Uda (Negro Pepper)
Negro pepper( Xylo-pia aethiopica ) also known as Uda by the Igbos in Nigeria, has different other names like Senegal pepper, selim pepper, Ethiopian pepper, African Guinea pepper. Uda is a tall evergreen aromatic tree, growing as tall as 20m high found in Africa, Brazil and South America.
Negro pepper contains flavonoids, alkaloids, cineol, phytosterols, tannins, saponins, glycosides, carbohydrates, β-pinene, paradol, α-terpineol, terpinene-4-ol, terpenes, cryptone, verbenone, β-phellandrene, spathulenol, bisabolene, trans-pinocarveol, limonene, linalool, and myrtenol.
Uda is used as spice for flavoring foods like soups, porridge yam, stews, sauce, meat and fish etc. It can be ground or used as a whole. The seed, stem and bark of Uda can be used to prepare herbal medicine.
Benefits of Uda
- The Uda can be used as a herbal stimulant for treating gastrointestinal problems such as stomachache, dysentery and gastric ulcers.
- Dried Negro peppers are usually used in folk medicine for increasing the menstrual blood flow. It can also be used for treating amenorrhea, which is an abnormal absence of menstruation.
- Aqueous extract from Uda is effective against gram positive and gram negative bacteria. It can be used as anti microbial agent.
- Negro pepper can be used to relieve pain as it acts as an analgesic.
- The essential oil from Negro pepper can be used for the manufacture of cosmetics like cream, soaps, perfumes etc.
- Xylopia aethiopica has anti-spirochoectal properties so that it works both as a preventive measure and in treatment of primary, secondary and tertiary stages of syphilis.
- Negro pepper has anti inflammatory properties and so can be used in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions.
- Anti malaria properties of Uda makes it a useful tool for prevention and treatment of malaria.
- The phytochemical constituents of Negro pepper like flavonoids makes it a useful tool for the prevention and treatment of cancer.
- Uda seed is used to prepare food given to women after delivery to relieve pains, promote healing and lactation.