Bitter Leaf, known botanically as Vernonia amygdalina, is one of the most interesting plants within its class of plants. Not just because of its taste but also because of the way it is grown, and processed, along with its important health benefits. Bitter Leaf soup remains one of the most consumed herbs in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. From the stem with its hard cuticle to the smallest green leaf, it has several health benefits as described below:
Health Benefits of Bitter Leaf
Cancer: Consuming Bitter Leaf whether as the leafy soup or the juicy extract, has the ability to help prevent the forerunners of cancer such as trophoblastic and hydatidiform molecules.
White Blood Cells: The white blood cells help the body in defense against disease, bacteria and other forms of infections. Bitter Leaf is able to help carry out this function due to its high potassium content. It thus boosts the production of white blood cells.
Diabetes: It has been discovered years back by the locals that the Leaf contains a substance called andrographite, which helps in lowering blood glucose. This health benefit can be received both from taking the juice extract or eating the soup.
Healthy Skin: Andrografin found in the Leaf has been discovered to have antibody abilities. This antibody helps to fight free radicals, which keeps the body healthy.
Typhoid: Locally, the soup is not just enjoyed in a meal; it also has a strong benefit especially against typhoid. The andrografin present in the Leaf may successfully attack the bacteria that cause typhoid.