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Palm Kernel Oil – A Good Household Remedy for Children’s Ailments
From the recent trend of medical research related to plants and their extracts and the results obtained and published so far, it can be said that nature (the God of creation) has given man everything he needed. For example, palm kernel oil is used in African (Nigerian) medicine to treat a number of ailments that affect infants – such as convulsions. Every little plant we see around us probably contains one or more substances (components) that are likely to cure one or more ailments. Although research has shown that some of them are poisonous. For example, the Yorubas in Nigeria-West Africa claim that the roots of maize can be used as poison.
Palm kernel oil (PKO), which is obtained from the oil palm, is the second oil that can be extracted from the tree. While palm oil is extracted from the mesocarp – the fleshy covering of the oil palm seed, PKO is extracted from the endocarp – the nut itself after cracking. Of all the 200 or so edible oils, PKO and coconut oil (CNO) are the only two that contain lauric acid, which is why they are called laurel oil. Both palm oil and palm kernel oil are obtained from the same tree known as Elaeis guineensis. The two PKO-producing trees, CNO and palm oil, are also similar in that they are both called palms, even though they are different species. The production of PKO traditionally involves the following: the nuts obtained after palm oil production are crushed to obtain the kernels, the kernels are then heated in a clean pot until the oils are extracted from the kernels, and then the oil is poured (decanted) from the pot into clean bottles for use or sales. In some parts of Nigeria, 750 ml of oil cost N200 Nigerian currencies, which is about $1.5. The obtained oil has a dark min. color.
PKO can be used to treat ailments such as colds, runny noses, coughs, spasms, skin infections and stomach upsets, among other ailments that affect children (as well as adults).
• For catarrh, colds and spasms, especially in children; simply rub the oil consistently all over the child’s body – say three times a day for about 7 days and be sure that the disease will be gone in about 10 days. In the course of this activity, there is much evidence that the skin of such a child will be protected from infection by some skin pathogens.
• For cough and stomach discomfort/disorders, taking 5 ml orally twice a day will suppress cough and stomach problems. In addition, the fact that it serves has a laxative effect, which may not be related to the oily nature of the extract, although the phytochemical components may also be responsible for this effect.
• Finally, although believed by superstitions, its use is claimed in some parts of Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria as a witch repellant. It is said that when burned, the aroma of the oil drives away witches.
In conclusion, traditionally extracted palm kernel oil has great medicinal value not only for children, but also for adults, and its therapeutic potential for the above-mentioned diseases is a sign of its antimicrobial properties for the microbes that cause some of these diseases.
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