A LOT ABOUT EWEDUPosted by Olamilekan Oderanti
“Ewedu” as popularly called by Nigerians is as old as 30BC and can be traced back to Egypt where it was used by the royalties to enhance beauty and prevent aging. Its English name is Jute mallow or Jew’s mallow and its botanical name is Cochorus olitoruus.
“Ewedu” is an edible green leaf vegetable. Its slimy nature makes it unique amongst all other kinds of vegetables and it’s consumed by a large number of people here in Nigeria especially in the Southeast and Southwest part of Nigeria.
This vegetable is the second widely most cultivated fiber after cotton. It is used in some parts of India to weave.
However, this article focuses on the digestive functions and importance of this unique vegetable.
Why should you eat “Ewedu”?
Well, you should eat “Ewedu” because of its numerous functions which I trust would apply to you in your daily life. At times, one would wonder why so much in just a single vegetable. Well, it is what it is!
Health Benefits of Ewedu Soup
It helps to manage inflammation: Inflammation is the process by which the white blood cells of the body fight against diseases found in the body. However, they are two types of inflammation.
—Acute inflammation which is short-lived spanning from an hour to a day at most
—Chronic inflammation which could last for as long as a month or even more. The repercussion of this kind of inflammation is that even when they are no more diseases in the body, the white blood cells keep fighting the cells of the body. If this continues, it could lead to cancer and some other chronic infections.
Jute leaves “Ewedu” have anti-inflammatory properties and hence a good help to fall back on.
It helps in managing sleep disorders: For a number of sleep disorders, the mineral “magnesium” is efficient to restore a restful night. Jute leaves “Ewedu” is rich in magnesium and hence of great importance to as many that values sleep.
When magnesium is taken into the body, it supports the release of hormones which helps to ease the nerves and conditions them for a restful night.
It promotes digestion: Jute leaves “Ewedu” is rich in dietary fiber which is essential for the easy digestion of foods. What this means is that the more “Ewedu” you eat the less likely you are to have constipation as well as other digestive disorders.
It preserves Eye health: For good eyesight, you need a healthy diet that has the essential and needed nutrients. Jute leaves are rich in these nutrients. Jute leaves “Ewedu” have approximately 0.05mg of Vitamin B6 which is about one-third of the daily required value. They also contain folate as well as other numerous nutrients which helps to keep the eyes healthy.
With jute leaves, you can be sure of some distance away from eye diseases and even old age eye problems.
It promotes the immune system: The presence of Vitamin C in Jute leaves “Ewedu” makes it a good friend to the immune system. It helps the immune system to easily fight off colds and a list of other complications.
It saves the teeth: The presence of calcium in Jute leaves “Ewedu” helps to not only give strong teeth but also strong jaws and hence making it difficult for the survival of dangerous bacteria in the tooth.
In short, the health benefits associated with Jute leaves “Ewedu” are numerous, and not eating Jute leaves is similar to intentionally shooting one’s foot. I’m sure you don’t want to do that.
How to cook Jute leaves “Ewedu Soup”
Most people love to add potash “Kaun” while preparing their “Ewedu Soup” just so they can make it slimier.
However, the use of Potash “Kaun” is discouraged In this article for certain reasons which would be discussed later in this article.
How then do we prepare “Ewedu Soup” without Potash “Kaun”?
(1) carefully select your Jute leaves “Ewedu” and rinse.
(2) blend your jute leaves “Ewedu” with water and crayfish.
(3) pour your blended jute leaves into a rinsed pot. Add little water and allow to cook on a low temperature for 3-5 minutes.
(4) add water if you feel it’s too thick. Add water till you get your desired thickness.
(5) add salt and locust beans to taste and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
(6) turn off your cooker and serve.
Why do we discourage the use of Potash “Kaun”?
Potash is popularly used as fertilizer around the world and hence present in our foods as well as the body of herbivorous animals. We eat both foods and animals so we have a dose of potash often.
However, the locally made potash that is gotten from the burning of leaves and trees contains sodium. This sodium in potash can cause high blood pressure and also affects the liver and kidney negatively.
Although the effects of potash on the kidney are dosage-dependent, a consumption as low as 5g per day could be disastrous to the kidney’s health over time.
One thing is certain and that is the fact that we do not measure the quantity of the potash used in cooking. All we care about is that our “Ewedu” must be slimy. Should that be at the expense of our own health?
Potash contains potassium which is needed by the body but then, they are a number of other sources of potassium other than potash.
In conclusion, adding potash “Kaun” to your “Ewedu” or your diet generally is a choice but then you should consider your health. If at all you must use it ensure it’s just a little and make it less often.