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Values of goat weed

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AGERATUM Conyzoides is an erect, branching, annual herb with shallow, fibrous roots. It may, depending upon environmental conditions, reach 50-1500 mm tall at flowering.

The stems, which may root where the bases touch the ground, are cylindrical, and become strong and woody with age; nodes and young parts of the stem are covered with short, white hairs. Leaves are opposite, 20-100 mm long, 5-50 mm wide, on hairy petioles 5-75 mm long, broadly ovate, with a rounded or narrowed acute base and an acute or obtuse or sometimes acuminate tip and toothed margins. Both leaf surfaces are sparsely hairy, rough with prominent veins and when crushed the leaves have a characteristic odour which is reminiscent of the male goat.

The branched, terminal or axillary inflorescence bears 4-18 flower heads arranged in showy, flat-topped clusters. Individual flower heads are light blue, white or violet, are carried on 50-150 mm long peduncles and are 5 mm across, 4-6 mm long with 60-75 tubular flowers. The flower head is surrounded by two or three rows of oblong bracts which are green with pale or reddish-violet tops.

The bracts are 3-5 mm high, outer ones 0.5-1.75 mm wide, sparsely hairy, evenly toothed in the upper part, with an abruptly acuminate, acute tip. Flowers are 1.5-3 mm long and scarcely protrude above the bracts. The fruit is a ribbed or angled, black achene, 1.25-2 mm long, roughly hairy, with a pappus of 5, rarely 6, rough bristles, white to cream coloured, 1.5-3 mm long with upward turning spines.

Botanical name: Ageratum conyzoides

English name: Goat weed

Igbo name: Agadi-isi-awo-ocha

Yoruba name: Akoyunyun

Description: An annual herb about 1m high, common throughout the region, except in the driest situations in open spaces, distributed sites etc, distributed pan-tropically and sub-tropically.

Actions: Antiseptic, cicatrzing, analgesic, anodynal, emetic action.

Part used: Leaf, root, flower.

Chemical constituents: Volatile oil, phendic esters, alkaloids, hydrocyanic acid.

 

Medicinal uses

  1. Plant is used for headache and frictions for oedemas and fever.
  2. Sap is used for various eye infections.
  3. Leaf sap is used in nasal instillation for headache and can also be drunk for malaria.
  4. Root is used for malaria.
  5. It is used as a remedy for sleeping sickness.
  6. Mashed to a quick paste for abscesses and ulcers.
  7. It is also used for constipation.
  8. Taken for stomach-ache.
  9. Boiled and taken for syphilis.
  10. Stem is used as cough medicine.
  11. Decoction is used for rheumatism.
  12. Used to relieve urethral discharge.
  13. It is taken for malaria.
  14. Used against attacks of nausea.
  15. Young stem is sucked to quench thirst.

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