Prekese is a shiny, spicy fruit which grows in pods. Its length varies from 15-25cm; with four prominent ridges sticking out like wings as its distinct feature. It has a spicy, sweet aroma and a taste that makes it ideal for many African cuisines.
Prekese originates from West Africa but popular all over the African continent especially in Ghana; as a powerful spice packed with antioxidants and nutrients. As well as various medicinal values. Among the ailments it cures are; leprosy, diabetes, hypertension, convulsions, fibroid, and the likes. It’s is used as an insect repellent as well because of its scent. It is also a great condiment used in catering from women in need of postpartum care. Used as a dish spice and also in traditional/homeopathic medicine.
Botanically, Prekese is known as Tetrapleura tetraptera, a member of the pea’s family. It can be preserved by sun-drying, and as such, it’s available all year round. The fruit grows on a sturdy tree called the Aidan tree which can grow up to 20-25 meters tall. Although, it is called Prekese in Ghana, it has other names. They include Aridan, Oshosho, Edeminang, Apapa, and many more. But in English, it is known as the Aidan plant.
Nutritional Facts of Prekese
Aiden fruit contains Protein, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, antioxidants, carbohydrates, vitamin C; and other micronutrients are all contained in prekese. Others include tannins, phytochemicals, anti-inflammatory agents, microbial agents, and medicinal extracts. These are found in the bark, fruits, and leaves of the Prekese plant.
How to Prepare Prekese Tea
The prekese pods can be blended or broken into small pieces to be used as food flavoring. In addition, the broken bits of the plant can be added to food during cooking and scooped out before serving. It is good for soups, local sauce and special concoctions.
In herbal medicines and homeopathy, the stem, root, leaves, bark; and pods of Prekese plant can be used to formulate numerous medicines for the treatment of ailments.
Amazing Health Benefits of Prekese – Aidan Fruit
1. Regulates Blood sugar – Diabetes
Tetrapleura tetraptera is claimed to be used for treating Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The fruit extract of prekese has been said to lower glucose levels during fasting and even non-fasting hours.
Moreover, it’s also used for High blood pressure as it help relaxes nerves and aids free flow of blood in the body.
2. Serves as Mosquito Repellant
The plant has a strong scent because of the presence of essential oils found in it. This strong aroma therefore, acts as a mosquito repellant.
3. Postpartum Care
The plant pod is sometimes crushed, and when used as a soup additive and served to postpartum mothers; prevents contractions to a great extent. Prekese pod contains calcium, iron, and potassium. These three components are important for women who are still recovering from childbirth. Other great benefits to new mums are – ability to produce more milk, as well as the role it plays in restoring lost blood.
Prekese and fibroid, in herbal medicine Tetrapleura tetraptera, is taken to help shrink fibroid in women.
4. Antibacterial Properties
The Prekese plant contains antibacterial and microbial properties in reasonable amount. Because of these properties, it is a great disinfectant. It also aids in fast healing of wounds and minor injuries. The extract from the plant can be used to heal skin diseases, inflammation, and bacterial infection.
5. Contraceptive Properties
Similarly, Saponin and ethanol extract are found in the stem and bark of the prekese plant. These extracts help to release a luteinizing hormone that can serve as contraceptives.
6. Used in treatment of Leprosy
According to one research, Prekese could be used in the treatment of leprosy. The disease greatly affects the skin, mucous membranes, limbs and nerves. This sometimes leads to all kinds of skin blemishes, and abnormalities. However, certain chemicals found in the Prekese plants are said to be effective against leprosy.
7. Management of Convulsion
Medicinal agents found in the stem, fruit, and bark of the Prekese plant can help to manage cases of convulsion. Meanwhile, studies show that the plant possesses aqueous extract which leads to anticonvulsant activities; and equally affects the central nervous system positively.
8. Culinary Spice
The Prekese plant has a pleasant scent and is commonly used as a seasoning in a variety of recipes; including white soup, meat and fish pepper soup, ukazi soup, palm kernel soup, and others. This spicy plant can be either crushed or broken into small portions while cooking. When broken into small bits, it is advised to be removed after the meal is done before serving.
9. Dermatological Care
The prekese fruit can be dried in direct sunlight and blended or crushed into a fine powder. This can be a major ingredient in soaps making. The dried powdered extract can be used with other ingredients like palm kernel oil and shea butter for the nourishment of the skin. It also has a spicy fragrance which is a great advantage, apart from its anti-inflammatory composition.
10. Boosts Immune System
The Prekese plant is a rich source of vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, and other nutrients. These nutrients listed supports and strengthens the immune system.
The presence of iron in the plant help in restoring lost blood, zinc provides protections against certain viruses, while potassium help in managing, and controlling muscle disorders. Calcium on the other hand fosters bone strengthening.
Spiritual Benefits of Prekese
The prekese or Aidan fruit is considered to be the fruit of God. As a result, many people claim that burning this particular plant fruit releases a heavy scent that scares out bad spirits.
Certain people believe Exodus 30:34 proves the existence of prekese in the Bible.
Finally, to enjoy the numerous benefits of the Prekese plant, do make it a part of your diet.