For centuries, tribesmen from the villages of Nigeria and Cameroon in West Africa have been using the seeds of Irvingia Gabonensis, also known as African Mango, for its potent health benefits. The African Mango, an exotic brightly colored tropical fruit, differs from other mangos because it produces a peculiar seed which the natives of Cameroon call the Dika nut.
The Irvingia kernels form an important part of the West and Central African diet, providing fat and protein. African Mango seeds are ground into a paste and used to thicken soups and stews. Ogbono soup is featured on the menus of most restaurants in Nigeria.
Native medicinal treatments made use of the bark, leaves, roots and kernels of the African Mango tree for a multitude of health ailments. The bark was known to have antibiotic qualities and was used to heal skin abrasions and to produce a remedy for tooth aches when boiled. When ingested orally, shavings from the stem bark have been used to treat hernias, dysentery, and even yellow fever. The juice of the fruitis made into a wine that attains 8% alcohol content when left to ferment for 28 days.
Cultivation of Irvingia in Nigeria dates as far back as 1816.
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