This leaf is not strange to a lot of our people because it can be found almost everywhere. Bitter leaf, which is also know as Vernonia amydalina is a very homely plant that flourishes wherever it grows.
In Nigeria, the igbo people call it Onugbu, The Yorubas call it Ewuro while the Hausas call it Shiwaka.
The most distinctive part of the leaf is its bitterness in the sense that every part of it is bitter which includes the leafs, stems, root and bark. The Igbos use the bitter leaf as a vegetable, while the Yorubas use it more as a medicine.
Bitter leaf herbs are very good for the body. It helps to tone the vital organs of the body most especially the liver and the kidney. The liver, being the largest organ of the body is very essential in the metabolism of fats and proteins. Which means that this organ must be taken care of .
Another important organ is the kidney. This organ helps to expel waste materials from the body. It also secrets urine that flows into the urethras.
What this implies is that if eventually the kidney breaks down, there will be a general disorder in the body. Therefore, Bitter leaf is very useful in the care of both the kidney and the liver. It is always better to be taken fresh because boiling or cooking reduces its potency.
OTHER USES OF BITTER LEAF
1. Stomach ache:- Chew the tender stem of the plant like chewing stick and swallow the bitterness. This is a well known remedy for stomach aches. On the other hand, pound the fresh leafs in a mortal and press out the juice. Add a pinch of salt to three tablespoons of the undiluted juice and drink. This will relief you immediately.
2. Skin Infection:- For skin infections such as ring worm, itching, rashes and eczema, the pure undiluted extract of bitter leaf is excellent. Simply apply this to the affected parts daily.
3. Diabetes:- Bitter leaf not only reduces the sugar level drastically, it also help to repair the pancreas. Squeeze ten handfuls of the fresh leafs in 10 litres of water and take 2 glasses 3 times daily for one month. This equals to 6 glasses daily.
4. Memory Loss:- This could be a symptom of diabetes or a sickness on its own. Whatever the nature, bitter leaf is very good for treating this ailment. Take one glass 3 times daily for at least 2 months.
5. Prostrate Cancer:- This type of cancer is common among men who are over forty years old. The symptom is difficult and painful urination among others. Bitter leaf can be used to treat this ailment because it will increase the flow of urine and also reduce the pain thus, regulating the spread of the cell. Simply squeeze the fresh leafs in water and take a glass of it 4 times daily.
6. General Weakness:- If you often feel weak and tired or you lack vitality and vigour, squeeze the bitter leaf in water, take a glass 3 times daily.
7. Stroke:- Bitter leaf solution calms the nerves, strengthens the muscle and cleanses the system.
8. Pneumonia:- Squeeze the fresh leafs of the plant in water. Take a glass full thrice daily. Warm the solution on fire each time before you drink. Just warm and don’t boil. Continue this medication for a month. You don’t need to squeeze the leafs each tome you want to drink it. You can squeeze a large at once and add some honey. This will help preserve the solution. If you store the bitter leaf extract for 24hours or more, the bitterness will disappear or diminish.
9. Insomnia:- This is an inability to sleep. Take 2 glasses of bitter leaf solution every night. You may add a little honey if you wish.
10. Arthritis:- Arthritis or rheumatism patients who have tried bitter leaf solution as described above attest to its effectiveness. It soothes inflamed joints and eradicates the pain.