About Nutritional and Health Benefits of Tropical Pepper Fruit

Pepper fruit is a tropical fruit dominant in West Africa. It is a kind of berry that is aromatic, peppery, and medicinal and found in most parts of Nigeria.

It is called mmimi in the Igbo language; ata igebere or igberi in Yoruba; imako by Niger Deltas and Urhobo, nkarika in Efik and Ibibio but scientifically called Dennettia Tripetala.

It contains some valuable nutrients and phytochemicals that benefit human health differently.


Here are Surprising Health Benefits of Pepper Fruit

1. Has Medicinal Effects

The fruit, leaves, and root of the pepper tree are medicinal, so one can use them to treat stomach upset, stubborn worms, and other gastrointestinal issues.

Though not yet scientifically proven, It has served medicinal purposes in many parts of Nigeria and other local areas where it is grown. Still, locals have used it to alleviate many health conditions such as the ones mentioned above and even more.


2. Helps Treat Convulsion

Pepper fruit oil extract contains 1-nitro-2-phenyl ethane, which has an anticonvulsant and hypnotic effect that effectively treats infant convulsions.

For this health condition, the leaves are more beneficial and can squeeze them, and the liquid content drain for oral treatment of convulsion in infants.

It can also induce sleep, especially for those with sleeping problems due to its hypnotic effect.


3. Serves as a Postpartum Tonic

This fruit serves as a post-partum tonic because of the presence of active compounds contained inside. The seeds can be grounded and used to prepare particular food for nursing mothers immediately after childbirth because it aids in uterus contraction and heal some wounds sustained during childbirth.

The fruit can also be eaten in its raw form, providing the body with almost the same effect, especially for nursing mothers. 


4.  Rich in Antioxidants

Essential antioxidants such as ascorbic acid and flavonoids fight against free radicals that tend to cause sicknesses in the body system.

These antioxidants prevent free radicals (chemicals) from damaging the body’s vital organs and cells during oxidation.

This antioxidant property mainly applies to unripe pepper fruit since it was discovered that the fruit's antioxidants reduce as they are ripe while the phenolic content increases.

Phenolic compounds also have some interesting properties, as they exhibit antioxidants, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antimutagenic properties in the body.

They help prevent cancer due to their ability to prevent oxidation and inflammation, which could lead to cancer, swelling, and much more.


5. Can Prevent Cancer

Due to its ability to reduce inflammation as it contains vital anti-inflammatory properties, pepper fruits can help reduce cancer risk and improve existing ones.

Fruits rich in anti-inflammatory properties reduce/prevent swelling or inflammation, leading to abnormal cancer growth. The phenolic compounds, flavonoids, etc., in pepper fruit serve this purpose.

From recent studies, pepper fruit has been proven effective in treating prostate cancer, etc., as it shows positive improvements in the cancer cells.


6. Has Anti-Ulcer Properties

The seed of pepper fruit has an ethanol extract that exhibits anti-ulcer properties due to flavonoids in the fruit. This ethanol extract from the seed helps in terminating stomach ulcers.

Fruits and vegetables have been found to have a great anti-ulcer property, and due to this effect, pepper fruits serve as an excellent substitute for use in the prevention/treatment of peptic ulcers and other related health conditions like stomach disorders.


 7. Good for Diabetic Patients

One of the main issues of diabetes is the spike in blood sugar, which can improve their health conditions when regulated.

Pepper Fruit has been found worthy of reducing blood sugar levels; an experiment conducted on rats induced with high blood sugar (Hyperglycemia) effects was shown to reduce the glucose level in the blood significantly.

Therefore, the adequate intake of this fruit can help reduce high blood sugar levels in the body.


8. Improves the Body’s Organs

The liver and kidney are vital organs in the body performing specific functions, and their failure to do this designated task can adversely affect the body in diverse ways.

Therefore, research on pepper fruits has been found to help improve the liver and kidney functions in the body and prevent them from damage and exposure to any element that can cause them to malfunction.

The extracts of pepper fruit are vital for this and have even been proven to help treat some liver and kidney-related health conditions.


Nutritional Values of Pepper Fruits


Values by %



Crude Lipids


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Crude Fibres




Pepperfuits contain vital nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, crude fiber, copper, moisture, carbohydrates, iron, zinc, and more.


Where is Pepperfruits Grown?

Pepper Fruits is a tropical fruit native to West African and Central African countries and is commercially grown in countries like Nigeria, Cameroun, Ivory Coast, and more.

It has so many other local names in different places. It identifies with the custard apple family known as Annonaceae, characterized by its fruity green or purple pod.


Uses of Pepper Fruits

They contain insecticidal properties, meaning they can use them to prevent attacks from insects, pests, weevils, and related due to their peppery nature and property content.

Pepper fruits are used in pharmacology due to elements and compounds containing anti-oxidants, anti-allergic, terpenes, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Fruits are nutritionally valuable to human health, but exceptional benefits are attributed to pepper fruits used for versatile purposes.

They can be used as flavoring ingredients in foods, ginger substitutes in producing zobo drinks, alcoholic drinks, beverages, hot drinks, and more.


Medicinal Benefits

Pepper fruits and leaves can be used in preparing traditional medicines to treat typhoid, diarrhea, and fever.

They are also beneficially essential in preventing and treating several sicknesses, such as bacterial infection, glaucoma, liver and kidney damage, prostate cancer, etc. 


Side Effects

The intake of pepper fruits should be drastically reduced when pregnant, and take it under the supervision of your physician.

Because its effect in contracting the uterus is good for nursing mothers but can lead to other unhealthy conditions and even forced or premature labor for pregnant women.

Aside from this, there are no other known side effects besides those who might be allergic to it.



Pepper fruits might be neglected by many as they may not be sweet like mangoes, bananas, pineapples, and the rest, but they contain vital nutrients needed.

It has many nutritional and health benefits and is recommended in moderation to gain all it offers.

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