The Wanders Of Pepper Fruit; A Must Read
Pepper fruit is a pepperish, spicy, and medicinal plant. The peppery effect produced by the fruits when it’s chewed tends to stimulate people while chewing it. It has a green color when unripe and red or pink color when ripe. It is found in most states in Nigeria.
Its botanical name is Dennettia tripetala. It is called mmimmi by the Igbos, Igberi by the Yorubas and ako by the Bini’s.
Pepper fruit flourishes in savanna zone and ripens between April and May.
Most people prefer these fruits when chewed raw. It is used for preparing food and herbal medicines.
The leaves and root give the fruit that spicy, pepper taste, and smell.
The leaves can be dried and kept for a long time and then used in preparing herbal medicine.
The root, leaves, stem, and the fruit itself is useful in preparing traditional herbs/ medicine.
It is used in seasoning food such as soup, stew, sauces, vegetables, etc. It is also added to zobo in place of ginger.
The fruit contains essential and volatile oils which give it the harsh/pepperish aroma perceived.
In Igbo land, during ceremonies like traditional marriages, coronation, festivals, naming ceremony, and cultural ceremony, pepper fruit is served with bitter kola, kola nuts, gardens egg, and palm wine.
The fruits contain some nutrients and phytochemicals some of which includes:
- fatty acid
- vitamins A and C
Uses of Pepper Fruit
Although it has not been proven medically, it is used to relieve different health conditions.
Pepper Fruit contains some anticonvulsant compounds and helps to heal convulsion in infants.
It is also used in treating typhoid, malaria, some liver, and kidney problems in adults.
Used in treating convulsion
For the treatment of convulsion, the leaves are squeezed and the liquids are extracted. The extract is given to infants for the treatment of convulsion.
The fruit oil also contains nutrients that are anticonvulsant.
For those with Sleeping problems, they are advised to take more of Pepper Fruit as it nutrient induces sleep.
The seeds are used in preparing special kinds of food for women immediately after delivery to aid contraction of the uterus.
It’s also taken to heal wound/injury sustained during childbirth.
Used for making traditional herbs
The parts of the fruits such as its leaves, root, stem, and the fruit are used for making traditional herbs/ medicine for treating malaria, typhoid, stomach upset, fever, cold, and cough, pains, etc.
Rich in Antioxidants
Pepper fruits contain ascorbic acid and flavonoids. These antioxidants prevent radicals/chemicals from causing damage to the body Organs during oxidation thereby causing discomfort in the body or sicknesses.
Unripe pepper fruits are highly rich in these antioxidants than ripe pepper fruit as antioxidants reduce when the fruits are ripe while the anti-inflammatory property increases as it gets ripe.
As the fruits get ripe, the anti-inflammatory properties increases. This helps to prevent cancer as it prevents oxidation, and inflammation that causes swellings, abnormal growth, and more.
It has been proven that pepper fruit is used in treating prostate cancer.
Contain Anti-ulcer property
Most fruits and vegetables contain Anti-ulcer properties. Pepper fruit has been proven to act as a substitute for preventing and treating ulcers and stomach disorders.
Good for Diabetic patient
Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases whereby a person has high blood sugar due to the inability to produce sufficient quantities of the hormone.
The major problem of diabetes is excess sugar in the blood. Pepper fruits have been proven to reduce blood sugar levels.
This was proven by experiments on rats. Some rat was induced with high blood sugar and after being fed with pepper fruit for some days it showed that the sugar level in the blood reduced.
Then it was confirmed and proven that taking of Pepper fruit can reduce the blood sugar level in humans.
Improves the body Organs
Pepper fruit improves the body Organs such as the liver and kidney and prevents them from damage or malfunction.
The liver and kidney are very vital to the body and damage to them can affect the entire body as a whole.
Some things to note about Pepper fruit
Pepper fruit should not be taken by pregnant women except been instructed by a physician. Nursing mothers are advised to take pepper fruit to aid contraction but this fruit can cause an adverse effect and cause miscarriages or forced labor for pregnant women.
Consuming too much of Pepper (as contained in pepper fruit) can lead to gastrointestinal problems. Pepper fruit may cause disorder to the body system as some people are allergic to it.
Although pepper fruit is not as sweet as some other fruits such as apple, mango, etc. it is highly rich in some nutrients that are needed in the body.
The fruit should be taken moderately to enjoy the fruits and its benefits.