Scientific Name:Acanthus pubescens  
Vernacular Name:Igitovu, Umutovu
Family name :Igitovu, Umutovu
Geographic Distribution:Everywhere in Rwanda between 1300 m – 2500 m

Botanical Description

A woody shrub, growing up to 6 m high, with large leaves; thistle–like, opposite, oblong- elliptic, up to15-30 cm long, with deep, lobed, spiny margins.  Flowera rose-pink on spikes, inflorescence hairy, purplish-blue, in dense spikes, 8-25 cm long with large bracts. Greenish brown capsules fruits.
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Medicinal Use

In Rwanda, spiny leaves are used to cure eye furuncle; the ash of leaves cure the wound caused by burning. Kayirang Mussa, a TMP from the Eastern Province in Bugesera District uses preparations from Acanthus pubescens and Sonchus luxirians leaves to treat different skin diseases. Uwimana Beatha, who practices the traditional herbal medicine in the Southern province, Gisagara district involves Acanthus pubescens (leaves and flowers) in combination with aloe vera (leaves), Hygrophila auriculata (leaves), Chenopodium ugandae (whole plant) and Plantago palmata (leaves)  in the treatment of skin diseases. Abdalahman, another tradipractician in Kigali uses Acanthus pubescens leaves extracts in the treatment of liver diseases. In East afican countries, burnt ash, especially the leaves, is licked, for the treatment of spleen diseases.  It arouses the sexual desire.

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Other Use

Fodder for goats

Other Plants