Akpi seeds benefits are numerous as the tree is useful from its root – which helps to replenish the soil’s nutrient, to its bark – used for many medicinal purposes, and its fruit, containing the seeds that are important for culinary purposes.
Africa undoubtedly is blessed with many plants that are useful in many senses and we have no idea what to do with them. One of such plants is the Akpi tree, Ricinodendron heudelotii, that is endemic to tropical Africa. Akpi is economically important in many African countries and go by different names; Nigeria (Okhuen), Senegal (Djansang), Ivory Coast (Akpi), Cameroon (Njangsa), Angola (Munguella), Uganda (Kishongo), Ghana (Wama), and Zaire (Bofeko).
By the time you are done reading this article, you will have known what the Akpi seed looks like, if you don’t know yet, why it is so popular in Africa, the Akpi seeds benefits – medicinal, culinary, and ecological.
Akpi Seeds Description
Akpi seeds are round (about 1 cm in diameter), yellow-brown seeds – sometimes red-brown or black – that have a characteristic oily texture. They smell like chocolate and have a mild aromatic taste that leaves the mouth slightly bitter. When they mature, their smell is similar to that of over-ripe apples.
Akpi Seeds Benefits
Akpi seeds have benefits that span across so many areas of life. It is used by traditional healers to cure many ailments (its bark and leaves are used for this purpose as well), by wives, mothers, and chefs for culinary purposes, by cosmetologists to enhance the skin and curves on a feminine.
One of the Akpi seed benefits in the culinary department is found in the use of the seed to thicken and add flavour to dishes. The seeds are collected from its fruit (the fruit must have ripened and fallen from the tree) and boiled. They are, afterwards, sun-dried and grounded into powder. In its powdery form, it can be added to soups as seasoning or beaten into paste and added to soups as a thickener.
Cosmetologists use grounded Akpi seeds in combination with Vitamin E oil and other ingredients to prepare a paste that can be rubbed on the breasts and buttocks to cause enlargement. It is said to induce the production of oestrogen and progesterone and direct their action to the region it is applied.
Ecologically, the Akpi tree helps to preserve and improve the fertility state of the soil through the action of mycorrhizae, a fungus that dwells in its root. This symbiotic relationship sees the tree providing the fungus with sugars and receiving minerals from the soil through the fungus. The fungus also helps the tree withstand diseases and drought.
Medicinally, there are numerous Akpi seeds benefits as well as Akpi bark benefits. Let’s check them out.
Chemical Composition of Akpi seeds
Akpi seeds are widely known to be used as seasoning and thickener in African dishes. This means they are widely consumed and they must have benefits they give. To pinpoint what gives these benefits, it is essential that we know what is contained in these seeds.
A summary of its constituent includes proteins (22%), carbohydrates (25%), lipids (46%), various mineral elements, phenolic compounds, antioxidants, and antibacterial contents. The seeds are found to contain respectable amount essential amino acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic acid.
It also contains respectable amounts of saponins, tannins, alkaloids, and flavonoids – phytochemicals that are known to posses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Specific Medicinal Akpi Seeds Benefits
If we are to write on all the benefits that can be derived from the Akpi tree, you may not exhaust this content. However, for the sake of keeping things brief and concise, you will be exposed to few of the medicinal Akpi seeds benefits.
From the chemical analysis obtained from research, akpi seeds contain lupeol, a pharmacologically important compound that possess antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed that this compound is also responsible for one of the akpi seeds benefits of stopping the effect of poison as an antidote.
Boosts Female Fertility
Akpi seeds ability to cause an increased production of oestrogen and progesterone in the female body gives rise to an increased incidence of fertility in females that have used the seed for fertility treatment.
As one of the akpi seeds benefits you might want, it is only logical that to increase your chances of conceiving, you should eat more akpi seeds.
Treats Cough and Cold
The level of saponin concentration in our focus seed is responsible for its ability to treat cough, asthma, and hay fever. One of the many akpi seeds benefits is that it naturally contains ingredients used in treating these ailments.
Diarrhoea is a condition that arises when the intestinal lining does not absorb fluid, therefore, making your stool watery. The annoying part is when it occurs many times than usual in a day. One of akpi seeds benefits is its ability to put a stop to watery stools. Its property as a thickener comes in handy in this situation as it helps to give the stool some viscosity.
Serves as a Laxative
Laxatives are meant to help you pass faeces easily. It is used when there is difficulty in passing stool. Akpi seeds serves as a laxative because of its high oil content.
Anemia is a condition where there is less than normal amount of red blood cells in the body. this ituation usually arises with the deficiency of certain elements such as iron and magnesium, and other important materials like carotenoids that help set misbehaving cells right.
An important akpi seeds benefits is that it helps to curtail anemia because it contains these minerals and phytochemical needed to produce more red blood cells.
Treats Venereal Diseases
One of the oldest akpi seeds benefits is its use as a treatment for venereal diseases. All the antioxidants, alkaloids, saponins, and flavonoids help it to tackle bacterial and viral and fungal infections easily.
Oedema is characterized by the swelling of the feet. It happens when there is an accumulation of water in the body and it is most pronounced in the feet, ankles, and legs.
Akpi seeds benefits the body by helping it get rid of the inflammation. Afterall, it has many phytochemicals that help reduce inflammation.
Serves as Analgesic
Another one of the many Akpi seeds benefits is that it serves as an analgesic – a substance that is used to numb pain. Analgesics are effective in reducing pain from arthritis, rheumatism and pain in the joint, generally.
It would interest you to know that Akpi seeds are used to reduce labour pain in traditional medicine.
Akpi seeds posses anticarcinogenic properties due to the level of antioxidants it possesses. There are a number of constituents in Akpi seeds that have this property. One of them is Carotenoid, an antioxidant that helps to get rid of free radicals and protect the cells in the body from growing abnormally.
Akpi seeds benefits cannot be exhausted as some of them are not even known yet. The seeds contain a huge number of beneficial phytochemicals that are not fully exploited yet. However, to be a partaker of the benefits we know about, eat more of the seeds.
Its usefulness transcends the seeds, its bark, roots, and leaves are equally as useful as the seeds and this makes the Akpi tree an economically important one.
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