IMAG4287 It is a common office knowledge that I love my budding, little cactus garden.  Not a renowned gardener, I settled on cacti because I know that they are nigh indestructible.

No chance I could accidentally murder one of those.

They grow in almost all environments and thrive on a mouthful of water every two weeks.

However, my cactus sanctuary has led me to be curious. Why are they so popular?

As it turns out they are linked to hundreds of studies that prove they have immense healing properties and their juice is used in caseloads of treatments for all different types of illnesses.

When I heard this, I started to get a little prouder of my prickly plants. This needed some more research.

I found out that cacti contain anti-tumor, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties. In addition, experts say that the cactus has the capacity to prevent cancerous growth of cells. The prickly pear cactus for instance, has enjoyed enough significance with respect to its medicinal value. It can help with:

  • Helpful in the treatment of type 2 diabetes
  • Helps in the treatment of hyperlipidemias (increased or abnormal level of lipids in the blood)
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • Helps manage conditions of overweight and obesity
  • Prevents cancer
  • Heals wounds
  • Helps treat BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) symptoms

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    The San Pedro

The San Pedro cactus has high medicinal value as well. Some health benefits derived from a juice prepared from the San Pedro cactus can prevent the burning of the bladder and kidneys and helps treat conditions of high fever and hepatitis.

hoodia-cactus

Hoodia

 Hoodia is another cactus-like plant which is popularly grown in South Africa and is renowned for its appetite suppressing quality and hence effectively used in the treatment of obesity.

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The Prickly Pear

The Prickly Pear, also known as Opuntia, is a very popular herb. Forming an important part of the ancient Mexican culture, the prickly pear is abundant in flavonoids which are an important antioxidant property. Antioxidants have a detoxifying effect on the body thereby preventing cellular damage which is the path to cancers, ageing and other health problems.

The status of cactus has evolved over time from being just a crop to a cure or healer for various human ailments. Dishes prepared from the pulp of the opuntia fruit have become very popular today. Traditionally, the prickly pear cactus was also used to treat diabetes.

Considering the medicinal value of cacti, natural food companies are not only supplying prickly pear cacti but also offering recipes and dishes prepared from the fruit and pads of the cacti plant or herb.

If I didn’t have a reason to keep my cacti before, I have several now!

 

11692499_10152911115011867_9159712033910879190_n  By Lisa Mitchell

To find out more about Lisa, or the rest of the PosAbility team visit the Meet The Team section.