Some popular herbs in Ghana and their benefits.


In a previous article I listed some herbs and their names in Twi. This is the link if you would like to identify them in Twi as well as their pictures for easy identification

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In this article, I have selected some of the popular herbs and would list some of their uses and benefits.

Poison Devil's Pepper: People use it to treat convulsions, fever, weakness, inability to sleep, mental disorders, pain, arthritis, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, the health of the stomach, intestines and liver.

Alstonia Boonei: The bark, leaves, and roots are all used in relieving rheumatic pain. The leaf sap is used to cleanse sores. The bark sap is used externally to treat skin complaints. In Ghana, a decoction is given after childbirth to promote expulsion after birth.

Siam Weed: This is a traditional medicinal plant widely used for its wound healing properties. Ir can treat wounds, burns and skin infections.

Morinda Lucida: Decoctions and infusions or plasters of the root, bark and leaves are recognized remedies against different fevers, including yellow fever, malaria, trypanosomiasis and feverish condition during childbirth. The plant is also employed in cases of diabetes, hypertension, cerebral congestion, dysentery, stomachache, ulcers, leprosy and gonorrhea. A bark or leaf decoction is used in the treatment of jaundice and is combined with a dressing of powdered root bark as a treatment against itch and ringworm.

Scent Leaf: aids digestion as it helps with bowel evacuation and weight management. It can be used to treat oral infection killing all bacteria in the mouth and also tooth decay and bad breath. It is used in treating fever, cold, and catarrh. It is used in treating skin diseases and ringworm.

Justicia Flava: In Ghana, the plant is used internally and externally against fever, yaws and diarrhea in children. Its inflorescence is said to be a cure for dysentery. An infusion of the plant is taken with egg albumen and coconut juice against palpitations of the heart and leaf sap is used as an eye lotion.

Jute Mallow: In Ghana, Jute mallow is popularly used in making soup with different variance depending on which tribe you find yourself. However, it health benefits are numerous and they are; reducing internal bleeding, protecting eye health, reducing restless leg syndrome, supporting skin health and cell growth, fighting off colds and flu, reducing cholesterol, fighting against cancer development, maintaining healthy teeth and gums, preventing asthma, protecting and healthy hair and skin. This is due to its high nutritional value. The major nutrients include Vitamin K (78.33%), Vitamin B6 (38.15%), Iron (34.13%), Vitamin A (32.14%), Vitamin C (31.89%).

Lemon Balm: Lemon balm has traditionally been used to improve mood and cognitive function, but the potential benefits don’t stop there. it can help relieve stress, reduce anxiety, boost cognitive function, ease insomnia and other sleep disorders, treat cold sores, relieve indigestion, treat nausea, minimize menstrual cramps, ease headache pain, lessen toothache pain.

Basil: Traditional uses include the treatment of snakebites, colds, and inflammation within nasal passages. Sweet basil can be used in diets due to its flavor and fragrance. It also helps in reducing oxidative stress, supporting liver health, fighting cancer, protecting against skin ageing, reducing high blood sugar, supporting cardiovascular health and boosting mental health.

Cloves: Cloves are a great source of beta-carotene, which helps give them their rich brown color. The carotene family of pigments are important antioxidants and pro-vitamins. Carotene pigments can convert into vitamin A, an important nutrient for keeping your eyes healthy. It helps reduce inflammation, can help protect your stomach from ulcers and also improve general liver function.

Mistletoe: The Mistletoe is mostly known for its use during the Christmas festivities where couples kiss under the tree for a long lasting relationship. Moreover, mistletoe preparations have been used medicinally in Europe for centuries to treat epilepsy, infertility, hypertension, and arthritis.

So that is some herbs and their benefits. Note, some of these herbs have some level of toxicity and hence must be prepared with caution. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions don't forget to let me know. I am always at your service.

Thank you for your time and lots of love