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18 Great Benefits of the African Oil Bean (Ukpaka)


Both the seeds, leaves, stems, barks, trunks and roots of the African oil bean tree are very useful for both medicinal, edible and commercial purposes. Studies reveal that the health benefits of African oil bean cannot be overemphasized and are thus discussed below including some other reasons we need this plant. 

1. Reduction of Cancer Growth. Studies reveal that the African oil bean seeds are capable of reducing cancer growth. A comparative study carried out in Nigeria showed that cancer patients who consumed ukpaka during the research period recorded a great reduction in cancer risks unlike those that do not consume it. In a nutshell, consuming fermented African oil bean seeds as a food supplement is a great way of minimizing the risks of cancer growth and maintaining good health. 
2. Dermatological Purposes Due to the anti inflammatory properties of the African oil bean, both the bark and seeds can be used for producing local ointment for treating itches, insects bites, cuts and wounds. 
3. Culinary Purposes African oil bean seeds can be cooked, sliced and allowed to undergo fermentation process for three days before being used for preparing assorted delicacies such as ugba and okporoko, sausages, nkwobi, porridge, abacha salad, soups and vegetables yam. The processed seeds are known as ugba or ukpaka. Ashes from ukpaka pods can serve as local cooking salt while the seeds can be ground into powdered flour for making bread. 
4. Treatment of Gastrointestinal Diseases
The leaves, stems and bark of the African oil bean seed can be decocted and used for treating gastrointestinal diseases such as diarrhoea.

5. Commercial Purposes
The African oil bean seeds are an excellent source of oil thus can be used commercially for producing soap, candles and cooking oil. The edible seeds are enclosed in brownish shells, which can be used for decoration and for making beads, traditional dancing costumes, dresses, rosaries, hand bangles, bags and necklaces. The wood serves as firewood and can also be used for generating charcoals.

6. Lowers the Cholesterol Level
African oil bean seed is a rich source of saponins, which have been proven effective for reducing the plasma cholesterol however, it is important to note that saponins are toxic.
7. Anthelmintic Properties
The bark of the African oil bean tree exhibits anthelmintic properties thus can be used for preparing herbal medicines for treating and destroying parasitic worms.


8. Animal Feed Production
African oil bean seeds are a rich source of nutrients such as amino acids, minerals, proteins and fatty acids thus have been proven essential for use in the production of animal feeds especially when fortified.
9. Antibacterial Properties
African oil bean seeds contain saponins and alkaloids that possess antibacterial properties thus can be used for fighting Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia and Bacillus subtilis.
10. Antimicrobial Properties
African oil bean contains sterols which have been proven effective for tackling microbes such as Staphylococcus aureus.

18 Great Benefits of the African Oil Bean (Ukpaka) 

11. Treatment of Leprosy
The anthelmintic bark of the African oil bean tree can be crushed and decocted for treating leprosy sores.
12. Farming Purposes
The wood and leaves can serve as mulch that can be spread around or over other growing plants to enrich or insulate the soil. The wood can serve as stake for supporting other growing plants such as yam, running beans, akidi. The trunk can serve as timber that can be used for structural work.
13. Infertility Treatment
African oil bean seeds can be used for preparing herbal medicines for treating infertility.
14. Convulsion Treatment
The pods of the African oil bean seeds can be used for treating convulsion. Smoke from burnt African oil bean leaves can also be used for treating convulsion.


15. Induction of Abortion
African oil bean seeds can be crushed and mixed with red ants for inducing abortion.
16. Treatment of Gonorrhea
The fruits, seeds, bark and leaves of the African oil bean tree have been proven effective for tackling gonorrhea.
17. Treatment of Fever
The leaves of the African oil bean tree can be decocted with bush pepper and taken for treating fever.
18. Obesity Control
African oil bean plant is a rich source of phytoestrogens thus can be taken as a nutritional and vitamin supplement for controlling overweight and obesity.
How to prepare Ugba (African Oil Bean Seed)
Preparing the African oil bean seeds before consumption requires cracking the shells to remove the seeds, which are then boiled in water between 14 to 18 hours after which the cooked seeds are sliced into thin strips, soaked in water and washed severally before being wrapped in green leaves for three to four days for fermentation process to take place. Once fermentation has taken place, the ugba can be used for preparing assorted mouthwatering dishes.
Felix Joshua Web Developer

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