The Mbongo: Maniguette Seed
The Mbongo (Seed of Maniguette, mbongo in bassa or Bongolo in Beti) comes from a plant native to Africa with fragrant foliage, and its seeds flavored like pepper. Its leaves are long, green, evergreen and very fragrant. The fruit of the maniguette is a brown shallot-shaped pod emerging from the foot of the plant and containing many small brown seeds.
Mbongo or the seeds of the maniguette are used ground like pepper but less pungent and with a different fragrance. Very appreciated in freshwater fish and game, it is attributed aphrodisiac virtues.
Bongo or La Maniguette is rich in tannins, mineral salts, proteins and phenylethylalkoxyketones. In Africa, this plant is used to treat snake bites, intestinal worms, leprosy and measles. The seeds are used to treat painful menstruation or excessive lactation. Cooked in boiling water, the root is used to treat sterility. In Western countries, the maniguette is used as a spice to replace pepper, as a stimulant and as an ingredient in the manufacture of alcohols. The seeds have anti-inflammatory properties. They should be consumed in moderation, as they have a very diuretic effect.
The essential oil of maniguette
is obtained from the steam distillation of the leaves. It is relaxing and soothing. In the bath water, it diffuses a sweet and fruity scent and provides a feeling of well-being. In massage, it can be used pure or diluted with vegetable oils. It is used in synergy with saro or butterfly ginger essential oil. To promote sleep, it can be used in diffusion or in a few drops directly on the pillow. The essential oil of maniguette is also sought after in cosmetics to improve the appearance of the skin and in perfumery to create a rare and precious fragrance.