By Chisom Ibemere
African Locust bean is scientifically known as Parkia biglobosa. It is a perennial deciduous tree which belongs to the family Fabaceae. It is found majorly in Africa and is primarily grown for its pods that contain both a sweet pulp and valuable seeds.
The seeds are crushed and fermented which constitutes an important economic activity. Almost all parts of the locust bean tree are harvested for medicinal and food purposes. Its bark, roots, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds are commonly used in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of sickness and may also be combined with other medicinal plants for this purpose. The bark and the leaves are mostly used for medicinal purposes.
Locust beans seeds are processed into a seasoning, known as dawadawa among Hausa, ogiri among the Igbos, nune among the Tiv and irú amongst the Yoruba people of Nigeria.”
The pulp is also used in beverage production. The locust bean seeds are most valuable and have high lipid, protein, carbohydrates, and are good source of fat and calcium.
African locust bean contains natural ingredient and nutrient which help to improve vision especially people with eye defects like cataract, minus eyes and myopia. It helps to supply blood to all parts of the body including the Brian which helps to prevent the risk of ailments such as stroke.
Consuming locust beans can help control the quantity of cholesterol in the body thereby helping to improve the heart health. Locust bean contains tannin which helps to prevent gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhoea. It also controls the level of blood sugar. Consuming good amount of African locust beans can improve digestion. Good digestion will give you a healthy body as the excretion process in the body will be improved which will prevent constipation. It promotes natural weight gain.
African locust beans are used traditionally to treat fever. They are used to accelerate the healing of wounds. They are considered a miracle tree. They are rich in calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, copper, and B-vitamins like thiamine. It can be replaced for animal protein and its high Antioxidants protect the body against free radicals that harm the vital organs. It is rich in anti-oxidants like phenols (catechins) and flavonoids.
Catechins, a type of phenol which is abundant in the seeds of African locust beans helps to reduce oxidative stress and promote dilation of the blood vessels.
Fermented locust beans are rich in iron and other essential nutrients, adding locust beans to your diet promote good health and will prevent anaemia.