Ghanaian Moringa Enriches Local Society and the Western World

Leaves of Magic moringa (Photo courtesy of Sedem Gavua)
Leaves of Magic offers organic moringa from Ghana so North Americans can learn more about and benefit from this enriching superfood. Sedem Gavua founded the company in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada in March of 2017 to promote the usage of Ghanaian herbal remedies in the west. Gavua was born and raised in Toronto. A few years after completing her degree in psychology at York University, she moved to Ghana, her parents’ native country. “What I noticed about Ghana is that there is a huge herbal community. The use of herbal medicine is very prominent in that society,” said Gavua. “Whereas over here in the west, it’s kind of something that is growing in popularity and becoming more mainstream now.” Watching her father chew on a meem stick, which is used to treat malaria, was one thing that inspired her to bring African wellness practices to the west. Her family’s Ghanaian home is surrounded by lush vegetation, such as lemon trees, lemongrass, aloe vera, and more… but it was the moringa tree that captured her interest. Moringa is a natural multivitamin that is used for many ailments in Ghana. It is potent in several nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, protein, iron and calcium, so a little goes a long way. In Ghana, it is often used in cooking and in healing elixirs. After two years in Accra, Ghana, she returned to the Toronto area and moringa became the foundation of her business. Gavua, who is a certified herbalist in Ghana under the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners, said, “If your body is getting the proper nutrition, it’s going to do what it’s supposed to do and heal itself.” She added, moringa supports healthy skin, hair, nails and other areas of the body and good health.
Organic moringa leaves (Getty Images/ Niteenrk)
She imports the moringa from an organic permaculture farm in Ghana to support Ghanaian labor and commerce. Gavua said classism exists in Ghana and spoke of how life in Ghanaian society is a struggle for many people. “When it comes to our purchasing power, I feel like people should be more proactive and conscious about it, because it does help people.” Gavua said. “It keeps people working.” Several industries in Ghana have collapsed, such as canned tomatoes, rice and yams. Now these foods are imported rather than being grown within the country and creating jobs for people, she noted. The primary packaging center for Leaves of Magic is in Ghana, and Gavua plans to open an additional location in Canada. Leaves of Magic offers moringa in loose leaf tea, tea bags, and powder formats. The three loose leaf flavors are: Moringa, Moringa Sobolo Hibiscus, and Moringa Lemongrass, which is also available in tea bag format. The powder is pure moringa. Public reception to Leaves of Magic products has been very positive, said Gavua. Currently, Leaves of Magic herbs can be purchased online on the company’s website, ebay and etsy. The products are also sold wholesale and in retail at Green Planet Fine Foods in Toronto, Healthy Living Plus in Etobicoke, Ontario, at Nature’s Alternate in Lafayette, Colorado and in five stores in Ghana. Gavua returns to Ghana annually and plans to source additional herbs from the country. As her company grows, she intends to continue to help Ghanaian society by donating to the Dzi Wopoano Nyi Foundation, which is building a school for underprivileged children.