Hog plum also known as yellow mombin or monkey mombin is a small drupe fruit with a slightly thick skin and thin pulp surrounding it’s cork-like seed. The fruit is scientifically known as Spondias mombin. It belongs to the family Anacardiaceae, same family as Cashews, Mangoes and Pistachios. The fruit comes in a range of colors, including green, purple, red, orange and yellow. In Yoruba (Western Nigeria), it is known as Iyeye or Ebo. In some parts of Eastern Nigeria, it is known as Ngulungu and Isada in Hausa(Northern Nigeria).
A deciduous tree up to 60 ft. high with a dense, spreading crown. The bole can be 60cm or more in diameter. The leaves are compound, comprising five to nine pairs of leaflets. The flowers occur on terminal stalks. The fruits are ovoid, small and yellow. They have leathery skin and thin layer of pulp; and are single-seeded.
Its potential benefits for many health conditions includes:
Lower back pain and rheumatism – Both the bark and flowers are used. The flowers may not be readily available and so you can make do with the bark alone. An infused oil of the leaves is also beneficial and used as a local massage to reduce muscular and rheumatic pains of the joints.
Chronic pains- Leaf extracts are known for their analgesic potentials. Take for 2-3 X daily for all forms of body aches and pains.
Gonorrhoea- A decoction of the bark and leaves is used as a remedy for gonorrhoea. Take half a tumbler three times daily.
Infertility in women- Young tender leavesare pounded and extracted for all cases of infertility. Infusions of the leaves are also taken internally and applied topically as a lotion by women in confinement and those with a history of miscarriage.
Fibroids- Ground to a powder, the seeds may be taken as a hormone regulator to help shrink uterine fibroids. Take 1 teaspoon 2 X daily.
Cough- A decoction of the bark is taken for severe cough with inflammatory symptoms. An infusion of the leaves is also highly beneficial.
Sore throat- Fresh or dry leaves can be used. The infusion should be gargled 2-3 X daily.
Toothache– The leaves are held to have anodynal, healing and haemostatic properties. It is taken as a mouth-wash for toothache.
Chronic skin afflictions- Ashes from the leaves and barks are added to black soap, shea butter or palm kernel oil for their anti-microbial properties. The dry powdered bark is applied as a wound-dressing in circumcision and may be sprinkled directly on sores. Leaves extracts can also be applied to new sores to prevent infection. Your skin will smile after a short while of consistent applications.
Acne- plant extracts exhibit antibacterial properties, and a decoction of the bark is considered antiseptic.
Athletes foot- Scrap the freshbark and apply 2 X daily. You can also use powder from the dried leaf and root bark. This takes care of the worst fungal infections of the feet.