African mango (Irvingia gabonesis) is a tree native to the tropical rain forests in West Africa. Fruits of this tree are protein-rich and resemble mangoes, hence the name. It is also known as wild mango, bush mango, dika, dika nut, andok, and ogbono.
In Africa, it’s known by different names in different tribes: in Igbo, it’s known as Ogbono (seed) and Ugiri (tree or fruit); in Yoruba, it’s Aapon (seed)& Oro (tree); in Hausa, its Goron or Biri; in Efik, its called Mbukpabuyo; in Sierra Leone, it’s known as Bobo; Côte d’Ivoire it’s Wanini & Boboru; Congo it’s Meba & Mueba, and in Cameroon it’s Andok.
Seeds of the African Mango are also a good source of nutrients; it’s the most used part of the bush mango. The seeds are also used to make the African delicacy, Ogbono soup.
They contain various vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and iron.
All parts of the African mango tree are used for a variety of purposes:
- The fleshy part and pulp of the fruit is consumed as food or used to make jams, juice, and wine.
- The seeds are eaten raw or used to prepare different foods and supplements.
- The roots, bark, leaves, and seeds are used to make traditional medicines.
African mango seeds have high amounts of soluble fiber. Soluble fibers are “bulk-forming,” meaning that they delay the rate by which food exits the stomach, leading to a gradual absorption of sugars. This decreases the elevated blood glucose level after a meal and also makes you feel full for longer.
Fibers in African mango seeds can also bind to bilesalts and carry them out of the body in the stool. This increases the conversion of cholesterol into bile salts to replenish the deficiency, thereby decreasing blood cholesterol levels.
Irvingia gabonensis fruit can be eaten as fresh fruit. The sweet pulp can be juiced or used for making smoothie, jelly, jam, and wine. The seeds can be pressed for vegetable oil or margarine. The dried ogbono seeds can be ground and used for preparing ogbono soup, stew, Gabon chocolate, and dika bread.
Health Benefits of African Mango.
Aids weight loss:
Ogbono is well known for promoting fat burning, waist-shrinking, and general weight loss. Ogbono helps weight loss by increasing hormones in the body that suppress appetite and reduce the amount of sugar absorbed by the body. It automatically regulates body Metabolism; the maintained rate of Metabolism is directly proportional to the low-level of Cholesterol in the body.
The dietary fiber present in wild mango aids digestion, prevents bloating, constipation, and improves bowel function. African mango extracts also inhibit ulcer formation by increasing mucus production in the stomach.
Helps treat diarrhea:
The bark of African mango can be decocted (boiled) and used for treating dysentery and diarrhea. The bark can also be combined with palm oil for treating diarrhea.
Maintains Blood Sugar Levels:
By regulating the blood glucose levels, Ogbono has a positive effect on the body; it protects the heart and reduces the risk of diabetes. A decrease in blood glucose levels also have powerful stabilizing effects on mood, reduce fatigue, and can increase exercise performance.
Regulates blood pressure:
Taking Ogbono regularly has a way of regulating blood pressure. Supplements made with ogbono are linked to decreased blood pressure, leading to a lesser risk of stroke, heart failure, and blood clotting disorders.
Contains good Cholesterol:
There are two types of cholesterol, bad cholesterol (LDL) and good cholesterol (HDL). African mango is one of the fantastic superfoods available in Africa that helps the body eliminate bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol. A high level of HDL in the blood is thought to lower the risk of coronary artery disease, while a high level of LDL is linked to various diseases.
African mango has a decent amount of Iron in it, which provides a boost to circulation and oxygen flow in the body.
Detoxifies the Body:
African mango encourages healthy weight management. It helps in cleansing the colon and detoxifies the body as well as supply the body with nutrients. It can cleanse and eliminate waste and toxins.
Wound healing and pain relief:
The bark of Bush mango is widely used as an analgesic in Africa. In Sierra Leone, for example, the Mende tribe grinds the bark into a paste with water and applies the product to the skin for pain relief. The bark extract is also ingested to produce an analgesic effect. The powdered seed acts as an astringent (in case of bleeding, helps in stopping blood flow) and are also applied to burns. The boiled bark is also believed to relieve tooth pain.
Antioxidants are essential in fighting free radicals – oxidizing agents which damage cells in our bodies, leading to aging and disease. African Mango is a potent source of antioxidants. The bark of the African mango tree consists of essential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients, which could be of use in treating various neurodegenerative diseases.
Ogbono boosts male libido, increase blood flow to his genitals, and boosts sperm. For ogbono and female fertility, eating ogbono boost their ovulation, libido and increases their chances of getting pregnant.
Ogbono is very good for pregnant women. It contains essential nutrients that are good for the growth and development of your unborn baby. Eating Ogbono during pregnancy does not cause birth defects or miscarriage in pregnancy. Contrary to some beliefs, Ogbono soup will not make your baby drool saliva when she/he is born. Ogbono also boosts milk flow in new mothers.
The shavings of the stem bark are consumed by mouth to treat hernias, yellow fever, and dysentery, and to reduce the effects of poison in Africa. Leaves of the tree are combined with the stem bark of other plants and boiled in water and taken as a tea to treat spleen infections. The leaves are boiled in water and taken as a tea to treat intestinal worm infestation in humans in eastern Nigeria. African mango is also useful in combating Jaundice