The Great Benefits of a Simple African Fruit: The Pepper Fruit

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Nail fungus is a common problem that causes several symptoms, which include misshapen nails, foul odor coming from the debris underneath the nail, nail discoloration, darkened nails, nails that lift off the nail bed, the nail becoming thick, crumbly, or brittle, and having a painful and highly sensitive nail. Fingernails and toenails are both susceptible to nail fungus. However, it appears more commonly on your toenails. Toenail fungus is one of the most usual reasons that people consult with podiatrists.

What is to blame for toenail fungus?

It is normal for your feet to carry fungi even when you practice good hygiene. You can acquire fungus from any surface that has been infected. The most common cause of these infections is from a group of fungi known as dermatophytes. However, you may also have nail fungus from yeasts and molds. Fungi thrive well in a warm, dark, and moist environment, just like the environment inside your shoes.

Anyone can be infected with nail fungus, but some factors and conditions can increase the risk of becoming infected. These include having diabetes, a nail injury, psoriasis, regular use of artificial nails, hyperhidrosis, a weakened immune system, and poor blood circulation.

Getting treated for nail fungal infections

A podiatrist can recommend a highly effective nail fungus treatment based on the kind of fungal infection you are suffering from. Most of the time, this can be in the form of an oral or topical antifungal.

How can it be prevented?

When you are frequently in an area that is prone to fungal growth, it is better to take extra precautions to protect your feet. This is much better than having to treat a nail fungal infection which can be quite challenging.

1All about the Pepper Fruit

Plants have remained a great source of foods and other nutrients essential for both humans and animals. The pepper fruit (Dennettia tripetala) is a plant known for possessing numerous chemical compounds required for the metabolic functioning of the body systems. Not all plants are beneficial to human health, and that is why it is important to identify which of these plants are so. One of these plants is the pepper fruit, but not many people know the great benefits that can be gained from this plant. Pepper fruit with the botanical name Dennettia tripetala G. Baker belongs to the Annonaceae family. The pepper fruit is a tropical plant that grows more in the West African region, particularly in Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Ivory Coast.

Different tribes in Africa call this plant different names. It is a pungent, peppery, and spicy plant known for its medicinal value. It is characterized by its green appearance when it is still unripe and reddish or pinkish when it becomes ripe. The mature and edible pepper fruit can be chewed raw but it can also be added to food preparations and in the creation of herbal medicine. The leaves of the pepper fruit can be dried as well as stored without succumbing to a microbial attack. The fruits, roots, and stems of the pepper fruit can be used for medicinal purposes. This plant contains volatile and essential oils, which are responsible for its aroma, taste, and pungency. The pepper fruit is often chewed as a snack because of its peppery spicy taste. It is also usually served with palm wine, bitter kola, kola nuts, and garden eggs during coronations, festivals, cultural ceremonies, traditional marriages, and others.

Nutritional Content

The pepper fruit contains the following: calcium, magnesium, potassium, crude fiber, carbohydrates, crude lipids, crude protein, phosphorus, and trace elements like copper, zinc, cadmium, and iron. Moreover, it has water-soluble vitamins like thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and ascorbic acid. Based on studies, the unripe pepper fruit has a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin A, and minerals compared to the ripe one. The phytochemical content of pepper fruit has also been investigated and it was known that pepper fruit contains tannins, saponins, flavonoids, and cyanogenic glycosides. The fruits and leaves of the peppery fruit have been known to contain secondary metabolites like carbohydrates, terpene, flavonoids, and phenol.

As an Antimicrobial

The pepper fruit is rich with ​​phytochemicals that are known to possess antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and insecticidal properties. It was found by researchers that phenolic acid extract and essential oils of the pepper fruit could inhibit the growth of microorganisms like Salmonella sp., Staphyloccocus aureus, Escherichia coli, and others. The leaves of the plant are also known for inhibiting the growth of Sclerotium rolfsii and other fungi. The extract taken from the pulverized seeds of pepper fruit was observed to have an antimicrobial impact on Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Aspergillus niger, and Klebsiella aerogenes. The study provided proof that the Dennettia tripetala seed extracts can treat microbial infections.

Other Health Benefits

Several health benefits of the pepper fruit vary. Some of them are as follows:

Convulsion Treatment

Pepper fruit oil extract has a compound known as 1-nitro-2-phenyl ethane, which contains hypnotic and anticonvulsant properties that help in treating infant convulsion. For this treatment, the leaves are boiled and squeezed, their extract drained to be used as an oral treatment for convulsion in infants. It can also help induce sleep, particularly for those that have sleep issues.

Kidney Health and Other Body Organs

Research on pepper fruit has been observed to help improve the functions of the kidneys and liver, protecting them from damage and exposure to elements that could lead to their malfunction. These are brought about by the extracts of the plant. These extracts have been observed to cure kidney and liver-related health conditions.

Anti-Inflammatory

Essential oil from pepper fruit possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, the oil is often used to reduce body pain and inflammation.

Anti-ulcer

The pepper fruit seed also contains an ethanol extract that has anti-ulcer properties due to the presence of flavonoids. The ethanol extract from the seeds of pepper fruit can help in treating stomach ulcers.

Anti-viral

This plant is also helpful in fighting viruses that can cause colds, coughs, and fever.

To be able to enjoy all its health benefits, it is advised that this plant be taken in moderation.

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