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Disease prevention and treatment

Use this medicinal leaf to treat more than 5 diseases including diabetes


One night on my way home from work, I observed I had back ache and pile, so I decided to buy scented leaf known as efinrin. When I explained to the scent leaf seller that I was having back ache and pile, she encouraged me to buy one other leaf in addition to what I earlier requested. Lo and behold, it was magical after eating this leaf. The name is Utazi.

Utazi is a common leaf in Igboland, infact most Ibo women include it in their traditional meals especially the soups. But I doubt if most of them actually know the medicinal and health benefits Utazi leaf has.

Utazi (Gongronema latifolium) just like other tropical plants is highly medicinal and has been used over the years traditionally; in the treatment of various ailments and diseases.

Utazi, scientifically called, Gongronema latifolium has characteristics sharp, bitter and slightly sweet taste, especially when eaten fresh. It is likewise used in preparing local delicacies such as; nkwobi, isi ewu, abacha, ugba, plantain porridge and soup. The parts commonly used are leaves, stem and root.

Having done more research about the leaf, I discovered that Utazi leaf has the medicinal potential to treat more than just back ache and pile. I have used it for body pain, wounds and malaria prevention as well. Here are more diseases Utazi leaf has the potential to treat.


Medicinal benefits of Utazi (Gongronema latifolium)


It relieves pain

Utazi leaf used for treating and relieving pain caused by bruises, cuts, inflammation, rashes etc. Prepare a paste of the leaf and applied to the affected area (external application). Also aqueous extract of the leaf can also be taken to provide relief from internal pain.


Management of diabetes

Gongronema Latifolium is good for management of diabetes; because its useful in maintaining healthy blood glucose level.


Anti-sickling agent

A decoction of the roots, combined with other plant species administered for treating sickle cell anaemia.


It prevents cancer

The antioxidant property of Utazi makes a useful tool for treating cancer. The antioxidant protects the body by acting as free radical scavengers. G. latifolium leaf extracts strong inhibitory activity against human lung carcinoma; as well as human breast adenocarcinoma in vitro.


Anti-ashmatic properties

Gongronema Latifolium has anti-ashmatic potential. Asthmatic patients can chew the fresh leaves of G. latifolium to relieve wheezing; while a cold maceration of the roots of the plant, consumed as treatment for asthma.


Helps prevent ulcer

The stem bark extract of Gongronema Latifolium has equally reported to have anti-ulcerative property.



Treatment of malaria

Aqueous extract from Utazi leaf used to treat malaria. Gongronema Latifolium has antiplasmodal activity, this supports the traditional use of the leaf extract of the plant for local treatment of malaria.


Cough and phlegm laxative

G. latifolium, used to treat cough in Nigeria. The leaves when chewed raw or infused with hot water can act as a fast relief for catarrh, congested chest, running nose and cough.


Post-natal care

G. latifolium, used for cleansing the womb and treat abdominal pain after childbirth. Lactating mothers can use utazi to control their body weight as well as maintain a healthy body system.


Protects the liver

Utazi leaves can promote the detoxification actions of the liver. Used for the treatment of viral hepatitis and also bilharzia. Also for prevention of drunkenness; because it neutralises the intoxicating properties of alcohol and likewise its harmful effects on the liver.


Aids digestion

Utazi leaves aid digestion by stimulating the digestive system. It stimulates the flow of bile; and also increases appetite for food. Juice extracted from Utazi leaves can used in the home treatment of sore gums, colic, dyspepsia, loss of appetite, stomach ache, constipation, dysentery as well as intestinal worms.

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Gongronema Ibo Igboland Utazi efinrin

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