From the recent trend of medicinal research, which has to do with plants and their extract, and the results obtained and published so far, one can say that nature (God of creation) has bestowed on man all he has need of. Palm kernel oil for instance, is used in African (Nigeria) medicine to treat a number of ailments that affect infants- such as convulsion. Every little plant we see around us is likely to contain one or more substance (components) that is a likely cure one or more ailments. Although research has shown some of them to be poisonous. For instance, there is a claim by the Yoruba’s in Nigeria- West Africa, that the roots of maize can be used as a poison.
Palm Kernel oil (PKO), which is obtained from Oil palm tree is the second oil that can be extracted from the tree. While palm oil is extracted from the mesocarp- the fleshly cover of the oil palm seed, PKO is extracted from the endocarp- the nut itself after breaking. Of all the about 200 edible oils, PKO and Coconut oil (CNO) are the only two that contains lauric acid, hence they are called lauric oil. Both palm oil and palm kernel oil are obtained from the same tree known as- Elaeis guineensis. The two trees producing PKO, CNO and Palm oil are also similar in that they are both called palms, even though they of different species. Traditionally, the production of PKO involves the following: the nuts obtained after palm oil production is cracked to obtain the kernels, the kernels are then heated in a clean pot until the oils are extracted from the kernels, and the oil is then poured out (decanted) from the pot into clean bottles for use or sale. In some part of Nigeria 750ml of the oil cost N200 Nigerian currencies, which is about 1.5 U.S dollars. The oil obtained is dark min color.
PKO can be used to treat ailments like cold, catarrh, cough, convulsion, skin infection and stomach upset among others disorders that affect children (as well as adults).
• For catarrh, cold and convulsion, particularly in children; simply rub the oil all over the child’s body consistently- say thrice a day for about 7 days and be sure the ailment will be gone in about 10 days. In the course of doing this evidence abound that the skin of such child will be prevented from being infected by some skin pathogens.
• For cough and stomach upset/ disorder, taking a 5ml twice daily orally will suppress the cough and stomach disorder. In addition to this is the fact that it serves has a purgative, this may not be unconnected with the oily nature of the extract although the phytochemical constituents may also be responsible for this effect.
• Lastly, though like a superstitious believe is the claim of its use in some parts of Akwa-Ibom in Nigeria, as a repeller of witches. The claim is that when burned the aroma of the oil drives away witches.
In conclusion, the traditionally extracted Palm Kernel Oil is of great medicinal value not only for children but also for adults, and it’s healing potential for the ailments mentioned earlier is an indication of its antimicrobial properties for the microbes causing some of those ailments.