We had a surprising follow-up to a talk given to our MPH class by Mrs. Margaret Tagwira last week on the healing power of grain amaranth. Mrs. Tagwira was in the first class of MPH students to graduate from Africa University a few years ago, and she had done a research project on the healing power of amaranth. The results were unbelievably good, both for severely malnourished babies, and for people with HIV/AIDS who were severely malnourished. (This was before anti-retroviral drugs were available in Zimbabwe.) After being started on amaranth porridge, malnourished babies and AIDS patients alike regained lost appetites, gained weight, and had remarkable improvement clinically. More research needs to be done on amaranth, but the great clinical response is probably due to the fact that grain amaranth has higher levels of protein than any other plant source, as well as healing vitamins and antioxidants.
The surprise follow-up is that Mrs. Tagwira invited my class of MPH students to come to her lab to taste amaranth porridge and sadza. The class accepted her invitation eagerly, and so we all went to her lab at lunchtime Tuesday. She and her assistant had prepared a pot of pure amaranth porridge, plus a potful of amaranth and maize sadza. They had also prepared a Moringa leaf stew, prepared with the leaves of the Moringa tree, widely known for its nutritional healing qualities. Everything was delicious. We all had more than a taste. There was enough for everyone to have a plate of amaranth sadza, and it was so good that we all turned it into our lunch!