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University of The Gambia Medical Students Association: Health myths/benefits of the ‘mborr mborr’ tea

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011 R. Jobe

April 2023

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THE MBORR MBORR TEA

It’s always refreshing after long hours of fasting, easily accessible and cheap, some date it back to ancient times, linked to traditions and culture but do we know its benefits? Are we just drinking it for its aroma and great taste?

As you read this, be sipping your mborr mborr along.

The “mborr mborr“ as it is called it in Wolof, ”jambakatango” in Mandinka bears no specific scientific name, it is commonly referred to as the Gambian tea, but it comes in many forms, and comes from the family Lippia Chevalieri Moldenke.

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Taken with milk or taken plain, with or without sugar based on preference, the mborr mborr is very common in the Senegambian subregion. WHAT DOES MBORR MBORR CONTAIN?

  1. Mborr mborr is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, it could reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body and could protect your cells from damage. Hence, this may help athletes, as exercise causes stress and muscle damage in the body. Thus, taking mborr mborr tea could help rescue and fight against exercise-induced muscle damage in athletes. It also aids in joint pains due to this property.
  2. Taking mborrr mborr tea may deal with sleep issues. Research also confirmed that mborr mborr was used in the olden days to manage insomnia and induce sedation. It could have anti-anxiety and calming effects. These properties could also benefit those with insomnia (lack of sleep).
  3.  The combination of mborr mborr when combined with hibiscus (wonjo) helps to decrease fat build-up in the body, hence it is a recommended therapy for weight loss.
  4. Mborr mborr has a great impact in fighting bacteria and bacterial infections. Its extracts are usually in the manufacturing of topical antibiotic ointments.
  5. In Ghana, one old study found that this plant is used in the management for the treatment of arterial hypertension. It tended to maintain low blood pressure levels as well as assured adequate sleep and rest.
  6. It is traditionally used as an antimalarial, and for the treatment of respiratory diseases.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?

Though it is naturally safe to use mborr mborr, a recent study by (Dosoky and Setzer, 2021) found that its essential oils could increase the risk of birth defects. For this reason, pregnant women should not inhale aromatherapy( via inhalation of its vapour).

The European Medicine Agency (2020) also reports that pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid mborr mborr tea or extract, tincture, or syrups.

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Note: Both animals and humans have demonstrated numerous benefits of mborr mborr in many forms. Key areas of interest are improving sleep; weight management in combination with hibiscus and helping athletes. You can add other ingredients as well.

REFERENCE: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286157503_Lippia_chevalieri_Moldenke_a_brief_review_of_traditional_uses_phytochemistry_and_pharmacology

Article on Mborr Mborr by Professor Raphael Nyarkotey Obu

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