Health benefits of pumpkin leaves (Telfairia occidentalis, Ugwu)

Fluted pumpkin (Ugwu)is one of the commonly consumed dark green leafy vegetables in Nigeria and many of us in Nigeria have been eating Ugwu without really realizing the benefits.

Pumpkin leaves has a healthy amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron, while still staying very low on the calorie front. Aside from the vision benefits in Vitamin A that the leaves provides, there are also numerous skin benefits. Vitamin C helps to heal wounds and form scar tissue, and maintain healthy bones, skin, and teeth. However since the body cannot produce this vitamin on its own or even store it, you should be consistently getting enough vitamin C in your diet.

  1. Prevention of convulsion: The young leaves sliced and mixed with coconut water and salt are stored in a bottle and used for the treatment of convulsion in ethno medicine.
  2. Lowers cholesterol: leaves has hypolipdemic effect and may be a useful therapy in hypercholestolemia.
  3. It has antibacterial effects
  4. The leaves are rich in iron and play a key role in the cure of anaemia, (if the leaf extract is mixed with milk).
  5. It has an hypoglycaemic which is good for diabetics as it has sugar reducing effects.
  6. Increases Blood Volume and Boost Immune System
  7. The high protein content in leaves of plants such as pumpkin could have supplementary effect for the daily protein requirement of the body.
  8. The oil seeds have lactating properties and are therefore in high demand by women with young babies.
  9. The sliced young leaves mixed with coconut water and salt can be stored in bottle and used for the treatment of convulsion
  10. The Telfairia occidentalis juice has the potential to regenerate testicular damage and therefore can be used used to remedy reproductive and fertility issues
  11. Telfairia is high in anti- oxidant and free radical scavenger properties and that may contribute to why many use the leave extract in oxidative damage condition such as cancers, liver and liver diseases.
  12. The Telfairia occidentalis can also be used for the treatment of malaria
  13. Contains healthy amount of vitamins.

SOURCE: Marvin .F (2015), View Link,  Adams .O (2015), View Link.

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