Nigerian Pepper Soup Ingredients Have Potential For Disease Prevention - FUTA Don

Dec 7, 2023 - 17:27
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Nigerian Pepper Soup Ingredients Have Potential For Disease Prevention - FUTA Don

By Adetokunbo FAKEYE 

Nigeria - A Professor of Veterinary Parasitology and Ethnoveterinary Medicine at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, Bamidele Osho has emphasized the multifaceted benefits of the phytochemicals present in Nigerian pepper soup ingredients, ranging from antioxidant activities to potential applications in disease prevention and animal nutrition. 

Prof. Osho stated this while delivering the 162nd inaugural lecture of the university with the title, "Ethnoveterinary Medicine: A Complementary Alternative in Animal Health Care," on Tuesday 5th December, 2023.

He cited the result of a study conducted by his team through the exploration of phytochemical composition of commonly used spices in Nigerian pepper soup like Tetrapleura tetraptera (Aidon fruit), Zingiber officinale (Ginger), Allium sativum (Garlic) and others as pointers to this fact. He said the findings indicated that the selected spices contained a diverse array of phytochemicals, including tannins, saponins, flavonoids, phytates, oxalate, alkaloids, phenols and terpenoids. He said the presence of quercetin, a flavonoid constituent, was highlighted for its potential in preventing the formation of tumor cells across various cancer types.

Professor Osho stated that the study emphasized the multifaceted benefits of the phytochemicals present in Nigerian pepper soup ingredients, ranging from antioxidant activities to potential applications in disease prevention and animal nutrition. 

According to him, "Notably these phytochemicals particularly flavonoids demonstrated robust antioxidant properties against superoxide which play a role in food deterioration. The study revealed that the spices contained saponins and tannins suggesting the possibility of antibiotic properties". 

The lecturer also said apart from the benefits of the Nigerian pepper soup spices to human, "combining these spices in animal diets could be beneficial, promoting growth and maintaining health". 

He also mentioned the exploration of the potency of Fluerya aestuants L (Urticaceae), - tropical nettle -traditionally used for animal health wherein the methanol extracts exhibited notable antioxidant properties. 

Prof. Osho added that the study suggests that the abundance of phytochemicals and strong antioxidant activity in Fluerya aestuants, may contribute to its traditional use for various purposes, including as an antidote for poison, remedy for rickets in children, treatment for constipation and anti-ulcer agent.

The Professor of Veterinary Parasitology and Ethnoveterinary Medicine, who advocated the use of traditional wisdom and ethnoveterinary medicine in animal health care in the country, also prescribed ethnoveterinary medicine as a complementary alternative for the care of all categories of animals. He said ethnoveterinary medicine is significant in animal care because it preserves traditional knowledge, utilizes local resources, respects cultural practices, provides accessible and affordable options and contributes to the well-being of both animals and the communities that depend on them as end users. 

He added that it holds the potential to bridge the gap between traditional and modern veterinary medicine, ultimately improving the health and welfare of animals.

In view of the above, the don whose research interest in ethnoveterinary medicine with emphasis on evaluating alternate therapy from natural resources, their mechanism of action, and prophylactic and therapeutic potential spanning decades, recommended that governments should recognize and support the preservation of traditional knowledge related to ethnoveterinary practices. 

According to him, this involves creating policies that acknowledge the value of traditional wisdom in animal healthcare.

Professor Osho called for community empowerment through appropriate policy formulation. He said such policies should focus on empowering local communities to sustainably manage and utilize their ethnoveterinary knowledge which may involve initiatives that promote community-based conservation of medicinal plants and the responsible use of traditional remedies.

He defined ethnoveterinary medicine as a field that focuses on traditional and indigenous knowledge and practices used by local communities to manage the health of their animals. He added that it can involve various aspects such as herbal medicine, the use of specific plants, minerals and even ritualistic practices. 

Prof Osho added that it reflects a holistic approach to animal health, considering not only the physical symptoms but also the cultural and spiritual aspect assuring that it also provides cheap therapy and easy accessibility in comparison with western drugs.

Dwelling on the rise in the knowledge of the potency of ethnoveterinary medicine, Professor Osho quoting Lans et al said "ethnoveterinary practices have gained tremendous importance in the last decade due to the discovery of some effective ethnoveterinary products". 

He said that ethnoveterinary practices are more common in developing countries due to different socio economic factors with researchers and organizations increasingly recognizing its importance in preserving biodiversity, promoting sustainable practices and improving animal health in diverse cultural setting.

Osho further called on governments to allocate funds for research in ethnoveterinary medicine and increase collaborations between government agencies, research institutions and local communities to ensure a holistic approach to the study and application of traditional veterinary practices. 

He also admonished government to develop policy to integrate ethnoveterinary practices into mainstream veterinary services. According to him, this may involve training veterinary professionals on traditional practices and incorporating relevant aspects into formal veterinary education.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Adenike Oladiji, who chaired the event commended the delivery of the lecture and described Professor Osho as an erudite academic with good track record in training students and research activities. 

She was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Professor Taiwo Amos.

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