The Sweet Benefits of Bitterleaf Soup

The Sweet Benefits of Bitterleaf Soup

Growing up as a child my dad would squeeze bitter leaf in water and serve it as a drink to me and my siblings which we found very awful without knowing its sweet benefits.
Bitter leaf is one of the widely used cooking vegetables in Nigeria known as onugbu by the Igbo’s and scientifically called Vernonia Amygdalina.
Apart from its culinary purposes, this herb is being adopted by few health professionals due to its therapeutic value and curative potency. The vegetable can be prepared by:

  • Simply rubbing it in between your palms and squeezing the juice out of it.
  • Cooking it as soup (Ofe Onugbu).
  • Blending the leaves with little water and drain out the extract with a sieve.

Here are some of the few benefits of bitter leaf:

  • It helps to regulate the blood sugar level; especially in diabetic patients it is used as a therapy to prevent high sugar level in the body.
  • Used as an antioxidant: Body cells are under constant attack from oxidation, which increase the chance of precancerous cell formation. Studies show that bitter there are antioxidant properties found in bitter leaf when added to a diet offers disease fighting properties.
  • When applied on the skin, it is used to cure skin ailments such as ringworm, eczema, etc. due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
  • Andrografin and Androfolit found in the leaf, reduce the risk of skin aging achieving a flawless skin.
  • The bitter leaf contains an antiseptic which is effective to reduce heat. The content such as andrographolide lactones, glucosides, diterpene and flavonoids found in leaf helps to reduce fever

However ,it is advisable not to over boil the vegetable to avoid washing out the nutrients. It is best taken freshly squeezed to get satisfactory results.
The leaf reminds us that life is not always sweet; it takes to experience bitterness before you can attain sweetness.


Article By: Ogene_Igbo is upcoming online platform established in the year 2016 that promotes the Igbo lifestyle and culture. It was created by Ms. Chidinma Tochukwu Tony Nnamah because for her love for the Igbo lifestyle, which she did not grow up around.


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