In Nigeria, there is a plant that is revered and valued. It is a plant that carries out much healing. It serves as food for various communities, it is a plant that can survive and thrive no matter how harsh the condition is, and a plant that can never be intimidated by any other plant. But added to the majesty of this great plant, in almost all tribes in Nigeria, this plant is named after the generic queen of England, Queen Elizabeth.

Chromolaena odorata is a tropical and subtropical species of flowering shrub in the family Asteraceae. It is a rapidly growing perennial herb plant that can grow up to 2.5 m which is 100 inches tall in open areas, in shady areas it behaves as a creeper, growing on other vegetation, and it can grow up to 10 m tall, that is 33 feet tall. It can produce up to 80,000 to 90,000 seeds per plant, and its seed in return grows almost rapidly to as tall as 3 cm in a day.

This plant in Nigeria especially in Eastern and Western Nigeria is known as ” Akukwo Eliza” and “Ew√© Akintola” respectively. It is also known as the “independence plant” in some other parts of Nigeria. But why is this so? It is believed by many citizens of Nigeria that the chromolaena odorata was only discovered in Nigeria after the land was visited by the Queen of England,

Queen Elizabeth. And ever since then, in different dialects and languages, they have incorporated the name of the queen of England into the plant. But apart from the name of this plant, why is this plant revered and valued among traditional medications?

Chromolaena odorata is believed to have several uses as well as healing properties, primarily due to its chemical compounds. Some potential use and healing features include:

1 FOR CONSUMPTION

The plant Chromolaena odorata is a plant that serves as a vegetable in soups prepared in African homes. The beautiful aroma that emanates from the leaves makes it a go-to leaf for cooking. According to researchers, the dried leaf of C. odorata contains ash (11%), crude fat (11%), fiber (15%), moisture (15%), crude protein (18%), and carbohydrate (31%). This is by far more healthy than most salad mixtures proofing without a doubt just how palatable this plant is.

2 ANTIMICROBIAL PROPERTIES

 

The plant has shown antimicrobial activity, which means it may help in combating certain bacteria and fungi, making it useful in treating wounds and skin infections. Many users pound the leaves into a paste which is applied on the affected area of the skin. For wounds, the plant is squeezed and the water from the plant is applied to the wounded area. The antioxidant found in the plant reduces bleeding and speeds up blood clotting time, effectively healing wounds. The plant is also used against malaria and is believed to be larvicidal against all types of mosquito vectors.

3 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EFFECTS

Chromolaena odorata has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties, suggesting it might assist in reducing inflammation and associated symptoms, as well as protect cells from collapse. Through the production of Eupolin extract, there is a boost in the accumulation of fibroblasts, and endothelial cells. This plant can stimulate fibroblast cell migration and proliferation.

4 BLOOD CLEANSER

It is believed that this plant is an effective blood purifier, and should be consumed by individuals with blood-related illnesses, which include low blood, and high blood pressure. It is also believed that the plant serves as a cancer-repellant and also a solution for individuals battling with stomach ulcers.

5 ANTICONVULSANT BENEFITS

Some communities use it to address convulsion, especially in young children. Convulsion which is a sudden and intense involuntary muscular contraction, has plagued kids in Africa. But after the discovery of Chromolaena odorata, the plant has been seen to be the perfect remedy against this strange disease. In many families, this leave is boiled and given to children in spoon-filled quantities, while in some other communities, these leaves are used for medicinal baby baths. Either way, it Is believed to work as an anticonvulsant. Other research also suggests that the Chromolaena odorata might have properties beneficial for respiratory health, and can be beneficial for people with sore throat and even asthma.

 

In conclusion, Chromolaena odorata isn’t just your average plant; it’s like nature’s gift to humans. Picture it as a friend with special powers: fighting off nasty germs, soothing inflammation like a green balm, and even playing the healer for cuts and bruises. It’s been part of family traditions, a go-to for wounds, and some folks even swear by its knack for easing respiratory troubles. And this is a tiny fraction of the good this plant does. This plant can be found in the United States of America, Asia, Australia, and West Africa. In Nigeria, this plant is found in the Eastern and Western parts of the country such as Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ekiti, Lagos Ogun, and many other states in the country.

But, like any friend, there’s still a bit of mystery around it. Scientists are uncovering its secrets, figuring out how reliable this green companion is. Therefore before making use of this plant, it is imperative you meet a specialist who will direct you on the right way and quantity to use this plant. Doing so will not just help you get better, but will help continue to compliment the trustworthiness of this plant, and will also be the driving force for scientists to discover more plants to help us all. But until then, never forget the Chromolaena odorata. The plant that is named after the Queen.

 

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