Akwu Ojukwu Uses and Benefits
We are here to talk about very important and yet unpopular medicinal seeds. I mean the uses and benefits of Akwu Ojukwu (Ojukwu palm nuts or Ojukwu banga). What are the medicinal/non-medicinal uses and benefits of Akwu Ojukwu?
- Neutralizes the Potency of Charms – Anti-charms
- Neutralizes the Potency of Poison – Anti-poisons
- It is used to induce ingested poison
- Counters Demonic Projection
- Drives away Witches and Wizard
- Akwu Ojukwu is Used on the Baby to stop Convulsion
- Akwu Ojukwu is Applied on the nose and mouths of Birds that Suffers from seasonal flu (akwuma onu)
- It is Use in curing skin diseases in humans and animals
You may like to read the Uses and locations of Anunuebe tree, leaves, bark, and soap.
Akwu Ojukwu is a special species of palm nuts or palm seeds. It shares the same feature as the normal palm nut except for the way it ripens.
Unlike other types of palm nuts which have shades of black colour on their head and reddish yellow on their mount, Akwu Ojukwu ripens without a black spot. Left for me, I will call the species Albino palm nuts. It actually passes for this title due to the kind of color it has.
Types of Palm nuts
Akwu Osukwu: Osukwu is the best of the species when it comes to cooking and making oil. It has more meat, more oil, and lesser or no kernel on the inside of the nut. Most times, the tiny kernel can be cracked with teeth.
Osukwu palm nut species is popularly referred to as ‘multi-vite” in the market. This is because of the nature of the red oil it makes when you cook with it or when you process it for red oil.
Arabana: The second category of Palm-nut is what we called ‘Arabana’ in our native dialect. Arabana is just good for nothing. You can know it by merely looking at it.
Arabana comes with just a big kernel and no oil. Physically, it looks like a jaundiced child. Normally, when we get the species, we would mix it with other species and sold them together.
Yes. That is still applicable till today. Palm-nut sellers still mix them together to sell to buyers.
Normal Palm Nut: This species of palm nut does not belong to any category. It is not Ojukwu, it is not Osukwu neither is it Arabana. But one thing peculiar about it is that it is good for cooking and making red oil.
It can serve alone in oil production. The only difference is that it does not make oil more than Akwu Osukwu.
Why the name Akwu Ojukwu?
I may not be in the position to perfectly give an explanation to this question. But I know few answers to it.
The first is that, palm nuts are given different names according to its nature and what it does. One of them is Akwu osukwu.
Akwu is just an Igbo name for Palm-nut, banga as Edo or Yoruba people call it. So, when you bring it together, it means Ojukwu palm nut. And other names which we have mentioned: Osukwu palm nuts, Arabana Palm-nut, etc.
One thing I can tell you about the name Akwu Ojukwu is that it is a name of a god called Ojukwu. I am not a custodian of tradition. So, I won’t go far to explain about this god.
However, the works of this god are similar to the works of Akwu Ojukwu. If people were given poison in the olden days and they sought help in the Ojukwu shrine and got their healings and the same people got the same healings when they made use of this species of palm nut.
Therefore, the palm nut retains the title of the god who both share the same healing characteristics. Again, there is another unverified legend that this very species of Palm-nut was found in the Ojukwu shrine. It was used by the Chief Priest to heal people who came seeking help.
So, when people went home to their various homes, they planted the nuts or the kernel. That way, the species replicated and escalated in many families and still retains the name where it was originally gotten.
Akwu Ojukwu Uses and Benefits
Locations of Akwu Ojukwu
Akwu Ojukwus is not hard or difficult to find. It can be found in almost every family in Igbo land that has palm trees or palm tree plantations. Like, I grew up in a polygamous home (Maternal home).
My late grandmother had her palm trees in some places. Among these palm trees, two are Ojukwu palm trees. The same thing also applied to her co-wife and their husband.
We normally heard palm tree cutters when they came into the big but demarcated compound to announce, “akwu unu chara n’obi, Ojukwu abuo (your palm trees have ripened, two Ojukwu trees are among)”.
Once my grandmother heard him mentioned Ojukwu, she would jerk from her sitting position and run out. But before she did that she always beckon at me.
All of us, including her co-wife, would all rush out to meet the palm tree cutter to find out the position he saw the Akwu Ojukwu. They were eager to have their Akwu Ojukwu ripe due to the kind of money they make from it when they took it to the market.
Uses of Akwu Ojukwu (How to use Akwu Ojukwu)
Every part of the Ojukwu palm is very useful. The palm frond is used to feed the goats and the broom extracted from it is just like the normal broom.
However, I heard some families keep the broom for special uses in their homes. But I am yet to see any broom that is tagged Akwu Ojukwu broom.
As I said, there is no difference between Ojukwu palm nut and other species of palm nuts, I mean how they form in the stalk (aghirigha). The stalk is required to be cut down when it is ripped and separated with an ax. It will stay in the stalk for 24 hours if it is well covered.
After a day or 2 days, the palm nuts can be removed from the stalks with ease. The stalks are also good sources of Natural alternatives to edible potash known as Ngu in Igbo. You can read here to learn how to produce Ngu (alternative to edible potash) at home.
Akwu Ojukwu Uses and Benefits
Akwu Ojukwu Crude (burutu mmanu)
All parts of Akwu Ojukwu are medicines. One of them is what they called burutu mmanu ojukwu (crude). This is waste crude oil from Ojukwu palm. It is the water used to wash the Kernel extracted from Akwu Ojukwu after the oil has been processed.
After separating the kernels, they need to be washed out the clogging oil and chaff on the body so as to look neat. This water that was used to wash the kernels looks yellowish and it is also used to add to the red oil on the fire to make more oil. This remaining burutu mmanu or ojukwu crude is used to spread around the compound.
Many families, when they get the crude, will come out at the entrance gate and pour it, drawing a line that will close up the entrance. This they do to prevent evil people with charms from entering.
Mmanu Akwu Ojukwu (Ojukwu Palm Red Oil)
Mmanu Akwu Ojukwu is used for cooking, cosmetics, and first aids against charms and poisons. It comes in a thick deep yellow color.
It is also used in spicing food, especially soup. Mmanu Akwu Ojukwu is used on the baby’s skin for rashes and other skin infections.
Akwu Ojukwu (Ojukwu Palm Nuts)
Akwu ojukwu can be eaten raw. In fact, it is said that it is more potent when eaten raw.
People travel with it when they sense danger in their ways or when the people they are going to meet are evil. There is a popular song in my town about a particular neighboring town. The indigenes of that town are known for carrying poison about.
So, in one of my town’s masquerade festivals, the masquerade made a song using the name of that town saying:
“I jebe U****r, tinye akwu Ojukwu n’akpa,
irigote ugwu U****R, rachara akwu ojukwu n’ire gi;
I ga-alakwa, i rachara akwu ojukwu n’ire ozo”.
The fearless masquerade was just saying in the song that the town I wrote as U****R are killing people with poison. So, while going there, put an Akwu Ojukwu in your pocket. When you cross the boundary, lick it or bite the Ojukwu Palm nut and while you are returning, still do the same thing.
Akwu Ojukwu Uses and Benefits
Medical Benefits of Akwu Ojukwu
There are so many medicinal and health benefits of Akwu Ojukwu. They are as Follow:
Neutralizes the Potency of Charms – Anti-charms
Remember what I told you about the Akwu Ojukwu burutu. As they pour it on the ground, it neutralizes any charms dropped by the enemies. Also, some people carry Akwu Ojukwu in their pockets. So, when they come in contact with any charm, it neutralizes it.
Neutralizes the Potency of Poison – Anti-poisons
It is the practice for some people to always lick Akwu Ojukwu, chew it, or even drink the oil whenever they noticed they have been poisoned by their enemies either through drinks or kola nuts.
It is used to induce ingested poison
The same thing is applicable here. Akwu Ojukwu is so powerful that most time, it makes the person who ate the poison throw up. By throwing up, the person will vomit the poison given to him or her.
Counters Demonic Projection
It is also believed that no demon or charm can penetrate any place where Akwu Ojukwu is dropped or where the crude is poured. Any charm or projection that is fired tends to return back to the sender.
Drives away Witches and Wizard
One day, while my grandmother was busy pouring the Ojukwu burutu at the entrance gate, I summoned the courage to ask her why she always did that each time we had Mmanu Ojukwu. She said; “maka amusu” (because of the witches and wizard attack).
I am beginning to believe all of these practices because back then, we never knew what is witch or wizard’s bite or scratches was until I came to the city.
Akwu Ojukwu is Used on the Baby to stop Convulsion
Akwu Ojukwu is Applied on the nose and mouths of Birds that Suffers from seasonal flu (akwuma onu)
It is Use in curing skin diseases in humans and animals.
In the absence of any skin disease, mmanu akwu ojukwu also serves as a body cream. People use it as their body cream because it smoothens the skin.
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