Managu, also known as African Nightshade, has been gaining popularity and finding its way to the supermarket shelves due to its high economic value to the farmer, its ever-increasing demand resulting from its high nutritional and medicinal value. There has been a paradigm shift in the eating patterns of most Kenyans, primarily due to the new crop of diseases that are famously known as “Lifestyle Diseases.”
The African nightshade is popular in traditional African societies, as food, and for medicinal purposes. It is locally known as Mnavu in Swahili, Osuga in Luo, Namaska in Luhya, Nsugga in Luganda, and Managu in Kenya.
Health Benefits of Managu.
African nightshade is Rich in Magnesium, Proteins, Phosphorus, Iron, Calcium, Beta Carotene, Folic Acid, Vitamin E and Folic Acid, Managu is highly nutritious and has been known to:
Due to its high fiber content, Managu is suitable for the gastrointestinal system, proving the much-needed fiber needed for bowel movement. This improves digestion and helps deal with the irritation of the lining of the stomach and intestines, constipation, and stomach aches.
Due to its high nutrient content, the African nightshade is recommended as one of the foods to control malnutrition. It’s rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein, and carbohydrates.
They are rich in Vitamin C, which helps in improving the immune system as well as fast healing of wounds and cuts. Also, they are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Beta carotene. When mixed with amaranth, managu is used as a food for people with HIV/AIDS to boost their immunity.
Managu is rich in potassium, which helps in regulating Blood pressure levels in the body. Potassium also helps improve blood circulation and the formation of red blood cells in the body.
Managu has anti-inflammatory and Analgesic properties that help with Joint pains, Arthritis, Gout, and Tonsillitis.
African Nightshade is effective in treating and preventing mouth, duodenal, and stomach ulcers.
African nightshade helps in improving dental health. It prevents and treats toothaches, tooth decay, sore throat, gum disease (gingivitis), and mouth odor. The Maasai and Kamba people crush the managu seeds and rub on the gums of teething babies to prevent teething pains.
Protects the Liver:
Regular intake of Managu helps reduce the effects caused by alcohol intake. It also prevents and treats liver diseases, like Liver Cirrhosis and Jaundice.
The water gotten from boiled Managu leaves can be applied to the face to treat acne and improve skin health.
African nightshade is suitable for pregnant women as it contains iron, which prevents anemia and replenishes the blood lost during labor.