Awolowo leaf is one of those plants that people hardly hear about or recognise but is very beneficial. Scientifically known as Chromolaena odorata, the plant known as Awolowo leaves also has many other common names, such as Siam Weed, Camphor Grass, and many other local names as well, depending on the region it is found. In Nigeria, the plant was first discovered in 1960, just after the country gained independence. The nature of its discovery led people to ascribe supernatural qualities to the plant. This view is further stretched by the immense health benefits this plant possesses. Not many people would be able to recognise this plant, which has small, green leaves that are triangular in form as well as a soft stem, but those who know the plant are aware of what it can be used for, mostly as an herb, and how well it works.
Many Nigerian farmers and agriculturists make use of this plant. This is because it is used as a soil fertility improvement plant, and as a fallow species in the slash and burn rotation system of agriculture in Nigeria.
The nutritional value of awolowo leaves includes carbohydrate, protein, lipid, fibre, calcium, magnesium, iron, as well as flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, saponins, and more. Merely looking at that alone, one can tell that the plant has a lot to benefit the body. In fact, a 2007 study on the phytochemical constituents and antioxidant properties of extracts from the leaves of Chromolaena odorata showed that it contained many compounds that indicate it had a lot medicinal properties. 
Today, we would try to understand more about the plant by looking at some of its health benefits. Here are the health benefits of awolowo leaves.
1. It Decreases Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol levels in the body are very bad and can lead to heart problems. Boiling Awolowo leaves in water and drinking it is a sure, and effective way to reduce your cholesterol levels. A study on rats suggested the anti-cholesterolemic effect of aqueous extract of the leaves of Chromolaena odorata. The study showed that awolowo leaves may be useful in lowering cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular complications. 
2. It Reduces Blood Pressure
Another helpful thing about Awolowo leaves is that it reduces blood pressure and helps to maintain a healthy balance. This makes it very beneficial to those who are hypertensive.
3. It Heals Cyst
Awolowo leaves is a popular alternative medicine for healing cyst. The leaves heal cysts even better than some other form of conventional medicine.
4. It Helps With Ulcer
Another health benefit of Awolowo leaves is that they can help with treating ulcer effectively, as it helps kill Helicobacter Pylori, which is a bacterium that causes ulcer. It also prevents the possibility of a relapse. 
5. It Maintains Heart Health
Awolowo leaves also help to maintain your heart health by preventing several heart diseases. Adding Awolowo leaves to your diet can help to protect your heart and keep it healthy. 
6. It Can Be Used For Diabetes
Those with diabetes can benefit from Awolowo leaves as it helps to reduce blood sugar levels, allowing them to cope with their condition better. It can also be taken by those looking for a way to prevent diabetes. One study on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats suggested that extract of siam weed can help in reducing glucose, HOMA, lipid profiles. As well as significantly improving glucose and insulin tolerance, glycogen content, glucose uptake by skeletal muscle, serum insulin and HDL-c levels. 
The study was also conducted in rats that had cataracts. It found out that treatment with Chromolaena odorata showed significantly reduced onset and extent of cataract. 
7. It Helps With Clotting
One other amazing benefit of awolowo lead is that it is a powerful clotting agent and can help to stop bleeding in very little time. That is why it is often used as a form of local first aid. Just rubbing the leaves on fresh injuries and wounds would help to stop the bleeding and would also sterilize the wound. Many medical studies have confirmed the wound healing abilities of siam weed. 
8. It Relieves Pain
Awolowo leaves can also be used to relieve body pain. You have the option of drinking its juice to find relief from internal body pain, such as back pain. You can also use it as an analgesic for joint pain by crushing the leaves and rubbing them on the affected area. 
There are a lot of other interesting health benefits of awolowo leaves. It is said to have ethno-pharmacological, fungicidal, and nematicidal properties. Siam weed can also be used in treating urinary tract infections as they have pharmacological activity against uropathogens. 
Possible Side Effects of Awolowo Leaves (Siam Weed)
Kidney and intestinal damage: In one study, ethanolic extracts of siam weed were given to healthy albino rats. The study was done to find out the effects on the kidney and intestines of healthy rats. The study showed that uncontrolled use of this plant extract indicated an adverse effect on the kidney function and on the histology of the intestine of the rats. 
Allergic reactions: It may also cause allergic reactions.