Negro coffee consists of the matured dried roasted seeds of Cassia occidentalis. Glaborous herb or undershrub; annual or up to 3 years durations; leaves compound pinnate, leaflets 4-5 pairs, terminal pair largest, broadly lanceolate or ovate. The seeds are brewed into a
coffee-like beverage for asthma, hypertension, malaria, fevers and stomach complaints.
The clove tree is monoecious, flowers are hermaphrodite and self-pollinating. The tree matures between 8-10 years after planting. Clove trees live for more than 100 years, the oldest tree recorded is aged 375 years in Indonesia. Generally, it takes 20-30 years for clove to attain full bearing. The best quality cloves for use as a spice are grown in the wetter climates where annual rainfall is in excess of 1,500mm and usually in the range 3,000 – 4,000mm
Cloves, and the essential oil contained in them, are often used medicinally. A spicy, warming, stimulant herb, it is strongly antiseptic, relieves pain, controls nausea and vomiting, improves digestion, protects against intestinal parasites, and causes uterine contractions. Cloves are taken internally as a tea in the treatment of internal parasites, stomach upsets, chills, and impotence. The flower buds are chewed to freshen the breath or ease the pain of toothache.
The essential oil is applied externally in the treatment of toothache, headache, cold, arthritis, and rheumatism. It is also useful for treating ulcers, bruises, burns, bronchitis, asthma, minor infections, and colic. It is sometimes used to ease nausea. Two little-known compounds in clove oil have shown ‘strong activity’ against bacteria associated with plaque formation and gum disease. Clove oil is very potent and can cause gum irritation, it is advisable to dilute it with equal amounts of vegetable oil. For infants and even milder dilution is required. Use should be avoided during pregnancy, or if with sensitive skin
M. oleifera consists of the fresh or dried leaves of Moringa oleifera. Small to medium sized perennial tropical tree, up to 12 m high at maturity, with drooping branches; stem brittle with a corky bark. A true multipurpose tree with a wide range of edible, medicinal and other uses. Young leaves and shoots – raw or cooked added to salads, cooked as a potherb and added to soups and curries.They have a mustard-like flavour. The leaves contain 7 – 10% protein(This almost certainly refers to the dried leaf. The leaves are very nutritious, being rich in vitamins, minerals and the sulphur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine, which are often in short supply.
The young leaves are taken internally to increase the milk flow in nursing mothers. The tree is a nutritious, diuretic, laxative herb that is expectorant, increases milk flow, controls bacterial infections and is rubefacient when applied topically. It contains a potent antibiotic
Nauclea consists of the dried transversely sliced and chopped roots of Nauclea latifolia. A straggling shrub or small tree, 2-3 m high; leaves elliptic or rounded-ovate, acuminate tip, cuneate, rounded or subcordate base, 10-20 cm long, 6-12 cm broad; pedicel 1-2cm long. Used in the treatment of diabetes. The root is febrifuge and tonic. The bark and roots of the plant contain more than 1% of an opioid that is clinically identical to the analgesic drug ‘tramadol’. It can be extracted in a cost-effective way to provide an economical source of this widely used analgesic. Extracts of the plant have exhibited activity against Escherichia coli, Shigella flexneri, Salmonella typhi and Staphylococcus aureus (which are responsible for gastroenteritis in children)
Phyllanthus consists of the fresh or dried leafy tops of Phylanthus niruri. A glabrous annual herb 30-50cm high with grooved stem; slightly winged branchless; leaves simple, alternate and distichous, oblong-elleptical rounded at both ends. It is considered to be useful in the treatment of thirst, bronchitis, leprosy, anaemia, urinary discharge, anuria, biliousness, asthma, hiccups. The plant is used to treat syphilitic blennorrhoea. The root is diuretic. It is used to remove bladder stones, and is a remedy for jaundice. An infusion of the tender fresh roots is valuable in the treatment of chronic dysentery