Deep Breath at Nine Elms

 

It may not be a ‘miracle cure’, but colleagues of CWU member Jerry Yamoa say his asthma remedy really works. And hay fever sufferers aren’t sneezing at it either. Kay Holmes reports.

At the Royal Mail centre in London’s Nine Elms, there’s an unofficial medical test going on that could take the sneeze out of summer for thousands of asthma and hay fever sufferers.

Jerry Yamoa, a phg at the bookroom in Nine Elms, has a natural remedy for asthma based on a secret recipe passed down to him by his Ghanaian grandmother, Akua Asirifia. “She lived to 107 and the doctor in her village used to refer patients with asthma to her for his cure,” says Jerry. “Eventually, after I pestered her a lot, she told me which tree it was that she used.” The Yamoa powder is basically the finely ground bark of a particular type of tree found only in Ghana. As such, it’s a totally natural remedy, though Jerry has no idea why it works.

CWU (Communication Workers Union) Voice, June 1998. Author: Kay Holmes

Jerry contacted CWU Voice after reading about a member disciplined for having to take time off due to asthma. Despite some scepticism where medicine and money is involved, it was hard to discount the 20 or more people who crowded around Jerry at Nine Elms to confirm that they or their loved ones had been helped by his mystery powder. Reeta Gujadhur, a phg at Nine Elms for five years, told how her daughter Karuna had had asthma since she was 18 months old. “The doctor had given her inhalers, but I was worried about her taking steroids, so I tried Jerry’s powder last year and she’s been fine ever since.”

Postman Kantilal Kerai was diagnosed with asthma three years ago. “I already had hay fever, then one day I started getting chest pains and the doctor told me it was asthma connected to my hay fever. I was given Ventolin (a common asthma medicine), which didn’t work, then a stronger drug. I was taking those for a year and just getting worse, then a colleague suggested I tried this Yamoa powder. I used to put it in tea. That was two years ago and I have had no symptoms of asthma since. I had chest pains, wheeziness, eyestrain, shortness of breath. It’s all gone. I feel so much better.”

Phg Selma Carr endured the misery of hay fever for three years. “I’d never want to go through that again,” she shudders. “The doctor gave me this pump, but it didn’t really work. Then I was talking to Jerry one day and I started taking his treatment last year. It’s May now and I used to have to start taking sprays for hay fever in February, but I’m fine and it seems so natural.”

Postwoman Margaret Amissah was also reassured by the naturalness of the powder when she gave it to her eleven year old daughter Anastasia. “She had asthma and very severe hay fever in summer – really badly itchy eyes and she really is cured now.”

George Gyamfi, a postman at Nine Elms, had difficulty breathing and medicine prescribed by his doctor was no help. He mixed some Yamoa powder with honey and says: “ my problems had disappeared by the time I reached the last spoonful and I’ve not had any since.”

Fellow Ghanaian postman Vincent Larbi had no hesitation in trying Jerry’s powder when his wife suffererd from hayfever and asthma. “Herbal remedies are quite usual in Ghana, so she was quite happy to use it, and her asthma and hayfever have disappeared.”

One of the most unusual features of Jerry’s powder is that it seems to be a one-off treatment. One bottle mixed with honey or water lasts around a month and apparently banishes asthma or hay fever entirely, as opposed to the lifetime of steroids and other drugs required by a conventional medical approach. Jerry has tried and failed to get large drug companies interested in his product – and he has the perennial problem of lack of financial backing to get the Yamoa Powder tested as a medicine himself. But he hasn’t given up and another company has expressed interest in marketing his cure as a health food.

How does Yamoa work?

Independent researchers from Montana State University in the USA have determined how the unique active ingredients found in Yamoa correct your immune system to respond normally to allergens.

Yamoa works on the root cause of your symptoms by altering your immune system’s response to allergens, normalising your reaction to them and so eradicating symptoms.

Because Yamoa changes the immune system and doesn’t just manage or mask symptoms, like many people you may find that a two month course is enough Yamoa™ to give you long-lasting benefits.

Powerful properties

Other powerful properties discovered in Yamoa™ by independent researchers from London, France and the Ivory Coast combine to make it a wonderful all-round health supplement.

The top 5 Yamoa™ research findings:

• An effective anti-inflammatory
• Improves white blood cell counts
• Yamoa polysaccharides stimulate innate immunity
• An effective antibacterial
• Yamoa slants allergic immune response on a molecular level

Frequently asked questions

1. What exactly is Yamoa?

Yamoa™ Powder comes in 30gm containers of pure Funtumia elastica ground bark powder. The Yamoa™ Capsules contain 500mg pure Funtumia elastica ground bark powder, 10mg Magnesium stearate B.P., and a vegan cellulose capsule.
Yamoa™ powder 30gm contains pure Funtumia elastica bark powder. The capsules are pure powder with a small amount of magnesium stearate as an anti-caking agent, and a cellulose (vegan) capsule.
POWDER: Mix the entire contents of the 30gm bottle thoroughly with an average size jar of honey, about 1lb (454gm). Stir well until the powder is completely mixed, also stir the mixture each time you use it. Adults: One 5 ml standard teaspoonful twice a day for one month continuously. Children: under the age of 12: Half a 5ml teaspoon twice a day for one month continuously. OR take 1/4 of a 5ml teaspoon of powder twice a day with a glass of water or fruit juice, tea or any beverage, an eighth of a teaspoon for children. FOR BEST RESULTS, FINISH ENTIRE MIXTURE EVEN IF RELIEF IS FOUND AT AN EARLY STAGE OF TREATMENT. CAPSULES: Adults: 1 capsule twice a day (morning and evening) with water. Children aged 12 and under: 1/2 capsule twice a day (morning and evening) mixed in honey or jam, maple syrup or other foodstuff to mask bitter taste. If the child is old enough to swallow the capsule, only half of the powder will require mixing with honey (or other). IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO STOP YOUR OR YOUR CHILDS CURRENT MEDICATION WITHOUT YOUR DOCTORS ADVICE.
The guide is really just twice a day, at a decent interval of a good 6-8 hours - it does not have to be specifically at mealtimes, although people usually find it easier not to forget to take the dose if taken at these benchmarks in the day.
The pure Yamoa™ should be emptied completely into the honey and mixed thoroughly, then stirred before each dose is taken. Using the right amount of honey/jam (approx. 1lb/454gm) ensures that the correct dose is taken. Please remember a child's dose is half a teaspoon of the mixture, and the mixture will be taken over approximately 2 months in all for a child.
You can mix it with a jam, brown rice syrup, pure maple syrup, water or any beverage. It can also be sprinkled into baby cereals or yoghurt for young children or babies - honey is not recommended for babies under 1 year due to the risk of Botulism (bacteria in honey). Yamoa™ tastes bitter, so it is better mixed with something sweet. If you are a diabetic, you are best advised to mix it with a low sugar carrier. We have Yamoa™ in Capsule form, which is ideal for people who cannot take Yamoa™ mixed in honey.
Most people find they get results within the first two months. Some people obviously need more than two months, but some people do take the powder for longer for a variety of reasons. Many people experience changes in their condition within the first two weeks, but it is best to take the mixture until the course is finished entirely.
It has been a long-term solution for many people. We tend generally to supply second courses to people who are re-ordering on behalf of their friends or relatives rather than themselves, but obviously some people may require follow-up treatment consecutively or the following season. Others tend to buy again for themselves to have the product to hand 'just in case'. It is a very subjective remedy, and we cannot categorically say that you will only need the one course.
We have found that people who have had their condition for many years, and who are in the senior age bracket, have generally required more than one course of Yamoa™ before beginning to feel substantial benefits. This may be down to the fact that the condition is long-standing, and that an older person has a longer history of illness and stress, which may mean a reduced immune system capacity, which may make it harder to recover from a condition as quickly as a younger person or a child. With this in mind, it may mean that although Yamoa™ may not appear to improve your condition within a month, it may need longer to establish its healing properties and boost your immune system against the triggers which cause your asthma. Persevering with Yamoa™ for more than one month may therefore bring better results.
Hay fever sufferers have been known to take Yamoa™ in the winter, and it has remained effective for the following hay fever season. Others have found relief from their symptoms after taking it at the beginning of the season. Others find they take it at the beginning of the season each year. Most people who take it whilst they are suffering symptoms, find relief within a couple of weeks of taking it. It is always recommended to take the dose every day until the course is finished completely even if relief is found early on in treatment. One course (two months) is usually enough for one person.
We have had isolated reports (from single people) of a reaction of a rash, water-retention, a tickly cough, stomachache and palpitations (when taking blood pressure tablets also). Some people may respond initially to Yamoa™ with what is termed as a 'healing reaction' (sometimes known as a healing 'crisis' or Herxheimer reaction). This is when symptoms seem to worsen before they start to improve, and it can be quite alarming for some people, particularly asthma sufferers. Please bear this in mind, and although it is rare with Yamoa™, it is common with many complimentary therapies. Please be sure, particularly if you suffer from respiratory attacks such as in asthma, that you always carry your emergency medication with you at all times, even if you feel Yamoa™ has helped you combat your condition. We do not recommend you take Yamoa™ if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you are on blood pressure medication. We also do not recommend mixing the powder with honey or another sweet carrier if you suffer from fungal infections in the respiratory tract (see Powder versus Capsules questions below). If you find you are experiencing any adverse symptoms from taking Yamoa™, please let us know. Please see our 'drug interactions' question.
We have had feedback from one lady regarding a possible interaction between Yamoa™ and her daily dose of 0.5mg of Norvasc (blood pressure medication), resulting in palpitations which increased in severity the longer she used the powder. She ceased use of the powder, and her palpitations disappeared after a few days. This is the only drug interaction we know of to date. Tests to establish whether it could interact with any one medication taken by any given individual are impossible to conduct due to the enormity of the task (there are so many drugs and drug combinations being taken), that we cannot give a conclusive guarantee that this will never happen, therefore it is strictly your decision as to whether you will go ahead and use Yamoa™ whilst on your current medications. If you experience any signs that an adverse reaction is happening to you when you take Yamoa™, you must stop immediately and consult your healthcare specialist, and inform us so that we can advise others of possible interactions.
We do not recommend that pregnant or breastfeeding women or people on High Blood pressure medications take Yamoa™.
Yamoa™ has been microbiologically analysed to clinically confirm that it is free from nasties such as Salmonella and E-Coli, Faecal Coliforms and Faecal streptococci. The conclusion to the tests was: "The analyses undertaken provided no evidence of the presence of pathogenic bacteria on any of the samples examined". Further research (Graff JC et al, Polysaccharides derived from Yamoa™ (Funtumia elastica) prime γδ T cells in vitro and enhance innate immune responses in vivo, Int Immunopharmacol (2009), doi:10.1016/j.intimp.2009.07.015) found that Yamoa™ in fact "may be effective as therapeutic innate immunostimulants in Salmonella enterica serotype typhimurium infection and potentially other infectious disease settings." It has also been tested by the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (MINISTRY OF HEALTH), Ghana, by S. Osafaro-Mensah MSc. These tests were performed between 1996 and 1998. Mr Osafaro's conclusions to the tests were "The investigation and clinical trials conducted have shown that Yamoa™ is safe for human use...and when the bark is dried it can be safely stored for up to 6yrs before being ground for use". A peer reviewed scientific research paper, (Graff JC et al, Polysaccharides derived from Yamoa™ (Funtumia elastica) prime γδ T cells in vitro and enhance innate immune responses in vivo, Int Immunopharmacol (2009), doi:10.1016/j.intimp.2009.07.015) conducted by Montana State University's Molecular Biology department determined that Yamoa™ "appears safe" with "no evidence of toxic or other adverse effects". Jodi Hedges, one of the lead researchers on Yamoa™ explained when interviewed, "We think that in vivo the main response to polysaccharides is that they prime the cells, to better respond to other signals. They do not overtly stimulate the cells, and they do not induce inflammatory cytokines. Targeting these gd T cells and NK cells is nifty because these cells are not the source of strong damaging cytokines like IL-1, IL-6 and TNFa, these come from macrophages. gd T cells and NK cells are anti-inflammatory in many situations, and polysaccharides may enhance that capacity as well. Macrophages are not known for this, but also do not appear to be a primary target for these polysaccharides (if they were, we would see more inflammation not less).”
The main differences are the ease of use, the ability to maintain an accurate dosage and the compatibility with a strict sugar or carbohydrate free diet, such as that of a diabetic or someone trying to lose weight, or even someone who needs to avoid sugars due to candidiasis, etc. If you suffer from fungal infections in the respiratory tract, it is better to take the capsules than the honey mixture, or at least do not mix the loose powder into honey or a sweet carrier as the sugar will only exacerbate the condition and it may become worse rather than improve. If you do not know whether you are suffering from a fungal infection, it may be better to opt for the capsules to err on the side of caution.
The loose powder is better for those suffering from seasonal allergies or hay fever when mixed with a local honey, as the honey will itself help to strengthen the immune system against local pollens. It is also more suitable for those suffering from conditions such as MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) as it does not have the added presence of magnesium stearate, as in the capsules. If you suffer from fungal infections in the respiratory tract, it is better to take the capsules than the honey mixture, or at least do not mix the loose powder into honey or a sweet carrier as the sugar will only exacerbate the condition and it may become worse rather than improve. If you do not know whether you are suffering from a fungal infection, it may be better to opt for the capsules to err on the side of caution.
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