10 Wonderful Health Benefits of Piper Guineense (Uziza)

Uziza is a medicinal herb commonly used by the Igbos in the Eastern part of Nigeria. It is botanically known as Piper guineense. The Yorubas call it Ata Iyere. It is also known as West African pepper, Guinea cubeb, kale, Guinea pepper, Ashanti pepper, kukauabe, or Benin pepper.  We will discuss the health benefits of Piper Guineense (Uziza) with you should know.

Uziza seeds and leaves are widely used in African Traditional medicines. Uziza soup is popularly prepared in eastern Nigeria and is made with palm nuts ( Banga).

Uziza has a sharp and slightly spicy flavor that goes well with foods prepared with it. It is spicy due to the chemical compound Piperine. Uziza has the potential for treating various diseases due to the phytochemicals that have antimicrobial properties that it contains.

Nutrition of uziza

Uziza contains piperine like most peppers. Piperine is responsible for various medicinal benefits and its pungent aroma. Uziza is also rich in carbohydrates, protein, lipids,  potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and iron. 

Uziza also contains phytonutrients such as flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, essential oils, glycosides, peptides, tannins, and phenols.

Health benefits of Piper Guineense (Uziza)

Uziza has various health benefits. Some of these are stated below:

1. Anti-inflammatory

Uziza has anti-inflammatory properties. Most chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer, are caused by inflammation. Inflammation is the process whereby the body activates the immune system and sends out inflammatory cells to attack bacteria or other harmful substances in the body.

This causes inflammatory symptoms like warmth, swelling, and redness. If the body sends out inflammatory cells when an individual is not injured or sick, such a person may have chronic inflammation.

Studies show that piperine, the active component of Uziza can fight inflammation.

2. Good for the Heart

Uziza contains a compound that relaxes the smooth muscles of the heart. The compound, carvacrol, is a monoterpenic phenol that could lower blood pressure.

Studies have shown that this compound can reduce heart rate, and reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

3. Infection

Another benefit of Uziza is that it fights infections. It contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it combat various microorganisms.

4. Digestion

Uziza helps digestion as it contains fiber. It allows for an easy bowel movement and reduces constipation. It also possesses carminative properties that help to reduce stomach gas and flatulence.

5. Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes is characterized by a high blood sugar level. Studies have shown that Uziza reduces blood sugar levels and prevents sugar spikes.

Traditional medicines experts also say that regular consumption of Uziza soup reduces blood sugar levels of Diabetics. This is also a benefit of Oha leaves that can be made into Oha soup.

6. Weight Loss

Consumption of Uziza also assists in weight loss. It contains fiber that makes one feel full quickly and prevents unnecessary eating. Drinking Uziza tea before food also prevents overeating.

7. Brain Health

The main component of Uziza, which is piperine, has been shown to benefit brain health. It has potential benefits for symptoms related to degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s’ disease. Piperine also improved memory in a study conducted on rats.

8. Treats male and female infertility

Uziza leaves are used in treating female infertility and fibroids. The seeds are used as an aphrodisiac in both men and women. It also improves low sperm count in men.

9. Cough

Uziza is used for treating cough and nasal congestion. This can be done by putting some grounded Uziza seeds in a bowl. Add boiling water to it.

Cover and leave to soak for ten minutes. Then, sieve the mixture and drink the filtrate. The spicy liquid will help clear the congestion and also cure the cough.

10. Prevents Cancer

Uziza consumption helps to provide the body with various antioxidants that help prevent cancer. Cancer is caused by the accumulation of free radicals in the body.

These antioxidants help to attack and destroy the free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of having cancer by an individual who regularly consumes Uziza. Studies have shown its ability to installing the progression of skin, colon, and bowel cancers.

Other Health Benefits of Piper Guineense (Uziza):

Helps fight premature aging

Provides immunity

Has fever-reducing properties

It improves oral health

It Helps in the process of quitting smoking

Good for vitiligo ( loss of skin color in blotches)

Strengthens the hair

Natural pain reliever

It lowers cholesterol level

It exfoliates the skin

It is used to treat convulsions and epileptic seizures.

Promotes uterine contractions after birth

Promotes milk supply for lactation.

Uziza and Pregnancy

Many people usually ask if there is any harm with Uziza’s consumption and pregnancy. Uziza can actually cause uterine contractions and miscarriage. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to stay away from Uziza and any spicy or peppery foods during pregnancy.

Culinary Uses

Uziza is an important kitchen addition. It gives various benefits and has been used for cooking since time immemorial. Here are some of the ways Uziza is used in the kitchen:

1. Soups

Uziza leaves are used in preparing delicious soups. Below is a recipe on how to prepare Uziza soup:


Meat (goat meat or as desired)

1 Big dry fish


1 bulb of onion


Ofor (soup thickener)


Uziza leaves


Red palm oil

Buillion cubes


Boil meat and stockfish with salt, onion, and bullion cubes

Pour in water and cooking red oil and boil. Spread in-ground ofor ( soup thickener) and boil until all lumps dissolve. Blend in pepper, crayfish, salt, and bullion cubes

Slice and wash the uziza leaves, and pour into them. Boil for a few minutes and the soup is done.

Best served with Eba, Fufu, Starch, Pounded yam, or any swallow you prefer. 

2. Tea

Uziza can be taken as tea for cold and cough. Simply place 2 or 3 leaves of fresh uziza leaves into a cup of hot water. Allow it to steep for some minutes before drinking. You can sweeten it with honey to your taste.

3. Garnish

A touch of dried ground uziza seeds can be a tasty seasoning for poultry, beef, rice, fish, vegetables, stew, and yam.


The Health Benefits of Piper Guineense (Uziza) made it a wonderful plant with various benefits. Its active component Piperine has antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, anti cancer, anticonvulsant and antidiabetic properties. Studies show that the parts of the Uziza plant are highly loaded with antioxidants.

However, more studies are needed to know the exact dosages needed for different conditions Uziza is used for.

Moderation is important when consuming Uziza. Pregnant women should avoid Uziza seeds and other peppery spices.

Include Uziza in your diet and reap its various Health Benefits of Piper guineense alongside.


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