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  • Sonderband 3/85, 306-308 Ethnobotanik

    The Healing Properties of Herbs Chief F. O. Esho

    Das Foto zeigt Chief Esho bei seinem vortrag "The Role of Traditional Healers to the Dying Persons in a Community, particularly in Nigeria", gehalten auf der 7. Int. Fachkonferenz Ethnomedizin, 5. - 8. April 1984 in Heidelberg, hier im groBen Saal des Volkerkundemuseums, HauptstraBe 235. (Foto: E. Schroder)


    It has been shown through researches that a single leaf may con-tain more than one healing property in certain proportion, it has also been proved, that a single herb may also cure more than one or two diseases, and this is the result of various healing properties or substances available in the herb. In a medicinal plant, the root may be good for the treatment of one disease while the back will be used for another disease and even the leaves and the seed of the same plant may be used for other healing purpose etc. But in some cases the parts of a plant may contain certain uniform healing pro-perties shown in taste, odour, and medicinal reactions.

    As a result of modern scientific research and analysis, we can prove clinically the therapeutic uses of herbs, and it is unsurpas-sed in efficacy and in its complete safety in use as curative drugs, these herbs are very rich in mineral, vitamins and other micro-nu-trients which enable the body to manufacture when required all the substances necessary to combat disease in all its forms and manifes-tations. These micro-nutrients which are found in herbs give the body the means to cure and also helps to maintain healthy cell struc-ture and thus prevent diseases. All parts of herbs are used medici-nally, e.g. the leaves, back, root, flowers, seeds, juice and even powdered dust from herbs are also used to form medicine, and these traditional medicine are made in form of decoction, infusion, lo-tion, ointment, soap, powder, and some are made in soup form, it is accord ing to circumstances and needs.

    It has been shown that more than a third of all remedies used in the Soviet Union,China,and Egypt to treat or to prevent diseases are of plants origin, the number of remedies obtained from plants is daily increasing, this follows the result of researches, which show that many powerful active agents are found in plants, though some of these agents are pOisonous, yet they can be used as remedies when properly diluted or neutralised by other agents of a milder nature. All these show the importance of the knowledge of the real healing properties of herbs, if we study herbs, flowers, roots, backs/leaves and seeds one will see the wonderful medicinal healing properties they contain. The first thing to understand about herbs is that they contain all the elements which are found in man, but in different forms.

    Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlag, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden

    E. Schrder, EthnobotanikEthnobotany Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 1985

  • The Healing Properties of Herbs 307

    For instance IRON: a very good element, because it removes waste products from the blood stream and it is richly found in onion, ITOGBIN root, EWEDU, back of maha-gony Khaya Grandifoliola, and some other herbs, it is a very good medicine for aneamia .Any one doing a lot of physical work needs plenty of iron, calcium and silicium ~

    MANGANESE: This is an effective neutrilizer of body acids. It is available in some herbs like RINRIN Peperomia peUuaida, ODUNDUN KoZanahoe erenata, WORO-DDO, IGBA-WOPOLO etc.

    POTASSIUM: Is needed for proper circulation of blood and to eliminate constipa-tion, it has being proved that most of water herbs like GBURE water Zeave, AYE-back, TEyo-root, tomatoes, green-mustered seed contain potassium.

    SODIUM: Is good for rheumatism, kidney stone, gall stone and if one is perspiring too much, this element can be found in root, and fruits, like OKRO, IPETA root Securidaca Long, AWUN back, EGELE-leaves Euphorbia Hirta, etc.

    CHLORINE: This is good for kidney diseases and for cleansing the intestines, it can be found in herbs like ASUNRUN -leaves Caciapodo Carpa, EFINRIN Ocimum viride, etc.

    We must know the fact that our body needs different kinds of herbs if we want to be healthy; this has made it possible for the traditio-nal healers to prepare the combination of herbs to produce a suit-able compound, each herb does different kinds of work in our body according to their healing properties. Therefore, some herbs are stimulating, while others are eliminating and sedative in effect, active substances for various diseases are readily available in plants and their potency is superb. I will now deal with some herbs and state their healing properties, that is I will only state their action in the body.

    OGANWO (MAHOGANY) Khaya grandifoZiola. This is a big tree, it is the back of this tree that the Traditional Healers used for herbal remedies: it is very good for anaemia, amenorhea, and other blood diseases; it is an excellent tonic; the in-fusion from these herbs looks much like wine when KANHUN is added; it makes the free flow of menstrual period; if mixed with other ingredients it cures stroke or paralysis and it is even used for hypertension or nervousness.

    EGBO IFON Traculia africana. This herb is very remarkable for its aromatic odour of both the root and its leaves: it is very good especially for the treatment of convulsion, vertigo, giddiness, shaking of the arms and legs and sometimes the head, it cures epilepsy when mixed with other materia medica; and also for Ar-teriitis; the leave is an excellent remedy for reducing body temperature and is also good in the treatment of delirium state of infections.

    ORUWO Morinda Luainda. The root and the leaves of this medicinal plant are very bitter and both are mostly in use; the infusion taste as wine and it is used in curing malaria fever, headache, cold, rise in body temperature, lasitude or other inflamatery diseases. When this herb is mixed with other medicinal properties it is used for goutrheumatism and jOint pains of the body; the root is very popular among the africans with different names.

    EGEO-INABIRI PhemlJago zeylanica L.: This herb is depurative and discutient, that is it purified the blood, it also dissolves and removes tumors.

    AJEOBALE Groton amabilis: This is astringent and pectoral, that is, it causes con-traction and arrests discharges, it also relieves chest affections.

    ISU GBEGBE Talinum iriangulare: This is astringent and anodyne, that is, it causes contraction in the body and arrests discharges, it also relieves pain.

    BAKA Gladiolus Sep.: This is laxative and diuretic, in effect, it promotes bowel action and increases secretion and flow of urine.

    OGEDE AGBAGBA/plantain Musaceaesa-Pientwn-paradisiaca: This is aphrodisiac and tonic. It is rejuvenating, invigorating and strengthening, it specifically acts on the male genital organ.

  • 30B ESHO

    ORONBO WEWE citrus a~antifolia: This is diaphoretic/aperient and anti-pyretic, that is it produces perspiration in the body and is gently laxative.

    EGBO AGBOSA Clausena anisata: This is Anti-rheumatic pains, and also act as sti-mulant, it also stop or soothing inflammation.

    EFINRIN Ocimum viride: This is carminative, aromatic, it is a very good medicinal plant for dysentry, it also purges in a gentle way, it has soothing effect on the body and relieves inflammation.

    ESU-RJPA Pennisetwrt pu:rpurea: This is astringent and also good for inpure blood and Luechorea.

    EWURO Vernonia amygdalina lime: This is depurative, tonic and it is used for asth-matic cough, cholerrhea and measles.

    TETEREGUN Gostus afar: This is Expectorant it is good for common cough, and when mixed up with other herb it is used for treatment of asthmatic cough.

    OSUNSUN Drypetes chevalieri: This is anodyne, depurative and tonic, it relieves pains, purifies the blood and strengthening the nerves, it also has effect on the male organ.

    ASUNWVN IBILE Caciapodo carpa: This is anti-syphilitic and laxative, that is, it has effect on the stomach and also cures venereal diseases.

    OBI EDUN (EPO, back) Cola caricifolia: This is demulcent and nervine that is, it has soothing effect on the nerves, it relieves inflammation, it also acts specifically on the nervous system, allaying nervous excitment.

    AIDAN Tetrapleura tetrapera: This is allerative and emetic, that is, it produces healthful change in the body without perceptible evacuation, it also induces vomiting.

    ESO IYEYE Piper guineense: This is antiseptic and tonic, that is, it prevents for-mation of pus in the body and also strengthens the nerves, it also help in treat-ing the diseases of mind.

    In conclusion, I think that it will be very good to have the full understanding of the Healing Properties of Herbs in order to know how to effectively make use of the medicinal herbs for healing pur-pose.