Do you know that Fruits in Igbo land are most times seen as a blessing from the gods? Especially from the mother goddess Ani and the supreme one Chukwu Okike? Also in some clans, it is most times believed that fruits that are popularly demanded for do not grow in the land of a wicked man, or someone who is selfish. Fruits like the Udara.
In Igbo land, Ụdara (Ụdala) remains one of a special kind whose season can be said to be a harbinger of harmattan. The Ụdara fruit otherwise known as ‘African Cherry’, carries with it some powers of old and is said to be a symbol of fertility.
In Igbo land, there is such belief that whenever one is been gifted Ụdara in the dream it implies that one’s petition has reached the gods and the days of barrenness are over. As a result of this, in some clans in Arochukwu and other places in Igbo land, there are rules against plucking of Ụdara. The fruits are allowed to fall on their own and be picked by the lucky ones. And when this happens, one can readily say that ‘e wetara m Ihe ọma n’ukwu Ụdara’. (I got a good thing at the feet of the udara)
Furthermore, there are villages in Igbo land that do not support individual ownership of Ụdara trees. Rather, Ụdara trees are communally owned and thus could not be plucked or sold in the market. This could be seen in the sayings of the Orlu people ‘ọha nwe Ụdara’ (The community owns the udara), and in the baffled way they look at those who pluck and sell Ụdara.
In regards to its medicinal value, Ụdara is a source for vitamins and minerals, a treatment for hypertension, tooth abscesses, diabetes and heart problems. Its medicinal use can be traced back to the precivilization era when the leaves and bark were used as ingredients for curing ịba, and the portion was either inhaled, sipped or gulped down while hot.
Of a truth, the Ụdara fruit has huge cultural value and significance. One can rightly say that it takes the second place in the hierarchy of fruits in Igbo land, while ọjị closely precedes it.