Health Benefits Of Consuming Local Spices

Despite innovations in the food industry, our local spices are widely used in many cultures, particularly in Nigeria, not just to add flavour to our foods but for entertainment, traditional rites, and for therapeutic purposes by traditional doctors.
Researches have shown that these ingredients contain important nutrients and properties that benefit the body in so many ways.
Check out some of these valuable spices.
1. Cloves
Cloves are known as kanafuru by the Hausas and used to prepare stews, soups and drinks like zobo, also known as zaki. It has high antioxidant properties, therefore aids to fight cancer, stomach ulcers and also improves liver health.

2. Negro pepper
Just like the name, this spice is used to prepare foods like pepper soup, especially for women who have just put to bed. Negro can also be smoked or crushed and added to stew, fish or meat as flavour, but removed before serving.
However, Uda, as it is called by the Igbos, contains antimalarial and microbial properties, hence used to treat infections, menstrual problems and respiratory system diseases.

3. Calabash nutmeg
This is a local type of nutmeg, although with an unusual flavour when compared to the common nutmeg. It is well known as ariwo by the Yorubas and ehu by the Igbos. However, this spice is used to prepare cuisines like Isiewu, nkwobi, Abacha, white soup etc.
Besides, it is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin c, folic acids and antioxidants, thus serves as a relief to headaches, insomnia, and treatment for kidney infections.
4. Liquorice Oburunbe stick like it is known by many is a regular spice used in cooking Banga soup, mainly by the Niger Deltans. This chewable stick is well known for its sweet flavour which can be extracted and used for flavouring sweeteners or candies in some countries.
Furthermore, it has antimicrobial and inflammatory properties that aid in the treatment of sore throat, dental problems and skin infections.

5. Alligator pepper
This is one of the most commonly used spices in Nigeria not just because of its spicy aroma when used for soup and stew, but for its cultural uses. In Yoruba culture, a newborn baby is given a small taste of this bongo spice as part of a welcoming process for a newborn, while the Igbos use it to prepare gravy for munching kola nuts, garden eggs or meat.
It is good to note that the alligator pepper is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that maintains blood sugar, boosts libido and helps in erectile dysfunction.