Palm wine is the sweet tasty sap gotten from wounded palm trees.
Anyone who has grown in Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and other parts of
central and West Africa has come across palm wine. Palm wine is good for
our health, if only we drink pure palm wine. This is because
preservatives and sweeteners are added to it in order to extend its
shelf life, which makes it not good for our health.
When palm wine
is tapped, it is fresh and sweet but in 24 hours, it can become sharp
and sour, and contain more alcohol than some of our alcoholic drinks.
This is because the palm wine undergoes fermentation. Palm wine has
benefits when consumed fresh or fermented, but the most benefits are
gotten when it is consumed fresh.
In Cameroon and Nigeria, the
process of tapping palm wine from palm trees is called palm wine
tapping. A palm wine tapper climbs the palm tree with a rope that is
locally designed for that purpose. He also climbs the palm tree with a
cutlass, a knife and a gallon or calabash. When the tapper climbs the
tree to the top, he will cut some palm branches to expose the tissue and
use the knife to create a hole in the tree. A hollow bamboo or empty
pipe is used to direct the sap into a gallon which is tied around the
Contents of palm wine
The following are found in palm wine
- Amino acid
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B1,B2 B3 and B6
Health benefits of Palm wine
1 Palm wine improves eyesight
wine helps in maintaining good eye health. This is because it contains
the antioxidant Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which is also found in other
fruits and vegetables. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) also helps in improving our
vision. This is why some school of thought argue that our grandparents
in the village have better eyesight than us because palm wine is their
2 Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases
has showed that drinking moderate amounts of palm wine has been
associated with a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases
such as heart failure. This study was conducted by Lingberg and Ezra in
2008. Palm wine contains potassium which has been proven by research to
improve heart health and bring down hypertension. However drinking it
in excess has adverse effects like destroying the liver.
3 Palm wine can help fight against cancer
wine contains vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin. Riboflavin is an
antioxidant which helps in the fight against some cancer causing agents
called free radicals.
4 Palm wine helps in maintaining a healthy hair, skin and nails
Iron and vitamin B complex found in palm wine are needed for a healthy
skin, hair and nail. Iron is very essential for the development, growth
and functioning of some cells in our body. This property of palm wine
makes it helpful in promoting wound healing by repairing our tissues and
promoting the growth of healthy cells.
5 Palm wine promotes lactation
wine is being used by many natural healers in Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana
and other parts of Africa to help a lactating mother when she has
limited breast milk production. Research is needed to investigate the
property of palm wine that makes it stimulate the production of breast
Do not drink fermented palm wine in excess. Fermented
palm wine in excess is detrimental to our health. Fermented palm wine
is locally referred to as “strong white mimbo” Fermented palm wine
contains a high percentage of alcohol, which is probably higher than
that found in some of the alcoholic beverages we drink. This fermented
palm wine destroys our kidney, liver and other systems in our body.
Drinking alcohol in excess is a risk factor for hypertension.