The African Pear


The African Pears have long been used in the traditional medicine of some African countries to treat various ailments such as wound, skin diseases, dysentery and fever. The extracts and secondary metabolites have been found to show biological activities such as antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti sickle-cell disease. A wide range of chemical constituents such as terpenes, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids and saponins have been isolated from the plant.  There are several nutrients in pears such as vitamins A, B1, B2, folic acid, niacin, C and E. Minerals such as potassium, copper and phosphorous are also found in pears. Calcium, iron, magnesium, sulphur, chlorine and sodium are present in lower quantities. Certain varieties of pears have higher iron content. When you cut a pear and it turns brown, it means that it is rich in iron.
The May/July fruit has been researched to have immense benefits more than what you could have ever imagined. “Ube” as it is called by many Nigerians has come to stay as beyond the delicious taste of the fruit when boiled or roasted, many more unthinkable are needs to be known about this exceptional fruit.

The local pear grows mostly in the tropics. It grows up to 18 metres in height and exudes an odoriferous gummy substance called resins or exudates from injured or excised portion of the stem. It is cultivated in most rural communities by the peasants, farmers for its fruits. The fruit is red, turning blue-black when ripe with unpleasant turpentine smell. Here is a list of the usefulness of this amazing fruit you, probably, did not know before now.

It aids the treatment of wounds and parasitic skin disease

From time immemorial, local doctors are always in need of African pear when there is a case of deep and parasitic wounds and it has always worked. The fleshy bark of the fruit after it is boiled has been said to cure ringworms, “craw-craw” (body rash) and many more.

It can also be used as an agent of formulation for toothpaste

Pharmacists have claimed thatexudates of native pear can also be used as a part of the ingredients that formulates toothpaste. This is because scientific evaluation has it that the fruit has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. According to a study by D. E. Okwu and Fred U. Nnamdi of the Department of Chemistry, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, the high concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the fleshy areas of the fruit is known to improve the dentine formulation protecting the enamel from demineralisation.So, when next time you sense a need to make your teeth healthier and also the need to make any skin rash to disappear, grab as many local pears as possible.

Supports healthy babies:

Eating pears during pregnancy helps to prevent neural tube defects in the baby because of the folic acid found in pears.

Boosts immunity against diseases:

Studies revealed that African pear is loaded with essential ingredients for warding off diseases. The antioxidant property of African pear makes it good for strengthening of the immune system.

Prevents constipation:

Consuming pear juice regularly helps to regulate bowel movements. The presence of fibre in pears helps prevent constipation and also ensures regularity of bowel movement. In an interview by Secretary General, West African Association of Food Science and Technology (WAAFoST), Professor Osaretin Ebuehi said that its richness in several minerals and fibre makes it important in attainment of good health.

Prevents pimple:

Pears are often recommended due to their high levels of vitamins and minerals for pimple. Minerals are helpful in neutralising skin acids and regulating the pH balance of the skin. This is beneficial in preventing and treating acne.

Enhances fertility:

Some women may find it difficult to become pregnant due to fluctuations in insulin levels. One way to balance insulin levels is by eating fresh fruits. Fruits contain natural sugar which is beneficial for the reproductive system. This is the reason some health experts recommend pears for fertility. Pears also supply the body with essential vitamins and minerals that improves body immunity and aid in fertility.

Maintains dry skin:

Pears can serves as a form of face mask for oily skin. Add half a teaspoon of honey and one tablespoon of body cream to one mashed ripe pear. Apply the mixture over the face and neck and let it remain for about 15 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Controls diabetes:

Its richness in fibre and low glycaemic index makes pear a smart snack for those with diabetes. The bloodstream slowly absorbs a pear’s carbohydrate, preventing a spike in blood sugar and helping to control blood glucose levels.

In addition, pectin a substance present in pear is diuretic and thus may have mild laxative effect, thus making the fruit ideal for persons those who suffer from constipation.


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