Achi seeds are a popular soup thickener in many parts of Nigeria and Cameroon. The plant is botanically known as Brachystegia Eurycoma. The seeds are usually ground into powder and used for soup thickening, as well as other herbal or medicinal purposes. However, it is widely used to thicken soup, and can used in place of ofor, ukpo, cocoyam, and yam flour. The seeds and ground to a fine powder and used to increase the viscosity of common Nigerian soups such as oha soup, onugbu soup, nsala soup, and egusi soup. It is an excellent seasoning because it can thicken soups without altering the taste.
The seeds are said to be highly medicinal, and rich in nutrients. Thus, you will find out the health benefits of achi seeds.
1. Improves The Digestive System
A 2009 study found that Brachystegia Eurycoma or achi seeds were high in crude fiber. Seeds that are rich in fiber improve the digestive system. It makes bulky stool easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may help to solidify the stool by absorbing the water and adding weight to the stool. Thus, it helps maintain bowel health.
2. Lowers Cholesterol Level
Achi seeds can also be useful in lowering bad cholesterol levels in the body. In one study conducted in 2016, administration of Brachystegia Eurycoma improved blood glucose level, liver function profile, liver enzymes, and did not pose any significant health risk. This means it may also be good for the heart.
3. Has Antidiabetic Properties
The Achi seeds from Nigeria are a simple and inexpensive way to lower your blood glucose levels. A 2015 study found out that flavonoids such as catechin, rutin, quercitrin, quercetin and kaempferol, and phenolic acids (gallic acid, caffeic, chlorogenic and ellagic acid) were abundant in achi seeds. These flavonoids and phenolic acids decreased the levels of fasting blood glucose in diabetic rats. Hence, achi seeds has impressive antidiabetic properties that can help people with diabetes.
4. May Prevent Cancer
Achi seed has been shown to inhibit cancer cells and tumour growth in laboratory studies. It means that there’s potential that achi seeds can help fight cancer. A 2019 research investigated the preventive ability of achi seeds in rats with colon cancer. The study suggested that both dietary fiber and polyphenol/flavonoids in achi seeds contribute to the potential preventive effect of Brachystegia eurycoma seeds in colon carcinogenesis. This simply means that achi seeds can help prevent cancer by limiting oxidative stress and preventing or delaying the onset of cancer-forming processes.
5. Wound Healing Abilities
Achi seeds are ancient traditional remedies that have been used for centuries to heal wounds. They are said to be an effective remedy against sores, ulcers, and boils. Achi seeds also act as a good source of protein, fibre, iron, and calcium. Snail mucin, achi seeds powder, and honey were mixed together and used to treat wounds.
6. Antibacterial Properties
Natural Achi seed extracts have been shown to inhibit bacterial growth and reduce inflammatory responses that lead to disease progression. In one study, achi seed oil showed amazing antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, and Staphylococcus aureus. These results suggest that Brachystegia eurycoma Harms can be used in the treatment of infections.
7. Fights Against Inflammation
Achi seed is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can be used to soothe irritated skin. One particular study noted that Brachystegia eurycoma seeds and stem barks possessed significant anti-inflammatory activities, which may be due to the presence of bioactive constituents in them.
8. Has Analgesic Properties
Achi seed has a perfect analgesic property and can be used as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and relieve pain. Achi seeds are rich in potassium and magnesium, which are needed for muscle relaxation and nerve function. This seed will help you sleep better at night due to the increase in melatonin production. Numerous studies have reported that achi seeds have notable analgesic properties.
9. Boosts The Immune System
Achi seed is an Immune booster that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat common colds, coughs, and other respiratory illnesses. It also supports healthy digestion by controlling the stomach’s acidity levels.
Side Effects of Achi Seeds
According to the one medical study in rats, Brachystegia eurycoma may possess nephrotoxic and hepatotoxic potentials at a very high dose. This simply means that too much consumption of achi seeds may be bad for the kidneys and liver. Thus, it should be eaten in moderation. Also, talk to your doctor first, before using achi seeds as a herbal medicine.
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