Ogirisi (botanical name: Newbouldia laevis) is a plant that is native to Africa but can be found in other parts of the world. The name ‘Ogirisi’ is an Igbo name. The Yorubas call it ‘Ewe Akoko’ while it is called ‘Aduruku’ in Hausa. The plant has dark shiny leaves with purple flowers, and the plant can grow up to 20m in height. It is an ornamental plant, grown for its purple flowers, and is often used to mark boundaries or territory on land, particularly in rural areas.
People use ogirisi for different things, which is why it is popularly called ‘tree of life’. Some people use it for health reasons while some others use it as part of their religious regimen.
In this article, we would be looking at some of the health benefits of Ogirisi.
1. Pain Relief
Ogirisi is used to treat and relieve pain, especially the kind associated with rheumatism and arthritis. Boiling the leaves and barks, and drinking it can help to reduce the pain and make it easier to deal with those conditions. The leaves also has anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Treating Wounds
The bark of the Ogirisi plant can be applied to wounds and injuries to stop the bleeding and to make it heal properly. It would also help disinfect the wound and prevent germs from getting into it. It has been used for many years for such medical treatment.
3. Epilepsy Treatment
The leaves and bark of Ogirisi plant are used for treating epilepsy and spasms. The barks and leaves are boiled in water, to extract the juice which is then drunk. This can be used to effectively subdue a spasm or epileptic episode.
4. Toothache Treatment
The extract from Ogirisi leaves can be gargled in the mouth to reduce the pain from toothache. Just boil the leaves in water to gain the extract and allow it to cool a little before putting it in your mouth.
5. Dermatological Properties
Ogirisi leaves contain anti-fungal properties which makes them very effective against skin problems like eczema, acne, and so on.
6. Treats Stomach Upsets
Ogirisi leaves can be used in the treatment of various kinds of stomach upset. This includes constipation, diarrhoea, dysentery, pile, and more. Simply drinking a decoction of ogirisi would help to settle the stomach.
7. Uterine Stimulant
Ogirisi leaves are used as a uterine stimulant for pregnant women. This is to help with the delivery process, by facilitating uterine contraction and making labour easier for the woman. A study on rats confirmed that ogirisi leaves help in uterine contractions.
8. Cough Treatment
Ogirisi leaves can also be boiled in water or palm wine to treat cough and related chest pain.
9. Boosts Fertility
Perhaps the most popular use of ogirisi leaves is to increase a woman’s chances of giving birth and dealing with other fertility problems. This is because it helps to induce ovulation, making it easier for the woman to conceive. The leaves also help to correct ovulation disorders so a woman can get pregnant without stress.
10. Malaria Treatment
Ogirisi is effective in the treatment of malaria. Simply boil the leaves and drink the water in the morning and night to treat malaria.
11. Antidiabetic Properties
Another possible health benefit of ogirisi leaves is it’s antidiabetic abilities. A 2011 study was done to determine the effect of extract of Newboulda Laevis leaves on the blood sugar levels of diabetic rats. The study showed that Newboulda Laevis leaves has antihyperglycemic abilities, that can help in regulating blood sugar.