We Need Your Feedback
We want you to tell us what you would like to see on our posts; more recipes, more information about the same herbs and spices, or do you want to know about different ones?If so,which? Please leave answers to these questions in the comments boxes.We have made it easier for you to do this (today). If you have any other advice or a recipe that you would like us to include, tell us (recipes will be attributed to you).
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
WHITE OR CEYLON LEADWORT - LONG VALUED IN TRADITIONAL MEDICINE: HEALTH BENEFITS AND USES OF WHITE LEADWORT
This plant is native to southern
Asia including the Indian subcontinent where it grows wild. The flowers are reminiscent of those of jasmine, but the plant is valued for its medicinal properties, both in Asia and Africa. It has been used in Indian and Chinese medicine systems for more than 3,000 years and is also used by traditional African healers. It is a member of Plumbaginaceae family of plants.
The roots are the main part used but the leaves and seeds are also employed in medicines. In
, the root is cooked with meat in soup for aphrodisiac purposes. In Zimbabwe the powdered bark, root or leaves are used as a remedy for STDs, and TB, as well as rheumatic pains, swellings and wounds, while the root bark is used in obesity. In Ethiopia the Yoruba healers use the roots of the plant to treat various infections and diseases. Nigeria
It has been found that extracts of this plant are potent killers of mosquito larvae as are extracts from the Indian mallow, Abutilon indicum.
The fresh juice from the roots is mixed with double the amount of cow’s urine and this mixture is taken twice a day internally for 2 to 3 weeks to relieve painful piles. Another remedy calls for dried pigeon’s excrement. An external application of the roots ground to a paste having been steeped in cow’s urine for twenty-four hours is used for scabies and mixed with water the root paste is used in the legs and to relieve rheumatic pains. The root paste is also said to be arbortifacient if inserted into the vaginal tract.
black peppercorns, long pepper and dried ginger mixed with honey is used to treat leucoderma and psoriasis. This has to be taken twice a day again for three months. The powdered root can also be put in baths for skin problems including acne and for piles.
Taken in excess the plant will cause vomiting, burning sensations when urinating, stomach irritation and possibly ulcers, and also induce a miscarriage, so it is best left in the hands of expert healers.
In medical studies it has been found to have antioxidant, antifungal, antimicrobial and anti atherosclerotic properties. It seems that it may also be neuro-protective and protect the liver and be a cardio tonic.
In the Indian subcontinent the plant has been used in traditional medicine to treat diarrhoea, inflammation, fevers, Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS) with the roots believed to have antifungal and anti-tumour properties. The root is used as a laxative, expectorant and for liver problems, body pains including those of rheumatism, headaches and a variety of other ailments.
In December 2011 in the African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Vol 5 (25) pp.2738-2747, Y.D. Mandavar and S.S. Jalalpure published “A comprehensive review on Plumbago zeylanica Linn.” In this article they say that other studies have found the extracts from the plant (mainly the root) to have antioxidant and cholesterol lowering properties as well as to have shown to inhibit human prostate cancer cells. They also mention that it has been seen to stimulate the central nervous system of some lab animals, to be anti-atherosclerotic and to have some anti-fertility properties. They conclude that it is a plant which may be “a very good anticancer drug” in the future, but of course, further studies are needed particularly on plumbagin which is an active principle in the plant.