Health Benefits of Ehu Seeds (Monodora Myristica)

Monodora myristica (Ehu seeds)

Monodora myristica (Ehu seeds)

Ehu seeds is the spice behind the aromatic flavour and taste of some local delicacies like nkwobi, abacha, isi ewu , bangs soup, etc. Ehu seeds whose botanical name is Monodora Myristica is a  tropical plant of West African origin. Different tribes in Nigeria has different names for Ehu seeds. The Yoruba’s call it ariwo,  Hausa’s call it, gujiya dan miya, the igbos call it Ehu, ehuru. Its other names include African nutmeg, Jamaican nutmeg, calabash nutmeg etc.

African nutmeg comes in a shell that is usually removed to get the seed. The seed is then ground and added to soups pepper soup or stew as spice. Ehu seeds produce stronger aroma and taste if they are roasted moderately before use.  Due to the strong flavor of this spice, A little quantity is usually enough so that the flavour does not over power other flavours of your food.

African nutmeg is rich in potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium and vital B-complex vitamins, including vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A and many flavonoid anti-oxidants that are essential for optimum

African nutmeg contains essential oils which is responsible for its aroma and flavour. The essential oils include β-caryophyllene, α-humulene and α-pinene. The major compounds found in the essential oil from the seeds are α-phellandrene, α-pinene, myrcene, limonene and pinene.

Health Benefits of Ehu Seeds

Insect repellent.

The seeds and leaves of African nutmeg act as insect repellent to drive away live and fleas infestation.

Treat headaches.

Ehu seeds can be used to treat headaches and relieve body aches.

Treat Sores.

Extracts from Ehu seeds and leaves can be used to treat sores.

Stomachic Properties

The seeds are used in the treatment of digestive problems like constipation and diarrhea. They stimulate digestion and relieve stomach pain, cramps or disorder.

Treat rheumatism and arthritis

The anti inflammatory nature of Ehu seeds makes it possible for it to be used in the treatment of  rheumatism, arthritis and other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Contains essential oils

Ehu seeds contains essential oils which include β-caryophyllene, α-humulene and α-pinene. These oils can be used to manufacture perfumes, soaps, detergent.

Treat haemorrhoids.

The bark of monodora myristica can be used to treat haemorrhoids otherwise known as pile.  Haemorrhoid are swollen veins in the lower part of the rectum and anus.  They cause severe pains, severe itching and difficulty sitting.

Management of Sickle cell anemia

Ehu seeds has been listed as part of foods that help alleviate problems associated with sickle cell anemia.

Post Partum Tonic

Ehu seeds and  Uziza seed are part of the ingredients  used in preparing a special hot soup for women who just delivered babies. It is believed that these two spices help control passive bleeding from the womb immediately after childbirth.

Culinary purposes

Ehu seeds are used as spice in preparing traditional food due to the aromatic flavour and taste it impacts on the food.

Ornamental purposes

Ehu seeds are made into necklaces and worn as ornaments. The tree of African nutmeg can be grown for ornamental purposes due to it’s large orchid like flowers.


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