How to Naturally cure coughs & cold: Natural remedy with good benefits.
Remember when your Nana or Mama would make porridge and would add a few grains of a specific black spice called “So” (Dangme), “Whentia” (Akan) whenever you were down with a fever?
Let’s just say they knew exactly what they were doing and now, you too will come to know it.
Three years ago, I got to know the spice intimately after my (step) father introduced me to it as a potential cure for my dry cough.
At first, i insisted on ginger but he advised that ginger felt hot but this, this worked far better.
The first time was uncomfortable (this was only a feeling in my head) so i took each grain with sweets, until I realised I was kidding myself by pretending that the taste was not pleasant.
After chewing on two grains, it felt good. I realised that my cough became more moist with each grain; swallowing the juice that saliva formed with chewing of the spice gave a bit of minty feel which soothed my throat while dissolving phlegm. I repeated this a few times while editing news stories at my desk.
One the third day, I tried to recall when exactly it was that the mean dry cough went away but couldn’t. Chewing on “So” had become a three day old habit (that I wasn’t willing to admit that I would miss once the cough was gone).
I found that “whentia” served different purposes to different people. It multiple characteristics, I believe, is why it has many names including pepper selim, uda seeds, kieng, chimba, african pepper, negro pepper, & xylopia aethiopica, if you are a botanist.
Though generally used as a spice for hot sauce, porridge & soups across Africa & the Caribbeans, Negro pepper has indisputable medicinal values. It contains anti-oxidizing properties & works as a laxative & calming agent. It additionally serves as an antimicrobial agent and is used by some people to cure infections.
I cultivated a habit of dropping about two grains in my drinking water after crushing them slightly with my teeth anytime I felt I was coming down with something (practically anything especially in my throat, that is). You may well use it for herbal tea.
Photo credit: Wikipedia