Do you know this flower? Oh yes you do. We usually call it Sunflower. This flower has different names in the local Nigerian dialect. It is known as “Orangila” in Igbo, “Tozalin” in Hausa, “Yunyun” in Yoruba and “Edemedong” in Efik.
The botanical name of the wild sunflower is Aspilia africana. It is otherwise known as “hemorrhage plant.” It is called the hemorrhage plant because of its ability to stop bleeding from fresh wounds.
It is widely distributed in Africa and is native to the following countries: Angola, Benin, Burkina, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Chad, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre.
The leaves of this plant is very valuable because of its chemical composition which makes it useful in traditional medicine practices. The juice from the squeezed leaves have been reported to effectively stop bleeding from fresh wounds, stop the microbial growth of known wound contaminants and accelerated wound healing process. Its use has also been reported in the treatmenst of rheumatic pains as well as in the treatment of bee and scorpion stings. The decoction has been used to remove corneal opacities and foreign bodies from the eyes.
- “Aspilia africana (Pers.) C.D. Adams”, Plants of the World Online, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2020-04-07
- Richard Komakech, Motlalepula Gilbert Matsabisa, Youngmin Kang, “The Wound Healing Potential of Aspilia africana (Pers.) C. D. Adams (Asteraceae)”, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2019, Article ID 7957860, 12 pages, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/7957860
- Okoli, C., Akah, P. & Okoli, A. Potentials of leaves of Aspilia africana (Compositae) in wound care: an experimental evaluation. BMC Complement Altern Med 7, 24 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-7-24