For one to be knowledgeable in the names and purposes of herbs is a blessing, because it can be helpful in many ways. Gone were the days when our forefathers used herbs in all their daily activities.
Our forefathers used to put these herbs in their meals, they knew what kind of herbs could be in cooking and the healthy benefits the herbs were to them. No wonder their lifespan were that long; one could last more than 100 years on earth unlike this generation where young is perishing at a tender age.
Ghana is endowed with vast herbs that have amazing and remarkable benefits to our body. Spending your time to learn these herbs and their uses will be worthwhile eventually; so in this article, I have laid out the common herbs we see every day that we have little or no knowledge of, and their uses.
Without further ado, these are the common herbs in Ghana and their healthy benefits:
Waterleaf in Akan is called “bokoboko” and grows mostly everywhere. Not everyone knows its uses, so we deem it as weed and we clear them away. However, this waterleaf is a strong herb that is of many help to the human body.
This waterleaf treats liver disease by bringing down the concentration of enzyme in the blood.
This waterleaf is highly recommended for pregnant women as it prevents anaemia and boosts the blood level by adding them in your meals.
It regulates the body cholesterol level because of the dietary fiber it contains. The dietary fibre reduces the absorption of cholesterol from the gut.
It prevents cancer due to the antixiodant found in the waterleaf; it also impedes the growth of tumor.
Boosts the immune system because of the presence of Vitamin C in the leaf which helps the body to fight against diseases. Adding this to your food will be of many help to your body.
This waterleaf lowers blood pressure in the body.
It also prevents cancer by stopping the presence of DNA that thrives in cancer cells in organs like the liver, lungs and breast.
Dandelion is one of the common herbs we see around us, and we look at them as plants obstructing the beauty of our houses. Little did we know that this dandelion leaves contain Vitamin A, B, C and E and are very rich in Calcium, Potassium, magnesium. It had countless health benefits:
Dandelions help with urinary tract infections as it removes toxic substances from the kidney and the urinary system.
Dandelion is effective in reducing blood pressure
The roots of dandelion can be used to treat stomach and liver conditions. It also helps in the treatment of heartburns, eczema, diabetes and even cancer.
Basil is known as “akuko besa” in the Twi dialect and it can be used in many amazing ways. This herb is very fresh and green in colour.
One can boil the fresh leaves of this herb and drink; this will clean the body system and also promote free flow of urine.
It reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension.
It prevents the growth of bacteria that cause dental decay.
It helps the liver function properly by preventing fat from building up in the liver and keep your liver healthy.
The oil being extracted from basil is used for treating wounds, skin infections and cuts.
It also lowers the cholesterol level in the body.
(4) Cock’s comb
I never thought this plant possesses the abilities to treat illnesses, only saw this herb to be a weed. It is called “akonfem atiko” in the Twi dialect. This herb is a traditional medicine which is effective in treating wounds by using the extracted juice from the herb. The juice is also used as an eye drop for conjunctivitis.
(5) Scent leaf
This herb grows literally everywhere, and it is widely known for its strong scent, it is called “nunum” in Ghana. This leaf has amazing benefits:
It aids in digestion of food easily. If you are the type that loves to eat junk foods without adding vegetables, or loves eating late at night, make sure to use this leaf as it can speed up the digestion of these foods.
The scent leaf is known to be powerful in treating stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting.
The extracts of this leaf can be taken to relief ear and colon aches.
Scent leaves can be used in the treatment of malaria, catarrh and fever.
(6) Bitter Leaf
This leaf is also called “ewuro”, “kakade” in the local dialect. This leaf has remarkable health benefits, it can be chewed raw and can be used in meals also, but its healing powers are mostly reduced when they are cooked.
For treatment of stomach pains, one can chew the stem of the plant and swallow the water, the ache will before long stop. It is very bitter as the name already tells it all, but its healing powers are very formidable. One can also decide to grind the leaves with little drops of water, the water being produced after grinding should be drank.
Prostate cancer is really a killer disease, and the common symptoms of this is painful urination. We tend to be spending all our hard-earned money on medicines while there is a herb that God created to get rid of this disease. Bitter leaf, however, increases the flow of urine and reduces the pains one get when urinating, and is effective in treating prostate cancer.
The tridax leaves can be used in diverse ways to rid our body of diseases. This herb is native to India, it is green in colour and grows up to 60 cm.
The juice extracted from the leaves can be applied on wounds.
The extracts of the leaf are used for treating infectious skin diseases.
This plant is used to treat liver disorders and heartburn.
It’s also used to treat boils and cuts.
This is moringa plant, and it is very common but its amazing uses are still not known among Ghanaians.
The leaves and its barks can be infused and used for treating colds and coughs.
The extracts of moringa can be used to treat people with epilepsy.
The leaves, flowers, roots and seeds of the moringa have been shown to contain duiretic properties, which are able to minimize blood pressure in the human body.
The extracts of the moringa leaf are used to reduce the level of cholesterol in the body.
(9) Asthma plant
This is a strong herb and should not be mistaken for a useless weed. The appearance of it could goad one to see it as a useless plant and cleared away. This is a herb, locally known as “akuba plant” or “kakaweadwe”.
Decoction of this herb is used for skin infection.
Root decoction is used for nursing mothers who are in short of milk.
This herb is also used in the treatment of snake bites, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, cancer and kidney stones.
This herb is traditionally used in India to treat asthma.
The neem tree is very common and this tree likes to grow at anywhere. The leaves are bitter but they are also medicinal. The bark, fruits, roots and flower are also used for medicines.
The neem twigs are used for treating cough, asthma, hemorrhoid and low sperm levels.
The flower is used for reducing bile, controlling phlegm and treating intestinal worms.
Grind some neem leaves and drink it water to boost your immune system.