Natural Remedies Of Pumpkin Leaves(Ugwu)

By Honey Olorunsola

If you’ve been following our posts, you’ll see that we’ve been discussing how relevant plants are to our health and today we’ll be discussing the last in the series Telfairia occidentalis. I personally love using this vegetable to cook delicacies including various soups and even my noodles. Little did I know I was doing my body system a favour until I studied the plant and found out some really high health benefits and I’ll be sharing some with you today. I added a bonus for you at the end of this article but you’ll need to read through to also understand it. So, enjoy!

Telfairia occidentalis commonly known as fluted pumpkin is grown in West Africa as a vegetable and it’s also popular for its edible seeds. Its common names include fluted pumpkin, ugwu (in the Igbo language), and ikong-ubong (in the Efik and Ibibio languages). It has a healthy amount of Vitamins A and C, Calcium and Iron and it is consumed as vegetable in different households. Right from when I was a child up till now, my mum still has this amazing plant growing in our vegetable garden. It’s funny how our mothers know things that are important to our health, maybe that’s why I also got used to the plant and I enjoy consuming it.

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Aside from its consumption as a vegetable, it also provides other numerous benefits. I’ve heard people say that it’s a natural blood tonic, well, this is absolutely true and it’s due to its richness in Iron, hence, it boosts the supply of blood to the body. There has been an overwhelming increase in the consumption of its leaves and seeds over the past years due to all the nutritive benefits obtainable from them. This was one of my most preferred vegetables during my undergraduate days and this is because of its sweet taste and its health benefits.

Did you also know it improves fertility amongst men? Studies have shown that it is held in high esteem to treat infertility issues. This is as a result of the high level of anti-oxidative properties such as oleic acid, vitamin A, alkaloids, tannins and linoleic acid in its seed oil that restrains the lipid peroxidation activities thereby boosting fertility. These properties have contributed greatly to boosting the functionality of the testicles amongst men and for an increased sperm count.

Pumpkin leaves also boost the immune system and this is due to its rich content in vitamins and minerals and thus provides resistance against infections and toxins coming into the body. I now understand why doctors, nutritionists and health practitioners always advise to include fruits and vegetables into diets. Pumpkin leaves contain high phosphorus level and because of this, it helps keep off the onset of kidney diseases such as kidney stone. It also enhances a better and clearer vision and this is due to the presence of vitamin A in its leaves. I’m sure a lot of people just consume this vegetable without knowing some of its benefits but I’m sure you’ll want to consume it more often by the time you’re done reading.

Studies have also revealed that the fluted pumpkin leaves and seeds contain anticancer, antioxidative and superoxide properties, which help to prevent oxidative burst in the blood. The Telfairia occidentalis leaves contain chlorophyll, phenolic compounds, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, glycosides and phytosterols, which possess chemo-suppressive properties. Unbelievable right? Well, it’s true and it’s real.

Additionally, vitamin C helps to heal the wound and form scar tissue and it also helps to maintain healthy bones, skin and teeth. However, the hypoglycemic effect in its aqueous leaf extracts also acts as an anti-diabetic agent which helps to reduce and regulate the blood sugar level thus maintaining an overall health balance.

To prepare the aqueous extract of pumpkin leaves, you’ll pluck the leaves from the stem, thoroughly wash the leaves in clean water with salt and then squeeze the leaves in a sizable quantity of water to obtain the leaf extract. Afterwards, filter the squeezed extracts with a sieve before consuming. It is always recommended to drink the juice immediately after the preparation or refrigerate it and consume within 3 days.

Other benefits not mentioned in this article, kindly share in the comment section. I look forward to you changing your diet from now and also sharing your experience.

Source: Above Whispers

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