“What local pungent smell is this mummy”?,a little girl asks her mother on entering the kitchen; ‘Well,my daughter’ the mother replies her daughter; ‘This smell might be annoying but the after effect on the body after consumption is something you my daughter could even die for”.
The locust bean seed popularly known as ‘iru’ by yoruba; ‘ogiri’ and ‘dawadawa’ by the Igbos, ‘Nune’ by Tiv is the most beneficial and widely used part of the plant Parkia biglobosa.
Parkia biglobosa is a perennial deciduous tree that belongs to the family of Fabaceae which is most common in countries such as Nigeria,Sudan,Sierra leone,Cote D’ivoire,Senegal,Chad,Gambia,Cameroon,Zaire,Guinea-Bissau,Ghana,Mali,Niger,Burkina faso,Togo,Uganda and Benin Republic.
It has 29% lipid,35% protein and 16% carbohydrate.It is also a good source of calcium and fat.
Benefits Of Locust Bean Seed
1. It helps to promote good vision.
Studies show that the root of the locust beamarkets in used to promote eyesight. Little wonder why this same root used to compound lotion used for sore eyes in folk medicine.
2. It has soluble fibre in the galactomannan family which has shown benefits in weight loss. It improves cholesterol level and a natural appetite stimulant.
3. Locust beans is a good antioxidant and detoxifier.It helps to get rid of free radicals in the system of delirious harm as accumulation of free radicals in the body is the cause of many major chronic diseases.So why not help your system and help yourself by ingesting locust beans, you could just start with the pod.
4. Locust beans is known as a very good immune booster. It helps build your immune defense and hence help fight against infections and diseases.
Imagine the strength of a nation if her defense arm is in form and compare with when it is weak,why not help that nation called your body by building her defense unit and thus keeping yourself healthy by consuming locust beans.
To get these benefits; you can start with the locust beans pod which is known as the most important and widely used part of this plant.
So just in details,before I drop my pen we would run through the steps involved in the processing of the African locust bean pods into the product.
These steps include;
1) Collection of the pod
2) Depodding of the seed by extracting the seeds from the yellow pulp.The step done before further processing of the pod.
3) The seeds are then collected and selected before cooking for 1 to 2 days to remove the seed coats. While cooking, the boiling process of the cotyledons can be made fastened (catalysed) by adding wood ash to the “iru” seeds.
4) The boiled iru seeds are then dehulled, washed and rinsed in clean water.
5) The seeds are cooked further for 2 to 3hrs to enhance the softening of the cotyledons and kuru is normally added at this stage.
6) The seeds are drained with a local sieve and then spread in a fermenting perforated calabash.
7) For 2 to 5 days at room temperature(25 degrees centigrade); the seeds are further allowed to ferment to give the desired result. To accelerate the fermentation process, the tool required and normally used are banana leaves.
Well, right before I drop my pen; I would just urge you by letting you know that the locust bean is essential and the seed/pod which is readily available in local markets in West Africa is a fundamental ingredient with immense health benefits you would not want to miss from.
Ignore its odour, and think of its importance to your body system. Do give it a trial and I am pretty sure you would be convinced beyond every reasonable doubt.
Till we meet again on this page,stay healthy and keep fit.
- Vetbest Health Network; www.vbhealth.com.ng