Ewedu (Cochorus olitorius) is one of those green leafy vegetables rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. It contains loads of iron, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, proteins, fibers, Vitamins A, C and E, riboflavin, niacin and folate. These are nutrients that help the body fight diseases and maintain good health.
The scientific name Cochorus olitorius was derived by a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist, Carl Linnaeus, from an ancient greek word Corchorus or Korkoros. He explained that Corchorus leaves are consumed in the cuisines of various countries. Corchorus olitorius is used mainly in the cuisines of southern Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and West Africa, Japan and China. It has a mucilaginous (somewhat “slimy”) texture, similar to okra, when cooked.
Popularly known as jute mallow in English, Ewedu is one of the Yorubas’ cuisines that is widely cultivated as vegetable fiber after cotton. The seeds are used as a flavouring agent, and herbal tea is made from the dried leaves.
Although, prior to this time, jute is alien to some tribes in the country, but the consumption is gaining ground nowadays, as it is popular eaten with Amala in major restaurants in Nigerian cities.
Adebukola Adefule Ositelu, a professor of medicine and consultant ophthalmologist at the College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL)/Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), in Lagos, recommended the drinking of vegetable juice freshly made with jute in an empty stomach can prevent and cure the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Herbal Medicine revealed the benefits of eating Ewedu for health. Some of the benefits are listed below:
Stabilize blood pressure
Omega 3 content in Ewedu is useful in normalizing blood pressure when consumed. Disorders of the body such as dizziness can sometimes be caused by high blood pressure or too low blood pressure. Omega 3 content of Ewedu will help blood pressure to be stable. That way, hypertension can be prevented and avoided.
Ewedu is very good to keep skin stay young because it contains vitamins that are very important as an antioxidant. Essential fatty acids in Ewedu can keep skin moist, because it will prevent the loss of water through the skin, thus reducing the wrinkles that are the main cause of aging, so eating ewedu is one of the alternative solutions.
Ward off cancer
Vitamins A, C, and E contained in Ewedu is the key to ward off tissue damage that can cause cancer. Inside, there are also antioxidants and lignin that can provide protection against the development of cancer cells, inhibit the incidence of tumors, and increase the life span for breast cancer patients.
Now studies have found Ewedu is also beneficial in the fight against prostate, ovarian and colon cancer. Cancer is one of the dangerous diseases that can bring people to death. So, we should eat Ewedu to prevent it from happening.
Strengthen bones and teeth
In Ewedu there is a good calcium for healthy teeth and bones. In addition, there is also useful phosphorus to maintain bone density. Thus, bone can avoid the danger of osteoporosis. So, consuming ewedu every day will give health to bone and teeth.
Reduce the pain
Vitamin E in Ewedu can work to reduce pain, such as injuries, body aches, and other aches. It can also increase stamina. It is very beneficial because those pains will create bigger problems and disturb our daily activities.
Lower cholesterol levels
Omega 3 content in ewedu also has other functions. According to the study, the omega 3 content in Ewedu is also able to lower cholesterol levels too much in the blood and reduce the risk of heart disease. The content of omega 3 fatty acids can also be used as an anti inflammation in the body for gout disease.
Prevent skin cancer
In Ewedu there are antioxidant compounds that work to prevent the adverse effects of free radicals, especially on the skin. A body that lacks antioxidant levels can be a major health problem. Among them are skin cancer caused by uncontrolled oxidation process from free radicals. According to the National Institute of Health, ewedu can be used to protect themselves and improve the skin from damage caused by ultra-violet rays.
Eating Ewedu also has many other benefits, namely to prevent acne. Acne is usually caused by bacterial build-up, dirt, and can also be due to oily skin. It will make the sebum substances in the body produce a maximum. Substances sebum is produced that serves to prevent the occurrence of acne and clogged pores. Even some studies say sunburned skin can heal faster by consuming ewedu.
Helps Lose Weight
Various substances such as fatty acids, omega 3 and lignans serve to reduce appetite. Fiber and fat in ewedu can make full all day. This is very useful for people who want to lose weight. In addition, there are also various other contents such as vitamin B, magnesium, and zinc that have a role in maintaining weight. So, ewedu is perfect for a diet program.
Respiratory distress in the form of asthma can also be treated by taking Ewedu regularly. It is able to overcome the problem of asthma because it has the content is suitable to relieve asthma.
In addition, aromatherapy from Ewedu is also suitable for treating asthma. In addition to asthma, the content of anti-inflammatory substances in ewedu can work to heal the inflammation of the lungs.
Cautions of Eating Ewedu
Eating Ewedu gives so many benefits. However, there are some cautions if we eat it too much or don’t eat it with the right dosage.
For Pregnant Mother
Even though there is still a little information about this, the pregnant mother needs to pay attention and avoid eating Ewedu too much. Some say that it contains some compounds that can affect the pregnancy, so pregnant mother should consult with the doctor first before consuming it.
The Hygiene of Ewedu
There are some bacteria in Ewedu, and they are very dangerous if it goes into the body. They can cause some symptoms such as stomachache, diarrhea, constipation and other diseases in the body. We need to wash ewedu carefully and ensure it cleans before eating it.
Pesticide and Pests
The most important part of Ewedu that we can eat is the leaf. So, if we use pesticide, it will be dangerous because its chemical compounds in there will go into the body. In addition, there are also some pests that always eat the leaves, so it will lose some nutrients.