The importance and usefulness of herbal medicines haven’t been more profound than this period of global health crisis.
In an era where the strength of one’s immune system holds the key to the person’s survival, the patronage of herbal medicine has witnessed a dramatic rise.
In Ghana, health experts have advised that people rely on indigenous foods to boost their immune systems.
If you have a relative abroad, he or she would have in the last five months asked for some local herbs that strengthens the immune system.
But before COVID-19, there existed these trees or herbs which have since time immemorial been loyal servants to Ghanaians and for that matter Africa.
There’s that herb that with a little squeeze and a drop of liquid substance on your wound, you get your healing faster than you can imagine.
There is also the bark of that tree that when drunk after boiling, chases that stubborn malaria out of your body.
GhanaWeb today brings a list of some indigenous trees or medicines you might have forgotten.
Acheampong (Siam weed)
Do you have a fresh cut with blood is oozing non-stop? Just get a leaf or more of ‘acheampong’, rub it in your palms, squeeze and drop the liquid on the cut. Bingo, bleeding will stop. The leaves can also be used to heal the wound.
It also helps in the treatment of snake poison when applied immediately after a bite.
Acheampong is also used to cure stomach aches and preserve dead bodies. It is also used in the treatment of Bilharzia.
Different societies have different names for it but his purpose and efficacy remain the same.
Some historians say it was introduced into the country in the 1970s.
The efficacy of neem tree can be attested to by almost every Ghanaian.
The bark and leaves of neem tree are goldmines for healing nearly every type of ailment.
If you grew up in the villages or conservative home, you might have been a beneficiary of the efficacy of the neem tree.
Neem leaves are good to kill bacteria as well as cure leprosy, eye disorders, stomach upset, loss of appetite, skin ulcers, and diseases of the heart alongside liver problems.
When sick, particularly malaria, just boil some neem leaves in water, cover yourself with some heavy cloth or blanket and treat yourself with the heat from it.
It is important to seek the advise of certified herbal doctor before doing this.
As the name suggests, its bitter but a potent source of cure for a lot of sicknesses.
It cures stomach aches, fights prostate cancer, pneumonia, infertility among others.
Bitter leaf is boiled and drank while hot for absolute benefit.
Pawpaw leaves have also been found to be useful in curing certain sicknesses or diseases.
Its nutritive value is enormous. The enzymes papain and chymopapain are the two biologically active components of pawpaw leaves and it has been established that they aid in digestion, hence prevent bloating.
Pawpaw leaves are also high in minerals like calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron and manganese.
With the advice of a certified medical doctor, pawpaw leaves can be used in the treatment of diabetes, dengue fever, liver-related diseases, menstrual pain among others.
Dandelion is heavily patronized for being nutritious as well as helping in the cure of some ailments. In most home gardens, dandelions are grown and it can be eaten cooked or raw.
Dandelions contain A, C and K and E.
The root of the dandelion is rich in the carbohydrate inulin which supports the growth and maintenance of a healthy bacterial flora in your intestinal tract.
They help in cholesterol and sugar and thus are good for diabetes. They aid in weight loss and low blood pressure.
The bark of a mango has been found to be a good cure for malaria. When taken after boiling, the nutrients derived are able to fight malaria.
The leaves of the mango tree also treats kidney stones, dysentery, respiratory problems, hiccups and others.
Nunum (scent leaf)
Nunum as it is known in Ghana has a myriad of benefits that it offers the body when used.
Weight management, treatment of fungal infections, malaria, catarrh and fever are just few of the many miracles Nunum performs on the body.
Akoko mesa (Basil leaves)
Basil leaves are revered for their strong medicinal and healing properties.
Basil leaves are known to be good in digestion and also fight diabetes. One of its hidden benefit, according to experts, is its ability to fight depression.
Basil leaves also heal stomach upsets and help in detoxification.
Prekese (Aidan fruit)
Prekese is one of those plants that can be found in every part of Ghana and it’s not difficult to understand why.
The relevance and importance of Prekese is widespread and Ghanaians across board hold it in high esteem.
Prekese is known to be a good healer of wounds. It is said that the grain in it, when ground and applied to a wound, it heals quickly.
Diabetes and weight loss can also be cured by prekese.
Abedru (Turkey berry)
The last but certainly not the least on our list is the Turkey Berry.
At peak of Ghana’s coronavirus fight, it was mentioned as one plant that could help Ghanaians build their immune systems.
Turkey berry is high in iron and helps in the production of red blood cells.
Cancer, diarrhea, diabetes can be cured by Abedru.