By Uwa Ojike, Chief Executive Officer, OVAC Group
High blood pressure runs in my family and as we know this condition can be very serious as it may lead to heart disease not to mention damages to other organs.
My late maternal grandmother never believed in western medicine, but she had access to a West African super herb, which we know as Vernonia amygdalina or bitter leaf as it is locally called. She would go to her farm, cut some of the bitter leaf plant, wash it, squeeze the juice out of it and give it to me to drink to help manage my blood pressure. This is not an experience my taste buds recalled with sweet memories as it was VERY bitter.
I am no longer a young child, and the hypertension curse has come to visit me. As I was taught by my grandmother, I have turned to bitter leaf as a natural remedy. However, I live in the city with no easy access to a farm which grows fresh bitter leaves.
Luckily for me, my business partner Ngozi and her sister Kate, came up with the idea of passing the benefits of this traditional herbal medicine to everyone and selling it in the form of tea for convenience. And convenient it is as Respite Tea bitter leaf teas can be found as five flavoursome blends, making it easier to ingest - PURE blend, made from 100% organic bitter leaves packed with antioxidants and thermogenic goodness; COOL blend, a special blend of bitter leaves with lemon balm and white tea which aids stress reduction; SMOOTH blend, aids a healthy diet with the flavours of apple and cinnamon; WARM blend, excites the senses with flavours of chilli and peppermint; DREAMS blend, a blend of hibiscus, ginger and orange which creates a super brew packed with antioxidants designed to promote good sleep.
My favourite is the WARM blend.
I have noticed that drinking Respite bitter leaf tea once a week has considerably decreased my blood pressure to a level that can be considered as normal for someone of my age. I just prepare one of those thermos water flasks which keeps my tea hot or cold depending on the season and I sip my it all day long. I also have packets of the tea in my office and home just in case I want a refill.
I am not recommending this tea as a replacement for your doctor’s prescription if you have high blood pressure or you are hypertensive. But as a preventative why not try it?