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is a tropical fruit dominant in West Africa and is a kind of berry that is pungent, peppery and medicinal in nature that could be found in most parts of Nigeria.
It contains some valuable nutrients and phytochemicals which are beneficial to human health in different ways.
It is seasonal and it is of two types, the wild one (can be cooked not eaten raw) and non-wild one (the one in this picture can be eaten raw and used to cook as well).
Health Benefits Of Pepper Fruit
1. Has Medicinal Effects
The fruit, leaves and root of pepper tree are medicinal in such a way that they can be used to treat stomach upset, stubborn worms and other gastrointestinal issues.
In many parts of Nigeria and other local areas where it is grown, it has served many medicinal purposes, though not yet scientifically proven but it has been used by locals to alleviate many health conditions such as the ones mentioned above and even more.
2. Helps Treat Convulsion
Pepper fruit oil extract contains a compound called 1-nitro-2-phenyl ethane which has an anticonvulsant and hypnotic effect which can treat infant convulsion effectively.
For this health condition, the leaves are more beneficial in this case, and it can be squeezed and the liquid content drain for oral treatment of convulsion in infants.
3. Serves As A Postpartum Tonic
This fruit serves as a post-partum tonic because of the presence of active compound contained inside, the seeds can be grounded and use to prepare certain food for nursing mothers immediately after childbirth because it aids in uterus contraction and heals some wounds sustained during the childbirth process.
The fruit can also be eaten in its raw form, as it can also provide the body with almost the same effect, especially for the nursing mothers.
4. Rich in Antioxidants
There are important antioxidants such as ascorbic acid and flavonoids that fight against free radicals that have tendencies of causing sicknesses in the body system.
This antioxidant property is mainly applicable to unripe pepper fruit since it was discovered that the antioxidants in the fruits reduce as they ripe while the phenolic content increases.
They help in the prevention of cancer due to its ability to prevent oxidation and inflammation which could lead to cancer and swelling, and much more.
5. Can Prevent Cancer
Owing to its ability to reduce inflammation as it contains some vital anti-inflammatory properties, pepper fruits can help reduce the risk of getting cancer, and also improve existing ones.
Fruits rich in anti-inflammatory properties reduce/prevent swelling or inflammation which could lead to abnormal growth or cancer, and the phenolic compounds, flavonoids etc., in pepper fruit serve this purpose.
From recent studies, pepper fruit has been proven effective as used in the treatment of prostate cancer, etc., as it shows positive improvements on the cancer cells.
6. Has Anti-Ulcer Properties
The seed of pepper fruit has an ethanol extract which exhibits anti-ulcer properties due to the presence of flavonoid in the fruit and this ethanol extract from the seed helps in terminating stomach ulcers.
Fruits, as well as vegetables, have been found to have a great anti-ulcer property, and due to this effect, pepper fruits serves a great substitute for use in the prevention/treatment of peptic ulcers, and other related health conditions like stomach disorders.
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