African Herbs

14 Unbelievable Health Benefits of Afang.

Gnetum africanum, also known as Afang leaves, is indigenous to Africa. It’s a popular vine that grows in the South of Nigeria and found quickly in the market places. You can also find it in tropical rainforests of Cameroon, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola.In DRC, it is called Mfumbwa, Longongia, or Banvale, depending on the local language. In the Central African Republic, Gabon, Congo, Angola, and even some parts of DRC, it is called Koko. In Cameroon, its called Okok/Eru. In Nigeria its called Afang (Efik/Ibibio), Ukazi/Okazi (Igbo), and Ajobaje/Ajakotale (Yoruba).Ukazi leaf is an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, magnesium, calcium, manganese, sodium, iron, zinc, potassium, copper, and essential amino acids. Ukazi leaf is commonly used for the treatment of piles, sore throat, and high blood pressure. It’s also known to increase Libido. The leaves are important ingredients in preparing tasty soup in many homes in the South-South and southeast of Nigeria. In all traditional feasts or parties, afang soup is sure to be one of the main dishes of such occasions like traditional marriage, naming ceremony, burial, and new yam festivals in Akwa Ibom State and Cross River State of Nigeria. Afang soup is so rich that it can be passed for a balanced diet.  

Reasons why you should start eating Afang more

  • Improves weight loss:

    Afang leaf has high dietary fiber content, which aids weight loss and increases metabolism. It also improves digestion, acts as a laxative, and prevents constipation.
  1. Improves heart health:

    Okazi helps the heart by supplying it with good cholesterol, which in turn replaces the bad cholesterol. Okazi also manages blood sugar and blood pressure.
  2. Pregnancy:

    Ukazi prevents nausea ( morning sickness) in early pregnancy. It also reduces pain during childbirth. Afang leaf has not been reported to cause birth defects or miscarriage in pregnancy, so its good for pregnant women. The stem is eaten raw to Prevent the pain and menstrual cramps.
  3. Promotes Reproductive Health:

    Okazi leaf increases blood flow to the sexual organs; this helps boost Libido, ovulation, and penile erection.
  4. Strengths bones and teeth:

    Afang is rich in calcium and iron, which helps in the development of strong and healthy bones. It also prevents and fights osteoporosis and rheumatism.
  5. Treats enlarged spleen:

    The seeds and the leaves of Eru have shown medical efficiency in the treatment of enlarged spleen.
  6. An antidote for poison:

    In Ubangi (DR Congo), it is considered as an antidote to arrow poison made from Periploca nigrescens Afzel. It’s also an antidote for other types of poison.
  7. Antifungal properties:

    Okazi leaf is traditionally used in treating measles in children. It is also used in the treatment of boils and warts.
  8. Sore throat:

    Afang leaves are also used traditionally to cure a sore throat.
  9. Iodine:

    Afang leaf has the right amount of iodine, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, and this iodine helps to prevent goiter.
  10. Treats malaria:

    Afang leaf helps in combating diseases as it has anti-bacterial and anti-parasite properties that are needed to cure malaria.
  11. Skincare:

    Afang leaf heals and cures common skin diseases, such as eczema, and rashes, just by squeezing the leaves and applying the juice and paste on the affected parts.
  12. Controls excess urination:

    The seeds can be chewed raw for controlling excessive urination in kids and adults as well and used in the treatment of overactive bladder.
  13. Rich source of Vitamins:

    Afang also helps prevent scurvy.

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Cynthia Adeh Ekpong
My name is Cynthia Adeh Ekpong, and I'm a health writer.  It pains me that we Africans spend more money buying drugs for minor issues instead of using herbs that are around us for little or no amount. My goal in 54history is to bring more awareness to our African herbs.

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