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Plants Used for Different Ailments Based on the ‘Doctrine of Signatures’ (Southwestern Nigeria)

Petiveria alliaceae - ital is vital

Researchers: Aworinde David Olaniran, Erinoso Sakiru Morenikeji, Ogundele Alimi Adeyemi, Teniola Olasimbo Anuoluwapo and Ojo Samuel Omoniyi

Institutions: Department of Biological Sciences, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Nigeria; Department of Biology, Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, Nigeria.Received 2 March, 2018; Accepted 20 April, 2018

Abstract:The knowledge and application of the notion of “doctrine of signatures or correspondences” was evaluated among the Ikale and Ilaje people of Ondo State, Southwestern Nigeria. Information was solicited by administering questionnaires to one hundred and five (105) informants. Periodic field observations were also made. The research yielded 60 plants belonging to 37 families. The plants have characteristics such as colour, taste, habit, structure, and appellation which are suggestive of their trado-medical uses. Azadirachtha indica, Petivera alliaceae, Vernonia amygdalina, and Morinda lucida commonly known as “bitters” are used as antimalarial plants. Due to the shape of their fruits/tubers, Kigelia africana and Ipomoea batatas formed part of recipes used in the treatment of breast disorders while others such as Carica papaya and Alstonia boonei are useful as botanical galactogogues. Plants used for magical preparations are also documented. This study confirms the application of the doctrine in plant knowledge and uses. This doctrine can be applied in future bio-prospect and drug development.

Profile of plants used for different ailments based on the “Doctrine of Signatures” in Ikale and Ilaje Communities of Ondo State,
Southwestern Nigeria.

S/NLocal Name (Nigeria: Yoruba)Botanical NameCommon NameFamilyPart UsedSignatureMedicinal Use
1.DongoyaroAzadirachtha indica A. JussNeem treeMeliaceaeLeaf, BarkTasteMalaria
2.Awogba arunPetiveria alliaceae L.Congo rootPhytolacaceaeStem barkTasteMalaria
3.Ewe teaCymbopogon citratus (DC.) StapfLemon grassPoaceaeLeafTasteMalaria
4.Ogbe akukoHeliotropicum indicum L.Cock’s combBoraginaceaeFruitShapeMouth wash
5.AranSpigelia anthelmia L.Worm weedLoganiaceaeWhole plantNameMemory enhancer
6.AlupayidaUvaria picta (Jacq.) Desv.DabraFabaceaeLeafNameMagic/Voodoo
7.AnikanwogbarunAnthocleista vogelli Planch.Cabbage treeGentianaceaeLeaf, BarkNameGeneral remedy
8.EwuroVernonia amygdalina DelileBitter leafAsteraceaeLeafTasteMalaria
9.AfonTreculia africanaAfr. breadfruitMoraceaeFruitShapeMiscarriage
10.JogboHyptis suaveolens (L.) PoitBush teaLamiaceaeWhole plantTasteMalaria
11.Eriri-IjebuVernonia colorata (Wild.) DrakeBitter treeAstercaeaeLeaf, RootNamePoison antidote
12.Oju ologboAbrus precatorius L.Precatory-beanFabaceaeLeafMinty leaf tipCough/Expectorant
13.OseAdansonia digitata L.BaobabMalvaceaeFruitShapeBladder disease
14.AtoChasmanthera dependens Hochst.ChasmantheraMenispermaceaeStemNameBone fractures
15.Ewe jokojeCissampelos owariensis P.Beauv. exCissampelosMenispermaceaeLeafNameMagic/Voodoo
16.Ewe ajeMyrianthus arboreus P. Beauv.Cork woodUrticaceaeLeafNameBusiness booster
17.Eegun ejaPhyllanthus muellarianus (K.untze)MllyrobalanPhyllanthaceaeStem, LeafThornsSkin diseases
18.AbiwereHybanthus enneaspermus (L.) F. MueSpade flowerViolaceaeWhole plantNameEasy delivery
19.IjeboEntandrophragma utile Dawe & SpragueUtileMeliaceaeBark, RootColourBlood tonic
20.EmiVitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn.Shea butterSapotaceaeSeedColourNasal congestion
21.GbogbonseUvaria afzelii Scott-ElliotCluster pearAnnonaceaeRoot, FruitNameGeneral remedy
22.IrosunBaphia nitida Lodd.Cam woodFabaceaeLeafNameTooth decay
23.Ira-OdanBridellia ferruginea Benth-PhyllanthaceaeStemNameMouth wash
24.Abeere-olokoBidens bipinnataMarigoldAsteraceaeFruitNameEasy delivery
25.OwoLophira alata Banks ex C.F. GaertnIron woodOchnaceaeLeafNameRespect/Favour
26.SawerepepeCyathula prostata (L.) BlumePasture weedAmaranthaceaeWhole plantNamePain relief
27.Odundun-owoEmilia coccinea (Sims) G. Don.EmiliaAsteraceaeLeafNameMalaria/Jaundice
28.Oro-weweEuphorbia laterifolia Schum & Thonn.-EuphorbiaceaeLeaf, RootColour of latex Ear infections
29.FuyafuyaLapartea aestuans (L.) Chew.Indian woodnetteUrticaceaeWhole plantNameStops bedwetting
30.IboLandophia hirsuta (Hua) PichonIbo treeApocynaceaeStemNameErectile dysfunction
31.OkikanSpondias mombinYellow mombinAnacardiaceaeLeafNamePlacenta evacuation
32.AbereParinari sp. Aubl.-ChrysobalanaceaeFruitNameGeneral favour
33.IsirigunCarica papaya L.PawpawCaricaceaeLeaf, LatexColourLactation
34.PatanmoMimosa pudica L.Sensitive plantFabaceaeWhole plantNameTo prevent wastefulness
35.AkomuPycnanthus angolensis (Welw.) WarbWild nutmegMyristicaceaeBarkNameTo prevent sore gum
36.OjijiDalbergia lactea Vatke-FabaceaeStemShapeSkin diseases
37.AlawefonSterculia tragacantha Lindl-MalvaceaeLeafSticky leavesDysentery/Pile
38.OdundunBryophyllum pinnatum (Lam.) OkenResurrection plantCrassulaceaeLeafShapeFever/Ear ache
39.SagereStrophanthus hispidus DC.Br. StrophanthusApocynaceaeStemNameRheumatism/Stroke
40.AtareAframomum melegueta K. SchumAlligator pepperZingiberaceaeFruitSeed setPrevents miscarriage
41.ApataMicrodesmis puberula Hook. F. ex. Microdesmis PlanchMicrodesmisPandaceaePodShapeGeneral weakness
42.AfefeTrema orientalis (L.) BlumeCharcoal treeCannabaceaeStem barkTextureMeasles
43.PandoroKigelia africana (Lam.) Benth.Sausage treeBignoniaceaeFruitShapeBreast cancer
44.WorowoSenecio biafrae Oliv. & HienEnglish spinachAsteraceaeLeafNameBlood tonic
45.OruwoMorinda lucida Benth.Indian mulberryRubiaceaeLeafTasteMalaria
46.Eekan ehoroAllophyllus africanus P. Beauv.Afr. false currantSapindaceaeLeafShapeSkin rashes
47.Kankan ayabaLuffa cylindrica M. RoemLoofahCucurbitaceaeFruitStructureSponge
48.IseketuSida acuta Burm.f.Wire weedMalvaceaeWhole plantNameTreatment of ulcer
49.KukundukuIpomoea batatas (L.) Lam.Sweet potatoConvolvulaceaeTuberShapeBreast cancer
50.IyerePiper guineense Schum. & Thonn.Afr. black pepperPiperaceaeFruitTasteTreatment of hypertension
51.AkerejuponSphenocentrum jollyanum PierreSphenocentrumMenispermaceaeRootColourPile
52.IruParkia biglobosa (Jacq.) R.Br.ex DonAfr. Locust beanFabaceaeSeedShapeVisual modality
53.Eyin olobePhyllanthus amarus Schum. & Thonn.PhyllanthusPhyllanthaceaeLeafShapeKidney stones
54.Emi-ileEuphorbia hirta L.Asthma herbEuphorbiaceaeWhole plantLatexPoison anti-dote
55.AhunAlstonia boonei De Wild.Pattern woodApocynaceaeStem latexColourGalactogogue
56.Awusa/AsalaPlukenetia conophora Mull. Arg.Afr. walnutEuphorbiaceaeRootTasteSnake bite anti-dote
57.AgbayunSynsepalum dulcificum (Sch. & Th.)Miracle plantSapotaceaeFruitShapeWeight loss
58.Oka-babaSorghum bicolor (L.) Moench.SorghumPoaceaeStem, LeafColourBlood tonic
59.ElemiDacryodes edulis H.J. LamBush pearBursaceaeFruitStructureKidney stones
60.OrogboGarcinia kola HeckelBitter kolaClusiaceaeSeedShapeHepatoprotective


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Source: Journal of Medicinal Plants Research – The “Doctrine of Signatures” in herbal prescriptions in Ikale and Ilaje communities of Ondo State,
Southwestern Nigeria by Aworinde David Olaniran, Erinoso Sakiru Morenikeji etal. Received 2 March, 2018; Accepted 20 April, 2018

Download – Journal of Medicinal Plants Research – The ‘Doctrine of Signatures’ (Full)

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