Monthly Archives: June 2011

“Momordica” Cures Gastritis and Ulcer

By Dr Atta K.Bonsu

NOTE: This article was written in Cameroon and published in THE POST (Newspaper Cameroonian)

Gastritis, the inflammation of the lining membrane of the stomach (gastric), is considered as the most common disease in Cameroon (where I lived and practiced between 1997 and 2004). It has won the price almost every year, to an extent that many victims no more consider it as a disease, but a normal thing for almost every Cameroonian. That is to say, for some Cameroonians, gastritis is normal – when it strikes, they only find some means to calm the pains, and continue living with it.

Apparently and interestingly, it seems to be like that; every group of people, a community or a nation have their respective health problems, however, depending on how they live. So gastritis is common in Cameroon, but not very popular in even our close neighbouring country like Nigeria; they also have their common health problems, even though.

Many do not take the disease seriously, for the fact that gastritis is not classified among the most serious killer diseases; however, when it develops to certain levels, it can prove fatal and death; the anguish seems to be dreadful, at times.

I have consulted in most parts of the Cameroon nation; both in the Anglophone and the Francophone Zones, and the fact is the same, it is the most prevalent, and many consider it as normal. When patients are giving their complaints, most of them often keep gastric problems aside until you ask them, if there is anything else before they mention it. My observation is that, even some in the fear of high charges, will solemnly appeal “doctor, leave that “gastric” for now, and treat the serious ones; for me I see it to be a normal sickness for every Cameroonian”. One lady confessed like that. Many also consult mainly on the disease, especially chronic cases that have reached the climax of destruction.

Fortunately, the causes of gastritis would be known to confirm its leadership on Cameroon’s diseases list. Notwithstanding all these facts, one would not be surprised to see many suffering from the disease, as long as, “the drinking of alcoholic beverages remains the number one cause of gastritis”. From alcohol, “the use of certain drugs, especially anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers”, will be second. Third cause is ‘eating between meals’. And these are common health problems in Cameroon. (Jethro Kloss in his book “Back to Eden” confirm this; he rated alcohol, modern drugs and irregularity in eating to be the three principal causes of gastritis).

What Is Gastritis And What Causes It

The scientific word “gastric” simply refers to the lining membrane of the stomach, the first sac that receives food after swallowing. The main function of the gastric lining is to secrete digestive juices and enzymes for digestion of food in the stomach, mainly protein foods.

Due to haphazard life of eating and drinking, without proper evaluation and discretion, this hollow lining membrane of the stomach (gastric) becomes inflamed, and produces disease symptoms and complications, which are discomforting, unpleasant and unbearable at times. Sensationally, one may feel these unpleasant complications, including severe abdominal pains and bites, hotness and burns, belching of gas and flatulence, nausea and vomiting.

As I have earlier mentioned, alcohol drinks, especially the high fermented ones cause serious irritation and erodes the hollow, lining membrane of the stomach, especially when drunk very early in the morning into an empty stomach – it is dangerous. How would you imagine one drinking a strong fermented alcohol like “afofo” (how Cameroonians call hot, fermented alcohol drink), into an empty stomach in the morning? It is death! This is a serious “murder” and many are ignorant of the fact that we are going to give account of what we did to our body to the Maker (read II Corinthians 5:10) “thou shall not kill involves many things”.

Certain high chemicalized drugs that we often buy from common places without even doctors’ prescription are killing many but only a few notice this. Swallowing these hard chemical drugs into an empty stomach, is the same as the one who drinks a strong fermented alcohol like “afofo”.

It is not easy to see two Cameroonians fighting publicly. Since I started coming here, this is rare, even though we have few instances, yet it is not common compared to other places in Africa. Some of my friends attribute this to alcoholism, but I do not side with them; we are only gifted from above. But another area, which can convince me a bit, is the way we eat together and welcome friends with food.

However, this can also affect our sound health if is not appropriately done. Culture is good, but we should not do it to the detriment of our health and life. So while we are to eat and share with friends, we need to apply wisdom in order to avoid excesses. In the Roman Catholic Doctrine, “overeating is a serious sin” so if your friend invites you for a meal and you are already full, excuse him; for your health’s sake. Do not feel shy to please your friend to overeat yourself to go contrary to health principles. And the host or the one inviting one for a meal should understand this without any offense: that is living in harmony.

I am saying all this for the fact that eating between meals’ is another great cause of gastritis. Some people’s “appeti” is too big (“Appeti” is a common term in Cameroon, which explains that even if your neighour invites you for a meal and you are full, at least take a bite). Many people do not have time to eat, whatever comes across the eyes they receive. Some can eat about 10 times in a day, because they do not plan a complete meal for themselves. They see corn they “chop”, then to groundnuts, to garden eggs, to bread and so on. However, we should not change our culture of sharing, but you know our God loves modesty in everything. Learn when and how to open your mouth.

Many have even forgotten that the greatest temptation of man that brought sin into this world is upon “Appeti”. We should remember how Adam and Eve fell because of food, but you know Jesus also overcame this to redeem us.

If you want your child to be great in future; to be a philosopher, an inventor and develop in much wisdom, teach him or her how to eat. The time to eat and what they must eat; yet they need to respect the culture of oneness and togetherness, but very modest. Food ferments when eaten in improper times. For this, the wise man Solomon, with his natural scientific power recorded this in the Bible (read Ecclesiastics 10:17 and compare with what Jesus said in Mathew 24:45).

Other causes of gastritis are: night or late supers; eating with too much liquids, like drinking plenty with meals, the worst being eating with artificial sweet drinks or fermented wine. Refined, white sugar and its products cause gastritis. White sugar causes constipation, especially when eaten together with milk, butter, and white bread – you will definitely constipate, and fermentation, belching of methane gases would indicate the presence of the disease. Sugar irritates the fine lining membrane of the stomach and inflames it.

Hasty eating: swallowing food without proper chewing and thorough mastication; too fried foods, too much oil in diet; and high acidic items, such as refined salts, red meats and others cause gastric problems.

Another bad habit that I do not understand among Africans is, too much eating of hot red pepper. Hot pepper is a stimulant that is mainly used in treatment of diseases; it is not necessary and useful in meals. We Africans live in a very hot tropical continental area but we love eating too much pepper and oil more than even Europeans who live in cool temperate climatic area. That is why there are rampant cases of fever, jaundice, hepatitis and others on our continent.

Many Europeans and Americans eat “pepper free soup”, but Africans cooks prepare meals with hot peppers, give to children, you see water and mucus oozing out from the nostrils of these innocent children ; punishing them, when they are forced to eat whatever the mother places on the table. But most of our ignorant cooks and mothers do not even know that “poor cooking is a great sin”. After all, what nutrient does pepper add to the meal? It is only intended to be used as medicine.

Prevention of Gastric Problem

To prevent gastritis, go back to read all the causes, and try as you can, but gradually observe them, you and your children and all people under you if possible. When you do this, you preserve your health and the health of your children, not only from gastritis, but from untold diseases. One poorest habit in our society is, when we do not want to spend our money on proper diet, but rather spend in hospital, drug and pharmaceutical shops.

Alcoholism has been the greatest cause of African’s underdevelopment, not only in Cameroon but almost everywhere in Africa. But before our governments will realise these bewitching force, it had caused a lot.

Europeans like Germans (as we often site examples) drink, but they eat plenty of salads and good nourishing foods. But most Africans drink high alcoholic substances and forget to even eat. Our income goes to alcohol and sensuality. Think about it deeply!

Do not drink alcohol. It is possible for you to practice this. I once consulted an-aged-man of 74, surprisingly, he was looking very young. He confessed, he lived in Bonkwango, a very natural place in Buea, he had never smoked nor drunk alcohol throughout his life. We have a lot of Cameroonians like this. You can be like that, and it is possible.

Do not eat much fat, oil and salt. Salt and oil can be used but sparingly. Even at all you will eat meat, toast before to drain the fat and the oil, when you do this you are preventing your body from many killer diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases. Do not eat too fried, hard foods; these do not only cause gastritis but ulcer and appendicitis. Appendicitis is becoming common in Cameroon, and I have realised that many Cameroonians do not fear surgical operation – cutting the body to remove disease.

Educate yourself to eat moderately, but to your fill and satisfaction. Not the quantity of food you eat that gives you strength, but the nutrients in food. Never eat at the same time drinking water or any mineral or liquids, but never go to the table while thirsty. The only liquid the food needs for digestion is the saliva in the mouth. The more liquid in food, the more difficult is digestion. That is why many have big, protruded tummies.
Avoid eating high spicy foods and high condiments; food must be prepared naturally simple; but appetizing, palatable, delicious and nutritious.

Momordica Charantia

Momordica Charantia

Momordica Charantia

The old medical practitioners used physical appearances and characteristics of plants to detect their properties but the modern practitioners use the same chemicals, which hinder our ambition to implement herbs in our health institutions. Look at the way momordica cripples and climbs on top of other shrubs and trees; it indicates that it is ‘queen’ and can cure many diseases.
It has never failed me when I prescribe for ulcer, gastritis and piles. It stops the one suffering from appendicitis from going to the theatre. The bitterness of the leaves shows that it is a real febrifuge, and as such makes it useful in treating malaria, typhoid, hepatitis, jaundice and fever disorders. Also good for venereal diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, staphylococcus aurens infection, candidiasis; and a splendid effect on leucorrhoea (whites in women).

Recommended for female disorders and gynaecological problems; and would even promote pregnancy. Other properties are antibiotic, antiseptic, diuretic, tonic, anthelmintic, emetic and laxative. All these properties would testify how it can treat various diseases, however, depending on how you use it and the combination.

You can use the leaves fresh or the ripped fruits to treat ulcer and gastritis. Press in water and strain and drink the extracted juice, about 1/3 glass at a time. When this is taken the pains will stop almost immediately especially in acute cases.

But the best way to use it, even in treating chronic cases, is by drying the leaves, breaking into granules and use as tea. (2 teaspoons to one glass of boiling water). Strain and sip slowly. When you take this gradually, gastritis will be uprooted.
Our clinical Momordica (you can place order for it). Go to products page for details on this product. You can also order for “Healing With Simple Plants”, a book on tropical medicinal plants to know more.

Momordica

Momordica

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Avocado Pear Leaves Treat Hypertension

By Dr Atta K.Bonsu

(Written in Buea, Cameroon and published in the Post Newspaper)

Smallish in physical structure, not too attractive to be quickly influenced by men, but quiet comely and modest. He was well cultured; polite, courteous and gentle; very disciplined and self centred. Well educated, but very simple to an extent that one finds it difficult to differentiate him from common campus labourers; yet he was a professor, a vice chancellor of one of Africa’s most prominent universities.

He has written many books on science for most African students. A man of high achievements and dignity, yet he was so simple and humble. His life is, really, a shining example for many. He would be above 90 by now, but he has never lost his youth. He makes sports and climbs mountains.

According to him, when he developed hypertension at middle, youthful age, he thought it was a great privilege for him to revive and strengthen his weakened health. He tried to ascertain the cause; nothing strange, he was eating too much meat and flesh foods. He cut down his flesh intake, stopped red meats completely, an instead for him to go to pharmacies for modern drugs – rather, he was convinced to use Avocado leaves tea, with some lime or lemon and honey.

Whenever he was plucking these leaves; most of those students, would often mock and tease at him, for being stinging and misery. Notwithstanding these, his usual response and question was that, “I know you students prefer using a white man’s drug to what our ancestors had of ages taught us, but do you people know the components of these chemicalized drugs you often love taking?” Most students at most times were quiet and, of course, were condemned: for a high scientific intellectual of such calibre prefer herbs to modern drugs.

It is always like that – the whole world is divided into two groups, those following the natural course and those who still believe they are okay with the artificial fascinated shows. Not only blacks, but the whole world, and each group has great prominent people and intellectuals as well as the primitive masses. We have some Americans and Europeans, it is a taboo for them to swallow pills, tablets and taking injections, but they are highly learned – they prefer drinking medicines as teas in cups.

So never make mistakes to consider your line or course superior until you have made thorough analysis and evaluations. Africans do not respect herbs and herbal practice; they take the name”herbalist” light. But in America before one could be licensed to practice Naturopathy (Natural Medicine), then he had been recommended higher by the society that he knows the true medicine of old.

Many a time, what bothers me a bit, is when people behave as if they know but they do not. If I had never gained this knowledge to use on myself, I would have been a hopeless wretch. Phototherapy, food science and nutrition and rest of natural science and studies are so broad that God is longed to see modern students bringing their minds back to them. Modern sciences have some limitations but it not easy to finish studying nature.

So these natural sciences, which were composed in African society and rest of the world, but was ignored and even dismissed in some communities, for several hundred’s of years, have been waiting quietly and patiently for some ages for humanity.

When leaves are dried and are infused in boiling water, and strained into a nice, clean glasses, then you see the beauty and attractiveness of nature, and one realises a true medicine that can cure disease. Comparatively when one unwraps a pill and about to swallow, there is no indication that the substances can cure disease. Its artificial characteristics would give a clear indication that it is rather for destruction.

We have less power to adhere to all these facts. Though my words, at times, full of persuasive eloquences could not liberate you from the course that you have taken, until you reach the terminus, where technology had reached its climax of destruction, that, nothing could be done again, then perhaps, you may mellow and remember my words, and humbly return to nature – but many times it had been too late if God’s grace is not in abundance.

You are an organic being made of clay by the Creator, so until you have recognised and returned to nature, then you may have relief, rest and peace. If many Africans had known, and we had prayed for God to train more qualified Natural Practitioners, what a great change all of us would see on our land, Africa.

Meat, Cholesterol And Hypertension

I have never seen a hypertensive vegetarian; unless he “dodges” himself a bit to eat meat, or a very peculiar reasons or causes. But as long as you eat plentifully of red meat, fresh fishes, eggs, milk, butter and cheese, you are certain to consume hypertension palliative drugs, to control till it kills you.

Some people can just buy one full chicken and consume everything, in a day without sparing the bones. Some combine about 4-10 eggs, fry with oil and consume everything. There are many who drink animal milk like nursing babies, so that they build cholesterols on the walls of the blood streams and start “eating” hypertension drugs.

When we live like this and flatter ourselves that we have studied and known science, then we have access to books, but we do not apply to our living practices, whereas our gone fathers had no access to our books and sciences and they ate and lived with their mind and lived healthier and longer.

Look at one eating one full chicken from modern incubated poultry, and could crack the whole bones. But the local one your grandfathers ate, the bones could not be cracked but only dogs with carnivorous teeth could do that. But interestingly your grandfather would take one year to finish one well-roasted chicken; but for you, you eat it one day and you are happy of your ignorance–you start drinking chemicals.

When one eats animal flesh foods and products, he accumulates plenty of cholesterol. Cholesterol is needed in the body; the body produces its own of about 250mg. the excesses we get from flesh foods accumulate in the arteries (the blood stream that carries blood from the heart to the body), and harden it to cause arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Since these hardened blood streams are often narrowed by these cholesterol build-ups, it finds it difficult to flow, and there is pressure on the heart to force the blood to flow – then hypertension is formed.As the person continues in eating cholesterol-giving foods, the whole blood stream can be blocked and result in apoplexy (stroke). And quiet often the patient develops heart attacks and diseases due to rise of pressure.

Avocado Pear

 Avocado Pear

Avocado Pear

Africans no longer eat good natural foods, so nature has stopped producing them. In most Africans markets, gari, cassava, yams, white rice and all types of meat and fishes are common, but one finds it difficult to see quality of good fruits like banana, pawpaw and others. But here in Africa, there are still good foods, but if we neglect eating them, what we like would be found in the markets.

Suggested Herbs For Hypertension

Most naturalists put mistletoe first, but I personally think avocado pear leaves should be the best medicine to use for treatment of hypertension, especially when taking with lemon, garlic and honey syrup. Most ladies who attend my lectureship programmes, especially the fat, overweight ones also rate corn silk tea high, as the simplest to fight the disease.

Another diuretic herb I have prescribed for many with hypertension and cardiac problems is Dandelion.

If one teaspoon of finely powdered activated charcoal is mixed with ½ glass of water and drunk, it reduces blood pressure and sugar in diabetes cases. You can take charcoal first and wait for sometime before taking any other chosen herbal tea.

Any of these aforementioned herbs can be gathered and sliced and dry (not much in sun). Infuse 2 teaspoons in a glass of boiling water; let is steep or stay for about 5 minutes, strain or sieve, add lemon and sip slowly.

Any one of them can serve. But if you want to combine them, measure a teaspoon each, instead of two. Avocado leaves seem to be hard, so you can chose to powder or break into fine granule before it can be well infused by boiling water (both green and brown can be used). Find below the natural avocado medicinal product – avocado tea; you can order for it.

 

Avocado Tea

Avocado Tea

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Mistletoe Treats Cardiovascular Diseases

By Dr Atta K.Bonsu

(Written in Buea, Cameroon and published in the Post Newspaper)

Mistletoe treats cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, stroke and heart disease? It is fantastic! That means, if you have hypertension you just look for mistletoe tea to use, before it may develop to stroke and heart attacks and sudden death.

We will also not forget its dramatic effect on the blood sugar level; normalizing and neutralizing it and thus treating diabetes. Its tea soothes the bones and arrests arthritic and rheumatic pains. As a great emmenagogue, it is traditionally used for female disorders and serious fertility cases (but being an emmanagogue, after fertilization, it should be discontinued in order not to abort the pregnancy).

I have read and used European and American mistletoes, but the moment I started using African local types, I have seen a big difference – it is more effective and better to treat African patients with herbs derived from our own soil than foreign ones.

African Herbs Are The Best

Is there no balm in Gilead? Here, our God, the Creator speaks, and it is an applicable lesson to everyone who is looking for a medicine to treat diseases. Is there no balm (medicine) in Africa? There are so many practices in Africa that even our God and His Angelic hosts, living in their sphere could not understand. When a big ship is loaded with chemical medicines to Africa, the question will always be, “is there no medicine in Africa”?

The worst of all is when imported herbs are evacuated from Europe and Asia to Africa. The same question would be asked, “are there no better herbs and medicinal plants in Africa”?

Unfortunately, these chemicalised drugs, which are often experimented on Africans, have serious side effects, and have caused many untimely deaths. Today, these chemical drugs cause about 90 percent of deaths in Africa. Who may believe all these? Imported herbs also show a slow response to Africans’ ill health. Even though herbs generally work slowly, foreign herbs show timid response on a strong black man. Climate variation will clarify this fact.

Even, coming to the African continent, if it could be possible, a Cameroonian must use Cameroon herbs, a Nigerian using herbs growing on their own soil, as well as Ghanaians must use herbs close to their own environments. In the same manner, it is appropriate for one living in Buea to use Buea herbs than depending on herbs far in distances like Yaounde or even Bamenda in the same Anglophone zone.

Try to understand my facts, do not misunderstand me; I am not writing this to mean that one cannot be treated and cured with foreign herbs, or herbs from other destinations, but I am talking about God’s plan for man and the most effective mechanism by which medicinal herbs work. That is the reason why when you read plants health books, you see classification of names of plants in respect to their origin, such as American ginseng, Asian ginseng, European mistletoe, African cayenne pepper and so forth. Which indicate that the variations of properties due to climatic and soil changes and composition.

I have used herbs close to the people I administer, and could see the difference. That is why we are praying and doing our best that, at least, we must grasp some tit bits on our finger tips so that when problems come, we go direct to our environments and start using herbs that are available. Can we not even take experiences from common other animals like goats, dogs and others?

Now, Cameroonians, Nigerians, Ghanaians and South Africans import rice, chemical drugs and even medicinal herbs and leaving our own as common weeds. Interestingly and painfully, all these herbs are found in Africa, and are highly potential. Ginseng, mint, mistletoe, yarrow, lady’s mantle, vervain, ocimum and all these imported herbs grow in Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria and rest of Africa.

It is a pity to see one using imported ginseng or yarrow, whereas these items are all over in the Northwest province and many parts of Cameroon. There are some who can even import common fern plant which is a disturbing weed all over in CDC plantation farms, in Cameroon.

That “inferiority complex”, a term I often hear from Nigerians is our greatest problem. Many Africans use their eyes and the attractive, fascinated manner that drugs are designed to prove them superior, but a wise man only considers the potency of the thing and the hygienic nature it is prepared. So, one will reject African’s rice because it is not well polished as white as the foreign ones.

One thing I have always prayed for Africans is “hygiene and cleanliness”. One area I have taken much attention on my medical work is upon, how neatly the herbs are prepared from gathering, drying, packaging and preservation, but not bothering much about their fascinated manner they are prepared. Any African can easily prepare herbs neatly and use from their own environment than subjecting our minds on printed designated matters.

Causes And Prevention

Cholesterol is your watchword when you are battling with hypertension, stroke or heart disease. If you go for medical examination, the area you must watch is your blood cholesterol level. There are two main causes: meat eating and cholesterol (the major causes) and the habit of over thinking on problems; that is anxiety, depression and stress.

It is difficult to find a hypertensive vegetarian. That is to say, it is not easy to see someone who does not eat meat or flesh foods having hypertension, stroke or heart problem. It can happen, but I see it rare, and the causes could be very unique and strange.

Cholesterol is needed in the body, it is indispensable in the cells, but you need it in the most appropriate quantity. Thank God, the body provides its own 250mg that the body needs daily. So when one eats meat and more flesh food, he adds more cholesterol to the body. And those excesses often find themselves in the walls of the blood streams, notably the arteries that carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body.

Persistence accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries, tend to harden them, narrowing the tract, making the blood-flow very difficult, when the heart beats and pumps blood. Thus, there is pressure on the heart, and when continued, hypertension is occurred; the victim’s name is registered on the lists of hypertension patients.

As long as the individual continues eating meat, fresh fishes, eggs, milk, butter and cheese, the more these cholesterol are pilling on the walls of the arteries causing first arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which develops to high blood pressure, then heart attacks and diseases may be invited in, and eventually when the cholesterol has blocked the entire bloodstream –apoplexy which is popularly known as stroke occurs.

The blocked vessel will force the brain to send a vital force to help dilating the vessel to make the blood flow. By so doing, any weak capillaries in the brain raptures, causing drainage of the blood in the brain and the whole part of the brain is paralysed. The mouth twists at times, and the whole limbs of that half portion of the body are paralysed, stroke occurs. And it is difficult to cure, due to the “concrete-like” cholesterol blockage.

Cut down your meat intake; even if you will eat meat, toast it as the old people were eating, and occasionally too. The Bible advises man to toast meat before eating but modern man thinks he knows better than God – he eats everything. Now Christians preach that everything can be consumed. Many eat horrible creatures and wonderful devastated foods. But the Bible teaches that we must be selective, and if we want to eat meat and flesh foods, we must toast them to drain the fat, cholesterol and the diseased blood. Our God knows better (read Leviticus 3:17).

If we take Bible lessons we would live longer and stronger. Some do not want to gather wisdom from the Old Testament – all their attention is on the grace, grace, and grace. But we need to be careful of “extrapolation” where people believe that they can live anyhow and still please God and enter into the eternal kingdom: I do not believe that!

You can eat eggs but from healthy fowls, and it should not be more than three in a week. Remember, one egg-yolk contains 250mg of cholesterol and your body only needs 200mg. Milk is not mature person’s food, it is for nursing babies. When babies are teething the enzymes that digest milk disappears; which means it is not for mature people, that is why when one eats milk he constipates because it was not digested. Even at all you feel like eating milk, use soya milk. Coconut milk is also nutritious.

Instead of animal butter and chocolate, why not use ripped avocado pear in your bread; it is the best natural food cream, without cholesterol. Apart from palm oil and coconut oil, there is no plant food, which is a saturated fat or oil that produces cholesterol. So use palm oil and coconut oils sparingly with care. If possible, use soya, cotton seed, corn, and other vegetable, cholesterol free oils.

Mitletoe Leaves

Mistletoe Leaves

Mistletoe Leaves

Use only mistletoe leaves, the berries are poisonous; they should be strictly avoided. Dry the leaves, not much in sun, if possible under shade, for air-drying. Mash it with the palms to break it into fine granules, after exposing to the sun a bit to make it bristle.

Infuse two teaspoonfuls of the granule in a glass or tea cup of boiling water for about 10 minutes; strain, add honey and lemon juice and sip slowly but hot as you can stand. Take this tea 3 times daily before meals. Do this till you observe a big change. You can skip for some weeks, then you come back to it, till you see a big change. (But do not take it for a long time without a break). Cold infusion is the best: Soak overnight and use.

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