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But, usually the things we view as new are old things that have been simply re-packaged.

We are surrounded by animate and inanimate things we have always known about but never really took seriously or believed in because they were not sexily assembled and packaged.

Years ago some Zimbabweans spoke in hushed tones about the healing properties of the Moringa tree. It was the amazing tree whose leaves were also used as a relish rich in protein.

Some even started planting it but did not fully acknowledge that it could possibly be as magical as some local traditional healers were claiming.

We have also heard of the magical healing properties of the Aloe Vera plant. Our grandmothers used it to heal wounds, stomach ailments and even crushed and chucked bits of it into drinking water for their poultry to keep them healthy.

Africa is endowed with all these amazing trees and plants but they are considered inferior. It seems it is never our life’s mission to take ourselves seriously where it matters.

Today Moringa is touted as this magical Himalayan tea, which can heal a list of ailments stretching from Africa to Asia.

When Africa’s travelling herbal merchants try to market hastily packaged powders that claim to heal 250 diseases, we all laugh and joke about how crazy that is.

But someone has gone into a laboratory and extracted everything they can think of from both the Moringa tree and the Aloe Vera plant. Someone has had the vision to turn whatever they could get out of these two and re-introduced them to the world as presentable lifestyle products.

We pay through the nose to get our fill of juices, pills and numerous beauty products made from Moringa or Aloe Vera. An entrepreneur sitting in Europe or America is selling us a dream.

We are being told we can lead a healthier lifestyle and we can attain that beautiful soft skin and can remain forever young.

And of course we are fickle so we buy into the dream and we spend huge amounts of money. The reality is that we have never had much faith in ourselves — we need other people to convince us that we have always had the solution at our doorstep.

We complain of being exploited but we exploit ourselves more. We could have had that lifestyle at a more affordable price if only we had taken what we had seriously and learnt that everything looks better when refined and put in an attractive container.

The “new” marketers of Moringa products say it can be used to treat high blood pressure, anaemia, constipation, cancer, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, joint pain, intestinal ulcers, kidney stones and a whole host of other ailments.

It is also highly spoken of as an aphrodisiac for men with waning libidos. It is also said to prevent pregnancy or increase breast milk production!

You can also now get lotions, perfumes, hair care products and machine lubricants made from Moringa.

If you are not a Moringa lifestyle guru then maybe you believe in Aloe Vera. It is also said to heal all of the above and lots more. Many women in Zimbabwe start their day with a healthy swig of one the various Aloe Vera juices. One of the most popular is the one that combines aloe and cranberry juice — it has properties that keep urinary tract infections at bay.

The Aloe Vera lifestyle family has everything from dietary pills to lotions and creams that promises younger and supple skin. As I said, this is a lifestyle choice.

You buy into it because you have made a decision to feed your body and skin a particular brand of products. These are expensive products and some of them do work. I have found the few I have tried to be well worth my hard-earned cash.

When I travel around the country and hear about magical properties of this or that plant, I cannot help but hope that one day we will have some of these products perfected and expertly packaged right here in Zimbabwe.

We have so much to be grateful for but we just never take the time. We could have a huge beauty industry but we have lacked in vision and might continue to do so unless we take what we have and treat it with more respect.

Grace Mutandwa is a Media Consultant, and published Author. She can be reached at: taffy875@gmail.com@GraceMutandwa1Skype:Wisteria42

Source : Zimbabwe Standard