Rosewood: benefits of oha leaves, bark and roots

Oha leaves are good for your heart heart and diabetes.
Oha leaves for Ulcer, diabetes, strong bone and female fertility.

Each time oha soup or leaves is mentioned, you would quickly remember the Igbo people of Nigeria across both sides of the Niger River. To them, after bitter leaf soup, oha soup comes in close competition as the Queen of soups in Igbo tradition cousines.

You have not eaten an Igbo soup if you have not tasted oha or onugbu (bitterleaf) soup. This is their pride! This is their identity. The Igbo people of Nigeria do not joke with oha leaves. This is because, aside the sweet taste of oha soup, the leaves of African rosewood is also medicinal. It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function well, and protect you from certain ailments.

Due to its nutritional benefits, and the effort of some Igbo residents in the United States, the US government recently approved the importation of oha leaves into America.

What is oha plant?

African rosewood plant is a giant herbal tree. It can grow up to a hundred meter tall, and has strong root system that support its height. The plant is deciduous. It is after it has shed its leaves and begin to grow new ones that it is of economic value. Nobody uses the old leaves for soup making. It must be fresh leaves.

Oha plant is native to the rainforest zones of west African countries. It is mostly propagated through its stems. The seeds can be cultivated. But it is rarely the means of planting oha tree. First, the tree branches are usually cut down and used for fence making. If this happens in the rainy season, chances are that some of the branches will develop roots and started shooting out fresh leaves.

African rosewood plants is the sour of oha leaves. The leaves are medicinal and gves sweet taste and smelling aroma when cooked by the Igbo people of Nigeria.
African rosewood for diabetes, and menstrual cramps

How to use oha leaves

Oha leaves are edible but not eaten fresh. This is because African rosewood leaves leaves sour feelings in your mouth if you bite at it. The leaves are plucked when fresh. To experience the best of oha leaves, do not leave it till the next day before using. You can however, keep it refrigerated.

The leaves are used to prepare the popular oha or ora soup you have heard of. Oha soup follows the same pattern of preparation like bitter leaf soup. It can also be used in draw soup, but unlike pumpkin leaves, oha leaves are added to the soup at the earlier stage, just before the water starts boiling.

Health benefits of oha leaves, stem bark and roots

Oga leaves is packed with so many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, iron, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium. The various parts of Pterocarpus erinaceus contains alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and polyphenolic compounds, which gives the plant its various health benefits.

Oha leaves and stem are used in treating diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a fast growing autoimmune diseases that’s led to the death of many people of different age groups. Most times this is caused by autoimmune degeneration due to the harmful effects of free radicals.

Oha leaves and roots have been used in the treatment of diabetes in traditional medicine. Studies on the phytochemical and antidiabetic effects of both the leaves and stem bark of Pterocarpus erinaceus shows that African rosewood plant can be used to treat diabetes mellitus.

The plant exhibited strong inhibitionalpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzyme activities. It also improved the secretion of insulin, which leads to enhanced glucose clearance. Another study showed that oha leaves also improved insulin sensitivity. So it can both be used for type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

African rosewood for ulcer

In Burkina Faso, the an aqueous extract of the stem bark of African rosewood is used to treat ulcer and stomach pains. Some other traditional healers used the root for the same purpose. This shows that you can actually treat ulcer by using the stem bark or roots of the oha plant.

Other herbal remedies for the treatment of ulcer include rapini, and broccoli juices. These remedies are proven to be effective than most orthodox medicines.

May boost blood production

Oha plant contains iron and B vitamins, which are needed for the production of blood and hemoglobin. The deficiency of iron in your body can lead to nutritional anemia. Vitamin B complex helps in the supply of blood to your brain and also enhance blood production.

Oha leaves prevent constipation

Oha leaves are parked with dietary fiber. Fiber is needed to for many metabolic functions including ensuring that your bowel movements are functioning at normal range. It prevents constipation and stomach pains.

Oha leaves are good for your bone health

Oha leaves helps you maintain a good healthy bone. There are calcium and potassium in the leaves, including iron also. These compounds are good for the bone health and help people osteoporosis get relief.

Calcium is also good for strong teeth. Feeding your children with oha soup will help them develop strong and healthy set of teeth. So cook  oha soup on a regular basis to enjoy the nutritional benefits.

Oha leaves are beneficial for your heart health

Do you know that a regular consumption of oha soup will protect you from cardiovascular diseases? Yes! African rosewood leaves are so powerful when it comes to cardiovascular health. A study conducted on the effect of oha leaves extract on rats fed with potassium bromate showed that the oha leaves are powerful antioxidant vegetable leaves.

According to the study, African rosewood leaves significantly increased the HDL/LDL ratio. This shows its potential to prevent the incidence of atherosclerosis and cardiac arrest. Aside increasing the level of HDL, the leaf extract also increased the production of both white and red blood cells.

African rosewood for female infertility

According to a study on African traditional practice, the stem bark and roots of Pterocarpus erinaceus have been used by different tribes to treat female infertility problems. For women with irregular menstruation, the bark of the plant has been used to correct it, in traditional medical practice.

Although there has been little concern about this, and there could be minimum researches on the plant Pterocarpus erinaceus, some of the traditional uses had survived several centuries.

You could also treat infertility problem with snot apple and miracle seeds. These are other effective herbal remedies for infertility in women and even men.

Oha tree bark for poison

The bark extract of oha plant is a remedy for treating snake bites on livestock. This is because the stem bark could have antipoison effect on the animal being affected.

African rosewood for infections

The leaves, bark and roots of the plant have been used for the treatment of gonorrhea, and some other urinary tract infections. This is because of the strong antimicrobial activities of the bioactive compounds such as tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids and zinc, which are present in abundance in the plant parts.

Oha roots for lower abdominal pain

Always having lower abdominal pains? Oha roots is just the right remedy for you. Cut out the roots of the plant, wash and boil with enough for over an hour. Drink a cup if the herbal tincture morning and evening.

Prevent sickle cell crisis

Although there are not yet scientific proof of this, in traditional medicine, the roots and leaves if oha plant is used in the treatment of sickle cell crisis. This however may be due to the presence if strong antioxidant, compounds that boost red blood production, including iron, and the B vitamins.

Stops menstrual pains

If you constantly experience menstrual pain or virginal bleeding, the root and leaves of African rosewood can be helpful. Just make a tincture of the roots and leaves. If you’re experiencing menstrual cramps you can add the stem bark also. Drink the tincture made from these combination, and enjoy the relief.

Side effects of African rosewood

Don’t not drink any herbal mixture that’s made of oha roots and bark. This is because, like miracle seed, oha roots or bark can cause miscarriage of your baby.

How to make oha soup

If you have cooked bitterleaf soup, you’d have mastered the art of cooking oha soup. Both soup follow the same procedure and ingredients. The only difference is in the vegetables. While bitterleaf soup uses bitter leaves, oha soup uses oha leaves. That’s just the only difference.

What you need to cook oha soup

To cook oha soup, you woukd need to buy the following food ingredients:

  • Stock fish and smoked fish
  • Vegetables (oha leaves)
  • A small basket of Akwu (Palm fruits)
  • Chilli pepper
  • Soup Seasonings
  •  Coco yam powder
  • Assorted meats
  • one spoon of ground crayfish
  • one table spoon of ground uziza seeds
  • fresh uziza leaves

Best oha soup recipe

Before starting your oha soup preparation, first steam the assorted meats with seasonings and get them ready. It is assumed the you must have boiled your palm fruits before steaming your assorted meats.

If so, then extract the palm oil from the fruits into your soup pot.

keep heating the pot till the water in the oil extract evaporated , leaving the oil only.

Wash your dry/smoked fish, and stock fish and add them into the boiling oil. Allow to boil for 15 minutes.

Then add the assorted meats which you had steamed, Ogiri, salt, and other seasonings of your choice ( Do not stuff your soup with too much seasonins, as this may ruin your effort), and allow to boil for 5 minutes more.

Next, add the ground crayfish, Uziza seeds and your ground pepper. Allow to cook for 5 minutes.

Then add uziza leaves and cook for 1 minute before adding your oha leaves.

Allow to cook for 2 more minutes before turning the heat off, and allow the soup to simmer while still on the heater.

Oha soup is arevered Igbo soup with great taste, as well as nutritional and medicinal values
Oha soup for your family healthy living


This article is purely for academic purposes and should not replace the place of your doctor’s services. Please, always consult your doctor before taking any herbal prescription.










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