One spice that many people add to white soup (nsala) is uda (Negro pepper or xylopia aethiopica).
Negro pepper is commonly called Erunje or Erinje in Yoruba, Uda in Igbo, Kimba in Hausa, Hwentia in Akan-Asante and Evafé in Abure and Kaani in Mandinka.
Uda brings its own taste and aroma to any soup that you can tell it is just there once you perceive the aroma.
Most times, people who use it often take out the seed before using the pulp. It makes the soup have bitter taste.
The pulp, which people grind and add to their soup, is medicinal, but caution must be applied in using it.
For instance in Delta State where I come from, nursing mothers get a handful of nsala soup.
Uda appears to be a major ingredient that must be present in the soup to make it work.
All she does is just scoop and drink the soup which often comes with assorted fish and meat.
In fact, if you see the soup, you will wish you just gave birth. Unfortunately, the pepper in the soup will choke you if you are not careful.
Uda As A Cleansing Agent
because of this spicy nature of the soup, she blows and takes the soup with caution.
This soup cleanses her system of blood that may be left in her system and also helps fight infection.
However, because of the aroma uda brings to white soup, people love to add it to their soup.
But different studies say there is anti-fertility property in uda.
Uda is able to flush a woman’s system after childbirth and that cleansing power also makes it anti-fertility spice.
Each time it is taken, it flushes. And it will flush the foetus if it finds one.
Compounds In Nigro Pepper
Negro pepper contains different compounds and some of them contribute to why a women Trying To Conceive may need to avoid it.
Also, pregnant woman should avoid adding uda to their soup during pregnancy.
The fruit is rich in fibre and also contains carbohydrate among other nutrients.
It contains oxalate, phytate, saponins and tannins, as anti-nutrients.
Also, other minerals constituents of the fruit of Negro pepper are potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, sodium, copper, manganese and phosphate (1).
Uda And Women Fertility
While it is a great food to add to diet, an anti-nutrient in it makes it unsafe for some persons.
One nutrient we know is anti-fertility is saponin and this is in uda.
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Saponins in Uda, which are of high concentration, are the reason it is not a good spice for women wanting to conceive or pregnant.
According to a study, exposure to saponins reduces pregnancy rate of women (2).
Uda and Men’s Semen
For men, another study looked at the effects of ethanolic extract of Xylopia aethiopica on male reproductive organ in Wistar rats.
The study on 24 adult male rats published results worth considering.
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In the study, Group 1 (control) was given rat chow and distilled water ad libitum, Group II and III received 0.5mls and 1.0mls of ethanolic extract of Xylopia aethiopica once daily for a period of 28 days.
After they studies there was a significant and dose dependent decrease in the semen parameters (count, motility).
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However, there was a non-significant decrease in the percentage of sperm with normal morphology.
According to the study, the testicular photomicrograph also shows dose dependent degenerative changes (3).
“Therefore, the extract may have some anti fertility effects.”
Clearly, the above study findings calls for caution. Basically, it means that a spouse exposed to this spice may experience delay in conception as a result of its use.
Kindly share this article with your friends who use uda to enable them know the side-effect of adding it to their food.