Oha leaves are the edible leaves of an evergreen tree found in Africa that is known botanically as Pterocarpus mildraedii. They are used for culinary and medicinal purposes. They are also called ora leaves.
Oha leaves contain minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc and manganese. Oha leaves are rich in fiber, amino acids like glutamic acid, lysine and cysteine while they have a low sodium content. They contain vitamins A, C and some B vitamins. Oha leaves contain hydrogen cyanide and oxalate but in low levels which are not harmful to humans.
They are popularly used in cooking Ofe Owerri by Igbo people of Nigeria. Some of the bioactive compounds which are responsible for the therapeutic actions of oha leaves are alkaloids, tannic acid, polyphenols, oxalates and tannic acid.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OHA LEAF
- It increases the rate of metabolism in the body system thereby improving loss of weight.
- It contains anti-parasite, antibacterial properties that are needed to cure malaria, therefore its anti-malaria.
- It detoxifies the blood, prevents indigestion, rheumatism, scurvy and nourishes the skin.
- Prevents diabetes, regular intake of bitter leaf in your diet, helps to counter the effects of excess sugar in your bloodstream, thereby reducing the high level of sugar in the blood.
- Cure common skin diseases, such as eczema, ring worms, rashes etc, just by squeezing the leaves and applying it to the parts affected.
- Bitter leaf juice when taken by nursing mothers improves the quality and production of breast milk.
- Cures mild stomach ailment, piles, fights liver problems, and energizes you.
- Finally it's a rich source of vitamins, such as Vitamin A, vitamin B1 & B2 which are needed by our body.
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