Have you heard of Sand Paper leaves (Ficus exasperata) before?
Yes, there is a leaf called Sandpaper leaves.
The surface is as rough as sandpaper.
Some communities use it to clean the back of pots in the days of cooking with firewood.
It is used to treat a lot of ailments in many communities even though some uses have not been confirmed to be scientifically true.
Most of the time, communities are light years ahead in knowledge of the effectiveness of home or herbal remedies.
Let’s look at some of the traditional uses of Sandpaper leaves.
Different parts of Sandpaper such as the leaves, sap, root, root bark and stem are used to treat different ailments.
Health Benefits Of Sand Paper leaves
- To Induce abortion,
- Eye conditions,
- Leprous sores,
- Fungal infections,
- As a mouthwash against thrush, gums swelling and other ailments of the mouth and throat.
- Pain killer,
- Oxytocic – induces contraction of the uterus.
- Stomachic – promotes digestion
- Kidneys disease,
- Urinary tract infection,
- Respiratory conditions such as coughs, colds, flu, and asthma hypertension.
- The young leaf is chewed and swallowed in case of gastric ulcers
- The fresh leaf is used as an ingredient in preparations for the treatment of heart diseases
- Hypertension: Sandpaper leaf is commonly used to manage high blood pressure because it helps the body get rid of excess water in the body.
- High Cholesterol:
A study demonstrated that adding sandpaper leaves to diet (either 10% or 20%) caused a significant (P<0.05) decrease in the plasma total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), very low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (VLDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels (LDL-C), and in MDA content in the tissues.
Also, there was a significant (P<0.05) increase in plasma high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels when compared with the control diet.
The leaf juice or a decoction of the leaf is applied as an enema to the treat stomach-ache.
The leafy shoot is used in preparations applied externally against jaundice.
The abrasive leaf surface is used to scarify the skin to promote penetration of medicines, and to scour the tongue and throat for the treatment of mouth and throat ailments.
The young leaf is chewed and swallowed in case of gastric ulcers
Pregnant women should not take this herb because it can induce contraction of the uterus.
How to use sandpaper leaves
There are different ways of using sandpaper leaves.
- hand maceration,
For hypertension, you can simply squeeze the fresh leaves in water and take a glassful of Sand paper leaves juices three times a day.
Or you boil a teaspoon in a glass of water. Take 2 glassful daily.
Urinary tract infection
Boil the root in water and take half a glass twice daily.
Gonorrhoea or Enlarged Spleen
Boil the bark in water and take half a glass three times a day for two weeks.
Every part of sandpaper is medicinal.
Even though there is not much scientific evidence to back up the claims.
Now that there is a growing interest in using medicinal plants to treat ailment and you can easily improve your health if you consider it as part of the your early morning tea.
The plant is very effective in treating a lot of ailments like hypertension.
More studies should be done on Sandpaper leaves due to its wide range of actions.
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