Dennettia tripetala is the botanical name of Pepper fruit. It is native to West Africa, particularly Nigeria where the fruits are called obi ata or igberi in Yoruba, mmimi in Igbo and nkarika in Efik.
Pepper fruit has been a traditional medicine and remedy for cough, fever, toothache, diarrhea, diabetes, and nausea in pregnant women.
Dennettia tripetala fruit can be used as a peppery spice for seasoning food such as white soup,sea foods , meat, vegetables, stew. It can be used as a substitute for ginger in zobo drink. Pepper fruit tree thrives mainly in the Savannah and rainforest zones. The season for this fruit is April and May.
Pepper fruit can be chewed as a fruity snack, it can also be served with garden eggs, bitter kola and kola nuts during festivals, cultural ceremonies, and traditional events in Nigeria. These fruits are usually green but turn pink, red or orange as they ripen. They have a spicy, pungent and peppery taste.
Health Benefits of Pepper Fruits
- Prevents the growth of microorganisms
Study shows that the seed extract of Dennettia tripetala can be used for preventing and inhibiting the growth of bacteria and microorganisms.
- Treatment of Gastrointestinal Diseases
The leaves, fruits and roots of the pepper fruit can be used for herbal medicines to treat gastrointestinal diseases such as stomach upset, diarrhoea, vomiting and worm infestation.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties
The pepper fruit contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
- Antimicrobial Properties
The leaf extract contains antimicrobial properties and are effective for fighting against microbes.
- Anti-ulcer Properties
It contains anti-ulcer properties because of its flavonoid content.
- Anti-emetic Properties
Pepper fruit is anti-emetic, and can be used for preventing or treating nausea and vomiting.
- Anti-viral Properties
It can be used to fight against cold, cough and fever.