Even before I knew what essential oils were, I remember us having a brand of aromatic oil at home (it was eucalyptus) and using it for little stuff like insect bites. And they mostly worked. So it made me more fascinated. And as I grew up, I fell in love with agriculture, ended up studying forestry and even learned more about forest resources and their uses. I remember there was this book in the school library( encyclopedia of medicinal plants). Though it was curiosity that made me check it out, I was wowed by the stuff I read. Then from there, I went on to the internet and I’ve been googling questions about nature ever since.
Has it been difficult/expensive maintaining a natural lifestyle?
In my opinion, knowledge isn’t expensive. And you can gain it from any source. You might not like to read but you prefer watching TV, so why not watch a few documentaries every now and then. Even listening to news, one can gain something or spending time with older or elderly people. To me, reading exposes you to so many things. If you travel a lot, there’s something to be learned somewhere and most importantly, ask questions. There’s no stupid question, because not knowing or purposeful ignorance is more stupid. Even when you go to visit your doctor, ask him/her questions about the conditions you are being treated for. They are obligated to answer and frankly, many times, they like it when you ask. And when you leave, make further investigation or research on whatever ails you. Many times, we find that having [certain] knowlegde can be empowering.
Where have you learnt about a natural lifestyle?
Books, documentaries (I love watching NatGeoWild),the adults and elders around me and of course the internet.
What are the local things that you have found work for you?
This is going to be a long list but I’ll start with diet. Though there’s no hard and fast rule about diet, I enjoy loca
l delicacies (amala, ewedu, okro e.t.c).I remember when I was about 10 years old, I had chicken pox and it came with fever, my great aunt recommended I drink ewedu which I did and I recovered faster from the fever(but it took a while for the spots to totally fade). Also I enjoy the occasional continental food too and I TRY to eat in moderation (can you tell that I love good food?) There’s also the wonder of our native Zobo drink [Hibiscus Tea] (yes, the one you know)which is said to help high blood pressure and kidney stones(though I’ve not tried it for these purposes, I still prepare it at home and drink regularly). Then there’s the Dogonyaro tree [Neem](Azadiratcha indica). When I was young, during every long vac, my mom used to make a decoction of the bark, stems and leaves of this plant. We used it as general detox. We drink twice daily for about 3days (usually on a weekend). At first, it may make you feel weak and then you begin to feel better. There are a lot of remedies using this plant.
Also, it’s said to be antifungal and antibacterial so it can also be used on skin and scalp infections (though the area treated will have to be thoroughly rinsed due to its garlicy smell). And there’s the African black soap which gently cleanses skin and best of all, its moderately cheap. During the hot season, it’s my staple because of the rashes that are rampant during this season. I use it on my baby’s skin too.
Then, there is castor oil, which I use straight like that on the lips when I have cold sores(it’s magic); Aloe Vera plant which I use as first aid for every kind of sore or open wound; there’s also the honey + ginger mix which works like magic for sore throats; palm oil(or red oil) + sugar for cough.
Most recently, I’ve been doing the oil cleansing method(I have normal skin so I use a mix of 20% castor oil to 80% sunflower oil or any vegetable oil I have on hand and so far I’m loving the results and lest I forget, the awesome Shea butter. I use it on my son’s bottom every morning after bath and before putting his diaper on and he’s never had diaper rash…..The list goes on and on.
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)?
Just as it was passed on to me by God and great people, I’ll surely pass them on too and more importantly teach them to love their heritage and then pray they pass it on to the next generation also.
Any words of wisdom or advice for others?
Live well (good food in moderation, exercise, laugh more, pray and thank God always for your blessings),forgive anyone who offends you, read something every day, find time to rest.