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White-Weed/Billygoat-Weed For Health And Healing (Imi-Esu) In Yoruba

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White-Weed/Billygoat-Weed For Health And Healing (Imi-Esu) In Yoruba

What Is White-Weed/Billygoat-Weed?

White-Weed/Billygoat-Weed, botanical name known as Ageratum conyzoides, is native to Tropical America, especially Brazil, and considered an invasive weed in many other regions. It is an herb that is 0.5–1 m. high, with ovate leaves 2–6 cm long, and flowers are white to mauve. In Western part of Nigeria is known as “Imi-Esu/Rerin-Komi

What Are Its Useful Part?

  • Flowers
  • Leaves

Uses

As a medicinal plant, White-Weed/Billygoat-Weed is widely used by many traditional cultures, especially as an antidysenteric. It is also an insecticide and nematicide.

Healing/Medical Use Of White-Weed/Billygoat-Weed

The whole plant is antiinflammatory and antiallergic. Antinematocidal, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, smooth muscle relaxant, haemostatic, analgesic, antifungal, antibacterial and hypothermic activities have been recorded. The plant also has an antidiarrhoeal effect. The plant contains between 0.7 – 2.0% essential oil, plus alkaloids and saponins. The essential oils contained in the plant have antibiotic properties. The plant is highly embryotoxic to Dysderus flacidis and acts on embryonic development at an early stage.

The juice of the fresh plant, or an extract of the dried plant, is used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. The juice of the fresh plant is also useful in treating post-partum uterine haemorrhage.

The plant is used to treat constipation, infective hepatitis, eczema, epilepsy, fresh wounds, dizziness, diarrhoea, dysentery, sore eyes, fever, headaches, intestinal worms, filariasis, vomiting and nausea, wounds and cuts.

The juice of the root is antilithic. A paste of the root, mixed with the bark of Schinus wallichii, is applied to set dislocated bones. The leaves are styptic. They are dried and applied as a powder to cuts, sores and the ruptures caused by leprosy, The powder absorbs the moisture of the disease and forms a layer that is removed after 1 – 2 days. An effective cure for most cuts and sores, though it does not effect a complete cure for leprosy. The leaves are also used externally in the treatment of ague.

The juice of the plant is used to treat cuts, wounds and bruises. A paste of the leaves is used as a poultice to remove thorns from the skin. A paste made of the leaves mixed with equal amounts of Bidens pilosa, Drymaria cordata, Galinsoga parviflora and the rhizome of Zingiber officinale is used to treat snakebites.

The juice of the flowerheads is used externally to treat scabies, whilst a paste of them is used to treat rheumatism. A tea made from the flowerheads mixed with Ocimum tenuifolium is used to treat coughs and colds.

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