African plants are a real concentrate of benefits. They have always been used to relieve, prevent or cure many ailments. Although modern medicine has proven itself, about 75% of the African population still uses traditional medicine. The accessibility and effectiveness of African plants are the reasons for this choice. Apart from their therapeutic benefits, they have interesting nutritional and cosmetic properties. It is therefore necessary to know the virtues of African plants well in order to be able to use them wisely. In this article, we make you (re)discover African plants and their virtues.
1- The néré, the magic plant
From its scientific name Parkia biglobosa, néré is a plant with multiple virtues. This plant species from the Mimosoideae family grows naturally in West African countries where it is also widely used.
The Néré has many properties. It is a vermifuge, diuretic, febrifuge, antiseptic, tonic, antineuralgic and anti-gonorrhagic. The leaves, barks, roots and fruits of Néré are edible and used for therapeutic purposes.
The fermented seeds of néré (African mustard or vegetable cheese) are a very famous ingredient in African cuisine. They are used as a seasoning to enhance the taste of sauces. An herbal tea from the roots or bark of this magical plant would be an effective remedy against bronchitis, hepatitis, infertility, venereal diseases and intestinal parasites. A steam bath with Néré leaves would also be effective against nervousness.
2- Kinkeliba, the plant of Longevity
Still known as quinqueliba, this plant has amazing virtues. The Kinkeliba is part of the great Combretaceae family and is native to West Africa. It is widely used in traditional African medicine and cosmetics.
Kinqueliba has depurative, digestive, cholagogue, choleretic, febrifuge and hepatoprotective properties. It acts as an anti-diabetes, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-malarial and antioxidant agent. This plant is therefore used to treat urinary disorders and infections, kidney failure, gallstones, liver problems and wound healing. It is also used to prevent strokes and treat malaria.
Dosage: For internal use, simply prepare a decoction of the leaves. A local application of the mixture obtained after crushing the fresh leaves for external use.
3- The African plum, the plant against the disease of the old man
From its scientific name Prunus Africana, the African plum tree is a very famous medicinal plant. It is used in Herbal Medicine to treat nocturnal pollakiuria and benign prostatic hyperplasia. It is found mainly in the countries of the center and west of the continent. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous properties that act well on the prostate.
The ferulic acid contained in the bark of the plant helps regulate cholesterol levels in the body, which makes it effective against hypercholesterolemia.
Decoctions of the leaves of Prunus Africana are used to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. The herbal tea is also effective against teething disorders in babies. The seeds are eaten and used in cosmetics.
Nutsedge is a well-known plant because of its tubers of the same name. Originally from Africa, it is found mainly in the western countries of the continent. It is actually a virtuous plant, all parts of which are edible and beneficial. The tubers contain fibre, vitamins, fatty acids, minerals and are used in traditional medicine.
Thanks to its emmenagogue diuretic, laxative and digestive properties, the decoction of the leaves of the tiger nut helps to restore the menstrual cycle. The infusion helps to improve the functioning of the urinary tract and treats digestive disorders. It is recommended by gynecologists to induce menstruation. It is also a slimming ally (it acts as a real appetite suppressant).
5- Green Jatropha, the miraculous plant
Green jatropha is a medicinal plant of African origin widely used in herbal medicine. It is mainly found in parts of some West African countries. Although its seeds are toxic to humans and animals, its fruits, leaves, roots, bark and stem are used for medicinal purposes. It has powerful properties that help relieve certain chronic pain.
An infusion of the leaves or stem helps to treat typhoid fever, cattle cough and malaria. The fruits help regulate blood pressure and the roots are used against dysentery and syphilis. The latex of green jatropha is disinfectant and used against snakebites.
6- Moringa, the plant of life
Moringa is a medicinal plant very widespread in certain West African countries such as Benin, Senegal, Ivory Coast… All its different parts are used in herbal medicine (seeds, leaves, roots, bark). Its leaves are used in cooking in almost all western countries. It is endowed with antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antitumor properties.
Its leaves are used to prevent or treat malaria, fatigue and anemia. Its roots are used in the treatment of coughs and colds. The flowers and seeds are also highly recommended for treating diabetes.
7- Artemisia, the miracle plant
Artemisia, by its real name also called artemisia, is a medicinal plant that has been the subject of debate for several years. Experiments and tests have revealed its effectiveness in treating malaria. It also proved its worth during the appearance of the covid where certain African populations used it against. The results were positive and conclusive. This plant is very powerful.
It has been used in traditional African medicine for several millennia. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic and anti parasitic.
It improves blood circulation, fights against chest and muscle pain, fatigue, phlebitis and digestive disorders.
8- The clove
The clove is an African plant renowned in herbal medicine, cooking and cosmetics. Its leaves and fruits called cloves have several virtues. This African medicinal plant has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-infectious and draining properties.
The infusion of cloves is effective against muscle pain. An herbal tea from the leaves helps relieve toothaches and chronic migraines. The leaves are used to treat skin blemishes, allergies and hair problems.