Calotropis procera medicinal uses

Calotropis procera Commonly known as ‘giant-milkweed’ is a flowering plant specie that is native to North Africa, Tropical Africa, Western Asia, South Asia, Nigeria and Indochina. It’s very abundant in Nigeria with the local name: Bomu-bomu in Yoruba, Tumfatiya in Hausa. The leaves is popularly use by the Fulani tribe and Hausa to prepare a traditional drink called ‘Wankachi’ and Nono. The green globes are hollow but the flesh contains a toxic milky sap that is extremely bitter and turns into a gluey coating resistant to soap. The stems and leaves have a waxy appearance and contain a milky white sap (i.e. latex). Branching occurs from the base of the plant upwards. Younger stems are greyish-green in colour, smooth in texture, and have a covering of whitish coloured hairs (i.e. they are hoary). Mature stems have a deeply fissured, cork-like, bark that is light brown in colour. This plant is used particularly for treatment of asthma, arthritis and skin related diseases.

BOTANICAL NAME : Calotropis Procera
Family :Apocynaceae
Common Name: Giantmilkweed

Yoruba : bomu bomu
Hausa : Tumfatiya


The traditional use of the giantmilkweed are innumerable. Listed below are a few viz:

(1) The flower powder help to treat ashthma
(2) the latex extract can be used to treat ear ache.
(3) a smeared mustard oil on a leaf of the plant helps treat stomach ache
(4) The leaves is used in treatment of arthritis
(5) Skin disease: A paste of the stem bark is applied on the skin surface cures skin diseases.
(6) Roots, stem bark, latex, leaves and flowers: An extract of the whole plant is taken as a tonic and purgative in small doses, and as an emetic in larger doses. It cures diarrhoea, dysentery, intestinal worms, colic, spleen complaints, pneumonia, fever, jaundice, elephantiasis and leprosy.
(7) Dried root powder : when soaked in water is taken to increase milk flow of nursing mothers and is given to women to ease child birth.
(8) Ground roots or the ash of the burnt roots : are applied as a salve or rubbed in to treat skin rash, skin infections and leprosy.
(9) Root powder : when mixed with Capsicum pepper is put in a bath to treat rheumatism and arthritis.
(10) The root bark is remedy for cough.
(11) The stem bark acts as an aphrodisiac.
(12) The leaf pulp is taken to treat snakebites. They are sometimes taken by women to induce abortion and as an uterotonic.


The latex is toxic and can cause rash, blisters and serious inflammations in sensitive persons and it may lead to blindness. Ingesting larger doses of latex produce toxic symptoms like burning in the throat, irritation of the stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, vertigo and convulsions. The latex has been used as a hunting poison and fish poison, and sometimes used for criminal purposes. The milky sap contains a complex mixture of chemicals like the “cardiac aglycones”. These are steroidal heart poisons . Thus in the process of formulation, the latex and milky sap should be well processed to remove the toxic constituents and the consumption of raw plant and it’s extract must be in adherence to prescribed doses.

Calotropis procera is a wonderful and unique plant. It has great uses but because of the toxic nature of the milky latex which is very abundance in all parts of the plant caution must be taken to ensure the herb is prescribed by an  experience Herbalist before consuming it. Feel free to contact us for further advice if you need to use this herb .


(1) Gavin D. “Calotropis procera ” United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2010, p 7

(2)The Jewish Encyclopedia “apple of Sodom” Jewish encyclopedia , 2002, vol 2
(3)Whiston, William Josephus” The War of the Jews” translated by William Whiston” 1734, p 500

(4)New inversed version “Application Commentary on Kings; cf. Cogan and Tadmore, II Kings” 1956, vol 10 , p. 58

(5) F. Bruschweiler, K. Stockel & T. ” the apple of sodom reviewed ” Jewish encyclopedia, 2016 , vol 9

(6)Ahmed, K.K.M., Rana, A.C. & Dixit, V.K., 2005. Calotropis species (Asclepiadaceae) – a comprehensive review. Pharmacognosy Magazine 1(2): 48–52.

(7)Arbonnier, M., 2000. Arbres, arbustes et lianes des zones sèches d’Afrique de l’Ouest. CIRAD, MNHN, UICN. 541 pp.

(8)Baerts, M. & Lehmann, J., 2011. Calotropis procera. [Internet] Prelude Medicinal Plants Database. Metafro-Infosys, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium Accessed September 2011.

(9) bagherwal, P., 2011. Immunomodulatory activities of the non-dialyzable latex fraction (NDL) from Calotropis procera (Ait.) R. Br. International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences 2(1): 114–119.

(10)Chavda, R., Vadalia, K.R. & Gokani, R., 2010. Hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity of root bark of Calotropis procera R.Br (Asclepediaceae). International Journal of Pharmacology 6(6): 937–943.

(11) De Freitas, C.D., Lopes, J.L., Beltramini, L.M., de Oliveira, R.S., Oliveira, J.T. & Ramos, M.V., 2011. Osmotin from Calotropis procera latex: new insights into structure and antifungal properties. Biochimica & Biophysica Acta 1808(10): 2501–2507.

(12) De Oliveira, J.S., Bezerra, D.P., Teixeira de Freitas, C.D., Barreto Marinho Filho, J.D., de Moraes, M.O., Pessoa, C., Costa-Lotufo, L.V. & Ramos, M.V., 2007. In vitro cytotoxicity against different human cancer cell lines of laticifer proteins of Calotropis procera (Ait.) R.Br. Toxicology in Vitro 21(8): 1563–1573.

(13) Kiew, R., 2001. Calotropis R.Br. In: van Valkenburg, J.L.C.H. & Bunyapraphatsara, N. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 133–138.
(13) manikandan, M. & Arumugam, R., 2010. Potentiality of Calotropis procera on the yield of biocrudes and biogas production. Journal of Phytology 2(4): 33–40.



Pupalia lappacea is a variable plant that is grown annually or perennially. It has stems ranging from 50 – 200cm in length. It belongs to the family Amaranthaceae. These stems are less woody at the base. Morphologically, the plant is sometimes erect, prostrate or sprawling. The plant’s leaves and stem can be used as medicine. The leaves are edible but must be harvested for food after watering the plant. Pupalia lappacea is indeed an all in one plant because it’s use touches every sphere of life viz:

1. To treat Infections and diseases
2. As food
3. For beautification of our skin
4. It adds an aesthetic colour to our environment
5. It is used to treat constipation


The botanical name is Papulia lappacea. Common names are forest burr, creeping cock’s comb.


Igbo : Ose, oso
Yoruba : emo agbo
Bassa-Nge- mama-agbo
Hausa : marin-kasu



1. it is used as food when added with groundnut or coconut milk and eaten with rice.
2. It is used for scarifying the skin
3. The forest burr plant is believed to be an indicator of the fertility of the soil in any area where it is grown.
4. When applied externally, the leaves are mixed with palm oil to treat boils.
5. It is used as an antitusive especially by pregnant women
6. It is used in management of diabetes because it has an hypoglycemic effect
7. It is used in treatment of wounds and cut as a traditional first aid therapy.
8. It is used for its aesthetics value in any environment it is found.

The forest burr herb contains alkaloids and some bio – molecules that potentates a hypoglycemic effect in the body, hence it is used for management of diabetes. It also compounds with anti bacterial properties thus it is used for treatment of cuts, wounds. It contains an antihistamine agent, hence it is used for treatment of stubborn coughs. It contains an anti oxidant that helps eliminates dangerous free radicals from our circulatory system (A. A felix et al, antioxidant activity of papulia lappacea, research Journal of biological sciences, vol 13).

The forest burr plant has been said to cause colic in Somalia if it is eaten prior watering so ensure it is watered before its harvest and consumption. The flower head is an ingredient of rat poison in Nigeria. The leaves are anti diabetic, diuretic and febrifuge. On histological analysis, the forest burr plant has been found to lack toxic compounds especially when it is harvested and consumed after watering.


The immense benefits of the pupalia lappacea is limitless. From its use to treat chronic cough, dysenteriferous diarrhoea and oedema to its use for scarying the skin, lower blood glucose and treat boils it is at ease that researchers chose to call it the “all in one plant”.



1. H. fatima, B. M Reddy. “Evaluation of antinocieptive and antipyretic effects of pupalia lappacea juss “, international current pharmaceutical Journal, vol 2, no 2, pp 23-28., 2013.

2. A. A felix, O. A. Domingo. “Anti oxidant activity and chemical constituent of pupalia lappacea”. Research Journal of biological sciences, vol 3, no 7, pp 783 – 788, 2008.

3. A. Ravi , M. Alvala et al.  ” Anti cancer activity of pupalia luppacea on chronic myeloid leukemia K562 cells “, DARU Journal of pharmaceutical sciences, vol 20, no 1, article 86, 2012.

4. Vick kamar, et al. ” Biological evaluation of pupalia lappacea for antidiabetic, antiadipogenic and hypolipidemic activity both in vitro and in vivo “. Hindawi Journal scientifica, 2016.

5. Prasad .P., Naidu et al. “Evaluation of wound healing potential of different leaf extract of pupalia lappacea “. Academic Journals,  p- 11, 2014.

6. L. B. Kagale et al. ” The antipodals of pupalia lappacea juss ” current science, vol 6, no 5, pages 222, 1937.

7. S. T. Tanson.  ” Naturally occurring polyploidy in pupalia leppacea”.  Current science, vol 31, no 6, pages 252 – 254, 1962.

8. Harder Singh. ” A new aerial host of pupalia Lappacea. ” Current science vol 31, No 12, pages 521- 522, 1962.

9. Dr amehs G. ” The hypoglycemic effect of the Forest Burr plant. “Indian Journal of pharmaceutical science, vol 5, pages 115 -119, 2011.

10. Anthony. C et al.  ” The pupalia lappacea plant: uses and toxicology”.  Pakistani newsletter of science, vol 51, pages 65- 69.



Ricinus communis plant is also called the castor oil plant . It is a fast growing evergreen herbaceous and semi woody large shrub that is native to mid -east Africa and northeast Africa.It’ s also cultivated here in Nigeria. It has vast uses ranging from its antitusive property, relieve of severe constipation, expulsion of worm infestation, treatment of skin disorders and management of arthritis. As effective as this castor oil plant derivatives, it must be taken in appropriate prescribed doses.

kingdom : Plantae
Order : Malphighiales
Family : Euphorbiacaeae

BOTANICAL NAME: Ricinus communis Linn.


IGBO : Ogiri igbo.
HAUSA: Cika_ gidaa

ENGLISH NAME : Castor oil plant, castor bean.


Castor oil plant has different parts viz the roots, leaf, seed and oil which potentate various medicinal uses traditionally.

1. The root of castor oil plant is used for the treatment of nervous diseases and rheumatism.
2. The oil of castor plant is used as a strong laxative, diuretic and for treatment of severe constipation.
3. The oil of castor plant is used to relieve boils and skin related diseases
4. The oil of castor plant is usually massage on the breasts of lactating mothers to increase milk let out (milk flow).
5. The seed of castor oil plant is used for birth control.
6. The leaf of the castor plant is used to treat severe cough.
7. The oil of castor plant is used to improve hair growth.
8. The leaf of castor plant is used to treat delayed, painful or obstructed menstruation
9. The seed of castor plant is a natural contraceptive
10 . The oil of the castor plant has anti bacterial properties


The seed of the castor plant is highly toxic due to its ricin content. Thus for purification of these seeds to reduce its toxicity, it is fermented in coconut water for 3 hours then they are washed and dried for use. It’s fatal dose is usually between 5- 10 seeds daily.


1. The ricin content in the castor seed causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and hypotension.
2. The oleic acid and linoleic acid content of the castor plant prevents inflammation and treats rheumatism.
3. The ricinoleic acid content help treat delayed, painful and obstructive menstruation.
4. Castor oil leaf acts as galactogogues to stimulate milk secretion.
5. Its fatty acid oils help to increase milk quantity in breast feeding mothers.
6. The methanolic extract of castor plant contains steroids, flavonoids and alkaloids that confers an antinocieptive activity (treatment for inflammation and management of pain)
7. The ethanolic root extract containing saponine confers its anti asthmatic property
8. The ethanolic extract of the leaves of the castor plant contains flavonoids that have hepato-protective activity.
9. The oleic fatty oils in the castor oil boost immune system by increasing the production of lymphocytes that improves circulatory and digestive systems.


From the discourse above it is clearly evident that castor oil plant confers potential health benefits when used at appropriately prescribed doses.


1. Khogali A, Barakat S, Abou-Zeid H. “Isolation and identification of the phenolics from Ricinus communis L.” . Delta J. Sci. 16, 198–211, 1992.

2. T. Isam, A. Gupta, et al, “Assessment of antibacterial potential of the ricinus communis leaves”. International Journal of pharmaceutical science and research, 2010.

3. R. E. Ucheya, Osaji Chukwuma. The effects of the methanolic extract of ricinus communis on the liver of adult wistar rats. Nigerian Journal of Medical sciences ,vol 12, pages 235-237, 2009.

4. Taur D. J., Patil R. Y. “Antiasthmatic activity of Ricinus communis L. Roots. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine S13-S16, 2011.

5. Salem G. , Ahmad S., et al. Incredible potential of castor oil. world Journal of pharmaceutical science, 1995.

6. Richard G., et al. pharma research: medicinal importance of ricinus communis seed “, 2003 ,

7. Vikram Chauham. Castor plant planet Ayurveda.The Ayurvedic Pharmacopiea of India, Part – 1, Vol – III, Pg 49- 50, 2017.

8. Dr. H. Anthens. 19 Ricinus communis health benefits and medicinal uses , 2018 .

9. Diana Kaniecki. Medicinal purpose of castor oil seed,

10. Ricinus communis : the phytopharmacological review, 2016.

11. Ricinus communis. Wikipedia, 2018.


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 and medicinal uses.

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 jargons.

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.




Medicinal uses of pupalia lappacea and local Nigerian names
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).

Medicinal uses


Medicinal uses of pseudocedrela kotschyi and local Nigerian names
2.  Pseudocedrela kotschyi

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

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


Medicinal uses of psidium guajava and local Nigerian names
3. Psidium guajava

Common name:  guava

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


Medicinal uses of ricinus communis and local Nigerian names
4.  Ricinus communis

Common name: Castor bean.

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

Medicinal uses of castor oil plant


Medicinal uses of piliostigma thonningii and local Nigerian names
5.  Piliostigma thonningii

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

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


Medicinal uses of physalis angulata and local Nigerian names
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).

Medicinal uses of parkia biglobosa and local Nigerian names
7. Parkia biglobosa

Common names: African locust bean tree.

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


Calotropis procera medicinal uses and local Nigerian names
8. Calotropis procera

COMMON NAME: Giant milk weed

NIGERIAN NAMES:  Bomubomu (Yoruba), Tumfafiya (Hausa).



Medicinal uses of Heliotropum indicum and local Nigerian names
9. Heliotropium indicum

Family : Boraginaceae

COMMON NAME:  Indian heliotrope, beak of the vulture,

Nigerian names: agogo-igun or aparigun ( Yoruba), kalkashin kooraama(Hausa), Agukwu (Igbo).


Medicinal uses of Grewia mollis and local Nigerian names
10. Grewia mollis

Family: Malvaceae

Common name

Local Nigerian names: Origo (Yoruba), Dargaza (Hausa).


Medicinal uses and local Nigerian names of gomphrena celosioides
11. Gomphrena celosioides

Family: Amaranthaceae

Common name :Bachelor’s button,  Postrate globe amaranth

Local Nigerian names: Ipopo-ale (Yoruba)


12. Gloriosa superba

Family : Colchicaceae

Common Names: flame lily,  fire lily, glory lily,  tiger claw lily,  climbing lily

Nigerian names: ewe aje,  ewe akalamagbo (Yoruba)


Gardenia ternifolia image
13. Gardenia ternifolia

Family: Rubiaceae

Common names: powder-bark gardenia, mutara.

Nigerian names:


14. Flueggea virosa

Family: Euphorbiacease

Common names: white berry bush, wild bush weed.

Local Nigerian names: Itachen-gado, gwiiwaar karee Hausa), njisinta ( Igbo), Iranje (Yoruba).


15. Euphorbia kamerunica

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Common name: fence cactus

Nigeria names: garuru(Kanuri), abananya(Igbo), agondo(Tiv),



16. Euphoria heterophylla

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Common names: fire plant, painted euphorbia, Japanese poinsettia, desert poinsettia, fire on the mountain, milkweed , kaliko plant.

Nigerian names: egele, egunjobi, akun esan (Yoruba), ozigban (Edo), noonon kurciyaa (Hausa), obuani, oba ala (Igbo).

17. Dialium guinense fruit

Family: Leguminosae

Common names: velvet tamarind, black tamarind, tumble tree, black timber.

Nigerian names: awin, igbaru (Yoruba), icheku (Igbo), tsamiyar kurm (Hausa).


18. Detarium microcarpum

Family: Fabaceae

Common names: sweet detar, sweet daltock, tallow tree.

Nigerian names: arira(Yoruba), gogoyi(Gwari), taura (Hausa).


19. Desmodium velutinum

Family: Papilionoidae

Common names: chit kiboota, latka (India)

Nigerian names: emo (Yoruba), EMA (Igala, Bassa Nge), danka (Hausa), Dafi (Damgere).

20. Datura stramonium

Family: Solanaceae

Common names: Jimson weed, devil’s weed, thorn apple, mad apple, angel’s trumpet.

Nigerian names: gegemu, apikan (Yoruba), zakami (Hausa), myaramuo ( Igbo).


21. Daniella oliveri

Family: Leguminosae

Common names: African copaiba balsam, West African copal, Ilorin balsam, Benin gum-copal, agbomi.

Nigerian names: iya (Yoruba), make (Hausa).


22. Cyperus haspan

Family: Cyperaceae

Common name: dwarf papyrus sedge

Nigerian names: ayaa-ayaa (Hausa).

23. Cymbopogon citratus

Family: Poaceae

Common names: lemon grass, oil grass, French citronelle, fausse citronelle

Nigerian names: eti (Edo), tsauri (Hausa), myoyaka oakara, achara ehi (Ibibio), akwukwo (Igbo), oko oba, tii (Yoruba).


24. Crotalaria retusa

Family: Leguminosae

Common names: devil-bean, rattle weed, shack-shack, wedge-leaf, rattle pod.

Nigerian names:


25. Citrullus colocynthis

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Common names: colocynth, bitter apple, bitter cucumber, desert gourd, vine of Sodom, hanzal.

Nigerian names: bara, egusi (Yoruba), kwartowa (Hausa), egwusi, elili (Igbo).


26. Croton penduliflorus

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Common names:

Nigerian names: aworoso (Yoruba).


27. Berlinia grandiflora

Family: Caesalpinoidae

Common names: kpendi, bois de rose (French)

Nigerian names: apado (Yoruba), dokar rafi (Hausa), baborochi (Nupe), ububa (Igbo).


28. Asparagus africanus Lam.

Family: Asparagaceae

Common names: African aficanus, white asparagus.

Nigerian names: Aluki (Yoruba), code (Hausa), fulan yollo (Zarma).


29. Acacia nilotica (L) Wills.Ex Delile.

Family: Fabaceae

Common names: gum Arabic, Egyptian mimosa, scorpion mimosa, acacia tannin

Nigerian names: baani, booni (Yoruba), bagaruwa (Hausa).


30. Amaranthus spinosus Linn.

Family: Amaranthaceae

Common names: spiny amaranth, prickly amaranth

Nigerian names: namijin gaasayaa, namijin zaaki banzaa (Hausa), inine ogwu, nnuno oku (Igbo), efo tete, tete egun, tete elegun (Yoruba).


31. Cochlospermum planchonii Hook.f.

Family: Cochlospermaceae

Common names:

Nigerian names: zunzunaa (Hausa), gombara (Nupe), awo owu, gbehutu, very (Yoruba).


32. Cnidoscolus aconitifolius (Mill.), I.M. Johnst.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Common names: chaya, tree spinach, cabbage star, tread softly, hospital too far.

Nigerian names: efo iyanapaja

33. Cleome viscosa L.

Family: Capparaceae

Common names: tickleweed, wild mustard, spider plant

Nigerian names: eyazo (Nupe), Tafarnwakura (Hausa), ekuye, ekuya (Yoruba).


34. Casia/Senna Occidental is (Linn.), Link

Family: Fabaceae

Common names: coffee senna, septicweed, negro coffee, bana chakunda (India)

Nigerian names: ako rere (Yoruba), tafassaar masar (Hausa).


35. Casia/Senna alata Linn.

Family: Leguminosae

Common names: emperor’s candlestick, candle bush, Christmas candles, ringworm shrubs.

Nigerian names: asunwon (Yoruba), ogalu (Igbo).


36. Caesalpinia pulcherima (Linn.), SW.

Family: Caesalpinioideae

Common names: pride of Barbados, flower fence, red bird of paradise

Nigerian names:


37. Bryophyllum pinnatum (Lam.), Kurt

Family: Crassulaceae

Common names: life plant, miracle leaf, air plant, cathedral bells

Nigerian names: odaa opue (Igbo), abamoda, odundun (Yoruba), satura(Hausa).


38. Borassus aethiopum Mart.

Family: Arecaceae

Common names: African fan palm, African Palmyra palm, deleb palm, Ron palm, toddy palm, black rhun palm, elephant palm, borassus palm.

Nigerian names:


39. Basella alba L.

Family: Basellaceae
Common names: malabar spinach, Ceylon spinach, Indian spinach.
Nigeria names: amunututu, efo oyibo (Yoruba), gborongi (Igbo).


40. Arachis hypogaea L.

Family: Fabaceae

Common names: groundnut, goober, peanut

Nigerian names: epa (Yoruba), gedda (Hausa), okpamkpa (Igbo).


41. Martynia annual L.
41. Martynia annual fruit

Family: Martyniaceae

Common names: cat’s claw, tiger’s claw

Nigerian names: ekana asa (Yoruba).


42. Anogeissus leiocarpus (DC.) Guill. & Perr.

Family: Combretaceae

Common names: African birch, bambara, maure (Arabic)

Nigerian names: farin gamji, maarike (Hausa), atara (Igbo), ayin (Yoruba)


43. Annona senegalensis Pers.

Family: Annonaceae

Common names: wild custard apple

Nigerian names: gwandar daajii (Hausa), ukpokpo (Igala), anumgbere (Bassa Nge), uburu ocha (Igbo), ngonowu (Kanuri), abo (Yoruba).


44. Adansonia digitata L.

Family: Bombacaceae

Common names: baobab, monkey bread tree, sour gourd, cream of tartar tree

Nigerian names: kuka (Hausa), usi (Edo), ose (Yoruba), kalkuwa (Kanuri), obobo (Igala), ebobo (Bassa Nge).


45. Abrus precatorius L.

Family: Papilionoideae

Common names: crab’s eyes, bird’s eye, prayer beads, lucky bean, Indian liquorice, wild liquorice, jequirity

Nigerian names: ominsimisi, werenjeje, ojuologbo (Yoruba), idon zakara (Hausa)


46. Nauclea latifolia SM.

Family: Rubiaceae

Common names: African cinchona, African quinine, African peach, African pincushion

Nigerian names: egbesi, gberesi (Yoruba), ubulu inu (Igbo), tabasiya, marga (Hausa)


47. Newbouldia laevis Seem.

Family: Bignoniaceae

Common names: fertility tree

Nigerian names: ikhimi (Edo), aduruku (Hausa), itomo (Ibibio), ogilisi, ogirisi (Igbo), dinbere cin amile (Nupe), akoko (Yoruba).


48. Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC.
48. Mucuna pruriens pod

Family: Fabaceae

Common names: velvet bean, Bengal velvet, Florida velvet, Mauritius velvet bean, lacuna bean.

Nigerian names: werepe (Yoruba), agbala, agboloko (Igbo)


49. Morinda lucida Benth.

Family: Rubiaceae

Common names: Brimstone tree

Nigerian names: oruwo (Yoruba), eze-ogwu (Igbo)


50. Mimosa pigra L.

Family: Fabaceae

Common names: giant sensitive tree

Nigerian names: aluro (Yoruba)


51. Gmelina arborea Roxb.

Family: Labiatae

Common names: gmelina, gamari, gumbar

Nigerian names:


52. Loranthus sp

Family: Loranthaceae

Common name: mistletoe

Nigerian names: afomo (Yoruba).


53. Lippia multiflora Moldenke

Family: Verbenaceae

Common names: tea bush, Gambian tea bush

Nigerian names: efinrin gogoro, efinrin odan, efinrin oko (Yoruba), godon kada (Hausa)


54. Leucas martinicensis (Jacq.) R. Br.

Family: Lamiaceae

Common names: whitewort, gi-kunduru-kunduru, mondobalo

Nigerian names: dindikudi (Yoruba)


55. Kigelia Africans (Lam.) Benth. Fruit
55. Kigelia Africans (Lam.) Benth.

Family: Bignoniaceae

Common names: sausage tree

Nigerian names: ugbon-gbon (Edo), hantsar-giiwaa (Hausa), alamborogoda, oke ogirisi (Igbo), pandoro (Yoruba)


56. Jatropha gossypifolia L.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Common names: bellyache bush, black physic nut, purging nut

Nigerian names: lapalapa pupa, botuje pupa (Yoruba), oruruebo (Edo), olulu idu, akimbogho (Igbo)


57. Jatropha curcas L.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Common names: physic nut, Barbados nut, poison nut, purging nut

Nigerian names: lapalapa funfun, botuje, iyalode (Yoruba), oru-ebo (Edo), bii no da zuguu, cii ni dazuguu (Hausa), ocigbede (Idoma), owulu idu (Igbo), choyo (Bassa Nge).


58. Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.

Family: Convolvulaceae

Common names: sweet potato, Spanish potato

Nigerian names: iyan-ebo (Edo), ba-fadamee (Hausa), ji-oyibo (Igbo), anamo (Yoruba)


59. Cissus populnea Guill. & Perr.

Family: Vitaceae

Common names: oseille des pygmees (French)

Nigerian names: ogbolo (Yoruba), okoho(Idoma, Igbo), okofio (Igala), dafara, latutuwa (Hausa).


60. Hyptis suaveolensis (L.) Poit

Family: Labiatae

Common names: bush tea-bush

Nigerian names: arunfofo, jagbo (Yoruba)


61. Hymenocardia acida Tul.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Common names: digbe (French)

Nigerian names: karagwehi (Gwari), jan itaacee (Hausa), ikalaga (Igbo), orupa(Yoruba), erukpa (Bassa Nge)


62. Momordica charantia L.

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Common names: African cucumber, balsam pear

Nigerian names: ejinrin, ejinrin wewe, akara aje (Yoruba), daddagu, garaafunii (Hausa), kakayi (Igbo).






Dietary fibre plays an important role in the maintenance of health and prevention of diseases. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that an artificial depletion of fibre as in case of refined cereals and sugars has over the last 100 years contributed to several degenerative diseases. Recent studies indicate that sufficient intake of fibre-rich diet may help prevent obesity, colon cancer, heart diseases, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome and diabetic conditions.


Fibre in diet promotes more frequent bowel movement and softer stools. The softness of stool is largely due to the presence of emulsified gas which is produced by the bacterial action on the fibre. A high fibre intake results in greater efficiency in the peristaltic (movement of food) movement of the colon.This help in relieving constipation which is the major cause of several acute and chronic diseases such as diarrhoea, pile, etc.
Dietary fibre increases the bacteria in the large intestines which require nitrogen for their growth. This in turn reduces the chances of cancerous changes in cells by reducing the amount of ammonia in the large bowel. Fibre reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the diet. It also slow down the rate of absorption of sugars from food in the digestive system. Certain types of fibre increases the viscosity of the food content. Thus a fibre rich diet can help in diabetes mellitus.


The most significant food sources of fibre are unprocessed wheat bran, whole cereals e,g unpolished local rice, millets, barely, rye; legumes such as potato, carrots, sweet potato; fruits like mango, guava, cucumber and vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce and celery.

Health Benefits of fertility tree

Health Benefits of fertility tree

fertility tree

Botanical name- Newbouldia laevis

Family- Bignoniaceae

Nigerian names- akoko (Yoruba), aduruku (Hausa), ogirisi (Igbo)
Newbouldia laevis is a shrub or small tree reaching 7_20m high. The plant has shiny dark green leaves and bears large showy terminal purple flowers. It is a familiar live-fence and boundary tree throughout its distribution. It is often grown as an ornamental and is easily cultivated by cuttings.o

Health Benefits o f Fertility

Fertility plant also called ‘tree of life’. A deoction of the leaf is taken by women to treat ferility problems. However, a higher dosage of the leaf decoction has a uterine contraction effect and traditional healers in Nigeria use it to facilitate labour. The young leaf can also be cooked with red oil drink during labour to facilitte easy delivery. A decoction of the leaf use as gargle in the mouth for 4_5 minutes continuously is use to treat dental caries.
The bark is stomachic and analgelsic. A decoction is used in the treatment of dysentry, diarrhoea, epilepsy, cough and convulsion. The pounded dried bark combine with Xylopia sp and other spices is taken inform of herbal tea to relieve dysmenorrhoea. A decoction of the bark, sieve is taken inform of an enema as a treatment for piles and constipation. Dried powdered of the bark combined with aligator pepper(Aframomum melegueta) is sniffed inform of snuff to treat migraine and sinusitis. The bark applied externally is use to cure wounds, ulcers and abscesses.
A decoction or ethanol extract of the root is used for the treatment of syphilis and intestinal problems such as worms. The decoction of the root is laxative and is use to treat constipation. The maceration of the root is effecive for the treatment of arthritis and rheumatic pains. The powdered root combine with chili pepper(Capsicum frutescens) are put into a carious tooth to treat toothache. The powdered dry root combine with root of Lopharia sp are infused inform of ointment and use to massage oedema ariving through dietary deficiency.
Decoction of the root and leaves are remedy for scrotal elephantiasis, fever and as an aphrodisiac.

Phytochemical constituents of Fertility tree

Alkaloids, flavonoid, steroids,saponins, glycosides, terpenoids, tannins.

Vitamin compoisition of fertility tree (Mg/100g)

Leaves- VitaminA (5.19), vitaminC (2.35), vitaminE (9.33).
Stem bark- vitaminA (3.01), vitaminC (1.05), vitaminE (4.08)

Mineral composition of fertility tree (Mg/100g)

Leaves- Mg (76.12), Fe (16.84), Se (3.08)
Stem bark- Mg (54.25), Fe (1.19), Se (0.29).


All parts of N. laevis is safe for both human and animal consumption.



Botanical name        Capsicum frutescens

Local names              ata_ijosi(Yoruba)

Chili pepper is the oldest and the most pepperish species of cultivated pepper in Nigeria. It is one of the major spices used by our ancestors. Unfortunately, because of the demand for higher agricultural yield, different varieties of pepper was developed which produce bigger sizes of fruit. Because the chili pepper has small fruit, most of the farmers hardly cultivate this varieties of pepper. As a result, chili pepper is not commonly found in the market, and if found its often more expensive than the hybrid varieties. Despite the higher nutritional benefits of chili pepper  above other varieties, only few people consume it in their daily diet.


Chili pepper is cardio- tonic.  It is very effective for conditions of the heart such as high cholesterol, high blood viscosity which normally prevent normal circulation of the blood in the vessels. High cholesterol and excessive blood clothing are few of the silence causes of major cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, stroke, arteriosclerosis etc.

Chili pepper also called ‘bird pepper’ fruit is very effective in pain reliever. When use as mouth gargle it  relieve tooth ache, throat pain and sinus infection. When formulated in balm it can be applied on the skin to relieve pains from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve pain and skin spasm.

I often use bird pepper to cure cold and catarrh. Use one grounded tablespoon of dried chili pepper to prepare halve- done green vegetable. Eat the vegetable twice daily for at list two days and abstain from cold water during the period.


The active chemical in chili pepper is ‘capsaicin’ and its approved by the FDA as an over-the-counter product. Medicinal lotions and creams that contain chili pepper extracts are safe for most adults when applied on the skin. Consumption of the fruit is safe as it has past  through the test of time.

Side effects include skin irritation, burning and itching, irritating to the eyes.

Do not use during or after surgery it can increase bleeding.


vitamin C (22.4), vitamin A (1.07), vitamin E (0.35), Niacin(0.47), vitamin B6 (

0.10), folic acid (7.16), vitamin K(5.81).


Ca (106.27), Na (1.11), K (331.32), Mg (236.72), P (31.44), Fe (67.16), Cu (17.08), Zn(32.18), Co (4.38), Ni (1.08).


Moisture (10.14), protein (11.97), fat (0.35), ash(16.67), insoluble (1.02), soluble(0.76), carbohydrate (58.81).


Tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, anthraquinones, Phenolic, saponin, glycosides, terpenoids and carotenoids.

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