Background

  • It is Native to West Africa and is locally called Utasi by the Ibibios, Quas and Efiks; Utazi by the Igbos; and “Arokeke” by the Yorubas.
  • Gongronema latifolium is popularly known for its nutritional and medicinal values.
  • The health benefits of the plant have been harnessed for generations by many Cultures of the World.  

Uses

  • It is commonly used in soup as vegetable, or dried and applied as powdery spice.
  • The pulverized fresh leaves is mixed with other ingredients to served with Kola Nut in some Igbo subcultures
  • The leaves are consumed fresh to serve as a cleanser and for the treatment of Common Cold
  • The abundance of fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids in the leaves makes it a very good source of Nutrients for a healthy body

Enemor V.H.A. et. al,: Mean concentration of minerals in Gongronema latifolium (Data represented as mean ± SEM)

Benefits

  • Like Moringa oleifera, different cultures benefit from Moringa oleifera different; yet some values are known and utilized by most
  • In Ghana: The boiled fruit is used as laxative; Nigeria: The leaves are used for fowl cough, malaria, nausea, diabetes, hypertension constipation, relieve wheezing in asthmatic patients, bilharzoisis, viral hepatitis, general antimicrobial agent, asthma, sickle cell anemia, stimulate appetite, reduce post-partum contraction and enhance return of the menstrual cycle after childbirth; Senegal: The leaves are rubbed on the joints of small children to help them walk; Sierra Leone: For colic and stomach pain and for worms. 
  • According to Olugbenga Morebise; Gongronema latifolium has been shown to have these beneficial properties: Hypoglycemic Activity; Hypolipidemic Activity; Nephroprotective Activity; Hepatoprotective Activity; Male Antifertility; Antioxidant Activity; Anti-Inflammatory Activity; Electrolyte Balance; Hematological beneficial Effect; Anti-Ulcer Activity; Anticancer Activity; Immunomodulatory Effect; Gastric Emptying; Antimicrobial Activity; and Tissue Regenerative and Restorative Potentials
  • According to Eleyinmi Afolabi F, The observed antibacterial activity of Gongronema latifolium that it may play dual role in food and non-food systems where it may also find use.

Constituents

Nutritional values of Gongronema latifolium leaves.
Constituents % Composition (Fresh leaves) % Dry matter (Dm)
Moisture 15.2
Fibre 6.3 10.8
Crude protein 33.2 27.2
Crude fat 16 6.07
Ash 1.3 11.6
Carbohydrate 43.7
Mineral composition of Gongronema latifolium leaves
Mineral Element Composition (mg/kg)
Sodium Na 110
Potassium K 332
Calcium Ca 115
Phosphorus Ph 125.3
Cobalt Co 116
Magnesium Mg 54
Copper Cu 43.5
Iron Fe 7.8
Zinc Zn 13.4
Lead Pb 0.2
Cadmium Cd 0.1
Vitamin composition of G. latifolium leaves
Vitamin Composition
Vitamin A (carotene) 360 1μ/100g
Vitamin E (tocopherol) 45 1μ/100g
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 290 1μ/100g
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.97%
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) 0.15%
Vitamins B3 (Niacin) 0.82%
Amino acid composition of G. latifolium leaves.
Essential Amino acid % composition
Theonine (thr) 3.75
Valine (val) 7.73
Isoleucine (Ic) 4.70
Leucine (leu) 8.97
Lysine (lus) 5.70
Tyrosine (tyr) 3.27
Methionine (met) 0.73
Phenylalanine (phe) 6.30
Non-essential amino acid
Arginine (Arg) 7.69
Aspartic Acid (Asp) 13.78
Glutamic acid(Glu) 11.9
Serine (Ser) 6.22
Histidine (His) 1.40
Glycine (Gly) 10.31
Alanine (Ala) 7.61