The types of medicinal plants found in Nyungwe Nziza National Park have been used as remedies for centuries. Most of these plants are still used by local people and are found in many modern medicines all over the world. For more detailed information on the types of plants and their medicinal properties, see The Handbook of African Medicinal Plants by Maurice M. Iwu. Another book that might be of interest is Medicinal Plants of East Africa by John O. Kokwaro.
Scientific name / English name / Kinyarwanda name /
Erythrina abyssinica/ Lucky bean tree/Flame tree /Umuko
The bark of this tree is used to treat gonorrhea, burns, joint pain, fresh cuts/wounds, backache, and syphilis. According to the World Agroforestry Centre, it is also used in Kenya to treat anthrax, and the bark is boiled with goat meat to treat gonorrhoea. The bark may also be used to produce a liquid that treats eye inflammations.
Zanthoxylum gilletii/ East African satinwood/ Umuturirwa
This plant is used to treat colds, fevers, Malaria, Tuberculosis, ulcers, and toothaches.
Vernonia amygdalina/ Bitter leaf/ Umubirizi
The leaves of this shrub-like tree are used to treat the symptons of Malaria, Fever, Worms, Abdominal pain, Diarrhea and Asthma.
Crassocephalum vitellium/ Isununu/
According to BioMedical Central, an extract of this plant can be used to calm the symptoms of peptic ulcers. It can also boost sterility in men and lower high blood pressure.
Prunus African/ Bitter almond/ Umwumba
The bark of this plant is currently being developed into a modern drug to help with in vitro and prostate cancer. It has been alternatively used to treat fever, stomachache, diabetes and the common cough.
Ficus natalensis/ Bark-cloth fig/ Imvuvumu
The bark of this tree was first used as a main ingredient in the clothing worn by Rwandan tribes. It was also boiled to help with the stimulation of pregnancy, cold, cough, wounds and bed wetting.
Syzygium guinense/ Waterberry/ Umugote
The berries and leaves of this tree are edible and are commonly eaten among travelers in the forests of Nyungwe. It has also been said to help treat amoeba infections, and a decoction of the bark can be used as an anti-diarrhoetic. The bark is poisonous if eaten raw.
Carapa grandflora/ Bitter Oil/ Umushwati
The oil produced from this tree can be used to treat amoeba infections.
Myrica californica/ California Bayberry/ Umusengesi
The berries produced along the stalk of this plant can be used as a poison.