Amazing Health Benefits of African Oil Bean Seed – Ugba | Ukpaka

African oil bean seed, also known by its scientific name as Pentacltra Macrophylla; is pack-load of nutrients that is healthy for the body. This crop belongs to the Leguminosae family and to the sub-family of Mimosoideae.

However, in Nigerian different tribes calls it different names, the Igbos call African oil beans Ugba or Ukpaka, in Yoruba, it is called Apara, while the Efik people call it Ukana.

Ugba are shiny brown seeds a flat pod when ripe, the seeds usually scatter around the area where the tree is. The nuts are dark brown, very rough, and woody.

African oil beans are an excellent source of protein, vitamins, calcium, energy, amino acids, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese, and copper, as well. Oil bean is also high in phytonutrients such as flavonoids, tannins, glycosides, alkaloids, sterols, and saponins, studies show that the fermentation process it goes through before consumption usually reduces these vitamins and minerals like phosphorus.

In the same vein, it has to go through a complete fermentation process to destroy any unwanted toxins.

Health Benefits of African Oil Bean Seed

  • Based on the anti-inflammatory properties of African oil bean, both bark and seeds can be used to produce local ointments to treat itchin; wounds and sores, insect bites.
  • The preventive and therapeutic potential of fermented seeds of African oil bean/Ugba; has been found to help prevent and cure heart failure according to research. Increased supply of oxygen in the human body, as it revives specific hormones that stimulate the production of red blood cells; which are important in proper heart function.
  • Meanwhile, African oil bean seeds Ukpaka can be used to make herbal medicines to treat infertility. Traditionally, it is being used for the treatment of infertility among couples.
  • The oil extracted from the seeds is effective in treating diarrhea. The seed is also useful in treating anemia because it increases the amount of hemoglobin.
  • Helps control obesity and overweight, the endocrine system in the body is responsible for producing the hormone. Since you get phytoestrogens from a plant-based diet. African oil bean plant can be taken as a nutritional and vitamin supplement as it is a great source of phytoestrogens.
  • Oil bean seeds are used to treat stomach ailments and inflammation. The pods are roasted to ashes, mixed with shea butter or oil; and applied to swellings legs or boils. While the leaves of the Ugba can be taken with bush pepper to treat fever.
  • Eating a reasonable amount of Ugba/African oil bean seeds/Ukpaka reduces the chances of cataracts. Cataract is a clouding in the natural lens of a person’s eyes which is behind the iris and pupil; with complete opacity and obstruction of the passage of light. In addition to relieving vision loss associated with eye disease, oil bean seed can also help prevent cataracts.
  • It helps relieve Insomnia; Insomnia can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, tiredness, and lack of energy. It can cause depression, anxiety or frustration. To solve this issue easily; mix the liquid of fermented Ugba seed with honey and take one teaspoon daily for like two weeks, and sleep like a child.


These are some of the amazing benefits of Ugba, Ukpaka, and African oil bean seed; increase your plant protein intake by including it into your diet.

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