‘Iru’ as fondly called by the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, is the popular name of African locust beans. The Hausa calls it “Dawa- Dawa”; while the Igbos refer to it as “Ogiri”. African locust beans have been used as a seasoning; and adding flavour in cooking soups and stews. It is boiled and fermented through a process that requires continues boiling until is ready for fermentation.
Iru is a very popular ingredient in traditional African cuisines, it grows in long slender pods when premature, it is green and dark brown when mature.
It contains a sweet pulp and seeds, the yellow pulp which contains the seeds that are used later to prepare the African locust beans after been cooked; and fermented before you can consume it or used in our daily soups and stews.
African locust bean is a black strong smelling seasoning which is rich in lipid, protein, and carbohydrates. African locust beans help in boosting your immune system, relieve diseases like diarrhea, diabetes and reduce the chance of heart attack. It is also used as a remedy to counteract the effects of poison like snake bites and scorpion stings.
Let us consider some health benefits and nutritional values of the African locust beans.
Due to the natural ingredients and nutrients found in African locust bean, therefore, consuming it will help to have a better vision especially people with eye issues like cataract, minus eyes and myopia.
It can treat stroke
Stroke is when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly interrupted which is fatal. Research shows that consuming a good amount of African locust bean will definitely help you against such sickness.
Cholesterol which can cause some blockage within the blood vessels can lead to heart issues. Eating locust beans can help your body control the amount of cholesterol found in our bodies.
Because of the amount of tannin found in African locust bean, it will heal diarrhea, which is a gastrointestinal disorder with the symptoms of frequent watery bowel movements. Consuming African locust beans will help you relive diarrhea.
Hypertension also referred to as high blood pressure occurs when is a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently increasing above the normal level. Therefore, consuming a good amount will help people with hypertension.
Help control blood sugar level
The human body requires sugar to produce enough energy but it should be stable otherwise if unstable of high will cause diabetes. Therefore, consuming African locust bean will help you control blood sugar level.
Eating a good amount of African locust beans can improve digestion. Good digestion will give you a healthy body as the excretion process in the body will be facilitated which will prevent constipation.
Underweight is not healthy and vice-versa which is sometimes not easy to be normal weight or just gain weight for underweight. Eating African locust bean will help you gain weight in a natural way.
As mentioned above it can be used to treat ulcer wounds internally by eating the beans as well as external wounds. The leaves when pounded can be applied on wounds; and the bean can be paste on the wound to heal the wounds.
Consuming a good amount of African locust bean can reduce fever. It was traditionally used to reduce high fever which is still practiced in some rural African communities; and also send away evil spirits because of its unpleasant smell.
African locust beans consist of many vital nutrients which are cherished by the body. Therefore, consuming healthy African locust beans will give you good health.