How African Velvet Tamarind Can Be Valuable Even Beyond Africa

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Nail fungal infection is caused by a fungus that gains access through the cracks in the nail or a cut in the skin surrounding it. This changes the color, texture, and shape of the nail. It can also hurt particularly when left untreated. Since toes are often warm and damp, fungus easily thrives in them. Various fungi and sometimes yeasts affect various parts of the nail. When it is left to heal on its own, it could spread to the other nails, skin, and even other body parts.

Symptoms

Infected nails are often thicker than the usual nail and this could be warped and misshapen. The nails are easy to break and crumble. They may also become yellow, and sometimes a white dot may appear on the nail tip and start to become bigger. When fungus starts to accumulate under the nail, this may cause the nail to loosen and eventually separate from the nail bed.

Diagnosis

It’s important to get a diagnosis from a doctor since a nail fungal infection has similar symptoms as other conditions like psoriasis. The doctor may scrape a part of the infected area and send the sample to a lab to determine the cause of the infection.

Treatment

A nail fungus treatment depends on the type of fungus that causes the infection and the level of severity. The doctor may try one of the following: an antifungal pill, a topical nail cream, a medicated nail lacquer, a laser treatment, and others. In some cases of infection, the nail may have to be removed.

Prevention

To prevent the nail fungal infection from coming back, certain steps can be taken for prevention: keeping the hands and feet clean and dry, keeping the fingernails and toenails trimmed, and not walking barefoot in public areas like pools, and not sharing personal items like nail clippers.

1All about the African Velvet Tamarind

The African velvet tamarind is a seasonal fruit that has a sweet and tangy taste. It is known by many names in Africa, such as Icheku in Igbo, Awin in Yoruba, and Tsamiyar kurm in Hausa. It comes with an orange pulp and a velvet shell.

This fruit has the scientific name Dialium Guineense. It is an indigenous fruit that is consumed by many in West African countries, including Nigeria. This is one of the most versatile fruits in Nigeria. Its bark, stem, and seed are used for culinary, traditional, and medicinal purposes.

Nutritional Value

A published study in the Journal of Food Biochemistry investigated the nutritional value of the African velvet tamarind and revealed it as a good natural source of nutrients. High levels of vitamin C, protein, and fiber were extracted most particularly from the pulp. It was also known to contain Vitamin B complex, Vitamin A, and potassium. It also possesses niacin, folic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, and others.

As an Antimicrobial

A study done by the Kwara State University in Malete, Nigeria, revealed that crude aqueous and ethanol extracts except the n-hexane extract showed no inhibition effect on the following microorganisms: Candida albicans, Klebsiella pneumonia, Staphylococus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis, and Escherichia coli. Moreover, phytochemical screening was also done on the extracts which revealed the presence of saponins, tannins, flavonoids, oxalates, alkaloids, and glycosides. These results suggest that the African Velvet Tamarind extracts have to be studied further due to their potential for treating various diseases.

Other Health Benefits

Apart from the aforementioned benefits, the African velvet tamarind has multiple other health benefits. The following are some of them:

Cures malaria

According to research, Nigeria alone has over 1 million cases of malaria every year. One of the best benefits of the African velvet tamarind is its ability to treat and prevent malaria. Its leave extract shows antiplasmodial effects. This helps delay the growth of Plasmodium falciparum which is malaria’s major cause. In some countries, the leaf extracts of the African velvet tamarind are mixed with other leaves to prepare a local remedy for malaria and other diseases related to it. The results of it are often satisfactory.

Helps prevent hypertension

This seasonal fruit is known to contain potassium. One of the benefits of potassium is its ability to control the human heartbeat, making it easier for the heart to pump in blood. This makes it beneficial for people who suffer from hypertension and those who want to prevent it.

Lowers cholesterol levels

The African velvet tamarind contains good dietary fiber. The pulps of this fruit are loaded with dietary fiber. Such fibers are useful in reducing the body’s level of LDL or bad cholesterol.

Boosts the body’s immune system

The African velvet tamarind is also loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants. All these help boost the body’s immune system. They offer long-term health benefits and also reduce the body’s risk from infections and diseases.

Treats hemorrhoids

This seasonal fruit is also much helpful in treating hemorrhoids. This is due to the ethanol and other properties of the fruit that reduces inflammation and shrinks the pile, essential for treating this condition. It will eventually reduce the inflammation and gradually reduces the abscess.

Cures gastric ulcer

The African velvet tamarind also contributes to the treatment of gastric ulcers. It does this by increasing the gastric mucus secretion which protects the colon from cancer cells. It has to be consumed following the recommended amount.

Treats diabetes

This fruit has the ability to cure diabetes. The African velvet tamarind may lower blood sugar levels and enhance insulin sensitivity which is both essential in treating diabetes effectively.

Improves dental health and hygiene

The African velvet tamarind has saponin and other chemical substances which are essential in improving a person’s oral health by teeth cleaning, taking away dirt and plaque, eliminating microbes, and soothing inflamed gums. The stem of the African velvet tamarind is also a popular cure for various mouth problems, including toothache. If you are after clean and healthy teeth, you can chew on its stem regularly. This seasonal fruit is also used in multiple health and skincare products such as make-ups, shampoos, soaps, and household cleaners, mainly because of its antibacterial properties. 

The African velvet tamarind is also recommended for pregnant women since it has an anti-abortifacient component that prevents miscarriages. It also has vitamin A content which helps with pregnancy.

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