Cold , flu , catarrh , cough , amodi imu, iko̩, whatever you call it,everyone has got their own go-to remedy.

Orogbo ( Garcinia Kola) and Atare (Aframomum Melegueta) are native to the West African forests, and can be combined to make a much depended on Yoruba cold/cough remedy.

tea strainer3


Of course we know there is no cure for the cold virus, once you get a cold it runs its course until you get better. We require a remedy that will relieve the symptoms of inflamed airways, phlegm, and a rundown feeling as the body expends energy to rid itself of the cold virus, and also  aid the body in recovering from the virus quickly. Basically,  a decongesting, anti inflammatory, immune system boosting Analgaesic. .

Cold remedy checklist


Can the Yoruba cold remedy live up to this? Orogbo has its place assured in Yoruba science, likewise atare. There’s a lot of belief in their curative effectiveness. But what really are they made up of? What are their cold remedying properties?

orogbo, atare and honey

An afternoon on the internet scouring pharma journal after pharma journal reveals that orogbo contains so very many properties for treating a wide range of ailments , so much that treating cold symptoms  seems a rather lowly purpose for this West African superfood.  Not to digress,  orogbo’s specific  flu fighting components  are as follows

  • Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous , Copper- these minerals amongst other things boost the immune system
  •  Linoleic fatty acids – boost the immune system
  • Essential amino acids lysine,leucine valine –  immune system boosting, tissue repair
  • Vitamin C- tissue repair
  • Kolaviron , an antioxidant

Orogbo’s function as a cold remedy then is in its ability to bolster the immune system, and also aid tissue repair.

alligator pepper

Not to be outdone , atare’s long list of essential oils includes amongst other things:

    • Gingerdione – also found in ginger from which it gets its name, it is anti inflammatory, anti oxidant
    • Paradol and shagaol- these impart pungent sensations which aid decongestion and helps relieve swelling and inflammation of  nasal passages.
    • Humulene – primarily found in hops , humulene is analgesic, anti inflammatory, anti- bacterial

Therefore, atare doubles up orogbo’s immune boosting benefit, adds anti inflammatory function, de congestion and is also analgesic. Powerful combination.





Impressive, and these are only the cold/flu fighting elements.  It’s hard to imagine when you think about the weight of reliance placed on orogbo by many, and by the apparent abundance in the market that much  (70%) of the supplies of orogbo are from the wild plants of the forest because it is hard to farm due to germination challenges.


For taste buds not accustomed to agbo Yoruba herbal infusions, honey sweetens and also adds its own healing properties . A good grater and a pestle and mortar and you can come up with your own Yoruba herbal tea. Finely grated orogbo, ground with the atare seeds in a mortar , put into one of these tea strainer things, hot water added, don’t forget your honey , and look, Yoruba remedy! Making (and selling) your own tea is gaining popularity.

Atrogbo VitaliTea Blend©  coming soon to a herbal tea shop near you….?


You can get  atare now on Amazon…..! Orogbo not so easy. Hmm….. What are Amazon’s seller fees?




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