Snot apple(Azanza garckeana) is popula tree in Nigeria, mostly found in the Northern part of the country and considered to be a miracle fruit plant among many people who have come across it and indeed, used it to treat one ailment of another, especially sexual related diseases.
In fact, snot apple is synonymous with sexually related diseases. It was believed to be useful for both male and female reproductive systems.
Snot apple is also known as Azanza garckeana, tree hibiscus and in Hausa, where it derives its name, Goron Tula. It is widely cultivated in Tula Kaltungo Local Government Area, Gombe State and also in michika of Adamawa State, both in the northern region of Nigeria.
Besides being used in the treatment of reproductive diseases, Goron Tula has been used in other different ailments, ravaging the human society.
Nutritional and phytochemical benefits of Snot apples (Goron Tula)
Although the focus of most people is on the fruits of Azanza garckeana, it is important to state that the leaves of Goron Tula is edible and is eaten among the people of Tula community in Gombe state, Nigeria. The roots as well as the stem bark of the plant possess strong medicinal values which have been extensively exploited among the people of Kenya, Malawi, and Nigeria, in treating several health complications, ranging from fertility to malaria and infectious diseases.
The fruits can be made into a relish or dry and processed into other food or herbal products.
Therefore, it is pertinent to enumerate the nutritional and bioactive compounds, with health benefits, present in Snot apple.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Cardiac glycosides
- Volatile oils
What are the health benefits of Snot apples?
Azanza garckeana has been used as an alternative health remedy in well over twenty different diseases, some of which we shall do well to explore in this article. These medicinal benefits are as follows:
Snot apples (Goron Tula) Is Used In Treating Male Infertility
One of the most disturbing disorders ravaging the world population is the increasing fertility disorder among both male and female population. But while most of the blames of infertility are directed to the women, research has shown that about 50% of infertility cases are attributed to the man. More worrisome is that the statistics is increasing against men.
Most of the fertility complications affecting men include low libido, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction, low sperm motility and poor secretion of male sexual hormones such as testosterone.
The good news is that Snot apple has been used in the treatment of infertility. It increases sexual libido, treats erectile dysfunction and increases sperm count and motility.
May Boost Female Fertility And Libido
Goron Tula is used in enhancing female sexual libido and in inducing the secretion of vagina lubrication. It is a great help for keeping the vagina wet and helps women reach orgasm quicker. It is also used in treating vagina odour, which has kept so many women from finding their life partners.
Vagina odour is a private and public embarrassment to many women; it can lead to low self-esteem, depression and a solitary lifestyle. Luckily, Goron Tula serves as a vagina cleanser.
For pregnant women, the roots of Goron Tula are made into a decoction and taken to induce labour, and for retained placenta. It is also used in easing menstrual cramps.
May be Used In Treating Sexually Transmitted Diseases
One cause of infertility is infection. Sexually transmitted infection can affect your sperm production, destroy fallopian tubules, and distort hormonal balance. In most cases, it can prevent conception in women or cause repeated miscarriages. But the roots and stem barks of Goron Tula have been used in treating such stubborn infections such as staphylococcus areus, Gonorrhea, syphilis and candida and E. coli.
The stem is made into a decoction and taken orally to cure any sexually transmitted disease.
Goron tula Helps in Treatment of Diabetes
The fruits of snot apples have been shown to lower blood sugar levels. This is big news for those with diabetes. However, the treatment of diabetes is mostly associated with the leaves of the plant.
Snot apple fruits and leaves possess several bioactive compounds and antioxidants which scavenge free radicals associated with autoimmune destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas. They also lower the blood glucose and lipid profile levels.
To use the plant fruits and leaves for diabetes treatment, boil both leaves and fruits in water for 45 minutes to 1 hour, allow it to cool down and drink the decoction morning and at night to get cured.
The mechanism of action of goron tula on diabetes has been indicated to be through the inhibition of α-amylase enzyme.
Snot Apples Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure and hypertension are the cause of so many cardiovascular related deaths. The more worrying thing about this is the increasing number of deaths due to heart failures, medically termed as cardiac arrest, among both the young and old.
One of the enzymes associated with hypertension is angiotensin-converting enzymes ACE. And most standard drugs for treating hypertension are targeted at inhibiting this enzyme. Luckily, in an experiment that compares the inhibitory effect of goron tula fruit extract and captopril ( a standard hypertension drug) it was shown that goron tula fruits possess more antihypertensive properties than captopril drug. Which places goron tula ahead of the standard drug.
Benefits of Snot Apples as Antioxidants
In addition to the presence of phenolic compounds, goron tula also possesses vitamin C and E, which make it a great source of antioxidants.
It is noteworthy that most of the autoimmune and degenerative diseases are usually caused by lipid peroxidation and release of excess free radicals, which overwhelm the activities of glutathione, thereby leading to cellular destruction and DNA damages, which eventually resulted in autoimmune and degenerative diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson diseases.
Excess free radicals have also been indicted in early aging due to cellular deaths. But the presence of vitamin E and C and that of polyphenolic compounds ameliorates these toxic effects, thereby giving you a health and youthful skin.
May Protect Your Liver From Toxicity
The seeds of goron tula have been largely neglected by many traditional and ethnomedicinal practitioners. However, a study conducted on the seeds by Momodu et al, showed that the seeds contain great number of bioactive compounds and oil, which offer protective effect on the liver.
Some of these compounds include linoleic acid, stearin, and methyl linoleate. These compounds may lower fatty liver, reduce bad cholesterol levels and increase the level f high density lipoproteins, otherwise known as good cholesterol.
Benefits of Snot Apples For Cholesterol
Snot apples have been said to possess strong hypocholesterolemia and hypoglycemic effects. The fruits as well as the seeds and leaves are good for lowering your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. However, the seeds seem to be, according research, rich in hypocholesterol inducing compounds.
May Be Used In The Treatment Of Cancers
The seeds of goron tula are rich in anticancer compounds. So with the increasing cases of cancer in the country, the seeds of snot apple may be a great remedy and may offer preventive measures against cancer cell proliferations.
Read also (6 Amazing Health Benefits of Monkey Tail Drink)
Boost You Immune System With Snot apples
The fruits of goron tula possess iron which is needed for the production of hemoglobin and for the transportation of oxygenated red blood cells to various parts of the body. When your body lacks iron, it develops a health condition known as anemia.
The fruits and seeds also boost blood production and stabilize your immunity against diseases due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative compounds present in both the fruits and seeds.
The zinc element present in the fruits is known for strong antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also strong antiplasmodic compound.
Benefits of Snot Apples in Wound Healing
In traditional medicine, the leaves, fruits and roots are used in enhancing wound healing. This may be attributed to the presence of bitamin C , E and zinc, among other bioactive compounds.
Side Effects Of Goron Tula
The plant contains some antinutritional factors such as phytate, and tannins, which may be toxic to your body when you eat the fruit, leaves or drink the root decoction in excessive amount.
Moderation in everything is the key, and so is the case of goron tula.
A pregnant woman may not drink any medicine made with the leaves, stem bark or roots of goron tula, as they may induce premature labour and result in miscarriage.
Ahmed, M. U. et al.(2022). Alpha amylase and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitory potential of aqueous extract of Azanza garckeana fruit.Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 14(2), 283 -288. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v14i2.3305
Alfred Maroyi , 2017. Azanza garckeana Fruit Tree: Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, Nutritional and Primary Healthcare Applications as Herbal Medicine: A Review. Research Journal of Medicinal Plants, 11: 115-123.
Kouchmeshky, A, Jamere, S. B., Amin, G. & Ziai, S. A. (2012). Investigation of angiotensin –converting enzyme inhibitory effects of medicinal plants used in traditional Persian medicine for treatment of hypertension: screening study. Thrita Stud. J. Med. Sci.1(1), 13 –23. DOI: 10.561 2/thrita.4264
Momodu, I.B. Okungbowa, E.S. Agoreyo, B.O. Maliki. M.M. (2022). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry identification of bioactive compounds in methanol and aqueous seed extracts of Azanza garckeana fruits. Nig. J. Biotech. Spec. Edtn. BSN-SW 1:25-38.