Aspilia guineensis O.Hoffm. & Muschl.
Aspilia latifolia Oliv. & Hiern
Wedelia africana P.Beauv.
Aspilia africana is a very rapid growing, semi-woody herb producing usually annual stems about 2 metres tall from a perennial woody root-stock[
]. It has a somewhat aromatic carroty smell[
It is widely gathered from the wild and used locally in traditional medicine[
Widespread in tropical Africa.
Waste land of the savannah and forested zones[
]. Often a weed of cultivated land and fallows[
The plant is often a weed of cultivated land and fallows within its native range[
The plant has a high crude protein content[
A very polymorphic plant, with at least four varieties recognized in Africa[
The fresh, bruised leaves and flowers of the plant are said to have extraordinary properties of stopping bleeding[
], in Liberia the plant is even credited with the capacity of arresting the bleeding of a severed artery[
]. Their application is said to draw up exudations (hence the Hausa vernacular name meaning ’draw up mucus’) and to promote rapid healing[
]. Their haemostatic activity is thought to be due to vaso-constriction[
A decoction of the plant has been recommended for internal use in treating pulmonary haemorrhage[
In addition to their use as a haemostatic, the leaves are also used to treat a range of other conditions:- they are made into a cough-medicine for children; a leaf-concoction is taken for gonorrhoea; a decoction is used to wash the face and eyes to relieve feverish headache; a leaf-infusion is taken to assist in childbirth and also to increase milk flow; an infusion, mixed with white clay, is taken to treat stomach-troubles[
Water in which leaves have been squeezed with a little salt and lime-juice added is much used as an eye-medicine to remove corneal opacities[
]. The water, with only salt added, is used as an eye-lotion for sun-blindness[
In Tanganyika a root-decoction is taken for tuberculosis[
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