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  BLACK PEPPER

 

Scientific name:
Piper guineense
Common names: Black pepper, Guinea cubebs
Local names: Soro wusa, Sesaa, (Ewe)-Atsinkali
Family name: Piperaceae

Description: A climber up to 12m high on tress, climbing by means of adventitious rootlets etc.
Habitat: It occurs in closed forests on trees in forest
clearings.
Parts used: seeds, leaf, twig.
Chemical constituents: Volatile oil; alkaloids: piperine, wisanine dihydrowisanine, dihydropiperine and related alkaloids; resin, lignans-dihydrocubebin, sesamin, aschantin.

Uses: for the treatment of coughs, bronchitis and rheumatism; the powdered drug is insect repellant and insecticidal; fruit as spice. Antiviral used in confectionery.
NB: There are two varieties. The one collected from the wild is Piper guineense while the cultivated type is Piper nigrum which is accepted mostly in the international market as spice.

  GRAINS OF PARADISE

 


Scientific name: Aframomum meleguet
Common names: Grains of paradise, Alligator pepper and melegueta pepper
Local names: Fam wusa (Twi), Ataku (Ewe)
Family: Zingiberaceae

Description: A tufted leafy herbaceous plant up to 2m high, leaves are distichously arranged etc.
Habitat: it is cultivated in forest regions in farms and home gardens. Its matured dried fruit and seeds are sold in the markets.
Chemical constituents: Oleo-resins (volatile oil contains paradols, gingerols and shogaols).

Uses: it is an aromatic stimulant; for treatment of coughs and bronchitis; anti-rheumatic; for dyspepsia; also used as an adjuvant. Used in Japan as aphrodisiac.


  MIRACLE BERRY

 


Scientific name: Synsepalum dulcificum
Common names: Sweet berry, miracle berry
Local names: Asowa (Twi), Ele (Ewe)
Family: Sapotaceae

Description: It grows on in bushes up to 6m high in its native habit; an evergreen plant producing small red berries after flowering white colours.

Habitat: It is a forest shrub and is cultivated on farms. It has two seasons.
Part used: Fruit
Active ingredient: Active glycoprotein molecule, with some tailing carbohydrates chains called Miraculin.

Uses: Masks the taste of bitter medicines, fermented beverages, citrus fruit juices, dairy products. Flavour enhancement applied as substitute for sucrose.


  CARISSA

 


Scientific name: Carissa edulis
Common name: Simple-spine Carissa
Family: Apocynaceace

Description: It is a spiny, much branched, small tree,
shrub or scrambler, up to 5m length with a milky sap.
Habitat: It is found throughout tropical Africa.
Part used: Root
Active Ingredient: Carissin (Twigs) contain quebrachytol
and cardioglycosides that are useful as an anthelmintic
against tapeworm.

Uses: Useful in the treatment of cancer, also for glandular inflammation, veneral diseases, to restore virility, to treat gastric ulcers, and as a expectorant, For treating Malaria, For the treatment of headache, chest complains, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and as a diuretic
(rheumatism). It has antiviral activities and at the same time aphrodisiac.


  KOMBO

 

Scientific: Pycnanthus angolensis
Common name: African nutmeg, kombo
Local name: Otie
Family name: Myristicaceae

Description: A tree that reaches a height of about 100m, bole straight, cylindrical, sometimes with a swollen base
or root swellings.
Habitat: It is found in rain forest, transitional and secondary formations.
Part used: seed, bark, fluid.
Active ingredients: Cethyl Myristoleic Acid (CMO) and
Kombic acid.

Uses: Anti analgesic, Antioxidant. Relieves pain and disability of people who suffer from Arthritis. Myristoleic acid lubricates joints and entire body. It also functions as immune system modulator. Effective in controlling autoimmune diseases. It mediates inflammatory processes.
Applied in cosmetic industry.



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