PREKESE or TETRAPLEURA TETRAPTERA: is a native of west tropical Africa and belongs to the pea family. The fruits of the plant have a pungent aromatic odor due to which it also possesses insect repellent properties. It is primarily used as spices. The fruit in its first stage is green but turns into brown which resembles a piece of wood. It is used as a medicinal plant primarily in Ghana, Nigeria and other African countries.
The plant contains potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, protein and vitamin C. The Prekese flavour is added in soft drinks also in Ghana and the soft drink is promoted as some sort of healthy drink which reduces hypertension, it also increases blood flow and reduces asthma attacks.
The uses of Prekese are as follows:
- Wound Healing Properties: Wet fruit extract of the dry prekese has very good wound healing properties. Traditionally the aqueous extract from the fruit is used for healing which is proved scientifically too. However, the low concentration (200mg/ml) of the extract proved to be more efficient than when high concentration (2000mg/ml) extract was taken. The study was done at the University of Uyo. To have best effects always use the fruit extract in low concentration for healing wounds.
- Convulsion Management: In traditional medicine, herbal mixture out of ingredients including stem, fruit, and leaves has a positive effect on treating convulsions. As per a study done at University of KwaZulu-Natal it was found that aqueous extract of the fruit contains anticonvulsant properties. It is also helpful for epilepsy patients in management and control of the condition. The fruit extract has the ability to slow down the nervous system.
- Analgesic Properties: In the same study mentioned above, it was also found that Prekese contains strong analgesic properties. Due to this, the extract is often used to manage arthritis pain. It reduces inflammation in arthritis and rheumatism patients.
- Fever & Enema: A person who is recovering from a medical condition is often asked to bath with water soaked with whole fruit. This also gives fast relief from feverish conditions. Similar infusion also helps people suffering from constipation, enema, and emetic.
- Flavonoids & Phenolic Acids: Prekese is rich in flavonoids which possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. These properties of the fruit help in the prevention of heart diseases. Phenolics extract of the fruit was found to be beneficial in prevention and control of hyperuricemia. This is attributed to its phenolic acids and flavonoids content.
- Diabetes: As per a study done on rats, it was found that Tetrapleura tetraptera or Uyayak is very beneficial in controlling type 2 diabetes mellitus. It was also found that prekese fruit extract was beneficial in lowering blood glucose levels in both fasting and nonfasting conditions. It is primarily used in South Western Nigeria for the treatment of the condition as a folkloric medicine.
Supports Immune System: The plant is a rich source of vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, and magnesium. It helps in strengthening the immune system. The presence of iron in the plant helps in regeneration of lost blood, zinc provides protections against virus that leads to respiratory tract infections, while potassium and calcium helps in managing, preventing, and controlling muscle disorders and bone strengthening.
- Antimicrobial: Due to the antibacterial and antimicrobial property of the prekese, the fruit extract is used in making soap. The soap does not only have medicinal benefits for skin but it also improves the hardness and the foaming.
- Postpartum Care: Edeminang pod is used as an additive in the soup which is served to the postpartum mother to avoid contraction. The pods are rich in potassium, iron, and calcium which are the three most important ingredients required for a postpartum woman. The soup also helps in the production of milk in new mothers and helps to restore the lost blood.
- Gastrointestinal Disorders: The fruit extract is often used traditionally in curing problems like diarrhea, vomiting or stomach pain, Its uses in gastrointestinal-related ailments could be attributed to the presence of phytochemicals.
- Hypertension: The stem and bark of the plant can be used for the treatment of hypertension. Studies reveal that the plant is helpful for healing high blood pressure and check oxidation levels of hypertension patients.
- Weight loss: Prekese can be brewed to make Prekese tea which is used for weight loss. The Prekese drink has the ability to cleanse the extra fats in our bodies.
How to Prepare Aridan or Prekese:
The prekese pods can be crushed and broken into small pieces to add as food flavoring. In addition, the plant can be added to food during cooking and scooped out before serving. It is essential to add this spice to the food so that it infuses well and provides an aromatic fragrance.
This post is for referential purpose only and should not be treated as professional treatment or diagnosis. Always consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions. They will guide and provide the right treatment.