The African pear is the fruit of a tree native to mostly equatorial or tropical regions of Africa.  The African pear is known by a variety of names depending on which country is being referred to. In Ibo language of Nigeria it is called UBE whilst the people of Etsako in Edo state call it OLOMI.

In Nigeria Ube or Olomi, is enjoyed as a snack and eaten alongside roasted or boiled corn, sometimes with coconut. They are eaten cooked, either by roasting them on coals, in a dry pan or by submerging them in boiling hot water until it ready to eat.

THE BENEFITS OF THE AFRICAN PEAR

Medicinal Purposes
The African pear tree is used by traditionalist for producing herbal medicines, which is used for treating several health disorders such as fever, wound, dysentery, sores and skin diseases. Moreover, studies reveal that the extracts of this fruit contains anti oxidizing, diuretic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, anti sickle-cell and anti-spasmodic properties. These immense properties of African pear are a result of the broad range of chemical compounds present in the fruit such as; saponins, terpenes, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids.

Maintenance of Healthy Teeth
African pear (ube) has a high calcium content, which makes it capable of supplying the basic requirements needed for the growth and maintenance of healthy teeth including bones.

Alternative for Oil
Studies reveal that the African pear (ube) can be used as an alternative source of fats and oil. The fruit possess fatty acid composition and physico-chemical characteristics, which makes them a great potential for industrial use. African pear oil can also act as a substitute for coconut oil, vegetable oil, palm oil or groundnut oil for both domestic and industrial use.

Prevention of Vascular heart diseases
The oil of African pear contains linoleic acid, which is a vital polyunsaturated fatty acids. This type of fatty acid helps in the prevention of vascular heart diseases. Besides, the oil of African pear has a greater amount of oxidative stability unlike those with unsaturated acids.

Prevention of Skin Irritation
The oxidative stability of the African pear oil has the potentials of preventing skin irritation. The oxidation ability of the African pear oil makes it suitable for use as a body cream. The exudates from African pear (D. edulis) contain antibacterial agent and if added in creams help to stabilize emulsion. The oil is very smooth on the skin and protects the skin from dryness.

Incense production
The African pear exudates and resin can be used traditionally for the production of burning incense. The pleasant smell and smoke from the African pear exudates while burning, is believed to be capable of wading off evil spirit.

Highly Nutritive
African pear is an excellent source of vitamins C and E, which are antioxidative in nature. These vitamins help in maintaining glowing and healthy skin as well as slow down the aging process.

African pears are also rich in niacin, thiamine, magnesium, pantothenate folate, potassium, calcium, amino acids, fiber, phosphorus, riboflavin, carbohydrates and vitamin B6.

Consumption Benefits
African pear recipe is among the simplest recipe you can think of. You can either soak the pear (ube) in hot water, roast it in charcoal or even pop it into your mouth for few minutes and the fleshy buttery pulp gets soften and ready for consumption.

Just like the avocado pear (Persea americana), the fleshy buttery pulp can act as a substitute for butter or margarine for eating bread. Grab some of this unique fruit and give it a try.

Cancer Prevention
Researchers agree that eating African pears is capable of preventing women from getting postmenopausal breast cancer. This is as a result of its anti-cancerous properties.

Other uses
The resin found in African pears can be burnt for lighting, the tree can be cut and used as firewood while the leaves can be used as manure for cultivating farm produce. The tree has huge size, thus can be used to improve soil quality as well as for the prevention of erosion.

 

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