The Health Benefits Of Mondia Whitei

Mondia grows widely throughout Africa and can be found in South, Central, East and West Africa, Senegal in the West, Southern Sudan in the East and throughout most of Central Africa and Southern African countries. Mondia whitei has a series of roots that run parallel to the ground and are quite extensive. It has a beautiful flower that forms a fruit pod containing many seeds which are covered in a light silky fluff. It is believed that birds pull out the fluff to line their nests and that is how the seed is spread. The seed is easy to propagate fresh and even up to one year old.

From a health benefit point of view the root is the most important part of the plant where there is the highest concentration of plant chemicals. The root can be used either fresh or dried, chopped or milled as a powder.

Normally the roots are boiled in water for a short period, and then the decoction is left to cool, even refrigerated overnight in order to allow the plant chemicals to extract into the water. The flavour is quite uniquely a bitter vanilla taste, somewhat pleasant.

Mondia is an interesting plant because in different parts of Africa it is used to treat different ailments. There are a number of key benefits of Mondia whitei aside from its benefit to the male reproductive system, where there is clinical and scientific evidence that the ingestion of Mondia whitei leads to an improvement in the volume and quality of sperm production. Across African countries, Mondia whitei is most popular for its aphrodisiac function of enhancing fertility. Sometimes men can be seen chewing the fresh or dried roots as an aphrodisiac. In fact, men who are impotent or infertile are given Mondia whitei as a remedy. In many parts of Africa, Mondia whitei is regarded as high value medicinal plants by both men and women.

In many countries Mondia is used for stimulating appetite especially in patients who are recovering from fevers, influenza, malaria or even cancer treatment. It is reported to have a positive impact on post-partum bleeding and also body pain. Some other miscellaneous ailments that it can help are asthma, jaundice, anemia, allergies, headaches as well as gastrointestinal disorders like stomach ache and indigestion. In some instances, Mondia whitei has also been used in the treatment of tension, stress and depression.

Fits in children and stress and tension in adults are also treated with concoctions from the root of Mondia whitei by African traditional healers. Indeed, many herbalists in Africa say that this plant can provide strength, energy, stamina, endurance and is able to improve mental wellbeing. Some herbalists recommend taking the Mondia whitei concoction to improve sleep, as well as easing birth pains. Mondia whitei is also reported to be used by some traditional healers to treat chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases that are beginning to emerge in African countries.

The dried or fresh roots can also be cooked in meat or chicken stews as a spice to enhance the stew flavor and to improve preservation.

Fresh and dried Mondia whitei roots are always sold in open markets across Africa in urban and rural areas. Sometimes the dry roots are milled and packed by small and medium scale enterprise companies as herbal teas and spices to flavor food and soft drinks. Apart from the roots, the dried leaves of Mondia whitei are also powdered and mixed with food and taken daily as a supplement to prevent a number of health conditions.

As a plant found across different countries in Africa and in different cultures, Mondia whitei is referred to in various ways in the local dialects. In Zulu it is known as Umondi in the the Swahili language in Tanzania, Mondia whitei is called ‘Mbombongazi‘, in Uganda it is called ‘Mulondo‘ among the Bantu tribes, and ‘Ogombo‘ among the Luo tribes of Kenya. Ogombo in Luo language dialect means to awaken life’s desires. In Cameroon, West Africa, Mondia whitei is called ‘limte’ and in Malawi in southern Africa, it is called ‘Gondolosi‘.

Scientific studies have found that Mondia whitei is rich in bio-active medicinal compounds like sterols, tritapenes, alkaloids, saponins, tarnins, flavanoids, alkaloids, glycosides, phenols and terpenoids. The sweet, sugary and spicy taste was found to be associated with vanilla compounds and sugars present in the plant. Other scientific studies have also found that Mondia whitei has anti-depressant properties.
Because of its wide use in African traditional medicine, Mondia whitei has become an endangered species. In some areas, Mondia whitei has become rare in the wild due to the increasing over exploitation of the plant by the local communities for commercial purposes. This shortage of supply has led to a number of initiatives aimed at cultivating the plant in commercial quantities.

In conclusion, Mondia Whitei has a wide range of health benefits and should be considered as an important natural medicine and health supplement.

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