Oha/Ora leaf is popular in the eastern part of Nigeria. It’s the primary ingredient in the preparation of the famous Oha soup. Oha comes from an evergreen tree that is green all year round.
Oha is also called:
- English –African rosewood
- Ivory coast: Aguaya
- Edo(Nigeria): Urube
- Hausa( Nigeria): Madoobiyaa
- Igbo( Nigeria): Oha Ojii/ora
- Efik/Ibibio(Nigeria): Mkpa or Mkpafere
- Kisambaa, Tanzania: Mkulo
Botanical name: Pterocarpus mildraedii
Health Benefits of Oha leaves.
Aids the Digestive system:
Oha leaves are rich in dietary fiber, which improves digestive function, and helps prevent and treat constipation.
Helps treat Diarrhea:
Oha leaves contain zinc mineral, which has the mechanism in repairing and protecting the intestinal mucosa. As a result, it will help the intestine recover quickly so the diarrhea symptom can be stopped faster.
Helps with Diabetes:
The dietary fiber in Ora leaf absorbs and distributes the sugar to be used well in all organs of the body. It will prevent the accumulation of sugar in the blood that can increase the blood glucose level. This is the best diet for diabetic patients to control their blood glucose at a healthy level.
Ora leaves are rich in an iron mineral that helps to treat anemia. This mineral plays an important role in red blood cell formation to create hemoglobin. This health benefit is also supported by its vitamin C, which helps to absorb the iron well.
Boosts the Immune System:
Ora leaves are rich in vitamin C. This is the best vitamin to boost your immune system. It fights bacteria and free radicals in the body, which promotes healing of wounds and protects the body from diseases.
The antioxidant properties in the leaves help the body prevent cancer cell mutation, and inhibits the growth and spread of the tumor.
Improves Bone and Joint Health:
Ora leaf contains manganese, which plays an important role in cartilage formation and part of the lubricating fluid in a joint. Oha leaves also contain calcium, which is essential in bone formation. These minerals help in the strengthening of bones and joints, prevention and relief of pain from osteoarthritis.
Improves Heart Health:
Potassium, an element in Oha, is essential to sustain the normal contraction of the heart. It helps the heart to contract well so that blood can be pumped effectively to all parts of the body. Oha leaf has low sodium content, which makes it suitable for a person with hypertension.
Aids Brain Function:
Oha contains Glutamic acid, a non-essential amino acid, which is an essential neurotransmitter that helps maintain the normal function of the brain. It helps to treat and prevent some brain disorders such as muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. The vitamin B and folate contained in Oha leaves also helps to protect the nervous system and make it sharper. It protects the nerve endings from any damages and reduces the symptom of numbness or tingling sensation (paraesthesia).
One of the amino acids in Oha leaves called lysine can boost energy, when converted to calories. This substance is needed by the body to maintain the proper growth and produce extra power.
Builds Muscle mass:
Ora leaves helps in building muscle mass through its cysteine amino acid content. Cysteine helps the body build protein, which is used for the development of muscle mass. Oha also contains magnesium, a mineral that acts as a muscle relaxant and helps relieve pains from muscle cramps.
Maintain a pH balance in the body:
Oha leaves contain alkaline, which helps to maintain the pH balance in the body by neutralizing excessive acids in the body.
Helps to treat malaria:
Oha leaves contain anti-parasitic properties that help the body treat malaria.
Oha leaf does not negatively affect pregnant women and their unborn babies in any way. Oha soup is rich in iron, Vitamin C, calcium, and folic acid, which are essential in pregnancy. Pregnant women should enjoy Oha soup. Oha does not cause miscarriage or birth defects in babies.
One of the vital health benefits of Oha leaf. Collagen is a vital substance to maintain healthy skin and promote wound healing.