Growing up, we usually wondered why after every childbirth, our grannies would used this aidan fruit alongside uda seeds, and uziza seeds to prepare porridge yams for our mothers. Another spicy herb also used in this special food preparation are bay leaves.
I must confess that being the first child of a family of six, I ate that spicy porridge yam to my fill. Of course, if you had happened to grow up in the Eastern region of Nigeria; among the Igbo people, you’d have had about Omugwo. Omugwo is a period of three months from the day a woman gives birth. In this three months period, the woman, who gave birth is been taken care of by her mother, or the mother in law, if the mother is late.
By now, your curiosity toward aidan fruit must have heightened. That was how I was before I delved into this mystery behind my ancestors use of it especially for a newly delivered mother.
What is aidan fruit used for?
The use of a particular plant specie is usually ethnographic and cultural based. What a particular people use a plant for may differ from another people used it for. However, there is usually a converging point to it’s different uses.
Aidan fruit for spicing foods
For most people, aidan fruits are used only as food spice to add flavor and sweet taste to foods. It is mostly used in preparing pepper soups, porridge yam. However, aidan fruit is not just a food spice.
Aidan fruit for medicinal uses
Aidan fruit is also medicinal and can be used to treat various forms of ailments. The story I told you about at the beginning of this article points toward that. Aidan fruit helps women recover quickly from postpartum conditions, preventing contraction and induce breast milk secretion.
Aidan fruit as an insect repellant
Another important usage of aidan fruit is as insect repellant.
The strong fragrance coming out from the fruit repels mosquitoes. This may require that you preheat the fruit to release the fragrance who h is due to the presence of essential oil.
Aidan fruit health benefits
Aidan fruit is composed of different bioactive compounds such as alkaloids, phenols, flavonoids, saponins, and tannins. These biochemical compounds are responsible for the various health benefits of aidan fruits.
Besides the active compounds, aidan fruit is also a rich source of some physicochemicals like zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, sodium, potassium, and calcium. These physicochemicals also coordinate the cellular functions of your body. So you see why aidan fruit is very important for you and your wards.
Aidan fruits for postpartum mothers
As we discussed at the beginning, aidan fruits are used among the Igbo people of the Southeastern part of Nigeria to help postpartum mothers overcome some postpartum health challenges. It prevents the contraction of uterus and induces the secretion of breast milk in postpartum mothers.
Being a strong antimicrobial herb, it is also very good for treating urinary tract infect and for preventing the mother from being infected by bacteria or fungal diseases.
How to use aidan pod for postpartum mothers
After delivery, the fruit pod is broken into smaller pieces and used in preparing a hot soup for the woman. This soup, which may be any type, must be served hot. It helps the woman’s body to unwind and get back to its normal shape.
Aidan fruit for diabetes
In traditional medicine, aidan leaves are used for the treatment of diabetes. The plant leaf extract has shown in a study, its potency as an antidiabetic medication.
According to the study, tetrapleura taletraptera possess strong hypolipidemic and hypoglycaemic effects. These are what qualifies a herbal remedy as an antidiabetic regimen.
Also, whereas the untreated groups of the rats under investigation exhibited a significant decrease in packed cell volume, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and good cholesterol, while showing an increase in malondialdehyde, fasting blood sugar, aspartate amino-transferase, alanine aminotransferase, bilirubin and urea, the groups treated with aidan leaf extract showed alleviation from from these parameters. Thus making aidan leaves a good herbal remedy for managing diabetes, especially type two diabetes.
The antidiabetic effects of aidan leaves and fruits may be through the antioxidants present in the plant. These antioxidants may have rejuvenated the pancreatic beta cell, enhancing insulin secretion and sensitivity. Thus promoting glucose transport and clearance from the blood.
Aidan fruit for convulsion
Aidan fruits, like African parquetina possess anticonvulsant activities, which may be utilised in treating convulson in children as well as in adults. It is also used in traditional African medicine to prevent the onset of epilepsy, just like in the use of ewe asofeyeje for the same purpose. This practice have also received scientific backing through several studies which supported the anticonvulsant activities of tetrapleura tetraptera fruits extracts.
Aidan is used in treating painful arthritic inflammations
Aidan fruits paste is used in the treatment of pains, including arthritic inflammations. This is likely due to it numerous anti-inflammatory compounds.
Aidan fruit tea is served to people with information and arthritis to help relieve the pains. The fruit extract, when mixed with shear butter and applied on the painful area acts as a soothing ointment.
Aidan fruit detoxifies the body
Aidan fruit tea is a detoxifier. Being a rich source of antioxidants and zinc mineral. Zinc is an anti-inflammatory mineral that regulates your immune responses to inflammation. Use the tea to detoxify your kidney and liver. Aridan, as it is called in Yoruba is like wax gourd and miracle seed in functioning as a detoxifier.
Aidan fruit for men fertility
Prekese is an aphrodisiac, just like ewe ogbo. Back in the days, our fathers used aidan to boost their sexual stamina and confidence. This is because the fruit extract possesses bioactive components that enhance penile erection, libido and sperm secretion.
According to a study on the sexual parameters of aidan fruits, there was a significant increase in the secretion of testosterone. According to the study, there was improvement in the sperm motility and volume.
The fruit extract is also a rich source of fertility components such as arginine, vitamins C and E which are antioxidants. These may be the reason aidan fruit has been used in treating infertility problems in men.
Prekese fruit protects your heart
Prekese fruits possess essential oil and strong antioxidants. The presence of these essential oil such as oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, arachidonic acid and several others is a prove of its cardioprotective potential.
Both arachidonic and omega-3 acids have been shown through several studies to possess strong modulatory impacts on the functionality of your hearts. Omega-3 acids reduces the risk of plaque formation. Plaques are risk factors for atherosclerosis, and myocardial infarction. On the other hands, arachidonic acid metabolites act as vasodilators, and is involved in the relaxation of the arterial muscles.
These findings, you would agree with me supports if the use of aidan fruit tea to manage heart related problems.
May treat Malaria
In subsaharan Africa, prekese leaves and fruits are used in treating malaria and fever. This is due to the strong antimicrobial and antispasmodic activities. In a study, the fruit extract exhibited significant blood schizonticidal activity. This supports the traditional use of prekese for malaria in Africa.
Improves wound healing
When mixed in shear butter of any other ointment, and applied topically on wounded surface, prekese fruit extract encourages speedy healing of wounds. This is probably through epithelization and contraction of the skin. Coupled with its antibacterial activities, the extract prevents the inversion of infectious bacteria on the wounded surface.
Prekese bitters for managing hypertension
In Ghana, prekese bitters are formulated and sold in commercial quanties. It is believed that the bitters reduce hypertensive condition. This may be true, owing to the presence of certain essential fatty acids which modulate the flow of blood through the vessels.
May protect against asthma
Like Luffa sponge, prekese may also be useful in treating asthmatic conditions. According to World Health Organization, asthma is a chronic diseases that affect people of all ages. Asthma occurs as a result of the inflammation, and tightening of the muscles around the airways. This blockage of the airways is a n allergic reaction of the muscles against small particles that entered the airways. This situation makes it hard for the asthmatic patient to breathe.
It is possible that aidan fruit is anti-asthmatic due to its strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. You should also recall that
Ekaluo U.B., Ikpeme E.V., Ibiang Y.B., Omordia F.O. Effect of soursop (Annona muricata L.) fruit extract on sperm toxicity induced by caffeine in albino rats. J. Med. Sci. 2013;13:67–71.
Zhou Y, Khan H, Xiao J, Cheang WS. Effects of Arachidonic Acid Metabolites on Cardiovascular Health and Disease. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Nov 6;22(21):12029.
Adesina, Simeon & Iwalewa, Ezekiel. Olugbenga & Johnny, Imoh. (2016). Tetrapleura tetraptera Taub- Ethnopharmacology, Chemistry, Medicinal and Nutritional Values- A Review. British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 12. 1-22.