Everyone knows that our country is rich, when it comes to different herbs and weeds, and you may have heard their common names. Weeds can be beneficial and we will prove this. Do you want to learn more about them? Let’s look through the most common Nigerian weeds and their botanical names!
Nature has supplied everything we need for better health, but the rapid lifestyle of the modern people means that they cannot wait for the sluggish process of nature care. Actually, the human body is rather unique because, with the help of nature, it can regenerate by itself, through what has been described as natural healing.
Natural healing is maintained by a lot of treatments that are natural and can be classified as alternative, such as holistic care. These alternative and traditional therapies used to be popular long before the Western medicine came into sight.
Some weeds are widely used in agriculture and help to harvest heavy yields, while some are even used for preparing traditional dishes. You will be amazed but some weeds are used in the production on bio-oil and biogas. Today we are going to tell you about the most popular Nigerian weeds and their botanical names.
The Bahama grass (Cynodan dactylon)
Bahama grass is a trailing grass that is native to Europe cosmopolitan in warm regions. It is used for lawn sand pasture-lands, especially in the Southern United States and India. This weed is also common to the northeast and northwest Africa.
Bahama grass is being seriously considered as an alternative treatment for diabetes. The botanical name of this weed is Cynodan dactylon, and it has been known to help in regulating and lowering blood sugar levels and protecting the body against the shock of raised blood sugar. Furthermore, preliminary investigation proposes that elements from this grass can also lower the cholesterol level in the body.
According to investigations’ results, this grass has many medical properties. In general, it contains fiber, crude proteins, calcium, potash, and phosphorus.
To use this weed as an alternative medicine, you need to take a handful of the grass without its root, wash it and cut into small pieces. Then grind it in a mixer or pound with enough water so that you can get the juice. This ready mixture should be taken first in the morning on an empty stomach, and then you can have your breakfast after two hours. This mixture is for general well-being and for treatment of constipation.
The Wild Sun Flower (Aspilia africana)
The Wild Sun Flower is a kind of flowering plants in the Asteraceae family.
The botanical name of the Wild Sun Flower is Aspilia africana, and it is native to Latin America, West Africa, and Madagascar.
Actually, this plant was used in Mbaise and many Igbo speaking areas of Nigeria to prevent pregnancy. It possessive a potential contraceptive and anti-fertility characteristics.
The leaf extract of Aspilia africana also efficiently stops bleeding from fresh wounds, by inhibiting microbial elements that are known to cause injury and accelerating the wound treatment process. The Wild Sun Flower is thought to be used by some chimpanzees as herbal medicine.
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The Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum)
The botanical name of Elephant grass is Pennisetum purpureum, also known as Napier grass, or Uganda grass. It is a species of enduring tropical grass local to the African grasslands. It has low nutrient and water requirements, and that is why it can be found in uncultivated lands.
According to the history, primarily, this wild species has been used for grazing. Nowadays, it has been incorporated into the pest control strategy. This method includes the desirable crop being planted alongside a “push” plant. It keeps pests away.
The Elephant grass has shown potential when it comes to keeping stemborer moths away from maize which is the “pull” crop. This method is much more stable, efficient and is more accessible for farmers than insecticide. In addition, Pennisetum purpureum improves the soil fertility and protects the arid land from soil erosion. Also, it is used for windbreaks, firebreaks, in paper pulp manufacturing and more recently, in biogas, bio-oil, and charcoal production.
The Carpet grass (Axonopus compressus)
The Carpet grass is an enduring, creeping, coarse-leaved grass. It grows better on wet, low soils in comparison with other grasses. This plant will grow well regardless of sun or shade but is less shade tolerant than Centipede and St. Augustine grass which has similarities with it. The Carpet grass may be planted by sprigs or seed.
The botanical name for Carpet grass is Axonopus compressus. It is recommended only for swards on low, wet fertility, acid, sandy soils where the ease of foundation and concern is more important than the quality. The main disadvantage of this grass is a quick seed head production. The Carpet grass makes a tight turf. It can be raised from seed or it can be shallow rooted, and that is why it is not drought-tolerant.
The Carpet grass is a native plant to the interior Gulf States and the same tropical climates. It is the best plant for erosion control and is a supporting plant for low fertility soils and can flourish if allowed to thrive.
Actually, this plant is ideal for those bit shadier areas when moist soil can be present for a long time. It will resist higher traffic than many other plants with such conditions.
The Water leaf (Talinum triangulare)
Water leaf botanical name is Talinum Triangulare. It is a type of herb with an aqua-colored, very small sprout. Waterleaf is an edible leafy vegetable and is used in many traditional dishes in Nigeria.
Usually, it grows on sand and blocks in any desert area and can be cut with any tool. By the way, it can also be planted using Waterleaf Seeds in Clay Pots. The Water leaf requires the longest period to bloom out of all the plants.
The Water leaf is a finical plant and will bloom only when it's raining. When the weed is completely grown and it's raining, it begin to produce flower and its look will also change. It will become speckled and larger due to its leaves. The blossoming Water leaf will also emanate a few drops of water. But it does not mean that it needs to be raining directly on the plant in order for it to flower. Rain just needs to be falling.
The Water leaf plants are at least partially immersed in water before they can blossom and drop their seeds. It does not matter if it is raining or not, if the plants are immersed into water, they will blossom, and you will harvest the yield seeds.
So, now you know the most common weeds in Nigeria. We gave you the botanical name and a short description of each one of them. As you may notice weeds can be useful. Don't forget to keep and share this information.
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