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Prekese (Tetrapleura tetraptera): A Comprehensive Guide to Its Medicinal Benefits and Uses

Health benefits of Prekese

Botanical Profile:

Common Name: Prekese
Scientific Name: Tetrapleura tetraptera
Family: Fabaceae
Other Names: Aidan fruit, Oshosho, Aridan, Uhio (varies by region)
Native Region: West Africa, particularly prevalent in Ghana, Nigeria, and other tropical African countries.

Physical Description:

Form: A medium to large deciduous tree, reaching heights of 20-25 meters.
Fruit: The fruit is a dark brown, ridged pod that is 15-25 cm long, containing four longitudinal wings. When mature, it is hard and woody.
Leaves: Compound leaves with an alternate arrangement, consisting of numerous leaflets.
Flowers: Small, pale pink to white flowers, fragrant and typically in clusters.

Nutritional Composition:

– Rich in: ‘Proteins’, lipids, essential oils, ‘vitamins’ (particularly Vitamin C), minerals (like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron), and antioxidants.
– Essential Oils: Contains significant amounts of essential oils which contribute to its distinctive aroma and potential therapeutic properties.

Medicinal Uses:

Traditional Uses:

1. Antimicrobial and Antibacterial:
– Prekese is known for its potent antimicrobial properties. The essential oils and other compounds present in the fruit exhibit antibacterial activities, making it useful in traditional medicine to combat bacterial infections.

2. Anti-inflammatory and Pain Relief:
– The fruit is used to treat inflammation and pain. Its anti-inflammatory properties are beneficial for conditions such as arthritis and general body pains.

3. Diabetes Management:
– Studies indicate that Prekese can help manage blood sugar levels, making it useful for individuals with diabetes. It aids in controlling blood glucose levels and improving insulin sensitivity.

4. Cardiovascular Health:
– Prekese has been traditionally used to improve heart health. It is believed to help in reducing hypertension and managing cholesterol levels, thus promoting overall cardiovascular wellness.

5. Respiratory Health:
– The fruit is used in treating respiratory issues such as asthma, coughs, and bronchitis. Its bronchodilator properties help in easing breathing and reducing symptoms of respiratory conditions.

6. Immune System Boost:
– Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, Prekese boosts the immune system. It helps in warding off infections and promoting overall health and well-being.

7. Postpartum Care:
– In many West African cultures, Prekese is used in postpartum care. It is believed to help in uterine contraction, cleansing the womb, and replenishing lost nutrients post-delivery.

8. Digestive Health:
– The fruit aids in digestion and helps alleviate digestive issues such as constipation and gastrointestinal discomfort.

9. Weight Management:
– Prekese is sometimes used in weight management due to its ability to enhance metabolism and support the breakdown of fats.

Preparation and Usage:

Culinary Uses: Prekese is often added to soups, stews, and sauces for its flavor and health benefits. It imparts a slightly sweet and spicy taste to dishes.
Infusions and Decoctions: The fruit is boiled to make teas or infusions, which are consumed for various health benefits.
Topical Applications: Extracts from the fruit are sometimes applied topically to treat skin infections and inflammatory conditions.


Alkaline Vegan Prekese Recipes

1. Prekese and Vegetable Soup

This soup combines the rich flavours of Prekese with a variety of alkaline vegetables, making it both nourishing and flavourful.

– 1 Prekese pod
– 1 large onion, chopped
– 1 cup chopped chayote
– 1 cup chopped zucchini
– 2 cups spinach or kale
– 1 bell pepper, chopped
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
– 1 tsp sea salt
– 1 tsp thyme
– 1 tbsp avocado oil
– 6 cups vegetable broth
– Fresh basil, chopped (for garnish)

1. Break the Prekese pod into smaller pieces. Boil in 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes. Remove the pieces and set the liquid aside.
2. In a large pot, heat avocado oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent.
3. Add chayote, zucchini, and bell pepper. Sauté for another 5 minutes.
4. Pour in the vegetable broth and the Prekese liquid. Bring to a boil.
5. Add tomatoes, thyme, and sea salt. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.
6. Add spinach or kale and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
7. Garnish with fresh basil and serve hot.

2. Prekese Infused Alkaline Tea

A simple and refreshing tea made from Prekese, known for its health benefits and unique flavour.

– 1 Prekese pod
– 4 cups water
– 1 tbsp agave syrup or date syrup (optional)
– 1 tsp fresh key lime juice (optional)

1. Break the Prekese pod into smaller pieces.
2. In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the Prekese pieces and reduce the heat to a simmer.
3. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes until the water is well-infused and aromatic.
4. Remove the Prekese pieces and strain the tea into a cup.
5. Add agave syrup or date syrup if desired, and a dash of lime juice for extra flavour.
6. Enjoy hot or let it cool and serve over ice for a refreshing iced tea.

Prekese and Chickpea Stew

A hearty and nutritious stew that is perfect for an alkaline vegan diet.

– 1 Prekese pod
– 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 1 large onion, chopped
– 1 large tomato, chopped
– 1 cup butternut squash, diced
– 1 cup green beans, chopped
– 1 tsp smoked cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp sea salt
– 1 tbsp avocado oil
– 4 cups vegetable broth
– Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

1. Break the Prekese pod into smaller pieces. Boil in 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes. Remove the pieces and set the liquid aside.
2. In a large pot, heat avocado oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent.
3. Add tomatoes, butternut squash, and green beans. Stir in smoked cayenne, cumin, and sea salt. Sauté for another 5 minutes.
4. Pour in the vegetable broth and the Prekese liquid. Bring to a boil.
5. Add chickpeas and reduce heat. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes until vegetables are tender.
6. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with a side of quinoa or fonio.

4. Prekese Smoothie

A unique and nutrient-packed smoothie featuring Prekese for a healthful start to your day.

– 1 Prekese pod
– 1 banana
– 1 cup spinach
– 1/2 avocado
– 1 cup coconut water
– 1 tbsp chia seeds
– 1 tbsp agave syrup (optional)
– Ice cubes (optional)

1. Break the Prekese pod into smaller pieces. Boil in 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes. Remove the pieces and set the liquid aside to cool.
2. In a blender, combine banana, spinach, avocado, chia seeds, and coconut water. Add the cooled Prekese liquid.
3. Add agave syrup if desired. Blend until smooth. Add ice cubes for a chilled smoothie and blend again.
4. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately.

These recipes incorporate Prekese in various delicious and nutritious ways, aligning with an alkaline vegan diet.

Research and Evidence:

Numerous studies have supported the medicinal properties of Prekese, validating its traditional uses. Research highlights its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, and its potential benefits in managing diabetes, cardiovascular health, and boosting the immune system.


Prekese (Tetrapleura tetraptera) is a highly valued fruit in West African traditional medicine, renowned for its wide range of health benefits. From antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties to its role in managing diabetes and cardiovascular health, Prekese is a versatile and potent medicinal plant. Its use in culinary applications not only enhances the flavor of dishes but also provides a significant boost to overall health and wellness.


1. Okwu, D. E., & Uchenna, F. I. (2009).
“Exotic multifaceted medicinal plant: Prekese (Tetrapleura tetraptera) – overview of its botanical features, nutritional composition, and traditional medicinal uses.”
Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 3(4), 185-193.

2. Akinmoladun, A. C., Ibukun, E. O., Afor, E., Obuotor, E. M., & Farombi, E. O. (2007).
“Phytochemical constituent and antioxidant activity of extract from the leaves of Ocimum gratissimum.”
Scientific Research and Essay, 2(5), 163-166.

3. Enwereji, E. E., & Njoku, C. G. (2017).
“Antidiabetic potential of Tetrapleura tetraptera fruit aqueous extract on alloxan-induced diabetic albino rats.”
International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 5(5), 1903-1909.

4. Adaramoye, O. A., & Olorunnisola, O. S. (2010).
“Cytotoxicity and antioxidant activity of methanolic extract of Tetrapleura tetraptera fruit in rat liver and kidney.”
Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, 21(4), 363-375.

5. Oluwatosin, K. O., et al. (2016).
“Hypolipidemic and Antioxidant Potentials of Tetrapleura tetraptera Fruit Extracts in Rats Fed on High Cholesterol Diet.”
Pharmacognosy Journal, 8(6), 525-532.

6. Okigbo, R. N., & Ogbonnaya, U. O. (2006).
“Antifungal Effects of Two Tropical Plant Extracts (Ocimum gratissimum and Afromomum melegueta) on Post-Harvest Yam (Dioscorea spp.) Rot.”
African Journal of Biotechnology,* 5(9), 727-731.

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