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A Review of Medicinal Uses of Ageratum Conyzoides (imi-Esu) In Alternative Medicine

November 3, 2012


Ageratum Conyzoides is an erect herbaceous annual with white flowers commonly eaten by goats in rural areas. It is found in North and Central America as well as several countries in tropical regions including Brazil. The plant is common in the Savannah regions of Nigeria. It can grow to a height of 30 to 80cm. The stems are covered with fine white hairs. It is commonly called Goat Weed and Imi- Esu and Rerinkomi among the Yorubas. The plant is called Akwukwo in Igbo language.

Ageratum Conyzoideshas been used as a medicinal plant in several parts of the world. It is used for the treatment of fever. The leaves are useful in the treatment of boils, leprosy, skin diseases as well as eye inflammation. The leaves are also used in wound healing.

According to Prof. Tolu Odugbemi in the book entitled Outlines and Pictures of Medicinal Plants from Nigeria reported that Ageratum Conyzoides(Imi-Esu) is used for the treatment of Wounds, Ulcers, Craw-craw, Digestive disturbance, Diarrhoea, Emertic, Skin diseases, Antipyretic, Gonorrhoea, Sleeping sickness and Eye wash.

Igoli J.O. et al (2005) in Afr. J Trad. CAM Vol 2 (2): 134-152reported that Ageratum Conyzoides is used by Igede speaking Communities of Benue State (Nigeria) for the treatment of HIV/AIDS Disease.

Nicholas T.K.D. et al (2008) in the Internet Journal of Pharmacology Vol 5(2) reported that methanolic extract of Ageratum Conyzoides (Imi-Esu) demonstrated inhibitory action in the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The root is more active against microorganisms compared to the stems.

Focho D.A. et al in the Journal of Medicinal Plants research Vol 3(4) pp 301-3 14 April 2009,reported that leaves Ageratum Conyzoidescan be chewed to remedy dysmenorrhoea and decoction or infusion to cure stroke. Crushed leaves of Ageratum Conyzoides can be inserted into vagina for antenatal conditions.

Egunyomi A and O. o. Oladunjoyein Ethnobotany Research and Application 3:261-265 (2005) confirmed the efficacy of Ageratum Conyzoides seeds as worm expeller when it is processed by charring(burning inside pot). R. I. Okoli et al in Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 6(5) pp 490-496 in 2007 reported that Ageratum Conyzoides leaves can be used for dressing wound, rheumatism and skin rashes.

In India,a decoction or infusion of the herb is used to treat stomach ailments such as diarrhea, dysentery and intestinal colic with flatulence.

In Brazil,a decoction of the leavesAgeratum Conyzoides has been found useful in the treatment of ovarian inflammation, amenorrhea, dysmennorrhoea, rheumatism, ulcer and diarrhea. An infusion of the entire plant has been found to give relief from intestinal pains, anorexia and arthritis.

In South Western Nigeria, the plant is used to treat hazy vision and eye pains. The leaves are squeezed and the juice is applied as eye drops.

Olatunji Bello and B. O. Iranloye (2008) in the book A textbook of medicinal plants from Nigeria edited by Prof. Tolu Odugbemi reported that AgeratumConyzoides has gastro-protective properties .



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Onike Rahaman holds masters degree.He is a professional administrator,writer,editorial consultant,linguistic activist,public commentator and a policy analyst.He is also into human rights advocacy and herbal research.