Medicinal herbs are plants that are used for medicinal purposes. Other types of herbs include culinary herbs ( used to flavour food), aromatic herbs ( used to add fragrance). Medicinal herbs cover a wide range of types of plants. They can be annual or perennials; woody or herbaceous; sun loving or shade requiring. The parts use for medicinal purposes may be their leaves, flowers, root, seeds or bark. Medicinal herbs have been in use by both plants and animals for many thousand years. Not surprisingly many medicinal plants have a rich folklore associated with them. This cultural history is an important part of many communities in Nigeria and many other countries. In addition to their cultural importance, many medicinal herbs are important economically. Due to Nigeria’s topographical advantage, many medicinal herbs survive naturally or can be cultivated for their economic use.

However, despite the wide research and scientific evidence in support of traditional claims of medicinal herbs by researchers worldwide, many of the herbs are still largely untapped. The reason been the problem of identification as the science journals which frequently publish the findings usually utilize the scientific names of the plants which is not familiar to many who does not understand such botanical terms.

This post is aim to provide common and Nigerian names to medicinal herbs to ease the identification and possibly the utilization of these wonderful herbs. You are also free to share the names of plants in your local language using the comment box below. Let’s help someone identify the herbs! . Thanks.




1.  Pupalia lappacea

Common names:  Forest burr, Creeping cock’s comb.

Nigerian names:        Emo-agbo ( Yoruba);  mama-agbo ( Bassa Nge);  Marin KASU ( Hausa);  ose ( Igbo).


2.  Pseudocedrela kotschyi

Common names:  Dry-zone cedar, hard cedar-mahogany.

Nigerian names: Juna (Hausa); akodinrin (Yoruba).


3. Psidium guajava

Common name:  guava

Nigerian names: guaba (Yoruba); goba ( Hausa); ugwoba ( Igbo).


4.  Ricinus communis

Common name: Castor bean.

Nigerian names: Lara (Yoruba); ogili ugba (Igbo); eraogi (Edo); cika-gidaa (Hausa).


5.  Piliostigma thonningii

Common names: Camel’s foot; monkey bread; wild bauhinia.

Nigerian names: Have (Yoruba); nyihar (Tiv); kalgo (Hausa); okpoatu ( Igbo); amukpakpa ( I gala).


6.  Physalis angulata

Common names: angular winter cherry; balloon cherry; cutleaf groundcherry; gooseberry;  hogweed; wild tomato.

Nigerian names: koropo ( Yoruba); ogwu ari (Igbo); tsaada biri ( Hausa).

7. Parkia biglobosa

Common names: African locust bean tree.

Nigerian names: dorowa (Hausa); igi iru ( Yoruba); ogiri ( Igbo).



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Pimples technically called Acne vulgaris is the most common type of acne cause mostly by five main factors: excess sebum (oil) , hormones, dead cells, Propionibacterium acnes ( a bacteria that causes acne lives on the skin) and inflammatory response. Acne emergies from a point which requires 2_3 weeks to take a defined form of pimples. This process happens deep under your skin. Pores are little holes present on your skin. These pores are actually air follicles containing very fine hair. Each hair follicle is connected to a sebaceous gland. The sebaceous gland produces an oily substance called sebum. Sebum helps in keeping the skin soft. This sebum reduces the surface of the skin through the hair follicle. The hair follicle is lined cells called keratinocytes. Now , during puberty, a hormone present both in males and females increases. This sebum hair and keratinocytes fill and plug the hair follicle. Plugging of the follicle is the earliest sign of acne . Because the follicle is plugged, sebum can not reach the surface of the skin . This means that the follicles is filled with oil ( sebum) and cells ( keratinocytes) . A mixture of both these causes Propionibacterium acnes on the skin to grow in the plugged follicle. This bacteria in the plugged follicle, induces the white blood cells to attack it. When the white blood cell attacks, they cause the skin to inflame (swell) which is referred to as pimples or acne. In due course of time, the wall of the hair follicle break down spilling everything that is sebum, dead cell and bacteria on the nearby skin.


Natural treatment involve prevention of the cause such as avoiding the use of body care products that contains excessive oil, eating healthy and natural foods especially rich fibre foods, avoiding pressing the pimples to prevent further spread. Many herbs has been scientifically proven to be effective for the treatment of pimples. Few examples are: tulsi leaves, neem leaves, castor oil, coconut oil, onion bulb, turmeric, etc. Most of the above herbs also contains antimicrobial properties .