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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