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Nigerian Herbs & Their Uses: Health Benefits Of Yoruba, Igbo & Hausa Herbs, Spices & Traditional Medicinal Plants

nigerian yoruba herbs uses english names

Nigerian Herbs & Their Uses: Health Benefits Of Yoruba, Igbo , Hausa Herbs, Spices & Traditional Medicinal Plants

Nigeria is a country blessed with many natural resources and one of those are the various plants which offer several health and nutritional benefits. These plants are located in different regions with each having its own special and unique abilities.

Relative to previous times such as the past centuries, the use of Nigerian herbs, spices and traditional medicinal plants have grown significantly. This is because of the surge in the awareness of their benefits and adequate professional research to confirm their uses and purposes.

They can be used individually or as a mixture, with each offering significant results and for the treatment of both mild and serious conditions. Nigerian herbs, spices and traditional medicine is a mine of gold waiting to be tapped and fortunately Nigeria and the entire world are coming to see this.

Below is a list common Nigerian herbs, spices and traditional plants and their uses.

Types Of Herbal Medicine In Nigeria

Due to the influx of the use and acceptance of herbs, spices and traditional medicinal plants in Nigeria, these ingredients have become widely used both by the local masses and elites. These herbs however have different types based on their uses and method of production and distribution.

Nigerian Healing Herbs

This is the most sought after type of traditional herbs in Nigeria as it is believed that this ingredients are capable of curing all types of ailments, including those that orthodox medicine is unable to deal with. These types of herbs however require professional knowledge of a ‘herbalist’ as they are most times made up of a mixture or combo of herbs rather than single ones.

Common Nigerian Herbs

Common herbs are the types mostly consumed by Nigerians they include moringa, bitter leaf and many others. These herbs are traded everywhere, or planted individually and are consumed for the long term health benefits they offer. These herbs don’t need professional knowledge to prepare as they consist of single ingredients most times.

Nigerian Herbs for Sex

A common ingredient among young male individuals and older counterparts, these herbs are consumed to boost sexual prowess and they have been found to be very effective. These herbs can be gotten from herbalist of hawkers. It is a good alternative to pills which have other side effects, and herbs for sexual prowess effects also last longer.

Traditional Nigerian Medicinal Plants

Bitter Kola

Bitter Kola as its name implies is the bitter fruit of the Nigerian plant and is consumed by elderly people for its health benefits. It can be stored for a long time and capable of treating different ailments in the body.

bitter kola health benefits

Uses of Bitter Kola

  • Treatment of respiratory problems such as cough
  • Used as a laxative for treating digestive problems
  • For treating tumor


Hibiscus is used in producing the widely consumed zobo drink. This drink has been in the Nigerian market for years because it provides not only health benefits but is also delicious, a rare factor in herbal drinks. It has exceptional abilities capable of boosting mental and physical health.

hibiscus health benefits

Uses of Bitter Kola

  • Regulation of cholesterol, sugar and blood pressure
  • Aids weight loss
  • Excellent source of nutrients for the body

Iron Weed

Iron weed is a plant that grows in several parts of Nigeria and is widely used because of its ability to detoxify the body system and purify the blood while also having antimicrobial properties.

Image result for iron weed

Uses of Iron Weed

  • Used for regulating blood sugar
  • Used for purifying the blood
  • For relieving symptoms of headache

African Basil

This medicinal plant is widely consumed all over Nigeria due to the several health benefits offered when its juice is extracted from the leaves. It is easy to cultivate and is a common spice in many Nigerian homes.

african basil health benefits

Uses of Basil leaf

  • Treating digestive problems
  • Treating infections
  • Used as a spice for meals

Common Nigerian Herbs And Their Uses

Moringa ( Moringa Oleifera)

Moringa is a plant with exceptional abilities that made its way into the spotlight about a decade ago. This is of no surprise as the plant offer health benefits ranging on issues such as mental health, digestive health, blood cholesterol, development of immune system and many others. Moringa is one of the most commonly used Nigerian herbs, managing to break way into the market as the ‘wonder plant’.

moringa health benefits

Uses of Moringa

  • Used for treatment of digestive problems
  • Used for detoxification due to its high antioxidant abilities
  • For treating infection and reversing symptoms of inflammation
  • Rich in vitamins and healthy nutrient for the body

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a common plant that is found in several places all over the world. It is characterized by its spiky green nature and provides many health benefits for the body, both externally and internally. This plant is also found in significant quantities in Nigeria, and its juice and parts are used in treatment of several body disorders and ailments.

aloe vera nigeria benefits

Uses of Aloe Vera

  • Treatment of hair and skin
  • Regulation of blood sugar
  • Treatment of digestive problems
  • Treatment of dental plaque and treatment of wounds

Girdle Pod

Girdle pod is one of the few plants that is found is almost all the regions in Nigeria as it is capable of surviving in extreme conditions. Each of the major tribe has its own name for this plant, the Yorubas call it irawo, the Igbos call it agunbowo while the hausas call it gudugal. This herb can be used for treatment of several body disorders including sexually transmitted diseases.

Uses of Girdle Pod

  • Used for treatment of aches and inflammation in the body
  • For treating symptoms of STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
  • Treatment of infections, particularly those of the skin.

African Basil Leaf

African Basil Leaf is one of the most common medicinal herbs in Nigeria. It is loved by many people because it can easily be used to cook meals and is readily available, as it can be easily grown at home. African Basil leaf is known as Efirin to the Yorubas as it is a common domestic household plant.

Uses of Basil Plant

  • Treatment of digestive problems
  • Used for treating fever and chills
  • Treatment of colon disorders
  • Popular kitchen ingredient
  • Treatment of infections

Wild Lettuce

Due to its sedative and analgesic qualities, Wild Lettuce is one of the most common herbs in Nigeria, and also has its uses in several other parts of the world. This plant which is characterized by its broad leaves and rough edges can be used in treating digestive problems, relievings symptoms of menstruation in women and as a popular natural sedative for individuals going through treatments.

Uses of Wild Lettuce

  • Good diuretic abilities
  • Treatment of skin infection and inflammations in the body
  • Used for curbing addiction to sex in women
  • Treatment of respiratory problems such as cough and asthma
  • Used as a sedative

Yoruba Herbs, Their Uses And English Names


English Name: Basil Leaf

Efirin is one of the most common herbs in Nigeria, particularly in the South Western region, its use ranges from treating infection to digestive problems and boosting immunity. It is a common household plant and has several health benefits.

Uses of Efirin

  • Treatment of digestive problems
  • Treatment of infection and symptoms of STD
  • Used for treating urinary problems


English Name: Water Leaf

Gbure is a tropical plant that exist in moist areas, naturally existing in its own and also grown. It is often used to make soup and is very popular in western Nigeria for its good taste and health benefits. Gbure is very easy to come by and prepare.

Uses of Gbure

  • Aid weight loss due to its high fiber content
  • Treat digestive problems, also used as a laxative
  • Regulation of body cholesterol
  • Boosts mental health


English Name: Bitter Leaf

Ewuro is characterized by its awful taste which is gotten from extractions from the leaf. Although, the taste is non-pleasant, the health benefits that this herb offers are exceptional and it can be consumed for the long term. Ewuro like many of the other herbs can be planted at home.

Uses of Ewuro

  • Regulating blood sugar
  • Improvement of appetite
  • Boost milk production in new mothers
  • Treatment of respiratory problems

Ewe Minti

English Name: Mint Leaf

Ewe Minti, is a direct translation from the English name which is mint leaf. This herb is gotten by extracting the juices from the plant and is capable of several health benefits. Apart from the several health benefits which this herb offer, it is a common ingredient in making of toothpaste, soaps and other cosmetic products.

Uses of Ewe Minti

  • The extract is used for killing bacteria
  • Use in making of soaps and toothpaste
  • Aid weight loss

Hausa Herbs, Their Uses & English Names


English Name: Fenugreek

Uses of Kimba

  • Treatment of menstrual cramps
  • Treatment of digestive problems
  • Regulation of blood cholesterol
  • Ease pain in muscle and joints

Isu Kaba

English Name: Maca Root

Uses of Isu Kaba

  • Boosting of libido
  • Good antioxidant
  • Regulating blood sugar
  • Boost energy levels


English Name: Bitter leaf

Uses of Shiwaka

  • Used for reversing symptoms of stomach ache
  • Used for detoxifying blood and body system
  • Regulating blood sugar and cholesterol
  • Used as a sedative

Igbo Herbal Medicine

Igbo, which is one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria are well known for their herbal medicine and its potency in treating several ailments and body disorders, particularly that of sexual powers. These herbs have proven to be effective with low side effects when used with caution.

Igbo Medicinal Plants & Herbs And Their Uses

Nchanwu Leaf

Nchanwu leaf is otherwise known as scent leaf and has been found to increase fertility in both men and women. This leaf which is best used when freshly plucked as it is at its most potent form. The leaf can be used in cooking meal or as an extract when squeezed in water. Nwanchu leaf is very effective in boosting fertility.


Ginger is common in Eastern part of Nigeria and places all over the world. It has several health benefits of which one is boosting of fertility. The root can be eaten raw, it can be used as a spice or even in making tea, all of which are very effective.

Ohia Anyu

Ohia Anyu is the igbo name for wild water melon, and this plant is very effective in boosting fertility. It is most effective in treating infertility in women as it is effective in regulating menstruation and ensuring a steady fertile cycle. It can be used for long term.

White Peony

This plant is very effective in boosting fertility in females with irregular hormone level that hinders them from conceiving. It helps to balance hormone and regulate menstrual cycle.

For more herbs and their uses, visit

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Bright Yaw Edekor

    November 7, 2021 at 4:59 AM

    Thank you so much, please I need this plant nunu or anunu that’s the Igbo ( ebo) name if am right

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