What is Utazi and what are the Amazing Health Benefits Of Utazi?
Utazi has a botanical name of Gangronema latifolium and they pertain to the family of Asclepiadaceae. The leaves of this shrub have a broad heart shape. When eaten, it combines both bitter and sweet tastes but the health benefit of utazi is not limited to its taste. These plants are widely available in the tropical rainforest of West African countries most especially in countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and cote d’Ivoire.
Each tribe in Nigeria has a name ascribed to this plant. The Yoruba refers to it as Arokeke while the Igbo refers to it as Utazi and they make the ultimate use of the leaf. This is because it is abundant in the southern region of Nigeria. Efik and Ibibio refer to it as utasi.
Utazi and utasi are often confused with one another as they have similar pronunciations. The chemical composition of utazi is made of essential oils, vitamins, saponins and tannin, bitter principles, alkaloids, various minerals, and some essential amino acids.
Utazi leaves are also utilized as a vegetable, spice, or medicine which serves the health benefit of utazi. The best method of preparation is by infusion and decoction of the leaf.
Below are The Health Benefits of Utazi
1. It suppresses hepatitis infection.
The health benefit of utazi is in its ability to suppress inflammation. In case of inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), a decoction of Gongronema latifolium (utazi)combined with other herbs like Ocimum gratissimum (fever plant) and Mormodica charantia (balsam pear) should be given to such person to help purify and restore their liver. A damaged liver is likely to result in complications so there is a need to recommend therapy to hepatitis patients.
2. Antimalaria effect
Utazi leaves are traditionally used for treating malaria disease. It can be mixed with other types of herbs as a concoction to increase its potency. Before the use of tablets and pills, it is one of the methods used in treating malaria thereby contributing to the promotion of health as well as the health benefit of utazi.
There is evidence to support the fact that utazi leave contains antiplasmodial properties that helps to eliminate the parasite from the blood.
3. Regulates blood sugar and cholesterol level.
Diabetes mellitus can be prevented with the consumption of utazi leaf. An infusion of Gangronema latifolium contains a substance that can control the blood sugar level. Studies have also supported the consumption of utazi leaf to reduce the blood glucose level. This is an amazing health benefit of utazi.
4. Prevent respiratory infections
The symptom of respiratory infections like cough is not left out of the health benefit of utazi leaf. The liquid extracted from the leaf has a way of making the cough stop. It has prevented the inflammatory infection of the bronchi, especially in cases of asthma and other related symptoms. Research has also proven that the consumption of raw utazi leaf is effective in relaxing the respiratory tract. This is one of the ways it relieves the cough symptoms.
5. Aids metabolism and digestion of food
One of the health benefits of the utazi leaf is its ability to aid the digestion of food thereby preventing constipation, dyspepsia, worm infestation, intestinal obstruction, or stomach ache. Metabolism is promoted effectively with the use of utazi leaf.
Due to its ability to regulate the flow of bile and enhance the function of the pancreas, it enhances the detoxifying effect of the liver. Apart from the health benefits of utazi leaf in the digestion of food, it also has culinary importance in which utazi leaf can be used as seasonings to make the food tastier.
6. Analgesic effect
Application of utazi leave on the painful part of the body helps to alleviate the pain. When applied to an open wound, it helps to arrest bleeding.
The leave is made into a paste and spread over the damaged area. The liquid extracted from the leaf can also be drunk as a pain reliever and for other forms of internal pains especially those affecting the muscles and joints. These are the health benefits of utazi leaf as a pain reliever.
For some people with an infertility issue, it can be cured by eating utazi leave daily. Although it doesn’t have an immediate effect, it is very effective for infertility problems which is why you need to exercise a bit of patience if the purpose of eating the leaf is for fertility issues.
Utazi leaves should be crushed to extract liquid from them. Add the other ingredients(liquid form) which are honey and juice. Take a glass daily till the desired effect is achieved. Utazi leaves can be of high value to men just like that of women. There have been testimonies from its user on how effective it can be for low sperm count.
8. Antioxidant effect
Utazi leaf contains flavonoids and saponins which are rich sources of antioxidants. They also detoxify the body and prevent the damage of cells thereby contributing to the health benefits of utazi.
9. Anti carcinogens
The free radicals in the body are hunted down by the antioxidant which can be found in utazi leaf thus preventing cancer. It also kills the carcinogenic cell affecting cancer patients. Examples of such are adenocarcinoma and cancers of the lungs.
10. Health benefits of utazi leaf in pregnancy
Utazi leaves are a remedy for abdominal pain. This constitutes one of the amazing benefits of utazi. After the delivery of a baby, the nursing mother might still experience contraction of the uterus and flow of blood from the vagina. The use of utazi leave tends to cleanse the uterus and relieve the pain.
Some women use it for regaining their pre-pregnancy structure while others use it to control their weight. It is a rich source of vitamins during pregnancy as it supplies the body with sodium, potassium, copper, and calcium. All the nutrients supplied contribute to the health of a woman during pregnancy.
What is the health benefit of utazi leaf ?
Utazi comprises of a lot of benefits which are
It suppresses hepatitis infection.
Regulates blood sugar and cholesterol level.
Prevent respiratory infections
Aids metabolism and digestion of food
Anti carcinogens etc
What is the nutritional value of Utazi ?
Eating utazi helps to replenish the body with nutrients like vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. Examples of such minerals are copper, calcium and potassium.
Can a pregnant woman eat Utazi ?
During pregnancy, consumption of utazi help relieves pain and supplies the body with minerals such as potassium, calcium, and copper.
If you have never used utazi before, you are missing a lot. Considering all the health benefits of utazi which are antimalaria effect, regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol level, analgesic effectiveness, etc. They are enough to prove the efficiency of utazi.
Research also supports all components of the utazi plant to be useful as medicine. This includes the seed, root, bark, fruit, and leaf. The method of preparation depends on what it would be us for. The health benefit of utazi can be derived by cooking it with your meal.