Common names: Fertility tree, boundary tree, ogilisi (Igbo), akoko (Yoruba), aduruku (Hausa).
Newbouldua is a shrub or small tree reaching to 7–8 m high; shrubby, or erect with vertically ascending branches; leaves are shiny and dark green in color with serrated or entire margin. Found in woody savannah and deciduous forest. It is often grown as an ornamental and is easily propagated by cuttings. The plant is commonly found in most homes as live-fence and boundary-tree.
Part used: leaves, stem bark, roots
Several phytochemical studies on the root, root bark and stem of this plant have shown the presence of alkaloids, tannins, saponin, amongst others. The plant has shown to alleviate several difficult-to-explain maladies because of it potentials as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-tumorous, anti-ulcerous, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti parasitic.
People use Newbouldia for different things, which is why the plant is popularly called ‘tree of life’. While some people use it for its numerous health benefits, some others use it as part of their religious regimen.
Let’s see some health benefits of Newbouldia:
Fertility enhancer- perhaps the most popular use of Newbouldia leaves is to increase a woman’s chances of conception and dealing with infertility problems. As the name implies- “fertility plant,” Newbouldia helps to correct ovulation disorders, making it easier for the woman to conceive and carry the pregnancy to full term.
For that difficult pregnancy and threatened abortion- use 1 teacup of decocted leaves 2-3 X daily.
For any type of menstrual problem, use fresh leaves of Newbouldia, wash properly and grind with sterile water, squeeze to collect the juice. Take 2 X daily (30 minutes before meal). You may use ginger or Negro pepper along with Newbouldia.
Men’s health- the powdered plant may be taken as hot infusion or with pap in cases of low libido, low sperm count and impotence in men. Extracts of the leaves and bark have shown to treat venereal diseases.
Regulates blood sugar – Newbouldia, no doubt contains many chemicals that support its traditional use in blood sugar control. Studies have shown extracts form it’s leaves possess great antihyperglycemic abilities that can help in regulating blood sugar.
For diabetes, use 1 teacup of the decocted leaves 2-3 X daily. Be sure to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly.
Skin care– leaves of Newbouldia contain a lot of phytochemicals that support its traditional use in skin care. An ointment of the leaves cures wounds. For wound treatment, apply decoction of fresh leaves into cuts and scrapes. To promote healing apply the compress made from the leaves externally to clean wounds and inflammations. The compress is very effective against skin problems like eczema, acne, leprosy, skin ulcers and so on. It is also a powerful poison antidote for venomous stings, bites, etc.
Pain-killer– extract from the leaves can be gargled in the mouth to reduce pain from toothache. Simply boil the leaves in water for 30 minutes, allow it to cool down to a tolerable temperature before putting it in your mouth. Root scrapings, combined with chili pepper are put into a carious tooth.
The root bark is very effective in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, chest pain. The bark is made into a paste, and then applied to rheumatic joints, especially painful arthritis in the knee.
Cough medicine – leaves can also be boiled in plain water or pap water to treat cough and associated chest pain.
Epilepsy treatment – as a remedy for epilepsy the leaves and roots are boiled and drunk either plain or mixed with honey or the juice of plantain roots in equal proportions. Take this half teacup an hour before meals 2 X daily.
Anti inflammatory properties-the anti inflammatory potentials of the root bark which have been studied by many researchers indicate its efficacy in alleviating swellings, oedema, gout, spasm and arthritis. For aching limbs, the poultice is applied externally, as noted above.
Malaria treatment – Newbouldia is a febrifuge plant, tea made from its leaves is very effective during fevers (malaria). Simply boil the leaves and drink the water 2X daily to treat malaria fever.
Treats abdominal issues – the plant parts contain chemical properties that help relax the smooth muscle tissue of the digestive tract, making it an antispasmodic.
The leaves of this species can be used in the treatment of various kinds of stomach upset, such as: constipation, diarrhoea, dysentery, pile, stomach ache and more. Simply drinking a decoction of Newbouldia would help to settle the stomach.
Worm expeller- the plant has been found to be an effective vermifuge to worms, especially round worms.A macerate or decoction of the roots is taken by mouth as a vermifuge to rid the body of worms.
Although often perceived as ‘naturally safe’, studies have shown that hypoglycemia could be a side effect when the extract of Newbouldia is applied to folk medical treatment on non-diabetic ailments.