The Wonders Of "Ube Okpo" African Elemi_ Onwordi Ngozi Fortune.


African elemi widely Known as bush candle (Canarium
schweinfurthii) is a gigantic tree with a long and straight bole of
more than 50m.
It is grows in the wild among the dense rainforest of West and Central Africa. The tree belongs to the family Burseraceae.
In Nigeria, it is Known as; ‘Ube mgba’ (Igbo), 'Ube Okpo' (Enuani) ‘Atili’ (Hausa) or
‘Origbo' (Yoruba).
The African elemi fruit (a drupe) contains a
single triangular shaped seed that is surrounded by purplish
green pulp. The pulp is consumed raw or
softened in lukewarm water as traditional snacks in Nigeria.

Processed pulps of African elemi is highly regarded among the masticatories widely
consumed as traditional snacks in West and Central Africa.
Among the people of Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area, Delta State, Nigeria, the fruit snack is very easily neglected and despised.
However, in the Eastern parts of Nigeria, the fruits are heat-processed widely consumed.

Here is a look at the phytochemical contents of raw and macerated African elemi seed pulp. The results of the qualitative analyses of
the phytochemical contents of raw and macerated African
elemi are as follows:

The plant food at all
levels of maceration contained saponins, alkaloids, cyanogenic glycoside, oxalate, tannins and flavonoids. The contents of alkaloids and flavonoids were highest followed
by oxalate with lower contents of saponins, cyanogenic glycosides and tannins.
The quantitative
phytochemical contents of the plant food shows that:
Alkaloid had the highest concentration which ranged from 16.35mg/100g in AE45 to 19.50mg/100g in AEraw followed by flavonoids with values ranging from 14.98mg/100g in AEraw
to 17.27mg/100g in AE45. The lowest value was in tannins
(0.03mg/100g).

Uses.

1. The African elemi tree is one of several sources of the economically useful oleoresin known elemi. In West Africa this resin is traditionally burned for fumigating dwellings and mixed with oil for body paint.

2. The oil is loaded with anti-oxidants and vitamins that nourish the skin and stimulate hair growth.

3. It very effective when mixed with skin and hair care products.
Organiclifeplus Organic Atili oil has a unique feel that other oils do not have because of the speed with which it penetrates the skin, leaving it smooth and supple. Also, it is used as an ointment for healing wounds.

4. It is used in frying food as it has been found to be more nutritious and flavourful than ordinary cooking oil.

5. With appropriate processing, African Elemi is considered a safe source of dietary nutrients.

By; Onwordi Ngozi Fortune.

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