. In the Igbo culture of Eastern Nigeria, alligator pepper is chewed alongside kola nut where the hot spicy taste of the former attenuates the astringent taste of the latter. In folk medicine, the seeds are employed as a local remedy for stomach ache, snakebite, diarrhea, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and inflammation (Ilic et al., 2010). Madaki, F. M
Eban, L. K.
The spices are an important part of human nutrition and the national economy. Yanagida, F.
In Nigeria, spices are not only used in culinary but also as galenicals in folk medicine for their putative health benefits. These metabolites account for some of peppery taste of the seeds (Ajaiyeoba and Ekundayo, 1999). Since ancient times, spices are being employed in the preparation of soups, barbecue sauces, pickling and as a main ingredient in a variety of curry powders. The recent development of microbial resistance to artemisinin, the active ingredient in Artemisia annua is a ghoulish reminder of how isolating supposedly active ingredient could backfire. All parts of the plant possess molluscicidal activity and the activity has been linked to the presence of saponins (Adesina et al., 2016). Mba (1994) reported the weight control potential of leaves of Piper guineense in rats.
Ita, E. E.
In their study, the administration of the aqueous extract of fruits of the plant at two doses (122.5 and 245 mg kg−1) for a duration of 8 and 55 days had a positive impact on the male reproductive functions by stimulating the secretions of the testes, epididymis, and seminal vesicles. In yet another research effort (Mohammed et al., 2015), the ethanolic extract of A. melegueta seeds exhibited significant ability to inhibit α-amyalse (EC50 0.62 mg/ml) and α-glucosidase (EC50 0.06 mg/ml) in Wistar rats. These results, however, contradict findings of related researches. Eyo, V. O
. The antimicrobial and antifungal activity was studied by Anyawu and Nwosu (2014). Poulev, A. Oil pollution and environmental degradation due to crude oil prospecting activities of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria have warranted the massive cleanup exercise of the area at a huge cost to the government. Ojewole and Adewunmi (2004) reported that the aqueous extract of the fruit showed anti-inflammatory activity in egg albumin-induced pallet edema in rats. It was the insight from the conference that formed the framework for this review. . They are reported to have positive effects in the treatment of numerous diseases, especially chronic ones such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases (Kaefer and Milner, 2011).
As diabetes morbidity and mortality is on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa (Azevedo and Alla, 2008), these spices may play a role in formulating the next-generation antidiabetics. Adesina (2016) gave a summary of the quantities of the phytochemical constituents of the fruits (mg/100 g dry weight of fruit) as follows: total polyphenol (38.05–2907.15), flavonoid (10.30–410.75), saponin (60.80–953.40), tannin (135.50–1097.50), and phytate (1021.00–5170.00). Herbs and spices are plant-derived seasonings used for culinary purposes. ,
It was noted that the extract from the fruit possessed significant antiplasmodial activity. . Abstract. Uwachukwu, I
Hart, E. B
(, Ogbonna, A. C.
Thonpson, J. The in vivo antiplasmodial effect of the crude ethanol extract of P. guineense against rodent malaria parasite P. berghei was investigated by Kabiru et al. Polyphenols from ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) have also been shown to display radical scavenging properties (Scalbert and Williamson, 2000). Okorie, T. G.
Islam, M. S
Compared to the standard anticonvulsant agents (phenobarbitone and diazepam), the aqueous fruit extract delayed the onset of, and antagonized pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced seizures. Mbongue, G. Y.
Nutritional Value of Ginger. Nwakwagu, A. E
“Herbs and spices make food tastier while boosting your health,” says Moreno, an adjunct professor of nutrition at the University of Miami and a dietitian for the Miami Marlins. Tetrapleura tetraptera Schumach and Thonn Taub (Mimosaceae), Yoruba name aridan, oshogisha in Igbo is a single-stemmed deciduous plant that grows on the fringe of the West and Central African rainforest zone. (2014) observed perturbation of liver marker enzymes (alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspertate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP)) in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to a sublethal dose (300 mg kg−1 BW) of methanol extract of A. melegueta seed administered orally for 21 days. Both soluble and insoluble fibre help delay glucose absorption, thus ensuring a slower and more even supply of blood glucose. The three spices also displayed remarkable hypoglycemic potential through lowering blood glucose in experimental rats. . The crude ethanol and hot-water extracts showed a significant toxic effect on the organism and significant decrease in oviposition rate (Ukwandu et al., 2011). A.
Food provides energy and nourishment, and all foods come directly or indirectly from plants, of which considerable amounts are from plants classified as vegetables. . (, Linhart, Y. Moreover, some plants are considered as important source of nutrition and as a result of that they are recommended for their therapeutic values. (2014) reported a significant reversal of CCL4-induced hepatic damage by the methanol and chloroform extracts of A. melegueta seeds. ,
Also, work by Kuete et al. ,
Use of different spices or mixtures of spices, by improving palatability, especially of invalid diets, helps to ensure that the food intake is adequate.
“Gastroprotective activity of essential oil of the Syzygium aromaticum and its major component eugenol in different animal models.” Furthermore, seed extract relaxed rabbit jejunum, whereas seed and leaf extract had a stimulant effect on rat uterine muscle. (, Okoye, E. I.
(, Ukwandu, N. C.
Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts of Spices Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Jordan. ,
Patel, P. R.
. Orwa et al. Ginger is a good source of ... One study found evidence that fresh ginger can help fight the plaques in the airway that are caused by human respiratory syncytial virus ... Kulczyński B, Gramza-Michałowska A. Agbor, R. B.
NMR and GC-MS analyses of the chloroform extract of the seeds and essential oils from various plant parts, respectively (Owokotomo et al., 2013; El-Halawany et al., 2014), show the plant to be rich in secondary metabolites such as modified gingerols, paradols, shogaols, and diarylheptanoids. They are also used as food preservatives for processes food items. Shakya, A. K.
. A part from that, these plants play a critical role in the development of human cultures around the whole world.
Motilva, M. J.
(2014) showed that the plant could be good for phytoremediation of phenanthrene, chrysene benzo(b)fluoranthene, dibenzo(a,b)athracene, and indeno(1,2,3) pyrene because they were found in significantly lower quantity in plants grown in vessels bioremediated with P. guineense and A. indica, and the combination of both. ,
. The effect of the ethanol and aqueous extracts of the leaves of the plant against the bacteria—S. Thyme is also being used as an antiseptic mouthwash in the treatment of caries and gingivitis. (, Chiwendu, S.
The extracts and some of the isolated compounds showed sedative, hypotensive, molluscicidal, CNS depressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, wound-healing, contraceptive, analgesic, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, antimalarial, muscle-relaxant, anticonvulsant, hypothermic, and anxiolytic effects in experimental animals (Adesina, 2016). The oil was dominated by acetic acid (34.59%), 2-hydroxy-3-butanone (18.25%), butanoic acid (8.35%), 2-methyl butanoic acid (7.58%), 2-methyl butanol (7.45%), butanol (4.30%), 2-methyl butenoic acid (3.65%), and Nerol (3.25%). Adeleye, S. A.
(, Alaje, D. O.
Oguoma et al. Osuagwu, A. N.
The plant is used as a spice for its pungent and flavorful characteristic for soup preparation for post-parturient women (Chiwendu et al., 2016). For various physiological reasons, experiments in human close relatives (rats or apes) do not often exhibit similar outcomes in man, with sometimes bewildering health results. Van Kuiken, M. E.
The root and fruits are incorporated in remedy for sexually transmitted diseases, especially gonorrhea and syphilis (Iwu, 2014). ., (, Etim, O. E.
Sokeng, S. D
Achenwu, S. C
(, Adesina, S. K.
Spices, along with some seasonal herbs, are being used to enhance the flavor and taste of vegetable, chicken, fish and meat dishes. This element decreases the rate of tumours growth. ,
Asuzu, F. O
9 (2013): 875-886.
By definition, nutrition is a science and a process dealing with the utilization of nutrients through various biochemical pathways for growth, development, and maintenance. . The plant seeds are rich in phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals which enhance synthesis of red and white blood cells (Okigbo and Igwe, 2007). Katou, N.
They also have medicinal properties and they help in bringing out the unique flavour to the food. ,
. The seeds, which rattle in the pods, are small, black, hard, flat, about 8-mm long, embedded in the body of the pod, which does not split open. ,
In another study (Umukoro and Ashorobi, 2008), testing its antioxidant and membrane stabilizing effect on rat RBCs exposed to phenylhydrazine, the aqueous seed extract of A. melegueta, was able to reduce lysis and production of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the sampled RBC in a dose-dependent manner; further suggesting its strong antioxidant capacity. The human body uses manganese as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. B.
(, Okokon, J. E.
The ethanolic extract of the fruit exhibited better antibacterial activity than the aqueous extract and so was more potent against the test organisms. (2011) on the methanol extract of A. melegueta showed the seeds to possess significant inhibitory activities (IC50 value above 10µg ml−1) on human pancreatic cancer (MiaPaca-2) and leukemia (CCRF-CEM) cell lines, and significant activity of the crude extract on multidrug-resistant variant (CEM/ADR5000) of leukemia cells (IC50: 7.08 µg ml−1). The health concerns due to side effects associated with the use of antibiotics to improve animal production have created the need for safer means of achieving the same goal (Danoghue, 2003). The quantity of saponins (1.88%) detected in the leaves of this plant supports its antimalarial activity. P. guineense parts are widely used in South East Nigeria for its nutritional and medicinal properties (Ekanem et al., 2010). Their constituents function as defense chemicals to repel insects, snails, and other animals, and to kill microbes especially parasitic fungi (Adeyemi, 2011). ,
The essential oil content of the plant is appreciable, and is between 0.1% and 5%, which is significantly lower than the oil from another spice Xylopia aethiopica—16.30% (Ezekwesili et al., 2010). ,
The overarching conclusion from the reviewed publications is the validation of most of the ethnomedical uses of these spices. Iyer, L. H.
These reasons have generated interest in herbs and spices as supplements in animal rations (Odoemelam et al., 2013). they added to the recipes at the final moment since prolonged cooking results in evaporation of much of ,
The nutritional evaluation of P. guineense has been carried out in many studies (Udusoro and Ekanem, 2013; Nwakwo et al., 2014; Okonkwo and Ogu, 2014; Besong et al., 2016). Phatak, A.
In another study on the hypoglycemic potential (Adesokan et al., 2016), the aqueous extract of the seed significantly reduced the blood glucose levels in alloxan-induced diabetic rats from 243 to 138 mg dl−1 with repeated daily oral administration of 200 mg kg−1 BW of the extract. Imo, C.
Edet, U. O.
(, Nweze, B. O.
professor of medicine, and director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. Udoh et al. Some of these plants include ginger, green tea, walnuts, aloe, pepper and turmeric etc. (2016) examined the phytochemical content of aqueous and ethanol extracts of T. tetraptera fruits and reported that they contained alkaloids, glycoside, saponins, flavonoids, reducing compounds, polyphenol, phlobatannins, anthraquinones, and hydroxymethyl anthraquinones but lacked saponins and tannins. The low peroxide, acid value, and free fatty acid content of this plant oil point to lower susceptibility to rancidity (Ogbunugafor et al., 2011). Ebeledike, A. O. O
The plant is a perennial deciduous herb native to the tropics and grows mainly on the swampy habitats of the West African coast, characterized by a leafy stem that may be up to 1.5 m high. ,
A finer resolution of the extract, employing the ethylacetate fraction on streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetic rats, showed a reversal of diabetes symptoms when treated with 150–300 mg kg−1 BW of the extract. In the South Eastern parts of Nigeria, the seeds are prescribed for women after childbirth to enhance uterine contraction enabling expulsion of the placenta and other remains from the womb (Ekanem et al., 2010). (2013) investigated the susceptibility of entero-hemorrhagic E. coli strain (O157:H7) isolates to conventional drugs and the extract of Piper guineense using agar diffusion method. (, Udoh, F. V.
Ejike, E. N.
(, Nwakwo, C. S.
Spices not just excite your taste buds but also composed of an impressive list of phytonutrients, essential oils, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that are essential for overall wellness. However, recent research effort on African plants of medical importance is gradually improving knowledge gaps. Afuruna, N
Egbuna, C. F.
Nwaehujor et al. ,
In another effort (Ilic et al., 2010), a 28-day subchronic toxicity study in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats conducted using ethanolic extract of the seeds of A. melegueta resulted in dose-related increase in liver enzymes in the experimental rats dosed with 450 and 1500 mg kg−1 BW. ,
The crown agents for the colonies, London, Antibiotic residues in poultry tissue and eggs, Anti-austeritic constituents of the congolese medicinal plant, Comparative study of proximate, phytochemical and mineral compositions of edible plant fruits/seeds from Nigerian rainforest, International Journal of Biology and Chemical Sciences, Antihyperglycemic effect of different extracts of leaves of, Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Antimicrobial activity, phytochemical screening and nutrient analysis of, World Journal of Applied Evironmental Chemistry, African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, International Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences, In vitro antioxidant and nitric oxide scavenging activities of, Global Journal of Research in Medical Plants and Indigenous Medicine, International Journal of Environmental Bioremedation and Biodegradation, Investigation of the chemical composition and biological activity of, Linquorice-induced hypertension—a new understanding of an old disease, Free radical scavenging activity, phytochemistry and antimicrobial properties of, International Research Journal of Chemistry and Chemical Sciences, Anti-inflammatory activity of grains of paradise (, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Toxicological evaluation of grains of paradise (, Characterization and HPLC quantification of piperine in various parts of Piper guineenese, Department of Pharmarceutical Chemistry, Kwame Ukruma University of Science and Thechnology, Anticancer and free radical scavenging acivity of some Nigerian food plants, Potential health benefits of Indian spices in the symptoms of the metabolic syndrome: a review, Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Study on antioxidant property in selected medicinal plant extract, International Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Herbs and spices in cancer prevention and treatment, Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, Cardiovascular complications of diabetes mellitus in sub-Saharan Africa, Antioxidant activity of some common plants, Effect of three indigenous spices on the chemical stability of smoked dried catfish (, African Journal of Agriculture and Nutrition and Development, Dietary spices in health and diseases (II), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Herbal remedies traditionally used against malaria in ghana: bioassay-guided fractionation of, Zeitschrift Fur Naturforschung. They sometimes contain allelochemicals, used by certain plants (such as Thymus vulgaris) to inhibit the growth of other plant species around them (Linhart et al., 2015). Omonigbehin et al. . The leaves are used to regulate menstrual cycle and as an ingredient in remedies for female infertility (Iwu, 2014). Spices employed in traditional medicines as anti-helminths ( to treat worm infestation in the gut). Ezeja, M. I.
Kuhn, P. E.
In a related study (Nwozo and Oyinloye, 2011), hepatic aberration—as noted by increase in ALT, AST, and triglyceride (TG) levels—induced by chronic exposure to alcohol (4.8 g kg−1 BW) was attenuated by oral administration of A. melegueta seed extract to Wistar rats. Spices contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Adepoju, O.
Corresponding to: Henrietta A. Ogbunugafor, Department of Applied Biochemistry, Faculty of Biosciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria. The study suggests that the extract contains substances which interfere with conception in mice. ,
This work aims to review previous works done on the nutritional and health benefits of three selected spices—Piper guineense, Afromomum melegueta, Tetrapleura tetrapetra—commonly used in Southern Nigerian culinary with the view to give a summary of what the prospects are for these spices, especially as regards their potential in formulating nutraceuticals used in chronic disease intervention. The use of A. melegueta in folk medicine in treating diabetes has a long and widespread history in West Africa (Ogbera and Ekpebegh, 2014). (2013) also reported significant antioxidant activity of P. guineense due to its free radical scavenging potential. They are reported to have positive effects in the treatment of numerous diseases, especially chronic ones such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases ( Kaefer and Milner, 2011 ). (, Uyom, E. A.
They found that the extract significantly decreased blood glucose level in the animals. The importance of spices is underscored by the fact that they are still found in 40% of drugs prescribed till date (Mann, 2011). Chinaka, N. S.
(, Orwa, C.
Edet, A. P
Etim et al. (2015), have substantiated the antibacterial activity of the fruit of T. tetraptera and found it effective against common human pathogens viz Salmonella typhi, Bacillus subtilis, P. aeruginosa Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., and Staphylococcus aureus. . ,
We thank the Bioresources Development Group (BCG), Nigeria, for support to attend a symposium on African plants of nutritional and medical importance. ,
Oyinloye, B. E
There was a corresponding increase in alkaline phosphatase with no signs of steatosis or cirrhosis. ,
(, Adesokan, A.