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Then read my ebook Principles For Living A Successful Life at http://www.booktango.com   ISBN  9781468945188

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Uses of Different Parts of the Oil Palm

The oil palm tree Elaeis guineensis is a tree found mainly in the tropical parts of the world, namely Africa and South East Asia. Elaeis guineensis is commonly called the African oil palm. Its close relative is the American oil palm Elaeis oleifera.

According to Wikipedia, ‘‘Human use of oil palms may date as far back as 5,000 years in West Africa; in the late 1800s, archaeologists discovered palm oil in a tomb at Abydos dating back to 3,000 BCE. It is thought that Arab traders brought the oil palm to Egypt.’’(en.wikipedia.org/../Elaeis_guineensis)

Oil palm is an important tree to many people in many parts of Africa because of the uses to which different parts of the tree can be put to. A variety of products can be obtained from this tree.

The nuts are used to make palm oil, the kernels of the palm nuts to produce palm kernel oil, and the leaves can be used to make brooms. Palm wine can be tapped from the flowers of the tree, the tree can be felled and used to grow mushrooms, and the tree serves as a home for a kind of bird known as the village weaver bird.

In this article, I take you through some of the ways in which this tree is beneficial to man (especially people living in Africa) and some birds, and the uses to which some parts of the tree can be put to.

Palm oil

Oil can be extracted from the pulp of the fruit. This oil is known as palm oil. The color of this oil is bright red. The palm oil can be obtained from the fruitlets by placing the fruitlets in a huge cylindrical steam oven. Each bunch of fruit has about 200 date-size fruitlets, which are tightly packed together. The steam oven sterilizes the fruit and helps to loosen the fruitlets from the bunch. The fruitlets are then separated from the bunch using a machine called a stripper. The detached fruitlets are then sent to a huge blender, where the fleshy outer pulp is separated from the nut. This fibrous outer flesh is then squeezed in a huge extruder, or press, to obtain crude palm oil. After being cleaned and refined, the palm oil is ready to be shipped.

According to Wikipedia, ‘‘for every 100kg of fruit bunches, typically 22kg of palm oil and 1.6kg of palm kernel oil can be extracted. The high oil yield of oil palms (as high as 7,200 liters per hectare per year) has made it a common cooking ingredient in South East Asia and Africa. Its increasing use in the commercial food industry in other parts of the world is buoyed by its cheaper pricing, the high oxidative stability of the refined product, and high levels of natural antioxidants.’’

Palm oil is the second most widely used vegetable oil in the world, after soybean oil. The World Book Encyclopedia says: ‘‘During the 1700s, the English used palm oil as a medicine and hand cream.’’ Today, it can be found in ice cream, margarine, shortening, and cooking oils, as well as in such nonfood products such as soaps and cosmetics.

Palm-kernel Oil

This is the second kind of oil that oil palm produces. The oil palm’s nut must first be cracked open to get at the kernel. Afterward, the kernels are pressed to release their precious liquid. This oil is what is called palm-kernel oil.

The dark looking residue from the kernel is very effective in healing wounds. When you have a sore and you apply about one fifth of a teaspoon to it, it will heal in a few days.

The residue from the kernel is also used to produce a nutritious livestock feed. Similarly, after the fruitlets have been stripped away, the remnants of the fruit bunches are returned to fields to serve as mulch.

The fruit’s fiber and shells are also recycled and are used as fuel for boilers of palm oil mills.

Brooms

The leaves of the oil palm can be used to make brooms. This is done manually. Some branches of the oil palm tree are cut off from the tree. Leaves of the branches are then pruned off. The leaves consist of a hard and stiff mid-rib which is brown in color. The rest of the leaf consist of the leaf blade which is green in color. A knife is used to separate the hard and stiff mid-rib from the soft part of the leaf, which is usually green in color. A number of such separated midribs are put together and tied with a piece of string or with a piece of rope. Brooms are used to clean dirt from the rooms of households.

Palm Wine

This is another product that can be obtained from the oil palm. It is derived from the sap of a number of different oil palm species. The sap is obtained by tapping and collecting the liquid in a receptacle from the inflorescence (flowers) of the tree. Tapping the stem or felling the tree are also means of obtaining sap. The sap that collects first is very sweet and non-alcoholic. It is white in color. Because of the presence of naturally-occurring yeast, the sweet palm wine ferments within hours into a mild alcoholic beverage which is sour. Palm wine is enjoyed by many people, especially men, during social gatherings.

Building Material

The leaves of the oil palm and palm branches can be used to roof houses, especially in rural Africa. It is used to make thatch. Younger, more flexible leaves are cut from the tree and transported to the construction site. The leaves are attached individually to a roof frame in an overlapping fashion. Leaves may be attached to a stick in the form of a panel before being affixed to the roof.

Handicrafts and Clothing

Palm leaf material can be used to make hats which are worn extensively in Africa. It is common to see market women wearing some of these hats to keep the rays of the sun from getting into their eyes.

The leaf fiber can be woven into cloth and made into clothing.

Sieve

Thin strips of leaflets are woven in a square or diagonal pattern to produce a rectangular or round sieve. Wood sticks are often incorporated into the edge to prevent fraying (the wearing away by rubbing) and make the sieve easier to handle. Sieves are used by women in kitchens to separate substances of different sizes.

Growing Mushrooms

Mushrooms have a number of nutritional benefits. They are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and are very low in sodium. They provide important nutrients including essential antioxidant selenium, potassium (a mineral), riboflavin, niacin (which are both vitamins), vitamin D and more. Antioxidants protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases. They help to strengthen the immune system as well. Mushrooms also provide nutrients that help protect against some cancers.

Oil palm can be used to produce mushrooms. When an oil palm tree is felled and the felled tree is left on the ground for a sufficiently long period of time and the conditions are ideal for the growth of mushrooms (the right humidity, ventilation, shade or sun, and temperature), oil palm mushrooms Volvariella volvacea grow on it.(www.mushroominfo.com)

A Home for Village Weaver Birds

A kind of bird which is usually found in villages in Africa makes its home in oil palm trees. The bird uses dry leaves of the oil palm tree to make its nest. The nest is shaped like the letter ‘‘9.’’ The interesting thing about their nest is that unlike the nests of many other species of birds which open upwards, this nest has its opening on the bottom. The bird therefore enters from the bottom and climbs up. These birds usually live in colonies and can strip many oil palm trees of their leaves.

These are some of the uses of this multipurpose tree. There are many other uses of this tree which have not been included in this article. The next time you eat an ice cream or put on make-up, think about the oil palm tree for it may be the ‘‘mother’’ which has given birth to that ‘‘baby.’’

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Prayer Is Very Important

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Three Key Things You Must Know About Prayer

Prayer is a conversation between a child of God and the heavenly Father. Some of us spend hours on the telephone speaking to our friends and relatives, and yet we feel no need to pray until we face some challenge which overwhelms us and defies all the efforts we make to try and solve it. Some persons never pray at all. They think they can get by on their own cleverness or with their own resources until they encounter some difficulty. But prayer is as vital for each individual as the food we eat and the water we drink. I share with you three key things you must know about prayer:

Ingredients Of Prayer

Prayer as an activity involves a number of ingredients. It involves adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.

Adoration is to praise God for  who He is. In adoration, we give God glory for who He is.

The second ingredient of prayer is confession. Confessing is acknowledging to God that we have fallen short of His high standard. It involves naming the sins that we commit everyday the fornication we commit physically and with our minds, the words of insult we use on other people, our wrong attitude to the challenges of life, the feelings of hatred and resentment we harbor in our hearts, our struggles with lustful thoughts and the many other ways in which we fail to obey God’s commandments.

Thanksgiving is the third ingredient of prayer. It is being grateful for the benefits the Lord has abundantly bestowed on us. We should thank God for the food He gives us every day, the air we breath, for our wonderfully made bodies, for the forgiveness of sins, for the peace of mind we enjoy, for the education we have had and other blessings He has showered on us.

The Place And Time For Prayer

You can pray anywhere and at all times. But make sure the environment is conducive for praying. Choose a quiet, serene environment where you can concentrate fully. You can pray along the seashore, on a housetop, by a riverside, in a high mountain, in a cave, while on a sick bed or in a plane. Pray morning, afternoon, and evening. Pray silently and thank God for His tender mercies. It is also proper to close the day with a prayer, confession and thanksgiving to God for seeing us through the events of another day.

Keys To Success In Prayer

God has promised to answer our prayers if we meet certain conditions. If we do not meet those conditions, He does not answer our prayers. If in our asking we ask from selfish motives, God does not promise to respond. If we pray simply because we want to gratify our self and satisfy our own pleasures, the bible says we ask amiss. Sometimes we desire great wealth and pray that God will bless us financially. But if you are asking so that you will live an opulent life and use your riches to intimidate people less privileged than you, then God will not answer your request.

If you do not care about reading the bible often, do not expect God to answer your prayers. Proverbs 28v9 says, ‘‘He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.’’

If you have an unforgiving spirit toward others, your prayers will not be answered. Jesus stated clearly that Christians who will not forgive others, will not be heard themselves when they ask for forgiveness. It is naive to expect God to answer our prayers if at the same time we are cherishing wrath and bitterness in our hearts toward others. If we pray while holding bitterness in our hearts toward others, our prayers are hypocritical, and God has not promised to hear.

Contention, misunderstandings and strife between husband and wife can be a serious hindrance to effective prayer. The wife must be subject to her husband or her prayers will be hindered. The husband is to love his wife, or his prayers will be hindered. Harmony in the home is required for our prayers to be answered. When two people unite in marriage, God sees them as one flesh and expects them to think together, plan together and pray together. Petty squabbles between husband and wife should be settled. Lack of agreement in the home will cause our prayers to be hindered. Some men are angels in public but devils at home. Some women are sweet in public but are peevish and nag incessantly at home. We should watch our attitude toward our life partner because that can affect the way God responds to our prayers.

Unconfessed sin will also hinder our prayers. If you practice sin in your life, God will not hear you. ‘‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me’’(Psalm 66v18). If we hold on to sin, and love it and make excuses for it, then we are separated from the Holy God. If your prayers are not reaching the throne of grace, search your life. There may be some evil hiding somewhere. Search your heart and your mind. It may be some questionable habit, some petty jealousy, some lustful passion, love of money, greed, pride or some other sin. Confess your sin, forsake it and restore your fellowship with the Lord.

Prayer is a vital link between the soul and God. It is a major source of spiritual power. It has helped many to get out of terrible situations they found themselves in. It has helped people to make a turn around in their lives and overcome enslaving habits. Work, go about your daily activities, but don’t forget to pray. Never neglect it.  

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Things You May Want To Know About Rabbits

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Rabbits are small, furry, gnawing animals which have long ears and stumpy tails. Some varieties are wild while others are domesticated. Most wild rabbits are brown in color. Domesticated rabbits may be white, black, brown, or a mixture of all these colors.

 

Their Home

Wild rabbits live together in large groups in underground burrows known as warrens. Each warren has many separate entrances into which the rabbits can dive when in danger. Domestic rabbits can be kept in rabbit hutches or they can be left to roam the yard of a house if there is a wall around the house and it is safe for them to do so.

Romance

A rabbit matures at the age of about six months, after which time it is able to breed. It breeds from four to eight times a year. Before mating, the male rabbit sniffs the rear part of the female. If the female is ready for mating she offers her rear part to the male. The male will sometimes go round the female and urinate on her when he wants to have sexual intercourse with the female. In domestic rabbits it is common to see a male rabbit romantically licking the fur on the head or on the neck of a female rabbit.

Childbirth

 Female rabbits give birth to between three and ten bunnies. The young are born naked with their eyes closed. After a few days the eyes of the young ones are open. Rabbits are able to reproduce rapidly. In one year an adult female can produce as many as thirty to forty young.

Lifestyle

Rabbits live entirely on land. They are very good at burrowing . They burrow through the ground rapidly by digging with their short  fore limbs and removing the earth by kicking it backwards with their hind legs. Each eye of a rabbit has an upper and a lower eyelid and a nictitating membrane. The nictitating membrane protects the eyes from dust while the rabbit burrows. On the face of the rabbit, at the sides of the mouth on the upper lip are the whiskers. The whiskers are sensitive to touch. The whiskers help the rabbit to determine the width of the burrow.

Their Fur

The body of the rabbit is covered with a warm, furry coat which protects the skin of the rabbit. The fur also helps to prevent the loss of water from the body by evaporation. The skin of the rabbit contains oil glands. The oil glands provide the fur  with oils and fats which make the hairs supple and less likely to break.

Diet

Wild rabbits eat mainly leaves and young shoots of plants and grasses. Domestic rabbits eat anything you give them. The peeling of yam seems to be their favorite delicacy. They really love it. They also like the leaves of dandelion, the leaves of plantain, gari, and cassava which has been chopped into small pieces. Carpet grass is one type of grass they enjoy eating. They really eat a lot. If they have access to food, they eat throughout the day, occasionally taking short breaks to rest.

They Are Sharp

Their senses of sight, hearing and smell are very keen. It is able to move very rapidly. When one rabbit senses that there is danger, it runs for a short distance and gives a danger signal to other rabbits near-by by hitting its tail against the ground. By its keen senses of sight, hearing and smell, the rabbit immediately becomes aware of the approach of its enemies. The outer part of their ear is movable and capable of receiving sound waves from all directions. The eyes of the rabbit are placed in such a way that the rabbit can look backwards without  having to turn its head.

They Are Fast

Rabbits are capable of speedy action and good acceleration. They move along the ground in a series of hops. Sometimes a rabbit will run for a few meters, jump into the air and touch its two hind legs together. Rabbits are also able to make sudden side leaps.

Rabbit Meat

The meat of rabbits is very lean meat. The amount of fat in the meat is very low. Rabbit meat is therefore very healthy to consume, unlike other kinds of meat which contain a considerable amount of fat.

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