Studies show that Oha leaf contains a high amount of iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, which supports fertility and boosts pregnancy outcomes.
What is Oha leaf called in English? It’s called: African rosewood leaf and its botanical name is Pterocarpus mildbraedii, a leafy green vegetable native to West Africa, particularly in Nigeria and Cameroon. It is a popular ingredient in Igbo cuisine and is known for its distinctive aroma.
Nutritional value of Oha leaf
Scientific reviews show the presence of the following major nutrients in 1kg of Oha leaf.
- Calcium 1283mg
- Potassium 1048mg
- Magnesium 778mg
- Iron 146.45mg
- Zinc 25.10mg
- Copper 9.55mg
- Chromium 7.90mg
- Manganese 4mg
There are other micronutrients and phytochemical compounds like flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids, and tannins found in the Oha leaf that are important for bodily functions.
Benefits of Oha leaf for fertility
Studies regarding Oha leaf and fertility are still evolving. However, some preliminary studies have linked the benefits of Oha leaf for fertility to its rich nutrient profile including antioxidants. Here are a few potential fertility benefits of Oha leaves:
- May boost sperm production: Oha leaves are loaded with zinc and magnesium which supports spermatogenesis [1, 2].
- Help fight oxidative stress: According to a review , Oha leaves are rich in flavonoids, and alkaloids which are antioxidants that not only protect reproductive gametes from oxidative stress  but lower the risk of chronic diseases that may affect fertility .
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Oha leaf during pregnancy
Oha leaf is safe for pregnant women, it provides an excellent source of nutrients like fiber that may improve pregnancy outcomes . Here are a few ways it can support healthy pregnancy:
May help prevent preeclampsia
Oha leaf contains a high amount of calcium . According to studies calcium supplementation or intake of a calcium-rich diet during pregnancy can help prevent hypertensive disorders and their related problems.
Support Baby skeletal development
Oha leaf is rich in calcium, magnesium, and manganese, which are essential minerals for maintaining strong bones and teeth. In addition, Calcium also supports baby skeletal formation, as well as helps improve bone health.
May help prevent anemic pregnancy
This leaf green is a rich source of iron, a mineral that promotes nutrients and oxygen transfer from mother to child. Iron may also help lower the risk of anemia during pregnancy as it aids hemoglobin formation .
May reduce the risk of Gestational diabetes
Health Benefits of Oha Leaf
Here are some of the health benefits of Oha leaf:
- Rich in antioxidants: Oha leaves contain high levels of antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
- May prevent diabetes: Studies suggest that Oha leaf may help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, potentially reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Promotes digestive regularity: Oha leaf is a good source of dietary fiber, which helps keep the digestive system healthy and promotes regular bowel movements.
- Improves bone health: Oha leaf is rich in calcium, magnesium, and manganese, which are essential minerals for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
- May help fight anemia: Oha leaf is a good source of iron, which is necessary for the production of red blood cells and can help prevent anemia.
- Detoxifies the blood: Oha leaf is believed to help cleanse the body of toxins and impurities.
- Boosts immunity: Oha leaf contains vitamin C and other nutrients that help support the immune system.
- Reduces inflammation: Oha leaf has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce pain and swelling associated with conditions such as arthritis.
Oha Leaf – A Nutritional Powerhouse for Health, Fertility, and Pregnancy
The Oha leaf, with its impressive nutritional profile and diverse benefits, emerges as a valuable addition to one’s diet. From promoting fertility to supporting healthy pregnancy outcomes, this leafy green offers a wealth of advantages for individuals at various stages of life.
Its rich content of essential nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals contributes to its potential to prevent chronic diseases, improve digestive health, and boost overall well-being.
Whether incorporated into traditional culinary dishes or explored as a natural supplement, the Oha leaf deserves recognition as a potent source of nourishment and vitality. Its unique properties, combined with ongoing scientific research, pave the way for further discoveries and applications of this remarkable African plant.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.