Justicia carnea is a plant known for its powerful medicinal properties. This plant is called Ewe eje or Ewe aleri in Yoruba language, and Ogwu obara in Igbo language. It is referred to as a blood booster since it helps build up the blood in humans. This special leaf naturally increases the blood level when you are short of blood.
Justiciar Carnea is named after its Scottish botanist founder “James Justice,” and belongs to the family “Acanthaceae.” When boiled, the water used turns red and can be taken ordinarily or with milk to give taste. Ewe eje has been in use since ancient times, and has been medically proven to be a blood tonic. This may be attributed to its rich phytochemical, nutrient, and vitamin composition. This article provides you with the nutritional composition and health benefits of Justicia carnea or ewe eje.
Nutritional Composition of Ewe Eje (Justicia carnea)
Many phytochemical analyses of extracts of the plant show presence of various secondary metabolites such as flavonoids, tannins, saponins, alkaloids, phenols, and terpenoids. Also present in the aqueous leaf extract are vitamin A, B1, B12, B6, B9, B2, C, and E. The highest concentration of vitamin in the plant was vitamin C, and also a high concentration of iron and calcium, while magnesium, zinc, and copper were present in low concentrations.
Health Benefits of Justicia carnea
The presence of these metabolites and nutrients are responsible for the medicinal properties of Justicia carnea.
1. Boosts Blood Production
The major health benefit of this plant is it blood-boosting abilities. Several studies showed that Justicia carnea can increase red blood cell, platelets, and hemoglobin levels in the body. This is possible due to the high concentration of iron present in the plant.
2. Prevents Anemia
The main health benefit of Justicia carnea is its blood-boosting capabilities. In a 2017 study, the effect of the ethanol extract of Justicea carnea leaves in phenylhydrazine induced-anemia albino rats on haematological and lipid profile parameters was investigated. The study discovered that extracts of Justicia carnea didn’t just reverse anemic conditions in the phenylhydrazine-induced rats, but also improved the lipid profile. Thus, the leaves could help to manage lipid abnormalities associated with anemia.
3. Antidiabetic Properties
The leaves of the plant has been said to display antidiabetic and hypoglycemic activities. In one study, the methanol leaf extract of Justicia carnea demonstrated a significant in vivo reduction in blood glucose levels in alloxan-induced rats. It has been used for ethnomedicinal purposes in the treatment of diabetes.
4. Powerful Antioxidant
The plant is also a powerful antioxidant. The phytochemical components of the leaf extract revealed that it contained high concentration phenols, ascorbic acid, β-carotene, lycopene, and flavonoids. Several animal studies have shown that the plant can reduce oxidative stress, and reduce cancer risks.
5. Protects The Liver
One study was conducted to investigate the hepatoprotective activities of Justicia carnea. The study showed that the leaf is good for the liver and improved its function. Furthermore, it also reduces the risk of liver diseases. In the traditional medicine, the plant has been used to treat hepatitis, and this study gives credence to that.
6. Lowers Cholesterol
Studies have indicated that the leaf extract of Justicia carnea possesses anti hyperlipidaemic activities, and can significantly reduce serum cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, triacylglycerol concentrations, while the HDL concentration. This simply means that the plant can reduce the harmful cholesterol levels and increase the good ones. Therefore, consuming the plant might be helpful in reducing the risk of heart attack, cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis, and stroke.
7. Boosts Immune System
The plant does not only boosts red blood cell production but also increases the production of white blood cells and other antibodies. White blood cells and antibodies are crucial to a stronger immune system. They help fight diseases and prevent infections. Hence, Justicia carnea can be used to strengthen the immune system.
It is obvious that Justicia carnea has potential antianemic, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, and immune-boosting properties. However, further research needs to done to determine the mode of action of the plant, and it’s effects on humans. Finally, always consult with your doctor before using the plant for any medicinal purposes.
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