Oha: Simple Facts, Uses, and Benefits You Want To Know

oha leaf

Oha (Pterocarpus mildbraedii) is a well-liked vegetable that is indigenous to the Nigerian Igbo people. 

This is a medicinal plant that grows into a massive tree with year-round green foliage. 

The very healthy green leaves are used to make Oha/Ora soup, a delectable local soup.

it’s well-known for its therapeutic qualities. The plant develops into a massive tree with year-round green foliage.


Its a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Fabaceae family, it is popularly grown in the Eastern part of Nigeria and other African countries such as Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast.

It is said that the Oha leaves are of three types. “Oha Ocha” and “Oha oji”  and “Nturukpa”. 

The Nturukpa is medicinal and is grown during the rainy season. 

But the others do not blossom during the rainy season. 

Oha Ocha leaves are lighter in color than Oha Oji. 

Oha Oji is of a darker green shade and is wider. Also, in the market place Oha Ocha is more expensive than Oha Oji. 

The season of Oha is from November to January. 

Once harmattan starts it sheds its leaves and starts growing fresh ones and that’s the new leaf that is eaten. 

Nutritional Information

The leaves have essential nutrients and are rich in minerals, including manganese, iron, copper, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. 

It has little salt and a high concentration of fiber and amino acids such as cysteine, lysine, and glutamic acid. 

They have some B vitamins, C, and A in them. Oha leaves have small amounts of oxalate and hydrogen cyanide, neither of which is dangerous to people. 

Some studies have shown that 100 grams of raw edible Oha leaves contain: 

Energy56 Kilocalories
Crude Fibre1g
Calcium72 milligrams (mg)
Magnesium 28mg
Iron 5mg
Moisture content85g
Zinc 3mg


Culinary Uses:

The Oha leaf is used for preparing Oha soup which is a common delicacy among the igbo tribe.  

Also, Oha leaf can be used in the preparation of a soup called “Ofe Owerri”. 

Health Benefits 

The leaf has been known for some notable health benefits in its usage. 

  1. Its high content of dietary fiber facilitates better digestion and efficient nutrient absorption. It keeps one from becoming constipated.Because of its ability to aid in proper digestion, this fiber makes it easier for the body to expel food residue. 
  2. It controls blood glucose levels. It will stop blood sugar levels from rising due to the buildup of calories in the blood.
  3. The leaf can be applied directly to problematic areas to treat common skin conditions including ringworms, eczema, rashes, etc.

See Also: Utazi, Ugu, Scent Leaf

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