Boehmeria rigida Benth.
Urera elliotii Rendle
Urera rigida is a climbing shrub producing stout, rather soft stems, to 25 metres tall. These grow into the surrounding vegetation, attaching themselves by means of adventitious roots[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of fibre.
The stinging hairs cause pustules and blisters on the skin[
The plant is an ingredient of arrow poisons[
West tropical Africa - Sierra Leone to Benin and Cameroon.
Dense primary forest and the more open secondary formations; wooded ravines; gallery forests; forest edges; secondary scrub on granitic mountain tops; epiphytic on the base of trunks; humid, swampy hollows; from 300 - 1,500 metres[
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The plant can tolerate periodic inundation of the soil[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
The plant has many medicinal uses[
In African traditional medicine a decoction of the plant is drunk as a diuretic[
A decoction of the leaf is taken to treat neuralgia[
]. The leaf sap is added to palm wine and drunk as a treatment for diarrhoea with blood[
]. The leaf sap, combined with the sap of Costus afer, plus water, is taken as a remedy against pain in the side in cases such as pneumonia[
]. The powdered leaves are added to rice as an aphrodisiac.[
A leaf poultice is applied twice daily in the treatment of furuncles[
The sap from the crushed inflorescence is taken as a poison antidote[
The stem contains a colourless gum of unrecorded attribute[
The stem bark yields a strong, black fibre. It is used for cordage and making fishing lines[
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