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August 25, 2016 | Feature Article

Does Drinking Hibiscus Tea also known as “Sobolo” by Ghanaian men diagnosed with Prostate cancer have any effect on Prostate Specific Antigen?

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Well, I was amazed myself after my research on the Hibiscus tea known as ‘Sobolo’ in Ghana and Prostate health. I always thought green tea was excellent for prostate health but after reading more scientific papers on this great plant I have decided to do more extensive work on it. My research currently with Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca City, Cyprus which recently appointed me as a research Professor of Prostate Cancer and alternative medicine for five years is on this plant.

So if you thought green tea was the healthiest tea you could drink, let me introduce another possibility to you: hibiscus tea. In fact, hibiscus tea contains more antioxidants than the top of the line green tea, matcha tea, and it doesn’t contain caffeine. You may find you like the taste even better than other teas. So what should men know about the healthiest tea in the world as I start my extensive research on this plant? It is everywhere in Ghana, you drink it, but are we doing something right about the hibiscus tea. Anywhere, watch out for my recommended version of how to use hibiscus tea. Avoid adding sugar, whether brown or refined. Sugar is a fuel for cancer cells.

What is Hibiscus Tea?
Hibiscus is a bright colored flowering plant that is native to tropical and subtropical areas of the world, but especially China, Egypt, Mexico, Sudan, and Thailand. More than 200 species belong to the genus Hibiscus, and the plant is often referred to sorrel or flor de Jamaica (or sometimes just Jamaica). The flowers are trumpet shaped and consist of five or more petals with colors that range from white to yellow, pink, red, purple, or orange.

The plant typically used to make hibiscus tea is from the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower. Hibiscus tea is an excellent source of various organic acids (e.g., citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid), as well as vitamin C and minerals. The tea has a cranberry-like color and flavor and is tart, so you may want to add a little natural sweetener.

Perhaps the most important thing that can be said about hibiscus tea is that it is one of the richest sources of antioxidants in a beverage in the world. In a study published in Nutrition Journal , researchers explained how they developed a comprehensive food database that listed the antioxidant content of more than 3,100 foods, spices, beverages, herbs, and supplements.

After analyzing 283 different beverages, hibiscus tea beat matcha green tea when it came to antioxidant content. Remember that Matcha green tea is the best green tea in the world but Hibiscus beats it. Wow! While green tea is still a very good beverage choice for antioxidants, hibiscus tea tops the list.

Over the centuries, hibiscus has been valued for its ability to support heart health, soothe upper respiratory conditions, help skin health, and relieve constipation, but the one condition that has been supported by research is high blood pressure.

My Postdoctoral research submitted to Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine is titled: “Does Drinking Hibiscus Tea also known as “Sobolo” by Ghanaian men diagnosed with Prostate cancer have any effect on Prostate Specific Antigen”

Remember, the PSA is the best marker in terms of the disease monitoring or progression if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Brief Overview:
Prostate cancer is a central issue of concern in the black communities. Black men have higher chances of getting prostate cancer than men of other races. Black men have 60% chances of getting prostate cancer and more form of the aggressive cancer when diagnosed with the disease. Race is one of the key risk factors of getting prostate cancer as the skin of black men acts as a protective covering from getting the right amount of Vitamin D level needed for prostate health.

Vitamin D and prostate cancer has a correlation. Conventional treatment of prostate cancer such as surgery, irradiation, hormone therapy et al is not without side effects which rather end up in death of the patient rather than the disease itself. Not all men diagnosed with prostate cancer need treatment. Therefore there is the need for evidenced based alternative ways of managing prostate cancer in men diagnosed with the disease in Ghana and black communities. Alternative medicine plays a key role in the management of prostate cancer and dealing with the side effect of conventional treatment.

In Ghana about 80% of the population rely on alternative medicine and the practice is regulated by the ministry of Health under the auspices of the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Practice Council. There is therefore the need to further research into alternative medicine in Ghana and train more professionals in the field.

Existing orthomolecular research indicates that most cancers may be treated with the same regimen of vitamins because orthomolecular treatments for cancer do not focus on the cancer tissues themselves, but rather attempt to boost the body’s own natural defense system to control the cancerous growths.

This research offers a novel examination of this problem in the light of more Ghanaians relying on one alternative medicine to treat prostate cancer. I have been investigating into prostate cancer in Ghana and helping to raise awareness with policy formulation with the recent proposal of father’s day as national prostate cancer awareness day in Ghana.

This work is a natural outgrowth from my PhD thesis, which dealt with a number of aspects of the alternative medicine impact on Ghanaian men diagnosed with prostate cancer in particular with the use of local plant Croton membranaceus. In this current research which aims to conduct extensive research into areas of alternative medicine for five (5) years. The project would help deal with the side effect of conventional prostate cancer treatment and improve quality of life (QOL) of men diagnosed with prostate cancer and also as a preventive medicine.

Research Interests and Goals
My research interests are focused on the prostate cancer in black men, prostate cancer screening in black communities, orthomolecular oncology, functional medicine and integrative approach to prostate cancer management in Ghanaian men.

Specifically, I am interested in examining the effects of alternative medicine use in Ghanaian men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

This observational study will not only yield a deeper basic understanding of alternative medicine and prostate cancer management in Ghana by men diagnosed with the disease. But also, the evolutionary processes of new era of medicine in the system in management of prostate cancer and finding ways to deal with the side effect of conventional prostate cancer treatment. It may aid in finding a breakthrough in cancer management and also help in finding how alternative medicine can act as a natural immunotherapy agent to aid breakthrough in prostate cancer treatment using alternative ways.

Previous Doctoral Research
Summary
My doctoral work centered on the impact of alternative medicine use in Ghanaian men of West African descent diagnosed with prostate cancer and the sue of local plant croton membranaceus and gave promise, inter alia, of improvement of croton membranaceus and prostate cancer treatment in Ghana by the Herbal Practitioners, and of the deepening of our understanding of the role of alternative medicine in prostate cancer management and root evolutionary causes of high prostate diseases in Ghana

Therapeutic relevance
In the PhD research, the work provided the best knowledge in the use of croton membranaceus in the management of men diagnosed with prostate cancer and the role of alternative medicine in the management of prostate cancer

Proposed Research
Background
The use of Herbal teas are used widely as preventive medicine in Asia and others to deal with the side effect of conventional prostate cancer treatment. The research would help to redefine and bring hibiscus tea use in Ghana in the management of prostate cancer to ascertain its anticancer properties like the Green tea. This research would be the first of its kind in Ghana for research to focus on prostate cancer and the Hibiscus tea.

Proposal
In contrast, I propose a two stage approach to the study of the hibiscus plant on PSA level of prostate cancer in Ghanaian men. My approach examines the quality of life (QOL) effects of Ghanaian men diagnosed with prostate cancer and the use of hibiscus tea.

Stage One would look at the PSA level of Ghanaian men diagnosed with prostate cancer before the use of hibiscus tea and the quality of life after.

Stage Two is an “observational study “ to look at the effect of drinking hibiscus tea on PSA level of the men diagnosed with prostate cancer and the effects of that specific anticancer effect and the quality of life

This approach leverages many millions of years of wisdom of the use of PSA in the management of men diagnosed with prostate cancer. The PSA is the best marker in terms of the disease progression or monitoring. This research could greatly expedite the process not only on developing “cocktails” or refined versions of hibiscus tea in Ghana used on occasion or fun but also to bring the novel holistic healing and therapeutic effects, and/or dealing with the diminished side effects of conventional prostate cancer treatment, but also on refining and/or further research into testing models of the hibiscus tea.

Among others, I will apply this two-stage approach to the study of the mechanism of action of the hibiscus tea and its use in the management of prostate cancer.

However, this approach, if successful, could be generalized for application to holistic healing of many complex human cancers.

My PhD research transforms the static ‘snapshots’ of prostate cancer in Ghana and the way forward for black men. The research engineered the Ghana Prostate Cancer Awareness Campaign. The research also engineered integrative approach in prostate cancer management in Ghana. The value of this kind of modelling is that it empowers the patients to take charge of their own health and deal with the side effect of conventional prostate cancer treatment.

In order to do this, I have been engaged in the following work:

  1. Researching locally into prostate cancer and raising awareness on the disease in Ghana

  1. Formulating prostate cancer policies in Ghana and pushing for the declaration of father’s day in Ghana as national prostate cancer awareness day to strengthen the fight against the disease.

  1. Researching into alternative medicines and the key role it plays in the management of men diagnosed with prostate cancer as the national president of the Alternative Medical Association of Ghana(AMAG)

  1. Have been playing key role into national policies and streamlining alternative medicine practitioners in Ghana and drafting curriculum in courses in alternative medicine in Ghana.

Conclusion
In summary, my approach to understanding prostate cancer treatment and the use of alternative medicine has changed considerably after my PhD research. I see more patients and support them with this approach. This current postdoc work would bring the hibiscus plant into the limelight of Medical science.

If you are interested in this project also please kindly contact me as holistic Urology is the key to support men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Support my work in any form, cash or knowledge. Thank you

Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a Research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Holistic Medicine at Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca City, Cyprus. He is the National President of the Alternative Medical Association of Ghana (AMAG). A registered alternative Medical practitioner with specialty in orthomolecular oncology, Prostate Cancer Policy maker and researcher. He can be reached on 0541090045. E mail: [email protected]

Raphael Nyarkotey Obu
Raphael Nyarkotey Obu

Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a Research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Alternative Medicine –Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca City, Cyprus. He is the president of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine at Tema, Com 7 Post Office, affiliated to Da Vinci College in Cyprus and the

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Raphael Nyarkotey Obu and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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