Herbal cures for hypertension, low sperm count, others unveiled
Mon, 28 May, 2012
By CHUKWUMA MUANYA
University of Lagos researchers have unveiled local plants used for treating hypertension, dysentery, low sperm count and weak erection, coated tongue, pile, menstrual disorder, vaginal discharge and fevers.
AN ETHNO-BOTANICAL survey of three largest herbal markets and medicinal plants used for treating ailments in Lagos State of Nigeria has unveiled herbal cures for hypertension, dysentery, low sperm count and weak erection, coated tongue, pile, menstrual disorder, leucorrhoea and fevers.
The study titled “An Ethnobotanical Survey of Herbal Markets and Medicinal Plants in Lagos State of Nigeria” was published in Ethnobotanical Leaflets.
The researchers from the Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Lagos, led by Prof. Dele Olowokudejo, by means of oral and written questionnaire identified herbal cures used for treating ailments in Lagos State.
According to the study, herbal cures for hypertension include: leaves of Persea Americana (avocado) are made into shreds, dried and taken as infusion; leaves of Senecio biafrae (worowo in Yoruba or Sierra Leone bologna) added to fermented seeds of Parkia biglobosa (dawadawa in Hausa, African locust beans in English, Igba/Iyere in Yoruba, and Nere in Bambara) are used to prepare soup which is eaten; leaves of Talinum triangulare (water leaf) or Basella alba (Indian spinach in English, Amunututu in Yoruba) may also be used; and kola nut’s mistletoe mixed with honey is also effective.
For dysentery the researchers noted: decoction of the leaves of Grewia flavescence (Itakun okeere) is made and drunk; and leaves of Parquentina nigrescens (kwankwanin in Hausa, mgbidim gbe in Igbo, ewidun or inuwu elepe in Yoruba), Jatropha gossypifolia (pignut or fignut, and Lapalapa in Yoruba), Pergularia daemia (Utazi in Ibo, teji in Yoruba), Ocimum gratissimum (scent leaf in English, Nchuanwu in Ibo, Effirin in Yoruba) and Momordica charantia (African cucumber or balsam pear in English, daddagu in Hausa, akban ndene in Ibo, akara aj in Yoruba) are all powdered together and taken with cold pap, or as decoction.
For low sperm count and weak erection, the researchers noted: Powdered Piper guineensis (Climbing black pepper or Benin pepper, ebe-ahinhi akpoke in Edo, etinkene or odusa in Efik/Ibibio, uziza in Ibo, uririe in Urhobo, iyere or ata-iyere in Yoruba) and extract from 10 big onions are poured into honey and boiled between five to 10 minutes. A cup to be taken in the morning and at night.
Also, the researchers added: Manihot esculenta root (cassava), Dioscorea sp. Tuber (yam), Garcinia cola seed (bitter cola), Cola nitida cotyledon (kola), dried Zea mays (corn/maize), Cnetis ferruginea (omu aja or gboyin gboyin in Yoruba, amunketa in Igbo, Utina bua in Efik and Ukpe-ibieka in Bini), seeds of Mucuna sloanei (Horse eye bean in English, ukpo Ibo, karasuu in Hausa, and Yerepe in Yoruba), unripe Musa parasidiaca (plantain) and Piper guineensis are all ground together with sugar, and taken with water or cold pap.
Another herbal cure for low sperm count and weak erection identified by the researchers include: “The same plants as the foregoing in addition with Klainedoxa gabonenesis (wild mango, Ugili in Ibo), sugar and pure bee-honey are mixed together. A spoonful to be taken like that or with cold pap.”
For coated tongue, the researchers identified: Bark of Khaya ivorensis (Ogawo in Yoruba), bark of Pycnanthus angolensis (African Nutmeg and Wild Nutmeg in English, Akomu in Yoruba, Akujaadi in Hausa, and Egwunoma in Ibo), bark of Hymenocardia acida (ján ítaacéé in Hausa, ikalaga in Ibo, and òrùpa in Yoruba), bark of Bridelia ferruginea (Oha in Ibo, Ira or Iradan in Yoruba and Kimi or Kizni in Hausa), bark and root of Rauvolfia vomitoria (serpent wood or swizzler stick in English, asofeyeje in Yoruba, akanta in Ibo, and wada in Hausa, bark of Alstonia boonei (pattern wood/stoolwood in English, Ano in Igala, égb? in Ibo, ahùn in Yoruba), twigs of Citrus medica (lemon), bark of Enantia chlorantha (Awogba, Oso pupa or Dokita igbo in Yoruba, Osomolu in Ikale, Kakerim in Boki, and Erenba-vbogo in Bini), bark of Melicia excelsa (Iroko tree) are all cooked and the decoction to be taken.
They also identified: Costus afer (sugar cane), bark of Khaya grandifoliola, bark of Bridelia, ferruginea, fruit of Alchornea cordifolia (Christmas bush, Mbom in Efik), bark of Bridelia micrantha (ogangan in Edo, àfíá àkpáp in Efik, egede/ogaofia in Ibo, arasa in Yoruba, bark of Pycnanthus angolensis, sulphur, and lime water all poured into a container. One tablespoon of the extract to be taken before breakfast.
For piles, the researchers noted: 12 seeds of Croton penduliflorus (Aworoso in Yoruba) and seven cubes of sugar are ground and poured into bottle containing kernel oil (30cl), then left for seven days, after which the first dose of two table spoonful will be taken. Later, one spoonful every morning is to be taken before breakfast. The drug is to be taken at four days interval.
For menstrual disorders, the researchers noted: Water or alcohol extract of the leaves of Dalbergiella welwitschii (Emosho-elemosoo, emeso- igangan, afoso in Yoruba, West African black wood), twigs mixed with potash is to be taken for three days, morning and evening.
For vaginal discharge (leucorrhoea) the researchers identified: “Root of Glyphea brevis (Aloanyasi in Ibo, Atori in Yoruba), root and leaves of Senna podocarpa (Agelo-ogala in Ibo, and Asuwon in Yoruba), Senna alata (Asunrun oyinbo in Yoruba, Ogalu in Ibo), Allium ascalonicum (Shallot, Alubosa elewe in Yoruba) and potash are put together into a container, and hot water poured on the mixture. The recipe is left till the next day. One glass cup to be taken every morning before breakfast for three days. The preparation is also suitable for seminal discharge in men.
“Root of Croton zambesicus (Koriba or Icen maser in Hausa, Aje kokofole in Yoruba, Mfam in Ekoi and Moramora in Kilba), three seeds of Garcinia cola, Acacia nilotica leaves (Booni in Yoruba), three seeds of Aframomum melegueta (Alligator pepper), leaves of Mimosa pudica and small quantity of potash are ground together, and taken with cold pap.
For fevers, the researchers identified: “A decoction of the root of Sphenocentrum jollyanum, Zingiber officinale (ginger), bark of Khaya grandifoliola, root and bark of Rauvolfia vomitoria, bark of Alstomia congensis, root and bark of Senna sceptabilis, root of Zanthoxylum xanthoxyloides, leaves of Ocimum grattisimum.”
The researchers from the Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Lagos, wrote: “An ethno-botanical survey of three largest herbal markets and medicinal plants used for treating ailments in Lagos State of Nigeria was undertaken by means of oral and written questionnaire. Traditional medicine is undoubtedly a reliable alternative approach to health care delivery in the metropolis because it is cheap, easily accessible, and efficacious.
“Herbs are obtained from bushes around the neighbourhood and forests from adjacent states. Recipes for the treatment of common ailments which are reported almost on daily basis such as hypertension, dysentery, low sperm count and weak erection, coated tongue, pile, menstrual disorder, leucorrhoea and fevers were given by the practitioners.