ModernGhana logo
29.09.2019 Home & Food

Great Nutrition: Kenaf, the multipurpose plant

Great Nutrition: Kenaf, the multipurpose plant
Listen to article

Before we provide you with an amazingly tasting and exceptionally nutritional recipe for Kenaf, let's give it a brief introduction please;

  • Local names of Kenaf: Bra, bito (Upper East), bri, bre (Upper West)
  • Scientific names: Hibiscus cannabinus

Hibiscus cannabinus is a single-stemmed, erect, and usually annual plant growing around 1.8 meters tall. The stems can become more or less woody and persistent.

Kenaf provides food, medicines and a range of other commodities.

A Brief History of Kenaf

For 6,000+ years, Kenaf has been cultivated as a fibre crop in Africa and the plant is now widely cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the World for its:

  1. fibre,
  2. as an oil crop and also
  3. as a food crop.

Fibre and oil are obtained from the seed, whilst the leaves are sold in local markets as a source of food and medicine. It is widely consumed by the people in the Northern part of Ghana.

Health and nutritional benefits of Kenaf

  1. The Kenaf plant is rich in:
    • zinc,
    • manganese,
    • iron,
    • copper,
    • sodium,
    • potassium,
    • calcium,
    • magnesium,
    • nitrogen and
    • phosphorus.
  2. Its shoots and young leaves can be cooked and used as a potherb or added to soups.
  3. The seed are used in making cooking oil.
  4. The juice of the flowers, mixed with sugar and black pepper, is used in the treatment of biliousness with acidity.
  5. The seeds are aphrodisiac and stomachic (promotes digestion and increase appetite)
  6. The seed promotes weight increase.
  7. The leaves are used as a poultice on pains and bruises.
  8. The leaves are purgative.
  9. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of coughs.
  10. The leaves are used in the treatment of dysentery and bilious, blood and throat disorders.
  11. The peelings from the stems can use in the treatment of anemia.

Our Recipe: Kenaf soup

Finally here is our well-tried great recipe for a great and nutritious kenaf Soup;

200 g kenaf leaves, clean with salt water and cut to desirable pieces 180 g chopped onion
350 g raw groundnuts pounded to a rough texture 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
200 g grinded tomato 1 tablespoon of ground garlic (optional)
50 g fish powder 400g dry flaked guinea fowl
60 g dawadawa Salt (to wash bito leaves and for soup to taste)
15 g grinded hot pepper 3500 ml water

Our Cooking Instructions

  • Wash and flaked guinea fowl into sections.
  • Add grinded tomatoes hot pepper, ginger, garlic, salt and anion to the flaked and allow to simmer for 10minutes.
  • Add pounded dawadawa and fish powder and allow to simmer for 2 more minutes
  • Add pounded raw groundnut and some water and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • boil Kenaf leaves and drained some of the water because of the sour nature
  • Add already boiled kenaf leaves to the already prepared guinea fowl source, stir occasionally and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
  • Bring off fire

Serve with tuo zaafi, banku, akple, rice balls or serve alone.

The next time you are contemplating on what vegetable to add to your soup or stew, think of Kenaf as well.

Thank you and Good Luck with this delicious dish,


About the Author:

Vivian Ayamah - a Registered Nutritionist, is a Workplace Nutritionist and can be hired via HIREghana ( ). She is also finishing her Dietetics MPhil at KNUST.

Vivian has a wide experience from clinical settings (e.g. KorleBu) to menu settings and nutritional advice for both individual and corporate environments.

HIREghana can be reached at +233 50 228 5155 or +233 266 555 907 or via [email protected]

Vivian welcomes your feedback/ comments/ remarks/ suggestions via your email message to Nutritionist {at} HIREgh . com

© 2019 Vivian Ayamah and © 2019 Human Intelligence Recruitment.

Vivian Ayamah
Vivian Ayamah

Corporate NutritionistPage: VivianAyamah

ModernGhana Links

Join our Newsletter