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By JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO/Science and Nature/Wednesday, September 22, 2021

What Are The Health Benefits Of Oil Bean Seed (Pentaclethra macrophylla)?

                              
                            
This post will provide information on "What are the health beneits of oil bean seed (Pentaclethra macrophylla)?" as well as provide answers to questions like: What is oil bean? Where is ugba gotten from? What is the botanical name of oil bean? What is the English name of Ukana? What is African salad? Is oil bean good for diabetics? Is oil bean good for diabetics? Does oil bean contain carbohydrates? What is oil bean? Are oil beans alkaline?

History of Oil Bean Seed (Pentaclethra macrophylla)

African oil bean seed, scientifically called Pentaclethra macrophylla, is one of the many tropical under-utilized crops that are recently attracting worldwide attention because of its high nutrient. It is a native plant in the tropical regions of Africa. The oil bean tree is mainly found in rainforests southern West Africa where they grow wildly. The tree grows the oil bean leaf or flowers between March -April and June – November. What the Igbo people of Nigeria call ‘ugba or ukpaka’ is the fermented African oil been. It is a popular traditional food condiment among the southern and southern-eastern tribes. The oil bean seed is found in the fruit of the oil bean tree. The fruit is black, hard and with woody pod. When it is mature, it splits open revealing up to 8 flat, brown and shiny seeds. African oil bean seed is an excellent source of energy, protein, amino acids, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, vitamins, calcium, manganese and copper. It is also an excellent source of phytonutrients such as tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, sterols, glycosides and saponins. Notwithstanding the high nutritional content of the African oil bean seeds, studies reveal that the fermentation process which they undergo before consumption usually eradicates most of these minerals and vitamins such as phosphorus. Pentaclethra is a small genus of trees from the tropics. They are flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae. It belongs to the mimosoid clade of the subfamily Caesalpinioideae. The name Pentaclethra is derived from Ancient Greek, penta meaning 'five', and cleithro meaning 'bolt', which alludes to the five imbricate sepals and five petals joined at their bases; this character defines the genus.

Health Benefits of Oil Bean Seed (Pentaclethra macrophylla)

  • African oil bean seed is a good source of saponins, phytochemicals that have been proven severally to be effective in keeping the cholesterol levels in check
  • African oil bean seeds might help reduce the risk of cancer and tobacco-related diseases as it contains phytonutrient like flavonoids
  • This superfood is said to contain some active compounds that are very effective in lowering the risk of degenerative diseases like cataracts
  • African oil bean seeds are also an excellent source of anti-bacterial agents for combating bacteria, while its content also helps in promoting the skin’s elasticity and appearance
  • The physiochemical composition of African oil bean seed can help in treating insomnia
  • African oil bean seed is good for your heart health because it has a low amount of fat, not forgetting that it is also rich in essential vitamins and minerals that promote overall well-being
  • The African oil bean seed is an excellent source of phytochemicals called phytoestrogen, which contributes largely to weight loss
  • Combats gonorrhoea
  • Remedy for convulsions
  • May be useful in treating epilepsy
  • Contains antihelminthic properties
  • Reduces the risk of anemia

Side Effects of Oil Bean Seed (Pentaclethra macrophylla)

African oil bean seeds or Ugba are found to contain a poisonous alkaloid called “paucine” and a growth depressant called “caffeoylputrescine.” In a bid to reduce the effects, experts suggest cooking and fermenting the oil bean seeds before ingesting it at all. The unfortunate thing is that most of the aforementioned minerals and vitamins become lesser immediately you ferment the African oil bean seeds.
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