Vernonia amygdalina

Scientific Name:Vernonia amygdalina  
Vernacular Name:Umubirizi
Family name :Umubirizi
Geographic Distribution:Savanna, and everywhere in Rwanda, often grown near the rural houses; 1000-1800 m

Botanical Description

Top branched shrub or small tree achieving 2-8 m of height. Petioles and inflorescences axis covered with brownish hairs. Leaves have petioles of 2cm long and the limb of the leaf is oval-elliptic pointed at the leaf end up to 20 cm loong. The bark is rough The tree has a corymb inflorescence compounded of many white or yellow white capitulum.Rernonia amygdalina is called in English bitter leaf because of its bitter taste

Medicinal Use

against intestinal worms.The leaves, flowers, and barks are used to produce medicines to treat: hepatitis diseases, kwashiorkor, bellyache, malaria, bloated  Stomach,rheumatism, cough, intestinal worms, etc. It has also antioxidant, antibacterial and chemopreventive properties. Katiranga Mussa a TMP in Eastern province of Rwanda uses preparations from leaves of vernonia amygdalina in the treatment of liver diseases. The same treatment is used by Nzanziman Azzaria and Mitali Emmanuel.


Other Use

Leaves are consumed as vegetable in other countries such as Nigeria,  wash the brewery pitcher to preserve leavening agent for beer

Other Plants