Thursday, 15 May 2014

Amazing Health Benefit of Bitter Leaf 


Bitter leaf is derived from the leaves of a small ever-green shrub found all over Africa called Vernonia, belonging to the family Asteraceace.
There are over a thousand species of this crop. Vernonia amygdaline is commonly found in West Africa, and Vernonia galamensis in East Africa.

True to its name, this leaf is bitter to taste, but surprisingly delicious in meals.

Other names with which this plant is known includes:

• Orugbo (amongst the Itsekiri and Urobo tribes in Nigeria)

• Onugbo 

• Ewuro

• Mojunso (East Africa – especially Tanzania)

The leaf can be eaten fresh like spinach in soup or dried too. African cuisines featuring this leaf as ingredients include:

• Egusi soup

• Ogbono soup

• Okra and bitter leaf soup

• Pepper soup

• Bitter leaf soup (Ndole in Cameroon)

• Banga soup 

In many parts of West Africa, the leaves are used to wash slime off fish and snail before been cooked.

The roots and twigs are eaten as appetizer too.

What is Bitterleaf Used For? Health Benefits and Nutrition Information

Bitterleaf is popular all over the world and flourishes wherever it is grown. A unique property of this plant is that every part of the plant is bitter.. The fact is that bitter herbs are good for our body. Bitterleaf tends to tone vital body organs like the liver and kidney. It can also be used for diabetes. Herbalists have been using Bitterleaf since a long time for the treatment of diabetes. This herb not only lowers the body sugar level sufficiently, but also plays a role in the repair of pancreas. Squeeze ten handfuls of fresh leaves in 10 liters of water and consume two glasses of solution thrice a day for a month.

Moreover, these leaves have great nutritional, herbal and medicinal value.

It  contains very high amount of zinc, important in many enzyme function and keeping the skin fresh.

Some have claimed that this leaf may be dangerous to eat. There are no convincing studies to proof this.

As a general guide, washing your leaf very well and by so doing, you remove saponins to concentrations that are okay for the body to handle.

They also contains saponins and tannins (glycosides), as well as alkaloids. At least 13 other new compounds or vital ingredients have been found in these leaves, after a 40 years study, and have the following benefits:

• Anti-malaria

• Anti-bacteria

• Anti-parasites

• Anti-cancer.

It is also effective in preventing indigestion, scurvy, sciatica, and rheumatism.

At least 30 different illnesses have been suggested to be curable with the use of bitter leaf herbs.

Do you know this amazing leaf? if yes, what do you call it in your native language (also indicate how you eat it)-share this with others.

Source: Amazing Natural world