By Chisom Ibemere
Negro pepper, botanically called Xylopia aethiopica from the Annonaceae family is also known as Grains of Selim. It is called Uda by the Igbos, Eeru Aloma in Yoruba, Chimba in Hausa. It is an aromatic spice with many incredible health benefits. It is used in food, medicine and cosmetics. All parts of Uda plants are known for their numerous health benefits. Other African countries such as Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana also grow Uda seeds.
Uda has anti-Inflammation properties thereby preventing injuries, infections, wounds, and damage to tissue. It eliminates harmful stimuli, heal and then repair the affected tissue. It also attacks pathogens, irritants and repairs damaged cells. It ensures fast healing of wounds and infections on the body which may affect the health condition.
Uda seed contains high amount of antioxidants, which synergizes to help get rid of free radicals oxidizing agents in the body and enhances the reduction of cancerous tumours. It has been used for treating skin problems such as boils, itches, skin eruptions etc.
Uda seeds have potent qualities which are powerful in treating respiratory diseases like common cold, pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis. It also has anti malaria properties. It is used for preparing local remedy for reducing malaria in humans. It is also used traditionally for its anti-arthritic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes them effective in the treatment of rheumatic disorders, including arthritic pain and other joint related problems.
Some gastrointestinal disorders like stomach ache, irritable bowel syndrome, dysentery, ulcers, indigestion and so on are being treated using the Uda leaves and seeds.