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Some Common Medicinal And Poisonous Plants Used In Ethiopian Folk Medicine



Ethiopia is rich in medical lore. The use of plants in religjous ceremonies as well as for magic and medicinal purposes is very commonplace and widespread. Based upon strong primitive roots. The art ofnative medicine is still widely practicedo While much of this lore isindigenous, yet there are strong indications of Hebrew and Egyptian aswell as Greek and other Arabic influences.

by Amare Getahun, Associate Professor, Faculty of Science, Addis Abeba University, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. March, I976

-Introduction
Ethiopia is rich in medical lore. The use of plants in religious ceremonies as well as for magic and medicinal purposes is very commonplace and widespread. Based upon strong primitive roots. The ...
-Abbreviations and Glossary To Some Terms Used In The Text
Abbreviation of Languages A - Amarinya T - Tiigrinya G - Galinya (G Ar) - Galinya, Arussi GB- Galinya, Bale GH - ...
-Acanthaceae
Adhatoda schimperiana Hochst. ex. Nees sensel, simiza timisa (A) dumoga (GK) This plant is very common in villages and towns as well as in cities ...
-Aizoaceae
Glinus lotoides L. meterre (A) terabit (T) Herb, grayish prostrating, confused in the literature with Budleya polystachyla originated from misuse of ...
-Amaranthaceae
Amaranthus caudatus L. lishalisho, ferenjitef (A) iyaso, jolili (G) gagabsa (W) Tapeworm expectorant. Amaranthus ...
-Apocynaceae
Acokanthera schimperi (DC) Oln. (Carrissa schimperi) DC merz (A) keraro (G) oboyo, wabayo (Som) ghedulejo (Som)<...
-Aristolochiaceae
Aristolochia bracteata Retz. ghaga (Arabic) boro, grerbaad, ged-hurguma (Som) Plant used to treat leg itches in Kalaffo (Ogaden), E. Ethiopia. ...
-Asclepediaceae
Calotropis procera (AitQ) Dry. in Ait. tobbeya, yahara-zaf, ghinda (A) ghinda, akalo, tomfi (T) gala, boha (Som) usher (Arabic)...
-Bignoniaceae
Kigelia africana Benth african sausage tree (Eng) Fruits are used as purgative and for dysentery ...
-Boraginaceae
Cordia africana Lam. ( C. abyssinica R. Br.) wanza (A) auchi (T) wodessa (G) uaddichio (Sid) mokota ...
-Burseraceae
Boswellia papyrifera (Del) Hochst. etan ( A ) libanat (GH, Adaric) Frankincense has been an item of commerce for many centuries in Ethiopia. ...
-Cactaceae
Opuntia vulgaris Mill. kulkual (A) beles (T) tini (GH) prickly pear (Eng) Kulkual is a very common sight in low ...
-Cannabidaceae
Cannabis sativa L. hashish (G) A leafy annual herb 1-3 m. high occasionally grown by farmers as a cash crop in the absence of enforced government restrictions. The ...
-Capparidaceae
Capparis tomentosa Lam. gomor (Som) gemaro (A) andal (T) Effects:Goats---instant death. Camels---the ...
-Celastraceae
Catha edulis (Vahl) Forsk. ex Endl. chat (A) gofa; jima (G) gat (Arabic) dat (Som) Tree up to 7 meters high, ...
-Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodium album L. nechillo (A) This is a very common weed of garden and abandoned areas. The plant varies in size depending on the fertility of the soil. <...
-Combretaceae
Combretum paniculatum Vent. baye, buggie (G) gabai (K) shaga (K) A very showy shrub which grows over tall trees. It is seen growing in ...
-Convolvulaceae
Evolvulus alsinoides L. eriraio (T) The whole plaint is used as a bitter tonic and as a vermifuge. ...
-Crassulaceae
Kalanchoe spp. bosoke (G) indahula (A) same (G) There are several species in Ethiopia, some growing in dry and rocky areas, while ...
-Cruciferae
Lepidium sativum L. fetto (A) shimfi (G) kotto, shimfa (T) shimp (K) shufu (GH, Aderic) Fetto is ...
-Cucurbitaceae
Coccinia abyssinica (W A ) Cogn. anchote (G) This wild and cultivated tuberous cucurbit is regarded as medicinal as well as an important dietary item in S. ...
-Cupressaceae
Juniperus procera Hochst ex Engl. tidh (T) gattira (G) Tidh and zigba (Podocarpus gracelior, Podocarpaceae) are the two leading ...
-Cyperaceae
Cyperus rigidifolius Steud. gicha (A) Obnoxious weed of (wet) cultivated fields. A concoction of the bulbs is used in the treatment of fever, diarrhoea, ...
-Dipsacaceae
Scabiosa coluombaria L. theiabi (T) Plant often used for the treatment of constipation in the northern provinces, namely Gojam and Begemder. ...
-Ebenaceae
Euclea schimperi (DC) Dandy dudiho (A) dubis (G) This shrub is quite common in overgrazed rolling hills or fallow land. The ripe fruits are ...
-Euphorbiaceae
Croton macrostachyus Hochst. bissana (A) makanissa, badessa, alaleh, dogoma (G) wush, masincho (Sid) ambuk, tambuk, tambush, berberi-...
-Labiatae
Ajuga remota Benth. (A. integrifolia Ham-Buch.) ungo-quasot (T) tale (Wol) akorarchigne (A) An extract of the leaves is used ...
-Leguminosae (caesalpiniaceae)
Cassia cf. floribunda car. sornema (K) Seeds are boiled for use against snake bites. It is also used as a laxatives. Cassia holosericea ...
-Leguminosae (mimosideae)
Albizia anthelmintica (A. Rich.) Brongn. (Leguminosae) rhaybit (Somali) shina (Amaharic) kebita (? Kaffa) A shrub or small tree common ...
-Leguminosae (papilionaceae)
Cadia purpurea (Picc.) Ait kadi (Arabic) hasaus (T) salema (Som) saele (GH) The plant is widespread in low and mid-...
-Liliaceae
Aloe spp. (Aloe vera L.) erret (A) argeber (Som) There are many species of Aloe in the dry parts of Ethiopia and they provide quite a ...
-Linaceae
Linum usitatissimum L. telba (A) flax-seed (Eng) As elsewhere, flax is cultivated for its seed in Ethiopia. It is generally used as a demulcent ...
-Loganiaceae
Strychinos spinosa Sam. angora (GH) Seeds are poisonous but pulp of the fruit is edible. ...
-Meliaceae
Melia azedarach L. nib (T, Arabic) This is a handsome tree with lilac-blue flowers. The shrub or tree seems to have been recently introduced to Ethiopia but has already ...
-Melianthaceae
Bersama abyssinica Fresen azamrr (A) lolchissa (G) This is a graceful tree with nice blue or lilac flowers found in mid-altitude regions. ...
-Menispermaceae
Cissampelos pareira L. var 0 orbiculata (d. C.) Misquel. Both the root and leaves are considered curative agents against snake bites and are also widely used in dressing ...
-Moraceae
Ficus glomerata Rox B The latex is a very effective anti-dysentery agent. For best results it is mixed with sugar in equal amounts. This preparation is taken orally three times ...
-Myrginaceae
Embelia schimperi Vatke (= E. abyssinica Baker) ankoko (A) enkoko (T) unkoko (G) kanko ( Sid ) ...
-Myrtaceae
Eucalyptus globulus Labill. bahir-zaf (A) kaliti (G) The volatile oil from the leaf is used for colds. Leaf extract is gargled for meningitis. ...
-Nyctaginaceae
Boerhaavia plumbaginea Cav. Decoction from leave used for jaundice, and to heal wounds. ...
-Olacaceae
Ximenia americana L. inkoy (A) huda (G) mellau, maleta (T) aure-mudube, mandraut, mondruk, morod, amirgudud (Som) ...
-Oleaceae
Jasminum abyssinicum R. Br. The fresh root-tips are chewed to relieve tonsillitis. The leaves are used as soap-substitute. ...
-Oxalidaceae
Oxalis semiloba Sond. micha-micho (A) Bulbs of this garden weed are ground and drunk with water for the treatment of tapeworm. This is a well known and popularly ...
-Passifloraceae
Adenia cissampeloides (Planch) Harms Plant when crushed is used as fish poisons. ...
-Phytolaccaceae
Phytolacca dodecandra L'Hrit. endod (A) endoda (G) endott, shebeti, shipti, sobet (T) This is a relatively common plant ...
-Polygaliaceae
Polygala spp. There are several spp. of Polygala ranging in their habitat from xerophytic to mesophytic areas. Those of the drier regions are generally employed or used in the ...
-Polygonaceae
Polygonum senegalense Meisen. gummamilla (A) chomo (G) Shrubby herb found in wet areas such as 1ake shores and river edges or water runways. ...
-Primulaceae
Anagalis arvensis Small annual herb: useful in home remedies. Runica granatum L. roman (A, GH, Adaric) Pomegranate is not grown as a ...
-Ranunculacae
Clematis simensis Fresen esdillee (GH) elaydeea (Adaric) harag (A) Plant is very showy when in bloom and is known to cause ...
-Rhamnaceae
Ziziphus mauritiana Lamk (-Z. jujuba Lam. ) gava (T) ghob, gheb, jumuba (Som) kurkura (GH), (Adaric) A shrub or ...
-Rosaceae
Rosa abyssinica R.Br. keqa (A) wild Ethiopian Rose (English) The edible fruits are good tapeworm and round worm expectorants as well as excellent ...
-Rubiaceae
Rubia discolor Turcz enchibrr (A) Very common vine found in varying altitude zones. The boiled leaves are used as cough remedy. The root is a valuable ...
-Salvadoraceae
Salvadora persica. L. adai (T) dadaho (Som, Danikil) adz (som) imu-garreh (G, Ar) Dadaho is a medium sized tree ...
-Sapindaceae
Allophylas zeylanicus L. Fruits used as expectorant for tapeworm. Gardiosperimum helicacabum L. schuelet (T) samak (A ) <...
-Simarubaceae
Brucea antidysenterica Mill woinos, kolla+wanza(A) meleta (T) abalo, tamija, komeni (G) hadawi (Sam) Shrub or tree ...
-Solanaceae
Capsicum annuum L. mitmitta (A) Chili is a spice grown widely in the backyards of many Ethiopians' homes. Both chili and black pepper are common spices used. ...
-Umbelliferae
Carum copticum D. C. netch-azmud(A) kamon (G, Adaric) A cultivated spice plant usually mixed with red pepper in which it tends to reduce the ...
-Verbaenaceae
Lantana camara L. Infusion of leaves used as tonic and stimulant. Vitaceae Rhoicissus erythroides Planch. hida-rafa (...









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