Whether you are a lover or not, you can not deny that locust beans have a way of making food taste from just okay to great. You can like to lick your hands after eating the delicious delicacy that has been spiced up with locust beans.
What Makes Locust beans so Important? Before we get to that, let’s start with the Introduction.
Do you now that, locust beans are a food species whose importance is recognized both regionally and internationally? In some countries in Africa, it is not an ordinary food item but a therapeutic food and a source of income.
Commonly referred to as ‘Iru’ by Yorubas, ‘Ogiri’, ‘Dawa Dawa’ by Igbos, and referred to as African locust bean Globally with the botanical name as Parkia Biglobosa, is a local seasoning or condiment used in soups and stews.
It can be found in a wide range of environments in Africa and is primarily grown for its pods that contain both a sweet pulp and valuable seeds.
The most valuable parts of the locust bean are high in lipid (29%), protein (35%), carbohydrate (16%), and is a good source of fat and calcium.
Beyond its uneasy look and potent smell, here are 8 health benefits of locust beans we bet you never knew.
1. Anti-Oxidizing Properties
Iru has a very strong free radical scavenging and reducing abilities and as such can be used as an antioxidant for detoxifying the body. The fruit has a remarkable amount of polyphenols that accounts greatly for its anti-oxidizing properties. The anti-oxidizing properties of the fruit extracts of iru are very similar to that of ascorbic acid.
2. Wound Healing Properties
The bark of the African locust beans can be crushed, ground, soaked and boiled for preparing herbal tea for treating and healing wounds.
3. Treatment of Respiratory Infections
It can be macerated (infused or soaked in liquid) for treating respiratory infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, cold, cough and fever.
The patient has to drink and gargle on the concoction.
4.Boosts the Immune System
Researchers reveal that the African locust beans are useful for boosting the immune system, especially in immunocompromised individuals (having an impaired immune system).
The bark can be infused, soaked and boiled for use as a mouthwash and for treating toothache.
6.Reduction of Blood Pressure
The leaves contain procyanidin, which has been proven effective in reducing blood pressure. They significantly reduce the diastolic blood pressure more than the systolic blood pressure.
7. Anti-malarial Properties
Researchers reveal that Iru is very effective in treating malaria. Both the leaves, pods, stems and barks can be macerated and used as a herbal remedy for tackling malaria.
The root, bark and leaves of the African locust beans can be infused, soaked and used for bathing by individuals suffering from skin infections.
It can also be applied to the skin to soothe burns.