Health Benefits of Ugu Leaf and Side Effects

One of nature’s kindness towards man is that the healith benefits of ugu leaf is available to all. Ugu is a popular leafy vegetable used for cooking assorted meals such soups, portage yam, stews etc. It is called Fluted pumpkin Leaves in English, Ugu in Igbo language, Telfairia Occidentalis as the botanical name, sokoyokoto in Yoruba, kabewa in Hausa, and Ikong-Ubong in Efik.

To get the leaf, you plant the seed from the fluted pumpkin. This will eventually grow to more pumpkins and the leaves which are consumed.

Nutritional Value

Ugu Leaf is packed with a lot of natural nutrients, such as dietary fibres, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 & B6, and C. It also contains minerals like phosphorus, manganese niacin, folate, magnesium, iron, potassium, antioxidants, protein, riboflavin, thiamine, flavonoid, poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, xanthins, and carotene.

Health Benefits of Ugu Leaf

Here are few of the amazing health benefits of Ugu Leaf and reasons to eat more of Ugu leaves;

Good for Weight Management

When you consider weight management, then you talk about the health benefits of ugu leaf. This is because of its high dietary fibre content which makes you full for a longer time. It also slows down digestion and how quickly your body responds to the carbohydrates you eat.

Also, ugu leaf can be used to make smoothie that aids weight loss. Smoothies helps to fasten weight reduction, it is very filling and contains the right antioxidants to fight all those yamayama fats in any area of your body and particularly your belly. Ugwu low smoothie is low in calorie and rich in anti-oxidants as a result, it aids weight loss.

Gives Blood

Many times, when there is shortage of blood, our nutritionists or medical professionals will recommend that we eat more of ugu leaf. Yes, this is because of its high iron content that makes it a natural blood tonic. Taking ugu leaf water (Ugu juice) is very beneficial in blood production and safe in pregnancy.

They contains a lot of folic acid which helps to prevent neural tube defects and iron which helps to prevent anemia in pregnancy. Pregnant women are encouraged to drink it.

It is important to note that ugu’s ability to boost blood production is not magic as the result is seen with time and not immediately.

Improves Gastrointestinal Tract Health

Due to the high fibre content, it plays an essential role in improving digestion, thereby reducing health conditions like irritable bowel movement, constipation, and those caused by indigestion problems like ulcers and gastroparesis.

Making fluted pumpkin leafy vegetables part of your meals will help you achieve these GIT healthy conditions and more

Source of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are important in the bodies mechanism for fighting cancer and other associated health conditions like ulcers due to their ability to avoid the damages that oxidative stress should have caused in the body.

Fluted pumpkin leaf have been seen to be rich in alkaloids, resins, hydrocyanic acid, tannins, and flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants that offer some immune system and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Improves Teeth and Bone Health

Ugu Leaf is a good source of calcium, needed to maintain the teeth and bones in order to keep the skeletal system functioning. It also helps to prevent osteoporosis, which affects the bones, especially in the aged.

They also contain magnesium and potassium which helps calcium to be absorbed in order to make our bones strong & firm. The potassium on the other hand, helps maintain bone mineral density, which helps to make the calcium content in the bones intact, avoiding the leaching of the mineral.

Treats Convulsions in Children

Ugu Leaf can be helpful in treating convulsions in children, though there are no tangible scientific proof to back up this claim. To use ugu leaf in treating convulsion, slice and mixed it with coconut water and a small amount of salt before giving it to the children.

Ugu and Fertility

Another common benefit from ugu leave is it’s boost to fertility for both men and women. The oil from ugu, helps to maintain the morphology of the ovary and uterus as well as increasing serum levels and oestrogen in women. Also, it boosts ovulation in women and improves post-pregnancy health as it helps the nursing mother to adequately feed their children because it increases milk production.

For men, the oil gotten from ugu seed contains oleic acid, alkaloids and vitamin A, which helps to boost or improve sperm count in men and the overall functioning of their testicles.

Hormone Balancing

Consuming ugu leaf helps to balance the hormones in the body. This is because vegetables are known to have high protein content, and Ugu contains the needed protein for hormone balancing; tissue repairs and regulates the acidities of body cells and organs.

Anti-diabetic Agent

Extracts from ugu leaf have proven to be effective in regulating blood sugar levels (anti-diabetic agent). In order words, it can be used to treat diabetes mellitus by reducing glucose in the blood.

This is possible because of the content of polysaccharides and ethyl acetate, which have effectively lowered blood sugar levels. They also effectively promote glucose tolerance and serum insulin.

Improves Brain Health and Memory

Ugu leaves, just like most green leafy vegetables, contain certain compounds that help to improve brain memory. Also, it contains vital nutrients such as vitamins and magnesium, which aid in improving and normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.

It can help to improve cognitive reasoning, memory loss (Dementia), and other health conditions associated with memory health, such as Alzheimer’s disease.


Obviously, the benefits that ugu leaf presents can be enjoyed by all genders, all age groups. In Nigeria, fluted pumpkin leaf is mainly planted for commercial use in the southern region. But can be transported to every part of the country, making these benefits available for everyone.

So far, there is no amount assumed to be over dose, as such consuming ugu leaf frequently has not been linked to any health risk.

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