Afang Leaf: Health Benefits Of Okazi Leaf And Possible Side Effects -

Afang Leaf: Health Benefits Of Okazi Leaf And Possible Side Effects

Health benefits of Okazi leaf and possible side effects? Okazi, botanically known as Gnetum africanum is a shade-loving plant that grows in dense equatorial forests.

It is native to Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon and Nigeria. Both the seeds and leaves of this plant are edible.

In Nigeria however, it’s called Afang in Efik or Ibibio, Ukazi or Okazi in Igbo, and Ajobaje or Ajakotale in Yoruba.

Ukazi or Afang leaf is an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, magnesium, calcium, manganese, sodium, iron, zinc, potassium, copper, and essential amino acids.

The leaves are important ingredients in preparing tasty soup, such as Afang soup, in many homes in the South-South and Southeast of Nigeria.

The leaf is commonly used for the treatment of piles, sore throat, and high blood pressure. It’s also known to increase Libido.

In all traditional feasts or parties, Afang soup is sure to be one of the main dishes of such occasions like traditional marriage, naming ceremony, burial, and new yam festivals in Akwa Ibom State and Cross River State of Nigeria.

Afang soup is so rich that it can be passed for a balanced diet.

Nutritional Value Of Okazi/ Afang Leaf

Ukazi leaves provide approximately 44g of carbohydrates, 12.8 grams of protein, 37.8 grams of fiber, and 2.4g of fat per 100 gram of dry leaves.

They also provide 249 mg of calcium, of magnesium, 121mg of iron, and 0.8mg of zinc.

Ukazi leaf is also a good source of aspartic acid, cysteine, proline, magnesium, iron, vitamins, sodium, calcium, zinc, potassium and so many more.

The health benefits of Okazi or afang include the treatment of enlarged spleens, sore throats, and nausea.

Ukazi also eases constipation and helps to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

The health benefits of Okazi are an attribute of their rich antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content.

This leaf has a lot of health benefits, it can be used as a remedy for certain ailments

Health Benefits Of Okazi (Afang) Leaf

Improved Digestion & Weight Loss

Fibre keeps you fuller for longer and helps to reduce appetite, both of which can promote weight loss. The high fibre content of Afang also prevents constipation.

Okazi leaves have a laxative effect if you eat a large amount of it. Leaves older than 12 months have a greater laxative effect than those between 2-3 months of age.

A laxative is a medicine that stimulates or facilitates bowel movements.

Healthy Heart

The fibre in Okazi can reduce bad or low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, thereby supporting heart health.

Eating fibre regularly also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, and helps to slow the progression of heart disease in individuals who are already affected with it.

Okazi is a great source of quality proteins since they provide the essential amino acids we need for growth and tissue repair.

Replacing meat with Okazi as a source of protein can help to reduce the amount of saturated and trans fats in the diet.

This can also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Okazi is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps to decrease blood pressure.

Bone Health

Okazi is a rich source of calcium especially for people who are intolerant to dairy or those who eat a vegan diet.

Calcium is important for bone and teeth health , especially for adults over the age of 50 who have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.

Herbal Medicine

In Nigeria, Okazi leaves are used to treat enlarged spleens, constipation and sore throats. It is also a means to relieve emotional distress.

The plant is a remedy for nausea and an antidote for certain types of poisons in Congo.

It is also a dressing for warts, haemorrhoids, and boils. Okazi leaves are also used to brew teas that soothe labour pains, and to control blood sugar in diabetic patients.

Controls Excess Urination

Okazi seeds can be chewed raw for controlling excessive urination in kids and adults. It can also be used in the treatment of overactive bladders.

Prevents Goiter

Okazi leaf has a good amount of iodine which is needed for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and this iodine helps to prevent goiter.

Treats Malaria

Okazi leaf also helps in preventing diseases as it has anti-bacterial and anti-parasite properties that are needed to cure malaria.

An Antidote For Poison In Congo

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Okazi leaf is considered as an antidote to arrow poison made from Periploca nigrescens Afzel. It can also be used as an antidote to other types of poison.

Okazi or Afang leaf has not been reported to cause birth defects or miscarriage in pregnancy, so its good for pregnant women. The stem is eaten raw to prevent the pain and menstrual cramps.

Promotes Sexual Health

Okazi leaf increases blood flow to the sexual organs; this helps boost Libido, ovulation, and penile erection.

Antifungal Properties

Okazi leaf is traditionally used in treating measles in children. It is also used in the treatment of boils and warts.

Rich Source Of Vitamins

Okazi also helps prevent scurvy.

Sore Throat

Okazi leaves are also used traditionally to cure a sore throat.


Afang leaf heals and cures common skin diseases, such as eczema, and rashes, just by squeezing the leaves and applying the juice and paste on the affected parts.

Consider eating Okazi leaves regularly to enjoy its amazing health benefits.

Health Benefits Of Okazi Leaf And Possible Side Effects

Okazi leaf has not been reported to cause birth defects or miscarriage during pregnancy.

Okazi prevents nausea (morning sickness) in the early stages of pregnancy. It also helps to reduce pain during childbirth if taken consistently during the pregnancy period.

Eating Okazi as a pregnant woman is very good. The stem if taken raw can help prevent menstrual cramps.

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