Tag: organic

Polyphenols Rich Superfoods

What Are Polyphenols?

Simply put, polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found in fruits, vegetables, spices, nuts and other plants and food sources. he best source of polyphenols is from foods, according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Polyphenols play an important role in maintaining and wellness because antioxidants help protect the cells in our bodies from free radicals. If you have little protection from free radicals, you allow them an open door to gain power and wreak havoc on your cells causing them to underperform and put your body at risk for disease.

Polyphenols are antioxidants and are found abundantly in natural plant food sources with antioxidant properties. There are over 8,000 identified polyphenols found in foods such as tea, wine, chocolates, fruits, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil, to name a few.

Are Polyphenols the same as Flavonoids?

Flavoniods are a part of a group of Polyphenols which is a large class of chemical compounds synthesized by fruits, vegetables, teas, cocoa and other plants that possess specific health benefits.

Polyphenols Health Benefits

Polyphenols have been shown to improve a variety of health issues including: Reducing Inflammation and Blood Pressure, Lowering Cholesterol, Preventing Platelet Clumping, & Improving Artery Function. “In recent studies, healthier arteries were found in those who ate raw vegetables and avoided high-fat dairy products. Consumption of fresh fruit and avoidance of high-fat dairy products was also associated with less inflammation in the same subjects.” There are many studies on this topic from which you may glean more information. Here are just a few that you might find of interest:

Which Foods Are Highest In Polyphenols?

With summer around the corner, please find below some of the polyphenol-rich foods to load into your shopping bags/baskets at the local Farmer’s Markets. Remember – is essential, otherwise you are consuming calories & chemicals vs. calories & nutrients.

Vegetables
Artichoke
Asparagus
Endive
Potato
Olives (Black & Green)
Onion (Red & Yellow)
Red lettuce
Shallot
Spinach Shallot
Fruits
Apple
Apricot
Blackberry
Black Currants
Blueberries
Cherry
Grape (Concord)
Nectarine
Peach
Plum
Raspberry
Strawberry
& Seasonings:
Capers
Celery Seed
Clove
Common Sage
Curry
Ginger
Lemon Verbena
Mexican Oregano
Peppermint
Rosemary
Spearmint
Sweet Basil
Thyme

Other notables:
Dark Cacao
Green Tea
Hazel Nuts
Pecans
Red Wine

52 African Herbal Medicinal Plants & Their Uses

Africans since the beginning of time have used as medicine for centuries, this can also be pre-dated back to the times of the mayans who only used herbs as medicine back then too

 

African Herbal Medicinal Plants and their Uses

Cassia Flower

It is a branched, spiny shrub or small treee, the leaves are bipinnate and linearly oblong in shape. The flowers are numerous, yellow and fragant. The pods are smooth, brown and cylindrical

Botanical Name: Acacia nilotica L.Wild Mimosoideae

Parts used: Leaves, bark and flowers

Composition: Benzaldehyde, benzylalcohol, a ketone, anisic aldehyde, decyclicaldehyde, cuminic aldehyde, salycilic acid, methyl ester. tannin

Preparation & Dosage: Infuse15-20g of leaves or flower in a cup of boiled water, to be taken after each meal.

Uses: Treatment of sores, and skin infections.
Can also be used as a laxative in the treatment of obesity

Other names: Hausa-Bagaruwa, Yoruba-Siyi, Baani

Baobab Tree

This tree plant grows as high as 18m, the flowers are large and creamy white, leaves are compound and their segments digitated. The fruits are shaped like a football and covered in soft hairs

Botanical Name: Adansonia digitata L. Bombacaceae

Parts Used: White pulp of fruit and yound leaves

Composition: Trterpenoids, b-sitosterol, b-amyrin palmitate and ursolic acid.

Preparation & Dosage: Mix fresh raw white pulp of fruit in water

Uses: Anti-diarrhea and liver damage, for debilitating illness and convalescence

Other names: Hausa-Bambu, Yoruba- Ose

Alligator Pepper

A perennial herb of about 8ft with a large rootstalk, the leaves are narrow and long, the flowers are yellow, showy and orchid like in dense spikes. The fruits are pear-shaped, orange or reddish brown capsules with golden brown seeds of distinctive pungent aroma

Botanical Name: Aframomum melegueta (Roscoe) K,Schum. Zingiberaceae

Parts Used: Rhizomes, leaves, fruits and seeds

Composition: Volatile oils, shagaol and paradol (similar to gingerol in ginger)

Preparation & Dosage: Decotion of 10g leaves mixed with lime, lemongrass and mango leaves

Uses: worm expeller, catarrh, fractures, bacterial diseases

Other names: Hausa-Citta, Igbo-Ose Oji, Yoruba-ataare

Goatweed

Erect slender and branched herb with hairs and aroma, it grows up to 15-80cm in height and the leaves are petiolated, alternate, ovate and 4-11cm long, 1-5cm wide with pointed tip and base. The margins are serrated, flowers small, numerous and borne in dense terminal corymbs. Ray flowers are pale yellow, purple or whote and numerous, disk flowers absent, fruits are achenes, black with five pappus scales

Botanical Name: Ageratum conyzoides L. Asteraceae

Parts Used: Leaves, yound stems and flowering tops

Composition: Coumarin, vanillin, saponins, tannins and alkaloids

Preparation & Dosage: Leaves docction, leaf jiuce or decoction with 15-30g of dried pounded material as poultices for external uses

Uses: Abdominal pains and can be used as a tonic. Alleviates coughs, cold, fever, skin diseases and can also be used externally for wounds and abscess. Also good for back pains

Other names: Ngugbai (mende). Igbo-Akwekwe-nwaosi, Yoruba-imi-esu

Garlic

Herbaceous plant with coated bulb, consisting of some ten pods enclosed in a cpmmon sheath, leaves are flat and smooth, flowers are white or green, umbels frequently replaced by bulblets

Botanical Name: Allium sativum L. Liliaceae

Parts Used: Bulb

Composition: Allin, allinase, vitamins A, B1, B2, C and niacin

Preparation & Dosage: Extract of capsules or decoction of cloves or crush fresh garlic in clean water

Uses: It is antibiotic and antiseptic and can be used to treat infections as well as digestive and respiratory problems. It can also be used for , obesity and arteriosclerosis, and is also kills worms, parasites and harmful bacterias especially those can cause diarrhea

Other names: Hausa-Tafaruwa, Yoruba-Ayu

Aloe Vera

Succulent plant with lanceolated, spiked leaves growing up to 4 metres high from its stem, it has red or yellow flowers depending on the variety

Botanical Names: Aloe Vera L.Webb, Liliacee

Parts Used: Juice from the leaves

Composition: 80% resins, 20% aloin called anthraquinone

Preparation & Dosage: Juice twice a day and can also be applied to the skin to treat wounds and other irritations

Uses: For arthritis, skin and other inflammatory ailments, it is antiviral, antibacterial and boosts the immune system. It can also be used for asthma, ulcers, burns, sunburn and fungal infection

Other names: Hausa-Kawo, Igbo-Akpalata, Yoruba-Apa

Cashew Tree

Small tree with small and crooked trunk, leaves are simple, smooth, alternate, ovate or obvate with rounded emarginated apex. Flowers are small, crowded at the top of the branches and yellowish in colour. The fruit is ash in colour, kidney shaped and about 2cm long. The mesocarp is fleshy, juicy and yellowish

Botanical Name: Anarcadium occidentalis L. Anarcadiaceae

Composition: Vitamin C (higher than orange) Calcium, iron, phosporus, sitosterin, cardol, anacardic acid and lianceric acid

Preparation & Dosage: Eat the toasted nut three times daily, or infuse bark and leaves

Uses: Can be used to treat ailments such as scurvy, warts and ringworm, the root can be used as a purgative. The leaves of the tree have been used as folk for calcium deficiency and intestinal colic, while cashew resins were used as an expectorant for cough remedy and tonic for debilitating conditions, can also be used as an insect repellant

Other names: Hausa-Kanju, Igbo-Kansuri, Yoruba-Kaju

Soursop

Tree grows up to 8m high with straight trunk and smooth bark, leaves are large, lanceolated, deep-green in their upper part and lighter in their lower side. The fruit is large, green and covered with soft thorns

Botanical Name: Annona muricata L. Annonaceae

Composition: Sugars, Protein, Vitamins B & C, Mineral Salts

Preparation & Dosage: Infuse 203 leaves in a liter of water, drink 3 cups daily

Uses: Good for fever and diarrhea, works as an antimicrobial to treat bacteria and fungal infections, also works for internal parasites and worms. Selectively inhibits the growth of cancerous cells (all types)

Other names: Hausa-Gwandar daji, Igbo-Uburu-ocha, Yoruba-Abo

Neem

Evergreen tree plant up to 25m high, straight boled with striped and fissured bark, alternate paripinnate leaves with about 5-8 pair of pinnate leaflets at the base, acuminate tip, inflorescence in anxillary panicles. Has white pedicellate flowers, ovoid fruit containing seed

Botanical name: Azadiractha indica Juss, Meliaceae

Composition: Azadirachtin, salamin, meliantrol, azadirene, azadiradione and other meliacins

Preparation & Dosage: Boil leaves and bark to get the extract for internal uses, crush dry leaves and mix with water for external uses

Uses: Can be used internall to alleviate feverish conditions and externally to eradicate ticks, fleas and lice

Other names: Hausa-Kurnan nasara, Igbo-Dongoyaro, Yoruba-Eke oyibo

Black Jack

Erect annual up to 60cm high and 2m in favourable conditions> leaves are lanceolated, opposite, serrated, green when young and brown when matured. Flowers are mostly yellow with white floral rays. Seeds are black or dark brown, slender and clustered at the end of the stalk.

Botanical name: Bidens pilosa l. Asteraceae

Composition: Aesculetin, acetylenes, pilosola A, stigmasterols, quercetin, tannins, beta-sistosterol

Preparation & Dosage: Mix powdered dried leaves with olive oil and use as poultice. You can infuse and take orally

Uses: Colitis, fever, kidney and liver inflammations, backaches, cough, conjunctivitis, diarrhea and also for intestinal worms

Other names: Yoruba-Apere-oloko

Annanto Tree

Tree grows up to 5m high with heart shaped leaves, big red flowers, the fruits are oval shaped capsules about 4cm in size covered with soft thorns and contains several seeds

Botanical name Bixa orellana L. Bixaceae

Composition: Tannins, bixin, resins

Preparation & Dosage: Infuse a spoonful of seeds per litre of water, and you can apply externally on the skin

Uses: Suitable for skin disorders, itchy and ligament problems, thrush and urticaria

Shea Butter Tree

Small tree, gnarled, grows up to 10-15m high, lactiferous with leathery leaves, does not flower until 20 years and reaches productive capacity at over 50 years. Fruits are green plum shaped, brown when ripe

Botanical name: Butyrospermum parkii G. Don sapotaceae

Composition: Cyanogenic glycosides, saponins, tannins, oleic acid, leuco-anthocyanins, pyrolizidine, vitamin E, provitamin A, Allantoin,

Preparation & Dosage: Oily seeds are expressed to yield the fat (shea butter) which is used as oil to massage affected parts

Uses: Boils, abscesses, rheumatic pains, labour and childbirth, also for relaxing tired muscles. Widely used in making cosmetics and skin care products.

Other names: Hausa-Ka danya, Igbo-Osis, Yoruba-Emi or ori

African Pepper (bird chili)

A perennial growing up to 2m high, leaves are elliptical, flowers are small, white and a distinctive red or yellow oblong, narrow fruit

Botanical name: Capsicum frutescens Rox B

Composition: Alkaloid (capsaicin), carotene and vitamins

Preparation & Dosage: Mix powered fruit with palm oil or pap, you can also sprinkle dry powder into food as spices

Uses: Good for cold, fever and bacterial diseases, Peppers are in high demand worldwide for its use in the production of oleo resins and spice oils as well as to be used as condiment

Other names: Hausa-Tsiiduhuu, Yoruba-Ata sisebe, Igbo-Ose, Ose mkpe

Heart Pee (Ballon vine)

Slender herbaceous hairy vine, leaves are trifoliate, leaflets are ovate to lanceolate and coarsely serrated. Flowers are small, white and about 2.5mm long. Fruits are obovoid triangular and capsules, seeds are round and black with promiment, white heart shaped axil at the base

Botanical name: Cardiospermum helicabum L sapindaceae

Composition: Glycosides

Preparation & Dosage: 10-12g of dried material as an infusion and externally as a paste or poultice

Uses: For cold, fever, urinary tract infection, furuncles, carbuncles, sprains and external wounds

Other names: Hausa-Garaafunin kwaataa, Yoruba-Saworo, erapoo

Madagascar Periwinkle

Vivacious plant with prostrate stems growing up to 2m long, evergreen coriaceous leaves, pedunculated violet-blue flowers and a very sour flavour. Fruits are follicular with two mericarps and numerous black seeds

Parts used: Leaves

Botanical name: Catharanthus roseus L. G. Don

Composition: Vinblastine, vincristine, indolic alkaloids

Preparation & Dosage: Infuse 30g of leaves per litre of water, boil for 2 mins, sweeten with honey and drink up to three cups daily

Uses: Strong vasodilator of celebral arteries, increases blood circulation, good for external bleeding wounds, hematoma, bruises, diarhhea etc

Lemon

Perennial tree, up to 3m high, leaves lanceolated or elliptical, margin serrated. Flowers are white, fruits with thick rind, dull yellow to green when ripe

Parts used: Rind, juice from fruit

Botanical name: Citrus limo L. Burm F. Rutaceae

Composition: Volatile oil, hesperidin (plus other flavonoid glycosides), vitamins C, B2, bitter principle, mucilage, pectin, calcium oxalate

Preparation & Dosage: Infuse rind in alcohol and drink 3 times a day on diluted juice

Uses: Digestive disorders, diarhhea, ulcers, wounds and insect bite

Other names: Hausa-Olomankilisi, Igbo-Lemonu, Yoruba-Orombo Wewe

Watermelon

Herbaceous perennial with long shoots up to 4m, prostrate, leaves are rough, flowers yellow with both make and female flowers on the same plant. Fruit is a round melon up to 20cm in diameter with a greenish yellow skin and longitudinal bands of dark green

Botanical name: Citrullus Iantana (Thumb)

Parts used: Fruits, seeds

Composition: Alkaloid, colocynthin

Preparation & Dosage: Grind seed and take 3 times a day or applied externally as a poultice on affected parts

Uses: Vermifuge, snake bites, scorpion sting

Other names: Hausa-Guna, Igbo-Ewgusi, Yoruba-Egusi

Coconut Tree

Monoecious palm which grows up to 20m high with a straight or curved stem, foliar scars on stem, pinnate leaves, inflorescence surrounded by spathes. The fruit is a green drupe with spherical seed enclosed in a hard shell

Botanical Name: Cocos nucifera L.

Parts used: Fruits

Composition: Aluric acid, protein, fats, carbohydrates and minerals

Preparation & Dosage: Oil obtained from seed meal

Uses: Good for mineral deficienciesm skin disorders, widely sought after by cosmetic industries for use in making skin care products

Other names: Hausa-Kwar Kwar attagara, Igbo-Aki oyibo. Yoruba-Igi agbon

Commelina

Prostrate or scrambling ascending herb up to 1m succulent and mucilaginous and resists desiccation, leaves are alternate, entire with sheating bases. Inflorescence on terminal or axillary cyme. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, rarely zygomphic

Botanical name: Commelina Vogelii L. Commelinaceae

Parts used: Plant sap and leaves

Composition: HCN

Preparation & Dosage: Decoction of leaves or sap in a litre of water

Uses: Opthalmology, sore throat, burns (emollient), sore feet and blisters

Other names: Hausa-Balasana, Igbo-Oba oge, Yoruba-Godo gbo odo

Jute

Annual herb growing from 90-120cm high, much branched, leaves lanceolate, apically acute or acuminate, glabrous, serrated. Flowers are pale yellow, bract lanceolated, peduncle shorter than the petioles, seeds are trigonous and black in colour

Botanical name: Corchorus Olitorius L

Parts used: Leaves

Composition: HCN, glycoside

Preparation & Dosage: Feed fresh leaves or drench with cold infusion to be taken 3 times daily

Uses: Can be used as a purgative, tonic, demulcent and diuretic, also good for aches and pains, gastro enteritis, fever, dysentery and tumours

Other names: Hausa-Laalo, Igbo-Ahihiara, Yoruba-Ooyo, ewedu

 

Pumpkin

Annual with a creeping stem up to 8m high with lobbed leaves, the plant produced large yellow or orange flowers and a fruit (berry with a thick rind). The fruit can range greatly in size, from miniature pumpkins weighing a few ounces to giant pumpkins which can reach over 34kg, The skin of the pumpkin mis ribbed and is usually orange although some varieties are green, grey, yellow or red

Botanical name: Curcubita pepo

Parts used: Fruit pulp, seeds

Composition: 35% oil, protein, essential amino acids, curcubitacin

Preparation & Dosage: 200g of mashed seeds, 2-3 times a day, Fruit pulp can be eaten cooked or toasted

Uses: prostrate issues, benign tumor, urinary infection, cystitis and for explusion of intestinal parasites. Pumpkin flesh can be cooked

Pumpkin flesh can be cooked and eaten in a variety of dishes, the seeds are also edible and are commonly roasted and eaten as a snack. There is a large market for decorative pumpkins which are carved into jack o lanterns at halloween

Other names: Yoruba-Elegede, igbo-Ugbogulu, Hausa-Barkanuwa

 

Bermuda Grass

Creeping grass with slender stems, branched and prostrate rooting at the nodes and forming matted tufts with erect slender flowing branches, 8-20cm high. Leaves are long, spikes long, narrowly linear, spreading green to purpish

Botanical name: Cynodon Dactylon L. Poaceae

Parts used: Entire plant

Composition: Starch, cynodin

Preparation & Dosage: Decoction of the whole plant

Uses: Respiratory and digestive disorder, also demulcent, astringent and haemostatic

Other names: Hausa-Buntun kudaa, Yoruba-Kooko-oba

Thorn Apple

Annual plant reaching up to 1m high, stalks are smooth and breakable, leaves are elliptical, oval and slightly lobed, large wide flowers stands erect from a tubular calyx with single or double corolla and long acuminate loves, hanging capsules opens into two valves

Botanical name: Datura Metel L. Solanaceae

Parts used: Leaves, seeds and flowers

Composition: Scopolamine 0.5%, hyoscyamine (0.04%) and atropine (0.01%)

Preparation & Dosage: Decoction of leaves, boilded or pounded fresh leaves used externally or internally as a poultice

Uses: Rheumatism, gastric pains, sprains and snakebites

Other names: Hausa-Zakani, Babjuji. Yoruba-Apikan

Carrot

Biennial plant growing up to 70cm high, leaves are cut into fine small divisions, flowers are white and are grouped into terminal bouquets

Botanical name: Dauca Carota L.

Parts used: Roots & Seeds

Composition: Pectin, essential oil, pro vitamin A, potassium, phosphorous and trace elements

Preparation & Dosage: Give plenty fresh juice on empty stomach, also apply externally

Uses: Anti-cancer, kidney problems, cough and chest pains, burns, carbuncles, infected wounds and colic. also good for explusion of intestinal parasites

Wild Yam

Underground storage stem and a popular food crop, perennial with long and twisted roots, a twinning stem with small heart shaped leaves and green or yellow flowers in drooping panicles

Botanical name: Dioscorea Villosa L

Parts used: Root or rhizome

Composition: Steriodal saponins based on diosgenin including dioscin, dioscorin, tannins and starch

Preparation & Dosage: Decoction of tincture with 2-5g of dried herb equivalent three times daily

Uses: Peripheral vasodilator, cholagogue and anti-inflammatory, used or inflamed joint & muscles in rheumatic diseases, inflammations of the gut etc

Other names: Hausa-Gumji, Yoruba-Ewura

African Ebony Jackal Berry

Large tree with dense dark green foliage, leaves are elliptical and glossy with a leathery look, young leaves are covered with downy hairs. Flowers are small and inconspicuous, white to pale cream and fragrant, fruits are flesy, oval, yellow or greenish yellow in color with six wrinkled seeds inside

Botanical name: Diospyros Mespiliformis Hochst

Parts used: Leaves, stem, bark and root

Composition: Tannin, plumbagin

Preparation & Dosage: Infuse powered plant material used as a wash or decoction of leaves or roots for internal use

Uses: Powerful antimicrobial for the treatment of bacteria and viral diseases, wounds, ringworms and occasionally used for fever

Other names: Hausa-Kanyan, Igbo-Kwirikwarisi

Clove Tree

Tree of 10 to 20m high with petiolated lanceolated leaves and translucid aromatic glanfs, inflorescence in racemose panicles, the cloves are the flower buds, they gather when turning red, they acquire an orche color after drying under the sun

Botanical Name: Eugenia Aromatica L. Baill Myrtaceae

Parts used: Flower buds (dried)

Composition: Eugenol, acetyleugenol, cariophilene and metylaniicetone

Preparation & Dosage: Infuse two to trhee dried flower buds

Uses: As an oral antiseptic and analgesic in the treatment of gum or toothache, also works as a stimulant and an appetizer

Other names: Hausa-Kanumfari, Yoruba-Kanafuru

Bitter Kola

Evergreen tree of up to 33m tall, thick slash and grayish-brown bark and buttressed trunk, leaves opposite with pale midribs. Greenish white flowers and orange-coloured fruit, carrying brown seeds embedded in pulp

Botanical name: Garcinia Kola Heckel

Parts used: Seeds, bark

Composition: Isoflavonesm a glucoside, kolanin, contains starch, fatty matter, sugar a fat decomposing enzyme action on various oils

Preparation & Dosage: An infusion of the root with a little salt is given or groud seed

Uses: Good for asthma, bronchitis and throat infections, antidote for poison, intestinal works and to cure stomach pain, aids digestion

Other names: Igbo-aku ilu, agbu ilu, Yoruba-Orogbo

Greater Borage

Herbaceous plant growing from 30-70cm high, whole plant covered in a layer of find white hair, flowers are purplish or blue

Botanical name: Heliotrppium Indicum L. Borangiaceae

Parts used: Leaves, flower and seeds

Composition: Potassium nitrate, calcium, silicon salts, mucilages and flavanoids

Preparation & Dosage: Infuse with fresh juice or seed oils, also used a poultice on affected parts

Uses: Sudorific, diuretic, emollient and anti-inflammatory, hypolipemic, hormome regulator

Other names: Hausa-Kalkashin, Igbo-Wahui (Mende), Yoruba-Agogo igun

 

African Wild Potato

Perennial tubers with long linear leaves up to 40cm long, flowers are yellow and covered with soft hairs

Botanical name: Hypoxis Hemerocallidea Hypoxidaceae

Parts used: Tuber

Composition: Hypoxoside, sitosterol

Preparation & Dosage: Decoction of tuber or weak infusion taken in very low quantity (60mg divded into 3 doses)

Uses: Hiv, erectile dysfunction, tuberculosis, cancer, prostrage hypertrophy and urinary tract infections. Also good for palpitation, depression, diaberes, boosting immune system and as a worm expeller

Other names: star grass

Physics Nut (Purging Nut)

Shrub or small tree up to 6m high with spreading branches and stubby twigs with milky or yellowish rubifacient exudates, leaves are deciduous, alternate but apically crowded, ovate, acute to acuminate, basally cordate. Several bell-shaped flowers, male and female flowers seperate. Fruits are capsules 2-4cm long, dry and splits into three valves with oblong black seeds

Botanical name: Jathropa Curcas L. Euphorbiaceae

Parts used: Seeds, leaves and latex

Composition: Isovitexin, vitexins, curcasin, arachidie, linoleicmyristic, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids are also present

Preparation & Dosage: As a decoction or leaves or seed taken internally or externally as a poultice

Uses: Repels insectsm abortifacient, anodyne, antisecptic, cicatrizant, depurative and vermifuge. For rheumatism, eczema, rashes, ringworms, wounds and scabies, also good for cough and fever. Also can be used as a remedy for cancer

Other names: Yoruba-Botuje

Black Walnut

A large deciduous tree growing up to 30-40m, the leaves are alternate, the male flowers are in drooping catkins 8-10cm long, the female flowers are terminal in clusters of 2-5, ripening during the autumn into a fruit (nut) with a brownish green , semifleshy husk and a brown corrugated nut

Botanical name: Juglans Nigra Juglandaceae

Parts used: Leaves, bark and fruit

Composition: Juglone (Anthraquinonic derivaties)m vitamin C, acids and tannins

Preparation & Dosage: Infusion of 10-20g of leaves or rind of green fruit per litre of water taken alone or sweetened with honey

Uses: Diabetes, gyneocological disorders, urethritis, skin and mucosal issues, intestinal parasites and asthenia, the black walnut nutmeats are used as an ingredient in food, while the hard black walnut shell is used commercially in abrasive cleaning, cosmetics and oil well drilling and water filtration

Mahogany

A dominant tree up to 200 feets above leaves buttresses, crown fairly open trunk exudes gum, leaves are crowded at the end of branclets, glabrous, leathery and unequal sided at base margin slightly wavy with 6-8 pairs of lateral nerves. Flowers are white in small cymes, fruits five valved, erect, spherical and dehiscing on tree, capsule seed

Botanical name: Khaya Ivorensis A. Chev Meliaceae

Parts used: Bark

Composition: Oxalates, catechic tannins, saponin, lipid and sterols

Preparation & Dosage: Decoction of bark

Uses: Cough, rheumatic pain and lumbago

Other names: Igbo-Ono, Yoruba-Oganwo

Dry Zone Mahogany

A glabrous tree growing up to 100 feets high with a widely spread crown, reddish exudates from trunk, leaves pinnate, leaflet 4-6 pairs oblong or oblong-elliptic, flowers in lax axillary panicles, whitish with red disk around ovary fruits four valved, globose, erect, grayish brown and conspicuous. Seeds are obling -elliptic, winged and broad

Botanical Name: Khaya senegalensis A, Juss Meliaceae

Parts used: Root bark

Composition: Catechic tannins, saponin, lipids, sterols, bitter principle, cailcedrin A and B

Preparation & Dosage: As an infusion or decoction in cold water or by steeping in a mixture of bran and water

Uses: Prevention against intestinal worms, tonic and appetizer, pulverized bark also used as dressing for ulcers and wounds

Other names: Hausa-Madaacii, Igbo-Ono, Yoruba-Oganwo

Henna

Small tree or shrup up to 4m high, branchy and thorny at the base, leaves are opposite elliptical or oblanceolate. Inflorescence in densely flowered terminal panicles, flowers are small, aromatic and creamy white, fruits are spherical blue-black berries

Botanical name: Lawsonia inermis L. Lythraceae

Parts used: Leaves and root

Composition: Tannin-like resin, henno-tannic acid

Preparation & Dosage: Poultices of leaves used externally as a wash or paste, dried fruit powder for itch

Uses: Cosmetic for skin problems and conditioning of hair, also anti-bacterial

Other names: Hausa-Lalle,Lal, Yoruba-Laal

West Africa Indigo (Senegal Lilac)

A small tree with a narrow open canopy, bark fibrous, fairly smooth, grey-yellowish, slash, yellowish with black or red streaks. Twigs glabrous,grey-yellowish striate. Leaves alternate, imparipinnate, pairs of ovate or elliptic leaflets. Leaves glabrous, flowers very decorative, blue-lilac, purple or pink, fragrant, fruit elliptic pod thin and flattened, yellowish

Botanical name: Lonchocarpus Laxiflorus Guill & Fabaceae Perrott

Parts used: Leaves, flowers and bark

Composition: Rotenone (2-6%)

Preparation & Dosage: Infusion of fresh leaves or a decoction of leaves and bark

Uses: To cure jaundice and liver disorders to dress wounds for stomach aches, tonic drink, anti-helminthic, anti flatulence and for other intestinal disorders

Other names: Hausa-Baaban talaki, Igbo-Nji, Yoruba-Apapa, Elu

 

Drumstick Tree (Moringa)

Shrub or small tree growing 4-9m high, leaves are bi-pinnate with opposite pinnules, flowers whitish on axillary panicle, fruits consists of angular pods made up of about 20 winged seeds

Botanical name: Moringa Oleifera Lamk Moringaceae

Parts used: Seeds, flowers, leaves

Composition: Fixed oil, vitamins, minerals, phytosterols, calcium oxalate

Preparation & Dosage: Ground leaf powder or decoction of pods or as oil extract

Uses: Superfood as it contains a great amount of nutrients, vitaminsm minerals etc. Increaes milk flow, for anemia, ulcer and can be used as food supplement in the treatment of HIV

Other names: Hausa-Zogelle, Igbo-idagbo monoye, Yoruba-Ewe Igbale

Mucuna Beans

An annual climbing scrub with long vines that can reach over 15m in length, when plant is young, it is almost completely covered with fuzzy hairs, but when older it is almost completely hair free. The leaves are tripinnate and ovate, in younger plants, both sides of the leaves have hairs, the flower is white, lavender or purple, flowers head take the form of axial panicles, they are 15-32cm long and have 2 to 3 or many flowers, its seed pods are about 10cm long

Botanical name: Mucuna Pruriens Leguminosae

Parts used: Seeds

Composition: L-dopamine, serotonin, oxitriptan, nicotine

Preparation & Dosage: 5mg of ground seed powder, cook fresh shoots or beans can also be eaten, this requires that be soaked from at least 30 minutes to 48 hours in advance of cooking, or the water changed up to several times during cooking, since otherwise the plant can be toxic to humans

Uses: Parkinson’s disease, low libido in men and women, depression, insomnia, and can be used in bodybuilding, sports performance enhancer, can also be used to treat leucorrhoea, menorrhagia and spermatorrhoea

Other names: Yoruba-Werepe

Tree Of Life (Fertility Tree)

Small treee 7-8m high, erect or prostrate with vertically ascending branches, oblong lanceolated leaves with serrated or entire margin, found in woody savannah and deciduous forests

Botanical name: Newbouldia Laevis (BEAUV) Seeman Ex Bignonaceae

Parts used: Leaves, bark and roots

Composition: Alkaloids, tannins and saponins

Preparation & Dosage: Leaves decoction or root powder

Uses: As vermifuges for the expulsion of intestinal parasites

Other names: Hausa-Aduruku, Igbo-Ogilisi, Yoruba-Akoko

 

Yohimbe

Evergreen tree growing up to 30m high, leaves are long and elliptical, the stem bark is dark brown in colour with a characteristics fissured split, the leaves are dark green, oval and glossy. The flowers are umbels in pinkish white tubular clusters, fruits are capsules containing winged seeds

Botanical Name: Pausinystalia Yohimbe

Parts used: Stem bark

Preparation & Dosage: 15mg of bark powder per day divided into 3 doses, or tinctures (can cause cardiac problems in large doses)

Uses: Erectile dysfunction, fatigue, weight loss and increases libido in women

Other names: Yoruba-Idagbon

Black Pepper

Climber up to 30-40 feet high on trees, racemous flowers, red fruits, leaves are cordate and alternate, when dried the red berries (fruits) are made into pepper grains

Botanical Name: Piper nigrum L. Piperaceae

Parts used: The dried fruit rind

Composition: Essence, (from hydrocarbons and resin), alkaloid (peppericine)

Preparation & Dosage: Dried fruits mixed in meals 3 times a day

Uses: Fever, anti-helmintic, mild aphrodisiac

Other names: Igbo-Uziza, Yoruba-Ata-dudu

African Mistletoe

Parasitic plant with evergreen ellipsoidal leaves, inflorescence resembles matchsticks, fruits are small green berries

Botanical name: Tapinanthus bangwensis Loranthaceae

Parts used: Leaves

Composition: Choline

Preparation & Dosage: Infuse dry leaves or decoction with leaves boiled for a few minutes and to be taken after meals

Uses: Rheumatism, arthritis, kidney disorders and diabetics, also good for cancerous growth and regulating blood pressure

Other names: Yoruba-Afomo oni ishano

Indian snake root

Large tree growing up to 15m high, whorled leaves, lanceolate and acuminate, inflorescence borne on terminal corymbs, flowers are small, white and the fruits are berries

Botanical name: Rauvolfia vomitora AFZEl. Apocynaceae

Parts used: Roots & rhizomes

Composition: Reserpine, rescinnamine, reserpoxidine

Preparation & Dosage: 50-100g of root powder dissolved in a cup of water, taken twice daily

Uses: Anxiety, Insomnia and respiratory problems, can also be used in psychiatric therapy

Other names: Hausa-Wadda, Igbo-Akanta, Yoruba-Ira, asofeyeje

 

Securidaca

Small tree or shrub, leaves are entire, flowers zygomorphic in terminal and axillary racemes, sepals unequal, five, petals, three, free. Stamens eight, ovary 1-locular. Fruit is an indehiscent samara, usually 1-winged but sometimes with rudimentary wing and one seed

Botanical name: Securidaca longipedunculata Fresen Polygalaceae

Parts used: Root & whole plant

Composition: Triterpenpoid saponins (securidacoside A and B, Oleonolic acid C)

Preparation & Dosage: Decoction or dried plant material dosage is according to body weight

Uses: Bacterial diseases, viral infections, also good for , also good as an antidote against poisonous plant ingestion, as a vermifuge and for skin infections

Other names: Hausa-Magunguna, Yoruba-Ipeta

Senna

Shrub growing from 0.5 to 1m high, made up of composed leaves with 5-8 pairs of oval foliates, flowers are yellow with plain shaped legume fruits with 6-8 seeds

Botanical name: Senna Alate L. Caesalpiniaceae

Parts used: Roots

Composition: Senoids A and B (Antrhaquinonc glycosides)

Preparation & Dosage: Infuse plant powder in a litre of water, to be taken twice daily

Uses: Laxative and for the explusion of intestinal parasites after giving vermifuges

Other names: Yoruba-Asuwon Oyinbo

 

Chickweed

Small herbaceaous plant with weak stems, oval shaped, peak tipped leaves and star shaped white flowers

Botanical name: Sterllaria Media V. Caryophyllaceae

Parts used: whole plant

Composition: Trace element (silicon, magnesium, phosporous, potassium, iron) and saponins

Preparation & Dosage: Fresh juice or decoction with 30g of plant per liter of water boiled for 15 minutes or as a poultice

Uses: As an emollient in the treatment of gastritis and colitis. Externally used in the treatment of skin diseases, allergies, blood poisoning, also used for boils and rheumatism, tumors and ulcers

Other names: Yoruba-Awede

Almond Tree

Tall tree with simple ovate leaves, it is characterized by the coarsely furrowed and wrinkled shell of the drupe and by the young leaves that have their sides folded along the central vein, it grows up to 9m (30ft) high

Botanical name: Terminalia catappa L. Combretaceae

Parts used: Leaves, bark and root

Composition: Tannin, saponin, calcium oxalate and glycosides

Preparation & Dosage: As a juice or smudge with young leaves mixed with oil

Uses: Threatening abortion, fever and as an antibiotic

Other names: Hausa-Baushe, Yoruba-Idi

African Elm

Evergreen or sometimes deciduous (depending on the climate) tree growing up to 18m high, bark is smooth and light-grey, with corky spots. Leaves are simple, alternate, leaf base frequently unequal, finely serrated, rough and hairy. Flowers are small greenish, inconspicuous, unisexual and carried on short dense bunches, fruits are small, round, green and black when ripe

Botanical name: Trema occidentalis L BL. Ulmaceae

Parts used: Leaves, fruits, root and bark

Composition: Mucilage, indole, alkaloids

Preparation & Dosage: Fresh leaves and fruit or decoction of bark and root

Uses: Asthma, bronchitis and cough

Other names: Igbo-Telemukwu, Yoruba-Ofere, afe

Goathead (caltop)

An annual with prostrate stems up to 2.4m long and spreads radially from a central crown, leaves with 4-8 pairs of oblong prinnate compound leaves, flowers are bright yellow with 5 petals, the fruit are nuts and have spines on their surfaces

Botanical name: Tribulus Terrestris Zygophyllaceae

Parts used: Leaves, flowers, whole herb

Composition: Steriodal saponins, phytosterols and adaptogens

Preparation & Dosage: 600-1200mg of ground powder as tinctures or in a capsule once a day preferably in the afternoon

Uses: Male and female sexual enhancement, sport performance, stimulation and strengthening of the immune system, also good for high blood pressure, stress, nervousness, hormonal inbalance and reduction of problems during menopause and andropause

Other names: Yoruba-Da ogun dagunro, Hausa-Hana takama

Bitterleaf

Perennial herb, much branched and erect, leaves are simple, alternate and lanceolate, with acuminate tip and acute base, grabrous, short petioles, margin entire or finely serrated. Capitula forms clusters up to 15cm, creamy white and occassionally tinged with mauve and sweet scented. Fruits are small, with glands, hairs and pappus of bristle hairs

Botanical name: Vernonia amygdalina DELILE Asteraceae

Parts used: Leaves

Composition: Vernodalin, vernoniosides B1

preparation & dosage: Decoction of leaves taken prior to meals

Uses: Effective in the eradication of Trypanosoma brucei brucei, relieves stomach pains, fever and also an antibiotic, lowers blood sugar levels in diabetics

Other names: Hausa-Shiwaka, Igbo-Olubu, Yoruba-Ewuro

 

Black Plum

Deciduous tree wuth dense rounded crown, leaves are long, stalked, pinnate with 5-7 leaflets, oblanceolate, flowers numerous white, tinged purple, borne in short, stout axillary cymes. Fruits are sllipsoidal to oblong clasped by a calyx cup, greenish, turning black on ripening

Botanical name: Vitex doniana sweet Verbanaceae

Parts used: Bark (stem)

Composition: Tannins, saponins and steriods

Preparation & Dosage: Infuse fresh leaves, pods or decoction of root

Uses: In the treatment of liver diseases, also to treat anemia and the root is used for bacterial diseases, it is also supposed to improve and is used to treat jaundice, leprosy and dysentery

Other names: Hausa-Burzun linya, Igbo-Uda, Yoruba-Oori

Ginger

Vivacious plant growing up to 1-1.3m high with exuberant flowers, underground rhizomes (stems) are harvested when the leaves turn yellow and wither

Botanical name: Zingiber officinalis ROSCOE Zingberaceae

Parts used: Rhizomes

Composition: Volatile oils, (gingerols), resins

Preparation & Dosage: As an infusion with ground dried powder of rhizomes

Uses: in the treatment of intestinal parasites, lack of appetite, colitis and flu, helps in the secretion of saliva, excellent for the circulatory system and helps increase strength. It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and pain killing properties

Other names: Hausa-Citaraho, Zanzabir, Igbo-ginger, Yoruba-Ala-le

Source: Anne Edun
Ceo and principal consultant of planta-generic consult
email: fonen70@gmail.com
www.planta-genericherbals.com