Bukas & Joints

How I Discovered the Amazing Power of Emu (Palm Wine)

I have always been labelled ‘the good girl’ by my friends and family.

I attended an all girls secondary school in Ogun state, and there were times when my friends would leave school without permission to go for parties in Kings College, Lagos. I, being the good girl, would rather remain in school and wait to hear of their adventures than risk getting caught and suspended. Because I did not readily come across as ‘that type of girl’ and because I was the only one in my family who did not party hard in the University, it struck them as very ironic when my sisters discovered that I am a fan of palm wine.

The first time I ever tasted palm wine was in my final year at the University. I had a friend who was a ‘Kegite‘ (a member of socio-cultural club known to love drinking palm wine) and while visiting him at his hostel one day, he urged me to have a taste of palm wine. I was slightly hesitant because I knew palm wine was alcoholic, but that day, I was in an adventurous mood. I took a sip of the ‘pammie’ as he called it, and all I can say is I was sold, especially after discovering its health benefits.

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Palm wine is the sweet tasty sap gotten from wounded palm trees. It is popular in Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and other parts of central and West Africa. In Nigeria, palm wine is known by its many names: emu, tombo, palmy, nwoko onye obi ocha ,uzunma to mention a few. In Igboland, palm wine is the preferred drink for weddings, child naming ceremonies, funerals or memorials.

Image: Nairaland

Image: Nairaland

It is either gotten from raffia palm or oil palm trees and this process is called Palm wine tapping. It is important to note that newly collected palm wine is very sweet and mostly consumed by women and children. Men prefer the fermented type considered to be the harder brand of pammie.  Palm wine is naturally a low alcoholic drink with as little as three per cent alcoholic content. It, however, becomes fermented with the passage of days.

Image: Nairaland

Fermented palm wine Image: Nairaland

Palm wine has some amazing and powerful health benefits and nutrients which are listed below.


Nutrients found in palm wine:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate,
  • Amino acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Yeast
  • Bacteria
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B1,B2 B3 and B6

The amazing health benefits of Palm wine:

  • Palm wine improves eyesight and is perfect for maintaining good eye health because it contains the antioxidant Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) found in other fruits and vegetables. It also contains Vitamin B1 (thiamine) good for improving our vision. There is the belief that our village-resident grandparents have better eyesight than city dwellers because palm wine is their beverage.
  • Palm wine helps in the reduction of cardiovascular diseases. Research has shown that drinking moderate amounts of palm wine has been associated with a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure. As a result of its potassium content, it helps to improve heart health and bring down hypertension.
  • Palm wine actually helps to fight against cancer, can you beat that? It contains vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin. which is an antioxidant that helps to fight against some cancer causing agents called free radicals.
  • Palm wine is the prefect beauty regimen for those who would like to have good skin, hair and nails. It contains Iron and vitamin B complex which are needed for that healthy skin, the great hair and firm nails.
  • It is also very helpful in healing wounds. It help with the repair of our tissues and it promotes the growth of healthy cells.
  •  For mothers, do you know that palm wine helps to promote lactation? Many natural healers in Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and other parts of Africa use palm wine to help a lactating mother when she has limited breast milk production.
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Excess drinking of fermented palm wine is quite detrimental to one’s health because it contains a high percentage of alcohol and can cause problems for the kidney, liver and other organs in the body.

Would you try some pammie today?

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