English Name: Bitter Leaf
Local Name: Onugbu (Igbo), Efo Ewuro (Yoruba), Shakwa shuwaka (Hausa), Etidot (Cross River State of Nigeria)
Botanical Name: Vernonia Amygdalina
Vernonia amygdalina are commonly called bitter leaf in English because of its bitter taste. The cooked leaves are a staple vegetable in soup and stews of various cultures throughout equatorial Africa. African common names include grawa (Amharic), ewuro (Yoruba), etidot (Ibibio), onugbu (Igbo), ityuna (Tiv), oriwo (Edo), chusar-doki (Hausa), mululuza (Luganda), labwori (Acholi), olusia (Luo), and ndoleh (Cameroon.
Health Benefits of Bitter Leaf (Vernonia Amygdalina)
- The leaves are widely used as a remedy for fever and are known as quinine substitute in Nigeria.
- The young leaves are used as an antihelmintic, antimalarial, laxative/purgative, enema, worm expeller and fertility inducer in subfertile women.
- The juice is widely use in the treatment of emesis, nausea, diabetes, loss of appetite-induced ambrosia, dysentery and other gastrointestinal tract problems.
- The juice have immunological effect on HIV infected patients. And it’s widely used in the management of HIV/AIDS. To demonstrate this fresh V. amygdalina leaves were collected within Nsukka area in Enugu State. The leaves were rinsed with distilled water. Two handful of cleaned fresh leaves were soaked in 200 mL water and squeezed gently by hand to a mixture. Clients were divided into four groups and each group was given different combination. They took the medication for four weeks. The immune effect was tested against marketed immune booster in some retroviral clients
The mean absolute CD4 count was increased in the client who took the extract or supplement. And the clients who took both the extract and supplement had a greater increase in the CD4 count. The increased CD4 was significant as compared with the control group (P<0.05). The skin rashes were also improved in the entire groups.
- Regular intake of bitter leave can reduce your risk of chronic disease like breast cancer and type 2 diabetes
- According to the February 2008 edition of the “Journal of Vascular Health and Risk Management,” bitter leaf can reduce bad and total cholesterol. In an animal model, supplementation with bitter leaf extract reduced LDL cholesterol by 50 percent while also boosting “good” HDL cholesterol.
- Bitter leaf is high in antioxidants and helps fight free radical damage to the body and repair dead tissues
- Bitter leaf juice can also be used as remedies against, protozoal and bacterial infections.
- Phytochemicals from the leaf, like saponins and alkaloids, terpenes, steroids, coumarins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, xanthones, anthraquinones, edotides and sesquiterpenes helps in the treatment of cancer and chemoprevention
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