Description of the species
Aidan tree (Tetrapleura tetraptera) is a species of the pea family endemic to west tropical Africa. The Aidan tree has a smooth and very thin grey-brown bark, smooth and hairy green leaves. The pinkish flowers appear around the end of February and the dark purplish-brown fruit ripens from September to December, hangs from the ends of branches. The fruits have a curved shape with four wing-like ridges. Two of these are woody, but the other two are filled with an oily, aromatic sugary pulp.
Usage of the species
Aidan tree has a sweet fragrance and the fruit is used as a spice for cooking. The biting smell of the fruits also functions as an insect repellant. In traditional medicine, aidan tree is used for the cleansing of the digestive system, weight loss, treatment of back pain, subside pains during child labour, as a childbirth laxative to quicken up childbirth and the treatment of sterility. Aidan tree is rich in antioxidants and has a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Studies have also revealed the plant anti-inflammatory and hypoglycaemic properties.