The traditional and medicinal use of African breadfruit (Treculia africana Decne): an underutilized ethnic food of the Ibo tribe of South East, Nigeria - Journal of Ethnic Foods
African breadfruit is an underutilized food security crop which is a delicacy for the Ibo ethnic group of South East Nigeria. It is commonly found in West and Central Africa. It is an evergreen large tree that bears about 20–30 pods containing edible seeds, annually. The edible seeds are used as specialty dishes by the Ibo tribe of South East Nigeria. African breadfruit meals have high dietetic value. The pods, leaves and roots are use in traditional medicine. The leaves are particularly rich in carbohydrates, phytochemicals (flavonoids, phenols, cardiac glycosides and anthraquinones) and minerals. These constituents contribute to its antioxidant, antimicrobial and wound healing properties. The stem bark extract is used as a cough remedy and has antimicrobial properties. The water and ethanoic extracts of the root possess antihyperglycaemic properties and also discourage the development of secondary complications of type 2 diabetes. Many of the perceived medicinal and chemical properties have not been scientifically investigated. Although other members of the mulberry family (especially the Artocarpus species) have received some research attention, Treculia africana remains underutilized despite its great potentials as a food security and medicinal crop.
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