Melon popularly known as Egusi in Nigeria is mostly grown for consumption in Nigeria. They are usually ground and used for preparing assorted dishes such as egusi soup and stew.
Before preparing the egusi soup, the seeds are sun-dried and ground plain or roasted/fried before being ground.
Then the chaffs obtained during the oil extraction of egusi seeds can be used for making a snack called fried cake. The seeds can also be fermented and used for making a local spice known as ogiri. Due to its high oil content, egusi seeds can be used for making margarine, butter and animal feed.
Here are the benefits of including melon seed in your daily diet.
1. Anti-inflammatory properties
Melon contains anti-inflammatory properties that help treat infections and injury.
A study reveals that the methanol extract of egusi significantly inhibited serotonin, carrageenan and prostaglandin which helps fight inflammation.
2. Help fights cancer
Egusi is a good herbal cure for cancer and is best for curing breast cancer.
The results of a study by Grossman et al., (2007) showed that cucurbitacin glycosides possess pleiotropic effects on cells thus leading to both apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Thus cucurbitacin glycosides exhibit therapeutic effects against breast cancer cells.
3. Contains anti-arthritic properties
Kachhawah et al., (2016) investigated the effect of hydroalcoholic extract of melon fruits against anti-arthritic activity. The study aimed to develop a standardisation protocol for the anti-arthritic effects of the extract that contains cucurbitacin glycoside and quercetin.
The study proved that melon fruit hydroalcoholic extract possesses significant anti-arthritic properties. This is attributed to its rich constituent of phytochemicals such as flavonoids. As a result, it can be used for treating rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease symptomized by chronic inflammation of the joints, stiffness, swelling, pain and redness in the joints.
4. Dermatological purposes
The vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) and niacin in this plant help to maintain healthy skin. Oil extracted from egusi seeds can be used for producing local soap and pomade for dermatological care.
5. Aids digestion and boosts appetite
Due to the presence of dietary fibre and vitamin B1 (Thiamine) in egusi melon, it is useful for the digestion of food, and helps to boost appetite due to its constituent of vitamin B1.
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