4 sides (Esesè) is the Cameroonian name (Sawa) for the fruit of the Tetrapleura tetraptera. It is also known by the following names
4 sides (Cameroon),
Osakirisa or Oshosho in Igbo (Nigeria),
Aidan in Yoruba (Nigeria and Benin)
prekese in Ghana.
It is the fruit of the Aidan tree, a plant of the flowering plant family widely distributed in tropical Africa.
Esesè is a very popular spice for Cameroonian cooks. It is mainly used for its very fragrant flesh, to bring more fragrance to preparations. In Ghana, fruits and flowers are used as perfumes and for the creation of ointments made from palm oil. They are often added to chocolate, in jams and used as a flavouring for biscuits.
In Nigeria, especially in Igbo culture and in Cameroon, fruits (in pieces) and seeds (often fermented) are used in small quantities as a spice to flavour sauces such as mbongo and yellow sauce.
In Cameroon, the very fragrant flesh is mainly used to add more flavour to preparations. Most often, esesé can be found on the market already crushed. It is then enough to roast it (“burn”) then to crush it in order to add it to the preparation.
Medicinal virtues on all 4 sides
Recently in Nigeria studies have shown that the alcoholic fruit extract of Tetrapleura tetraptera has important anti-malarial and analgesic activities. The leaves, bark, roots and seeds are used in traditional medicine. It is used for the treatment of:
inflammation and/or rheumatic pain
high blood pressure (to lower blood pressure)
Treatment of certain infertilities
Several sources report the use of esesè in the treatment of certain infertilities in traditional African medicine. Marché Afritibi has no reliable data to guarantee such results.
- Cooking at varsis
US National Institute of Health