Herbs are plants that have been used for medicinal purposes, as food spices, and also for fragrances. The leaves, stem, roots, and even seeds of these plants have various medicinal benefits. Before the advent of pharmacological medicines in Nigeria, people used herbal preparation for treating diseases and keeping themselves healthy.

Below are some of the popular Yoruba herbs, their English names, and their various uses.


Aloe version has been used for medicinal purposes because of its various heal benefits such as:

>> ingredient for making skin care products and it is also used to treat skin allergies because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
>> used on wounds and burns to speed up their healing effects. 
>Liquid extract from Aloe Vera leaves can be used for the treatment of sunburn.
>>The juice from the leaf can also be used to treat constipation which aids digestion and increases the water content in the intestine.
>>It can help in getting rid of intestinal worms.
>>Aloe Vera can be used for detoxification and helps to boost liver function.

 It uses includes the following:

>>treatment of skin infections such as dermatoses, scabies, and ringworms. The plant has proven antibacterial and antifungal properties which makes it suitable for treating infections.
>> used to treat body aches and pains such as toothaches, headache, and arthritis pain.
>> used for the treatment of amenorrhea and hepatitis and some sexually transmitted diseases.

The leaves, the flowers, the stem, and the roots are all believed to have medicinal use.

>> It can be used for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea and syphilis because of its antimicrobial properties.
>> It can also be used to treat staphylococcus infection and scabies popularly known as craw-craw by the Yorubas.
>> It can be used for the treatment of Athlete’s foot and eczema due to its antifungal properties.
>> It also has analgesic properties and therefore can be used for alleviating body pains. The herb has a history of being used in alleviating arthritis pain.

This drink is widely consumed among an average Nigerians. 
It is popularly used for the preparation of the local drink known as “Zobo”. But it also has some health benefits which includes:

>> Helps in reduction of blood cholesterol level.
>> Helps to lower blood pressure.
>> The leaves of the hibiscus contain polyphenol which is believed to have properties helps to inhibit the growth of skin cancerous cells.
Research has also linked hibiscus with prevention of prostate cancer. Discovery showed that leaf extract can inhibit human prostate cancer cell growth.

It is a popular Yoruba herb which is not difficult to find in the South Western region. It has such health benefits which include the following:

>> Use to aid digestion 
>> used for treating oral infections.
>> Extract squeezed from the leaves can be used for treating skin diseases such as ringworm.
>>It can also be used for treating urinary infections and sexually transmitted infections such as vaginitis and gonorrhoea.
>> used in soups and as preservatives

*EWE MINTI*(MINT LEAF) The leaves of Mint has several uses:

>> Oil extract from the leaves of Mint is a component used in herbal toothpaste.
>> Mint leaves have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components which can be helpful in treating seasonal allergies.
>> Dried Mint leaves can be mixed with baking soda and used as air freshener. It can also be used for aromatherapy because of its soothing effect.
>> Mint leaves also have other uses besides health benefits such as being used as insecticides for killing insects like ants, cockroaches, and wasps.

These plants are mostly grown around our backyards especially in water rich areas.

>>Its leaves are widely used for making vegetable soup. But it has other health benefits:

>>Waterleaf can lower the level of bad cholesterol in the body. This helps in preventing atherosclerosis and therefore reducing the risk of coronary artery disease and heart disease.
>>It is believed to have nootropic effect i.e. positive effect on the brain which helps to boost concentration and memory.
>> It has high fiber content and can be useful in reducing calorie intake and for weight loss.
>> It can also be used as a laxative for the treatment of constipation and indigestion.

Ewuro (Bitter Leaf)

The extract from the leaves which is collected by squeezing has the following benefits:

>> Treatment of skin infections like Ringworm.
>> Lactating mothers drink it to improve milk production.
>> Helps to improve appetite.
>> Treatment of skin allergies.
>> Treatment of respiratory tract infections and cough.
>> The bitter leaf can also be helpful in lowering blood glucose level in people with diabetes.

It also has numerous health benefits:

>> For the treatment of asthma and whooping cough.
>> For the treatment of urinary tract infection.
>> It can cure insomnia and even restlessness.
>>It can be used for alleviating menstrual pain.
>> It can be used to control excessive sexual drive in women.
>> It can also be used for alleviating joints and muscular pain.
>> The seed oil can be used to treat atherosclerosis.
>> The latex of wild lettuce can be used for killing germs on the skin by adding it directly to the skin.

Below are some of its medicinal uses:

>> It is used for the treatment of some skin infections like ringworm because of its antifungal properties.
>> It is used for the treatment of intestinal parasites and sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis.
>> It can also be used to treat convulsions.
>> It is also used for treating constipation, haemorrhoids, and inguinal hernia.


The scent leaf helps to boost sperm vitality.

 It most popular effect is its ability to help balance hormonal levels which can increase your chances of getting pregnant. It also helps to reduce symptoms of endometriosis.

 It can be used to improve hormonal levels. It also helps to eliminate cramps and pain

Credit: naija.ng

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