Cactus can be good food

By Victoria Nampala

Added 15th August 2017 05:29 PM

Cactus leaves contain food values such as Vitamins, Minerals, which are good in controlling many types of cancers.

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Cactus leaves contain food values such as Vitamins, Minerals, which are good in controlling many types of cancers.

The plant is shunned by people because of its spikes and bristles. It is found in homes acting as a flower in most cases but besides being a home decoration plat, it is associated with much food, medicinal values attached to it worth to try out now

Cactus leaves can help alleviate ailments from high cholesterol to different types of cancer due to the many food values like Vitamins, Minerals thus prolonging one’s life and it does not have any smell.

According to Peterson Kikomeko, nutritionist from Kyambogo University, cactus can be crushed to make juice which is used to treat wounds, stomach swellings, digestive problems and urinary tract infections.

Gardeners showing crops f cactus during backyard gardening show at Sheraton Hotel recently

He adds that, the juice is also used as a weight loss aid to treat obesity and overweight. The natural extract is a useful remedy for alcohol hangovers, and the plant's gel-like sap is often used as a hair conditioner.

“Cactus can be eaten and it has very nutritious flowers, fruits and leaves” he says.

Kikomeko however warns the public against the negative side effects cactus brings to some people like mild diarrhea, Nausea and increase stool Volume.

“Huge amount are  good but  very deadly so to children since they can take the juice any time as it does not have any taste to stop them, thus parents are advised to keep the juice away from children” says Kikomeko

Ruth Banoba , gardener from Mulago says, cactus are her favorite flowers at home and many people are of late frequenting her home to buy the flower and she sells it at Sh50.000.


“ I had not known the secret behind cactus until I discovered the hidden secrete and it actually taste like tea though I blend it with passion and make very good juice for my family” says Banoba

Dietician Denis Katanku, Uganda heart Institute says that Cactus intake in form of juice reduce the risk of heart disease which maintains the normal heartbeat and rhythm all the time.

“ the plant in found in almost every home but unfortunately it is just kept as a good and humble flower to beautify the home yet it is a medicine that can keep a doctor a way for long once used” he says

He continues that, ever since he realized the cactus importance, he normal buys the plant mostly from plant exhibitions  which take place in town but also available in the forest as wild animals also eat its leaves and fruits mostly in dry seasons.

“Attending agricultural exhibitions is now part of my journeys as I look forward to find cactus there in different types available and I keep them at home safely though they are very expensive”, says Kikomeko


Cactus protects the liver. This is because, it has free radicles which are neutralized by antioxidants that absorb toxins thus helping the liver to flush out harmful toxins from the body.

Agnes Baku, head of Nutrition unit in ministry of health advocates for cactus juice to be included on every family meal in a home because of its many nutritional values which can make a person free from many diseases but argues about small consumptions due to the adverse side effects if consumed wrongly.

“Let parents be taught the right quantity to consume like in juice, leaves so that the long lines that pile up at the health facilities reduce since cactus reduces the high risks of falling sick from any disease.

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