In Ghana, one of the many wild vegetables that grows there is the turkey berry, which has long been used to make food.
It is typically included in soups made with palm fruits, probably the reason behind one of its popular name amongst Ghanaians, Abedru. Ghana has just begun to appreciate its actual nutritional and therapeutic benefits.
There aren’t many dishes that employ the Turkey berry in Ghana compared to countries where it has been used for medical purposes for so long, including Thailand, India, and South America.
Physicians, midwives, and traditional healers regularly recommend it to anaemic patients to help improve blood haemoglobin levels and overall immune function, all of which have led to the berry’s growing consumption.
Turkey berry is declared a weed in 32 countries, and usually invasive in parts of Australia and South Africa that have comparable climates to Florida.
Health Benefits of Turkey Berry
1. Antioxidant properties
Antioxidants are compounds that could shield your cells from free radical – which may contribute to heart disease, cancer, and other disorders. When you consume food, smoke cigarettes, or are exposed to radiation, your body produces molecules known as free radicals.
According to studies that are crucial to human health, phenolics in turkey berries have been identified as the main bioactive chemicals responsible for their antioxidant properties.
It is a well-known fact that the presence of a significant amount of phenolics in food gives health benefits due to their antioxidant properties.
2. Fights Fever
Consuming turkey berries ripened as part of dals, curries or in the form of dried powder significantly lowers high body temperature, relieves fever, soothes cough, sore throat and runny nose.
Turkey berries aid in removing phlegm, mucus from the nasal passages and lungs, relieving cases of asthma and respiratory issues. They are rich in polyphenol antioxidants that have helpful expectorant qualities.
3. Protects the Kidney
Studies have shown that turkey berries can help prevent and treat kidney disease as well as reverse tubular necrosis and glomerular congestion, making them vital for the treatment of kidney diseases.
4. Immune Booster
Consuming soup and herbal brew with turkey berry extracts greatly enhances the body’s natural defenses and strengthens the immune system.
Turkey berries are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for developing resistance and protecting the body against allergies, chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension, and seasonal infections like the flu.
5. Controls Diabetes
Turkey berries regulate the body’s production of insulin and glucose absorption thanks to their glycoside antioxidant compounds.
Therefore, it is an excellent way to prevent the rapid spikes in blood sugar that happen after eating and is a perfect addition to a diabetic diet since it effectively reduces the symptoms of high blood sugar.
6. Anti-Inflammatory properties
In test-tube studies, the unique chemicals gallic acid and ferulic acid, which are abundant in turkey berries, have shown to have potent anti-inflammatory effects.
Increasing your turkey berry intake can help improve your overall health and longevity.
7. Anti-Cancer effect
The antibacterial, antifungal, and cell-growth-inhibiting properties of Turkey berries make them important for cancer treatment.
Turkey Berry extract has been shown in studies to help prevent lung cancer. Therefore, include turkey berry into your normal diet to protect yourself from all serious illnesses.
Side Effects of Turkey Berry
Turkey berry is widely used and generally regarded as safe, but there is a lack of reliable data when it comes to determining its exact dosage and the potential danger of negative effects after consumption.
Turkey berry, like other nightshade plants, contains a class of compounds known as glycoalkaloids.
A bitter or burning taste in the mouth and flu-like symptoms such nausea, vomiting, stomach and abdominal pains, and diarrhoea are signs of excessive glycoalkaloid consumption.