latifolium (utazi) is a climbing shrub with broad, heart-shaped leaves that has
a characteristic sharp, bitter and slightly sweet taste, especially when eaten
fresh. The stems have soft/hairy that yields milky latex or exudates.
to the family of plants known as Asclepiadaceae and it is widespread in
tropical rainforest of West African countries, such as Nigeria, Côte
d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone,
Ghana and Senegal, etc.
Nigeria, where it is commonly grown, the Igbos call the plant utazi, the Yoruba
know it as arokeke and the Efik and Ibibio call it utasi. Parts used Fruits, seeds,
leave, root and bark.
latifolium (Utazi) belongs to the class of medicinal plants that are beneficial
in preventing and treating certain diseases and ailments that are detrimental
to human health. Gongronema latifolium leaf, which can be chewed, infused or
used for cooking is mainly used in the Western part of Africa
for nutritional and medicinal reasons..
roots cannot be chewed rather has to undergo decoction, the leaves can be
infused with hot water and allowed to cool down before drinking while the fresh
utazi leaves can be chewed.
benefits of Gongronema latifolium (Utazi) include:
roots can be decocted and mixed with other medicinal plants for the treatment
of sickle cell anemia.
utazi leaves can be used as a home remedy for dysentery and intestinal worms.
leaves when chewed raw or infused with hot water can act as a fast relief for
catarrh, congested chest, running nose and cough.
records that Ghanaian and Senegalese squeeze the utazi leaves and use it to
massage the joints of children with difficulty in walking and this practice
helps those young children to start walking.
Lactating mothers can use utazi to control their body weight as well as
maintain a healthy body system.
utazi leaves can be macerated in alcohol and used for the treatment of viral
hepatitis and bilharzia.
utazi fruits can be used to cook soup, which can be eaten as a laxative.
Researchers agree that the decoction of the utazi leaves or stems can be
beneficial in treating high blood pressure and diabetes.
utazi leaves are very helpful in treating malaria.
utazi latex from the fruits can be applied on the teeth that are affected by
11. Sierra Leone
infuses the utazi stems with lime juice before drinking it and this acts as a
purgative to treat stomach ache and colic.
suffering from asthma can chew utazi leaves or macerated roots to help relieve
them from wheezing.
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and
should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnosis and treatments.
Remember to always consult your health care provider before making any
health-related decisions or for counseling, guidance and treatment about a
specific medical condition.
Африкан Сън Листа Утази
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