Agberen fruit is a popular fruit in Itsekiri. As a child, we plucked this at Ode-Itsekiri (Big Warri). We eat Agberen because it has a very spicy taste. The biological name for Agberen is Dennettia tripetala. Agberen fruit (pepper fruit) is of the Kingdom: Plantae; Phylum: Magnoliophyta; Class: Magnolidae; Order: Magnoliales; Family: Annonaceae; Genus: Denettia; Species: Dennettia tripetala. It is widely found in the rain forest zones of Nigeria and some other parts of West Africa.
Agberen is normally green when not ripe and reddish or yellowish when ripe. It is an edible fruit and can be eaten either ripe or unripe. Agberen is classed into two types when ripe. These are Agberen Itsekiri and Agberen Oyibo. The yellowish ripe agberen is Agberen Itsekiri while the reddish reipe agberen is classed as Agberen Oyibo.
Medicinal uses of Agberen Fruit
Agberen has a lot of medicinal value and there has been a lot of research conducted to verify the medical potential of Agberen. As a tribe, the Itsekiri people use Agberen as a cure for cough, fever, toothache, diarrhea, diabetes, and nausea in pregnant women.
Below is a summary of the medicinal benefits of Agberen fruit (Pepperfruit).
- It has Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory effects which can be used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and bring down a high temperature.
- It has Antihyperglycemic effect which helps to lower glucose levels in the blood and can be used to treat diabetes mellitus.
- It has Antioxidant effects which can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.
- The essential oil and phenolic acid extract of Agberen can inhibit the growth of food-borne microorganisms such as Staphyloccocus aureus, Salmonella sp., Escherichia coli, and a host of others. As such, Agberen can be used to preserve food substances such as meat which is prone to rapid decomposition in places without constant electricity.
- The leaves of Agberen were found to be effective in inhibiting the growth of the rot-causing fungus Sclerotium rolfsii in cocoyam both in vitro and in vivo.
This is an enlightenment post and not a substitute for professional medical diagnosis and treatments. Please consult your doctor for any health-related decision for any medical condition.
Further reading of the benefits of Agberen Fruit: