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Herbs - how to use herbs

Medicinal Plants of Nigeria and Their Uses

The use of medicinal plants is an important part of Nigeria’s culture. Traditional healers over the years have used plants to treat and prevent a wide range of illnesses. The information provided here is from the research paper – Traditional medicine and the future of Medicinal Plants in Nigeria by Emmanuel C. Chukwuma, Mike O. Soladoye, Roseline T. Feyisola.

Published in Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 2015; 3(4): 23-29.

Table 1: Some selected medicinal plants used in the traditional treatment of various ailments in Nigeria.

Scientific Name
Parts used
Medicinal Uses
1 Acanthaceae Asystasia gangetica (L.) T. Herb Whole plant Pile, astringent
2 Acanthaceae Elytraria marginata Vahl Herb Leaves Stomachache, chest pain, wounds
3 Acanthaceae Phaulopsis ciliata (Wild.) Hepper Herb Whole plant Wounds, laxative
4 Amaranthaceae Aerva lanata (L.) Juss. ex Schult. Herb Whole plant Ulcers, wounds, snake bite, diuretic, purgative
5 Amaranthaceae Alternanthera sessilis (L.) R. Br Herb Leaves, whole plant Antibacterial, astringent, headache
6 Amaranthaceae Celosia argentea L. Herb Leaves, roots, seeds Diuretic, gonorrhea, diarrhea
7 Amaryllidaceae Crinum jagus Baker Herb Leaves, bulbs Anthelmintics, purgative
8 Anacardiaceae Anacardium occidentale L Tree Leaves, fruits, stem Typhoid fever, malaria, cough,
bark haemmorhoids
9 Anacardiaceae Mangifera indica L. Tree Leaves, bark Malaria, diarrhoea, diabetes, sore-throat,
10 Anacardiaceae Spondias mombin L. Tree Fruits, bark, leaves Diuretic, fever, cold, gonorrhea
11 Annonaceae Annona senegalensis Pers. Tree Leaves, roots, fruits Cancer, dysentery, cough, venereal
diseases, toothache,
12 Annonaceae Enantia chlorantha Oliv. Tree Bark Fever, jaundice
13 Annonaceae Monodora myristica Dunal Tree Seeds Constipation, arthritis, anaemia,
14 Annonaceae Uvaria chamae P. Beauv Leaves Toothache
15 Apocynaceae Alafia barteri Oliv. Liana Leaves, roots Diabetes
16 Apocynaceae Alstonia boonei De Wild Tree Roots, leaves Astringent, fever, diabetes,
17 Apocynaceae Funtumia elastica (Preuss) Stapf. Tree Stem, latex Pile, jaundice
18 Apocynaceae Holarrhena floribunda (G. Don) Tree Bark, leaves, whole Anti-malaria, gonorrhea, dysentery,
Dur & Schinz plant jaundice
19 Apocynaceae Picralima nitida (Stapf) T.Dur & Shrubs Bark, roots Fever, diabetes, desentery
20 Apocynaceae Rauvolfia vomitoria Afzel Tree Rook, bark, leave Convulsion, jaundice, measles, herpes,
sap internal disorder
21 Arecaceae Cocos nucifera L. Tree Bark, nuts, root Dysentery, diabetes, migraine,
toothache, liver ailment, laxative
22 Asclepiadaceae Calotropis procera R.B Shrub Leaves, roots, latex, Diabetes, diarrhoea, dysentery, cough
bark elephantiasis, leprosy, ringworm,
23 Asclepiadaceae Gongronema latifolium Benth. Root, stem Haemmorhoids, anthelmintic
24 Asclepiadaceae Pergularia daemia (Forssk) Climber Whole plant Fever, piles, diabetes
Diarrhoea, ulcer, diabetes, skin diseases,
25 Asteraceae Ageratum conyzoides L. Herb Whole plant irregular menstruation and menstrual
26 Asteraceae Aspilia africana (Pers.) C.D. Herb Leaves, whole plant Stomach disorders, Skin diseases,
Adams. haemmorhoids
27 Asteraceae Chromolaena odorata (L.) King Herb Leaves Antimicrobial, fever, headache,
& Rob. dysentery, haemmorhoids
28 Asteraceae Synedrella nodiflora (L.) Gaertn. Herb Leaves Sores, skin infections
29 Asteraceae Tridax procumbens L. Herb Whole plant Stomachache, backache
30 Bignoniaceae Kigelia africana Benth Tree Leaves, stem-bark Anti-cancer
31 Bignoniaceae Newbouldia laevis (P.Beauv) Tree Bark, roots, leaves Epilepsy, diabetes, convulsions, skin
Seaman ex Bureau. infections
32 Bombacaceae Adansonia digitata L. Tree Leaves, fruit pulp, Malaria, asthma, diabetes
33 Bombacaceae Bombax buonopozense P. Beauv Tree Stem-bark, leaves Skin infections, stomachache, Blood
34 Bombacaceae Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn. Tree Leaves, oil Laxative, sores, rheumatism
35 Caesalpinaceae Senna alata (L.) Roxb Shrub Leaves, stem-bark Dysentery, skin diseases, anthelmintics,
36 Caesalpinaceae Senna hirsuta (L.) Irwin & Shrub Leaves, roots Antimicrobial, skin infection, purgative
37 Capparaceae Crateva adansonii Dc. Tree Leaves, roots Diabetes, tonic, stomachache, antipyretic
Leaves, fruits, stem Diabetes, malaria, dysentery, diabetes,
38 Caricaceae Carica papaya L. Shrub bark venereal diseases, catarrh, cough,
purgative, haemmorhoids
39 Chenopodiaceae Chenopodium ambrosioides L Herb Leaves, whole plant Anthelmintics, rheumatism, anti-cancer
40 Combretaceae Combretum platypterum Hutch. & Climber Leaves Febrifuge
41 Connaraceae Byrsocarpus coccineus (Schum & Shrub Leaves, roots Pile, dysentery, gonorrhea, tumours,
Thonn) Benth jaundice, cancer, haemmorhoids
42 Connaraceae Cnestis ferruginea DC Shrub Leaves, roots Laxative, fever, toothache,
43 Convolvulaceae Merremia tridentata (L.) Hallier Climber Whole plant Gonorrhea
44 Costaceae Costus afer Ker-Gawl Tall herb Stem, roots Nausea, stomachache, aphrodisiac
45 Crassulaceae Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam) Pers. Herb Leaf sap Diuretic
46 Cucurbitaceae Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad Tree Whole plant, roots, Purgative, diabetes, anthelmintics,
fruit pulp contraceptive
47 Cucurbitaceae Coccinia barteri (Hook. f.) Keay Climber Whole plant Venereal diseases
48 Cucurbitaceae Momordica charantia L. Climber Leaves, fruits, Ulcers, burns, skin infections, diabetes,
whole plant convulsion, pile
49 Cucurbitaceae Telfaria occidentalis Hook.f. Climber Leaves Blood tonic, convulsion
50 Cyperaceae Mariscus flabelliformis Herb Roots Root is aromatic
51 Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea bulbifera L. Climber Fruits Boils, fever
52 Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea dumentorum (Kunth) Climber Leaves, tubers Malaria, abdominal pain
53 Euphorbiaceae Acalypha fimbriata Herb Leaves Ulcer, rheumatism, asthma
Schum. & Thonn.
54 Euphorbiaceae Alchornea cordifolia (Schumach. Shrub Leaves, stem, bark Fever, diabetes, antimicrobial,
& Thonn.) Muell. Arg. haemmorhoids
55 Euphorbiaceae Alchornea laxiflora (Benth) Pax Shrub Leaves, roots Typhoid fever, antioxidant
et K. Hoffm
56 Euphorbiaceae Bridelia ferruginea Benth Shrub Leaves, stem-bark, roots Diabetes, anti-cancer, haemmorhoids
57 Euphorbiaceae Bridelia micrantha (Hochst) Baill Small tree Leaves, roots, bark Headache, migraine
58 Euphorbiaceae Croton lobatus L. Herb Leaves, root Skin diseases, rheumatism
59 Euphorbiaceae Euphorbia heterophylla L. Herb Leaves, roots Purgative, skin infections
60 Euphorbiaceae Flueggea virosa (Roxb. ex Wild.) Shrub Leaves, roots Cancer, dysentery
61 Euphorbiaceae Jatropha curcas L. Shrub Leaves Haemmorhoids
62 Euphorbiaceae Mallotus oppositifolius Mull. Arg. Shrub Leaves, roots Astringent, ringworm
63 Fabaceae Caesalpina bunduc (L.) Roxb Shrub Leaves, seeds, roots Fever, diabetes, anthelmintics
64 Fabaceae Albizia adianthifolia (Schumach.) Tree Stem bark Gonorrhea, cough, diabetes, night
(Mimosoideae) W.Wight blindness, haemmorhoids
65 Fabaceae Albizia ferruginea (Guill & Perr) Tree Root, stem bark, Dysentery, constipation
(Mimosoideae) Benth leaves
66 Fabaceae Albizia zygia (DC) J. F. Machr. Tree Leaves, stem bark Astringent
67 Fabaceae Leucaena leucocephana (Lam) Small Leaves Anti-microbial
(Mimosoideae) Dewit tree
68 Fabaceae Parkia biglobosa Benth. Tree Leaves Anti-inflammatory
69 Fabaceae Abrus precatorius L. Climber Leaves, seeds, roots Diabetes, cough, convulsion,
(Papilionioideae) rheumatism, conjunctivitis
70 Fabaceae Baphia nitida Lodd Small Leaves, bark, roots Skin diseases, constipation, small pox,
(Papilionioideae) tree diabetes
71 Fabaceae Centrosema pubescens Benth Climber Leaves Skin diseases
72 Fabaceae Crotalaria retusa L. Herb Leaves, root, seds Fever, diabetes, dysentery
73 Fabaceae Dalbergiella welwitschii (Baker) Shrub Stem, roots, leaves Purgative, diabetes, anthelmintics,
(Papilionioideae) Baker f. menstrual disorder.
74 Fabaceae Pterocarpus osun Craib Tree Root, stem bark Eczema, asthma, skin infections
75 Guttiferae Garcinia kola Heckel Tree Fruits, roots, stem- Anti-cancer, dysentery, diabetes,
bark toothache, cough
76 Icacinaceae Icacina trichanta Oliv. Shrub Leaves, roots, Rheumatism, aphrodisiac, anthelmintics,
exudates toothache, abortificent, purgative
77 Irvingiaceae Irvingia gabonensis (Aubry- Tree Leaves Spleen infection
Lecomte O’Rorke) Baill.
78 Labiatae Ocimum gratissimum L. Shrub Leaves, whole plant Diarrhoea, pile, diabetes, fever, cold,
79 Lamiaceae Solenostemon monostachyus (P. Herb Leaves Convulsion, stomachache
Beauv.) Briq.
80 Liliaceae Allium ascolanicum L Herb Whole plant Haemmorhoids, diabetes, anti-cancer,
81 Liliaceae Asparagus africanus Lam. Whole plant Antimicrobial, diuretic
82 Loganiaceae Anthocleista djalonensis A.chew Tree Leaves, stem-bark Eczema, diabetes, antipyretic, purgative,
abdominal pain
83 Lythraceae Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers. Tree Ripe fruits, leaves Diabetes
84 Lythraceae Lawsonia inermis L. Shrub Leaves Haemmorhoids
85 Malvaceae Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Herb Fruit Diabetes, fever, gonorrhea, dysentery
86 Malvaceae Sida veronicifolia Lam. Herb Whole plant Aphrodisiac, diabetes
87 Marantaceae Thaumatococcus danielli Benth. Herb Fruit Diabetics
88 Melastomataceae Heterotis rotundifolia (SM) Jac- Herb Whole plant Antimicrobial, venereal diseases, cough
89 Meliaceae Khaya grandifoliolia C. DC. Tree Bark Haemmorhoids, anti-cancer
90 Menispermaceae Chasmanthera dependens Hochst Climber Roots Haemmorhoids, diuretic
91 Menispermaceae Rhigiocarya racemifera Miers Climbing Leaves, seeds Sedative, aphrodisiac
92 Moraceae Antiaris toxicaria Lesch Tree Root, stem bark Purgative, skin diseases, epilepsy
93 Moraceae Ficus exasperata Vahl Tree Leaves, bark, roots Skin irritations, gonorrhea, urinary
ailments, haemmorhoids
94 Moraceae Ficus mucuso Welw. Ex Ficalho Tree Stem-bark Insomnia
95 Moraceae Ficus sur Forssk Tree Roots Haemmorhoids
96 Moraceae Milicia excelsa (Welw.) C.C. Tree Bark, roots, latex Nausea, malaria, abdominal pain,
Berg insomnia
97 Moraceae Musanga cecropioides R. Br. Tree Roots, leaves, bark, Dysentery, cough, anthelmintics
98 Moraceae Myrianthus arboreus P.Beauv. Tree Bark Dysentery, cough, anthelmintics
99 Moraceae Treculia africana Decne Tree Leaves, bark, roots Haemmorhoids, ulcer, cough, venereal
diseases, anaemia, malaria
Haemmorhoids, diabetes, diarrhoea,
100 Musaceae Musa paradisiaca L. Shrub Leaves, roots, fruits dysentery, epilepsy, goiter, gonorrhea,
101 Myristicaceae Pycnanthus angolensis (Welw.) Tree Leaves, stem-bark Black tongue, cough, fever, skin
Warb infections, anti-cancer
102 Myrtaceae Psidium guajava L. Tree Roots, leaves, stem- Haemmorhoids, fever, dysentery,
bark diarrhoea, malaria, stomach ache
103 Olacaceae Olax subscorpioidea Oliv. Tree Roots, leaves, stem, Yellow fever, jaundice, guinea worm,
bark, twigs venereal disease
104 Pandaceae Microdesmis puberula Hook f. Shrub Leaves, bark, seeds Dysentery, impotence, Diarrhoea, wound
105 Pedaliaceae Ceratotheca sesamoides Endl. Herb Seeds Relieve pains after circumcisions
106 Periplocaceae Parquetina nigrescens (Afzel.) Climber Leaves, roots Anti-cancer, blood tonic, haemmorhoids
107 Piperaceae Peperomia pellucida (L.) Kunth Herb Whole plant Haemmorhoids, hypertension,
convulsion, bone fracture
108 Piperaceae Piper guineense Schum & Thonn Climber Seed Haemmorhoids, anti-cancer, diabetes
109 Poaceae Bambusa vulgaris Schrad. Grass Leaves, young Haemmorhoids, gonorrhea,
shoots anthelmintics
110 Poaceae Saccharum officinarum L. Shrub Leaves, stem juice Diabetes, headache
111 Polygalaceae Carpolobia lutea G. Don Shrub Leaves, bark Aphrodisiac
112 Polygalaceae Securidaca longepedunculata Shrub leaves Anti-cancer
113 Portulacaceae Portulaca oleracea L. Herb Whole plant Fever, skin diseases, fever, astringent
114 Rubiaceae Morinda lucida Benth Tree Leaves, stem bark Malaria
115 Rubiaceae Nauclea diderrichii (De Wild. & Tree Roots, stem-bark, Gonorrhea, pile, malaria, dysentery
T.Durand) Merr. fruits
116 Rutaceae Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.) Tree Leaves, stem bark, Malaria,gonorrhea, haemmorhoids,
Swingle. fruit diabetes
117 Rutaceae Citrus sinensis Osbeck. Tree Stem-bark, leaves, Dysentery, headache, fever, toothache,
fruits anthelmintics
118 Sapindaceae Lecaniodiscus cupanioides Planch Tree Leaves, stem-bark, Fever, purgative, typhoid, jaundice,
ex Benth roots, seeds cough, malaria
119 Sapindaceae Paullinia pinnata L. Woody Leaves, roots, seeds Jaundice, leprosy, aphrodisiac, dysentery
120 Sapotaceae Chrysophyllum albidum G. Don Tree Bark, leaves Haemmorhoids, diabetes, stomachache,
121 Solanaceae Nicotiana tabacum L. Shrub Leaves Convulsion, stimulant
122 Sterculiaceae Theobroma cacao L. Tree Seeds, roots Gingivitis, toothache, stimulant
123 Tiliaceae Corchorus olitorius L. Woody Leaves, roots, seeds Diarrhoea, fever, asthma
124 Tiliaceae Glyphaea braevis (Spreng) Small Leaves, stem bark Fever, diarrhoea, toothache, fever
Monachino tree
125 Ulmaceae Trema orientalis (L.) Blume Tree Leaves, stem-bark Haemmorhoids, fever, cough, dysentery,
pneumonia, jaundice
126 Urticaceae Laportea aestuans (L.) Chew Herb Whole plant Piles, burns, astringent
127 Zingiberaceae Aframomum melegueta (Roscoe) Herb Leaves, seeds Haemmorhoids, diabetes, stimulant
Sources: Bhat et al. [17], Abubakar et al. [12], Odugbemi [18], Ugbogu et al. [19], Soladoye et al. [13, 4, 15].



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