Known in France as "gnetum africanum", the ERU is a forest liana. It is easily found in Asia (tropical and subtropical), in South America, but also in Central Africa.
Depending on the country, the ERU is not called the same thing. Yes, we speak of Okok in the French-speaking part of Cameroon and Eru for the English-speaking ones. But also Koko in Gabon, Angola, Congo, Central Africa, Afang for some tribes in Nigeria or Ukazi for others.
However, even if its name differs from one place to another, this hard-textured green plant is coveted for its various virtues. Indeed, whether it is culinary, medicinal or aesthetic, the ERU is unanimously appreciated!
Moreover, it constitutes a very lucrative commercial sector. Indeed, although it is appreciated and mainly consumed locally, the plant is also exported from Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, the Central African Republic, notably Nigeria, and even as far as France, the United States and the United Kingdom.
ERU leaves are considered a real vegetable in cooking. They are often served with meat or fish, if not as a substitute, because they are so dense. Otherwise, ERUs are combined with groundnut paste and red palm oil in a kind of stew. It is a key ingredient in African regions and is available in sweet and savoury versions.
It is also full of nutritional qualities, as it is high in protein, fibre and even calories.
Here is a recipe idea!
1 bag of ERU leaves
3 cloves of garlic
salt, pepper, bay leaves
A little chilli according to taste
125 grams of peanut paste
2 to 3 spoons of palm oil
First, wash your ERU leaves.
Then boil them in a large volume of water for at least 30 minutes.
Then fry your onion and garlic in palm oil.
Then add your meat and chopped tomatoes.
Season with your spices and chilli.
Finally, pour the mixture into the pan of fumbwa leaves and add the peanut paste.
You can eat it with rice or fufu for example.
In addition to being highly prized, this plant with its many benefits is also popular as a health partner.
Of course, even though it remains natural, we advise you to seek advice from your doctor before using it.
To begin with, various causes of pain and illnesses lead to its consumption:
High blood pressure,
Dilatation of the spleen,
In the Central African Republic, the leaves are consumed to remove contamination from certain poisons, a sort of antidote.
In Cameroon, people take advantage of the benefits of ERU and chew it to
Reduce the effects of drunkenness,
Alleviate pain and facilitate childbirth,
Eradicate boils and fungus on the fingers.
Moreover, according to certain studies, it would have been proven that the plant would have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory virtues