Bitterleaf Soup Recipe: Nigerian Bitter Leaf Soup – Ofe Onugbu

Nigerian Bitterleaf Soup Recipe: Bitter Leaf Soup – Ofe Onugbu

Nigerian Bitterleaf Soup Recipe
Nigerian Bitterleaf Soup Recipe

Bitter Leaf Soup, commonly known as ofe onuigbu, is one of the popular Nigerian soups. Nigerian Bitter leaf soup is a traditional Igbo dish from Eastern Nigeria.

Low carb keto-friendly bitterleaf soup is one of most Naija soups cooked in the East, particularly among the Anambra Igbos of Eastern Nigeria. It’s a representation of who we are… Bold and Resilient

However, ofe onuigbu is to the people of Anambra what Ofe Owerri is to the people of Owerri.

Ofe onugbu is similar to other delectable African soups like Cameroonian Ndole and goes well with a variety of fufu dishes. It’s also quite healthful and filling.

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What Is Bitter Leaf? Nigerian Bitterleaf Soup

Bitter leaf vegetable, also known as Vernonia amygdalina, is a plant with a variety of health benefits and a strong, bitter taste.

The bitter leaf is known as Onugbu by the Igbos, Ewuro by the Yorubas, and Shuwaka by the Hausa tribe.

This Nigerian nutritious African soup has a variety of health benefits, including:

  • It’s an excellent laxative. It has been used as a laxative in Africa for ages.
  • Assist in lowering blood pressure
  • Antioxidant powerhouse
  • Helps with fertility
  • Helps to maintain prostate health.
  • Beneficial to bowel detoxification
Bitterleaf Soup Calories

350 calories

One serving of bitter leaf soup contains 350 calories.

Bitterleaf soup in pregnancy: Is bitter leaf soup good for pregnant women?

When it comes to pregnant women, the bitter leaf can be a great supplement to their diet. However, one thing to keep in mind is that it should be consumed in moderation to avoid side effects.

Bitter leaf has been found to cause uterine contraction, so don’t make it your regular diet.

Why Is It Called Bitter Leaf? What Is the Meaning of Bitter Leaf Vegetable?

When you taste African bitter leaf, it is just what the name implies: bitter. Though the bitter tastes good after a while

It is not eaten in its raw bitter form since it is unpalatable, hence it is rinsed multiple times until the “bitterness” is much diminished.

Meanwhile, many non-Igbos avoid bitter leave soup and go for most other Nigerian soups because they believe it is, according to its name, quite bitter.

However, they could not be more wrong;

Delicious and bitter don’t seem to go well together, do they? I know, but trust me when I say that this soup brings the two words together.

Thus the name is deceiving because a properly made real Bitter leaf Traditional Soup should be devoid of most washed bitter leaves.

This is accomplished by washing and squeezing the same bitter leaves until all traces of bitterness have been washed away (and changing the water at intervals) before adding them to the soup.

For a more detailed explanation, of how to remove bitterness from bitter leaf soup see the video below>>>>

I love this robust West African soup (Ofe Igbo); it’s my second favorite Igbo soup, right behind other Nigerian soups like the wonderful Ofe Owerri. Third place goes to Ofe Akwu/Banga Soup

This Igbo soup is both therapeutic and comforting, so make it whenever you’re in the urge for something warm, serve with your favorite swallow, and tuck in.

Bitter leaf Soup Recipe:

There are different ways to learn how to cook bitter soup:

  • How to cook Calabar bitter leaf soup with waterleaf
  • How to make bitter leaf soup without a soup thicker – cocoyam or with cocoyam or achi. Add less stock, if you want to add your soup thicker
  • Yoruba bitterleaf soup recipe
  • How to prepare Akwa Ibom bitter leaf soup with Banga/palm fruits
  • How to cook soup with ofor
  • Delicious bitterleaf soup and Scent leaf soup
  • How to cook egusi bitter leaf soup
How to Cook Bitterleaf Soup/How to Make Nigerian Soups/Nigerian bitter leaf soup recipe

This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to prepare the much-discussed iconic “ofe onugbu.” The leaves or thickening used in most Nigerian soups are named after them.

Egusi (melon seeds), ede (cocoa yam), ofor, achi, or even ogbono can be used to make this soup.

Yes, bitter leaves can be used in ogbono soup. But the cocoa yam and bitter leaves combo – which we have below – is the most popular of them all.

How to prepare Bitterleaf Soup (Ofe Onugbu) – bitterleaf soup recipe

To make this delicious Nigerian soup, you need the following ingredients:

Bitterleaf Soup Ingredients

½ cup washed bitter leaf
4 medium cocoyams
10 medium-size assorted types of meat
3 medium smoked or dry fish

1 medium-size stockfish
Ground dry pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. ogiri (locust beans)

½ cup ground crayfish
2 cooking spoons of palm oil
Seasoning/salt to taste

Bitterleaf Soup Preparation
  • Firstly, peel, wash and boil the cocoyam till tender, then blend or pound in a mortar.
  • Secondly, soak the stockfish in hot water to soften.
  • Thirdly, season and boil the assorted meat until tender then adds the stockfish and dry fish, and then, allow boiling for 10 minutes.
  • After that, add the palm oil, ogiri, dry pepper, and ground crayfish, and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Then, add the cocoyam paste and stir very well. (You can add more water if it’s too thick), allow cooking for 5 minutes.
  • Lastly, add the bitter leaf, seasoning, and salt to taste. Allow simmering for 5 minutes.

Your deliciously prepared bitter soup is ready, serve with any swallow of choice.

Best Nigerian Soup Recipes You’ll Love

FAQs on Bitterleaf Soup and other cultural foods

What can I use to thicken bitter leaf soup?

To thicken the soup, you can use cocoyam (ede ofe), achi, potato flour, or even Egusi seeds.

What are the advantages of a bitter leaf soup?

Bitter leaf soup might soften your stool and help you get rid of constipation. Because of the additional fiber and chemicals found in the leaf.

However, to the high potassium content, bitterleaf has a beneficial effect on blood pressure.

What is the best way to boil bitter leaves?

Place the pre-washed bitter leaf in a pot with enough water to completely cover it while allowing enough space above for the resulting froth, and bring to a boil over medium heat.

If you cover the pot while it’s cooking, it’ll overflow.

What is bitter leaf called in English?

bitter leaf in English because of its bitter taste. Vernonia amygdalina – scientific name

Is it okay if I chew bitter leaf raw?

Because of the bitterness, chewing fresh bitter leaves or drinking the juice derived from the leaves is well recognized to lower blood sugar and control blood pressure.

It’s accurate because bitter leaf contains andrographolide, a compound that helps lower blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of diabetes.

Does bitter leaf cure cough? Is it true that bitter leaf might help you get rid of a cough?

Cough, catarrh, cold, fever, chest pains, and diarrhea are all treated with it. Earache, ringworm, nose bleeding, anti-spasmolytic, and relief of colon aches are among the others.

The leaves are cut up and consumed as a febrifuge, according to the study.

Can bitter leaf and scent leaf cure diabetes?

The bitter leaf with neem is an efficacious remedy for treating diabetes because they are loaded with triterpenoid, flavonoids, anti-viral compounds, and glycosides, which may aid to manage blood sugar levels.

What is the work of bitter leaf and milk?

Milk and bitter leaf are used by hypertensive to lessen their blood pressure.

What does Bitterleaf taste like?

Bitter leaf on its own is quite bitter and this taste might be a turn off for a lot of people

How often should bitter leaf water/bitterleaf juice be consumed?

This is one of the most effective weight-loss drinks.

On an empty stomach, drinking bitter leaf water dilutes the acids and prevents the production of kidney stones and bladder infections.

A cup of bitter leaf water first thing in the morning is beneficial to your health.

Is Bitterleaf soup healthy?

Bitter leaf is widely used in Nigeria and other regions of Africa, not only because it is inexpensive and widely available, but also because of its multiple health advantages.

African bitter leaf is used to treat malaria, high blood pressure, and digestive and intestinal problems.

Is it true that bitter leaf might help you lose weight?

Helps with Weight Loss

The bitter leaf juice has ingredients that help you burn off that extra fat you’ve been trying to get rid of.

A daily dose of bitter leaf juice in your diet will help you get rid of bad cholesterol and lose weight.

Can I drink bitter leaf juice on empty stomach?

On an empty stomach, drinking bitter leaf juice raises a person’s metabolic rate by 25%.

Faster digestion also leads to weight loss that is healthful.

Because bitter leaf water boosts metabolism, your body burns calories more quickly.

This is one of the most effective weight-loss drinks.

Where to Buy?

Bitterleaf soup stores or any African store/local market near you

Is Bitterleaf soup healthy?

Bitterleaf has a beneficial effect on blood pressure because of the high potassium content.

Bitter leaf includes several necessary vitamins and minerals that aid in the removal of harmful radicals known as reactive oxygen species from the body.

As a result, it keeps us healthy.

How do you reduce bitterness in bitter leaf soup?

Bitter leaf is naturally bitter, so it must be carefully cleaned before consumption. Put the leaves in a large bowl of water and season with salt.

What can I use to thicken bitter leaf soup? How long should I boil bitter leaf?

Cook for 45 minutes, then take a bite and taste for bitterness; if it tastes good, it’s done. It will be brownish green in color.

Drain in a sieve, then rinse with cold water and press off the excess water.

Can bitter leaf cause kidney damage?

The experimental animals treated alone with phenylhydrazine developed bodily weakness, loss of appetite, decreased body weight, and respiratory discomfort.

The findings indicate that Vernoniaamygdalina (bitter leaf) has a high level of renal recovery from phenylhydrazine-induced kidney injury.

What is the side effect of the bitter leaf?

Acute oral zinc overdose symptoms include vascular shock, vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, and hepatic parenchymal damage.

As a result, agricultural plants grown in heavy metal-contaminated soil can collect large levels of trace metals, posing substantial health concerns to consumers.

Is bitter leaf used as an antibiotic?

Vernonia amygdalina is a significant medicinal plant found throughout West Africa.

It is known as a bitter leaf because of its characteristic bitter taste and flavor, and it can be utilized as an active anticancer, antibacterial, antimalarial, and anti-parasitic agent.

What are the health benefits of bitter leaves? 5 Health Benefits of Drinking Bitter Leaf Juice
  • Aids in Weight Loss. The compounds in bitter leaf juice make it great therapy for burning off that additional fat you have been looking at getting free of
  • Reduces Cancer Risks
  • Lowers High Blood Pressure
  • Aids in the Treatment of Abdominal Issues.
  • Enhances Fertility
How do you boil bitter leaf?

Ensure that the bitter leaves have been thoroughly rinsed, leaving no sign of bitterness. If not, wash it and squeeze it again.

If the bitterness cannot be totally removed (as is typically the case with most cleaned bitter leaves offered in stores), boil it for about 15 minutes and then wash in cold water.

Can I boil bitter leaves and drink?

Certain ailments can be helped by boiling bitter leaves.

There are numerous methods to ingest bitter leaves to reap the most benefits and improve your health.

Some people enjoy making and drinking bitter leaf water. Others incorporate fresh leaves into their everyday diet.

What is the English name for bitter leaf?

Vernonia amygdalina

the amygdala is commonly called Congo Bololo in D. R. Congo, bitter leaf in English because of its bitter taste.

How do you make bitter leaf soap?


  • Firstly, combine your black soap and honey in a tight container. Get some fresh bitter leaves and rinse them.
  • After that, scrub them between your hands to generate a lather, then pound them to make a paste and mix them into the black soap.
  • Lastly, mix thoroughly, and if it’s too thick, add additional honey.
Can I drink bitter leaf water on a daily basis?

Consumption of bitter leaf on a daily basis can assist one reduce his/her high sugar level, bringing it down to a more normal level, and also healing his/her pancreas.

It also benefits one’s glucose content to be moderate.

Can bitter leaf water help you lose abdominal fat? Burn belly fat?

This fiber found in bitter leaf aids in the reduction of calories and fats in the body, especially belly fat.

It also lowers cholesterol levels and protects the body from bad cholesterol, which can lead to obesity and overweight.

Is bitter leaf root poisonous?

The plant’s leaves, roots, and stems are all edible, with the leaves used in vegetable soup and the root/stem used as a chew stick in various West African countries (Nigeria).

The bitter leaf root is non-toxic and inexpensive.

Is bitter leaf harmful to the liver?

When compared to acetaminophen alone, bitter leaf treatment reversed acetaminophen-induced liver damage with AST, ALT, and ALP levels of 20.671.76U/L (P0.05), 16.673.52U/L (P0.01), and 131.677.27U/L (P0.01).

Does Bitterleaf reduce cholesterol?

It was determined that administering an ethanol extract of African bitter leaf at concentrations of 100 mg/kg, 150 mg/kg, and 200 mg/kg of body weight could lower total cholesterol levels.

Based on past research, V. amygdalina can lower blood lipid levels, making it a promising product for lowering hypercholesterolemia.

Does bitter leaf help to lower blood sugar levels?

Diabetic people can benefit from African bitter leaf/plant to lower their blood sugar levels.

What dosage of Bitterleaf should I take?

Cures Insomnia

Bitter leaf juice aids in the treatment of insomnia.

Take two glasses of bitter leaf juice every night, and your body will be so tranquil that you will be able to sleep effortlessly.

If desired, a little honey might be added.

Can bitter leaf help with bacterial infections?

The results showed that the bitter leaf extract had significant antibacterial action against the five bacteria species tested. E. coli had the highest level of susceptibility, followed by P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, and S. aureus.

What vitamins does bitter leaf contain?

Bitter leaf is high in vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, and minerals like zinc, manganese, iron, potassium, and calcium.

Can bitter leaf be eaten raw?

They are consumed raw or mashed to extract the juice, which is used to alleviate abdominal problems such as diarrhea, stomach discomfort, and gastrointestinal tract disorders such as dysentery, among other things.

Bitter leaves are the primary agents indicated as a natural cure for gastrointestinal issues and stomach cramps.

What does bitter leaf with milk do? What is the work of bitter leaf and milk?

A cup of bitter leaf juice and milk every day is an excellent approach to rid the body of dangerous pollutants.

Bitter leaf juice taken with milk nourishes the skin and promotes hair growth.

How often should I drink bitter leaf juice?

A cup of bitter leaf juice twice daily can help relieve gastrointestinal troubles. Bitter leaf juice aids in the treatment of insomnia.

Take two glasses of bitter leaf juice every night, and your body will be so tranquil that you will be able to sleep effortlessly.

How do you make bitter leaf water for drinking? Is bitter leaf a laxative?

“The leaves of the bitter leaf are commonly used for fevers and are known as a quinine-substitute,” according to the West African Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.

A laxative is made from a leaf decoction.

What is a Nigerian bitter leaf?

Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) is a vegetable used to make the well-known Bitter leaf soup.

In Nigeria, it is also known as Onugbu, Shiwaka, and Ewuro by the Igbos, Hausas, and Yorubas.

Despite the fact that this plant has been around for hundreds of years, few people are aware of its medicinal and healing capabilities.

How do you make Onugbu soup? How do you make Ewuro? Can bitter leaf cure cough?

The decoction of VA’s roots and leaves is often used in ethnomedicine to cure fevers, hiccups, kidney difficulties, and stomach pain, among other things.

It is also used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis, and cough, as well as as a laxative and fertility inducer.

Is bitter leaf rich in iron?

Fiber, proteins, and minerals such as manganese, zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and trace amounts of selenium are also found in bitter leaves.

Does Bitterleaf help you sleep? Does Bitterleaf induce sleep?


Bitter leaf extract has helped many people who are sleep deprived.

Every night, drink two glasses of bitter leaf solution. You will feel extremely relaxed and at ease. If desired, a little honey might be added.

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