Unless otherwise indicated, the descriptions of the use of the medicinal plants relate to Ethiopian traditional herbal medicine practices. ‘Western herbal medicine’ refers to herbal medicine from the tradition of America and Europe.

Artemisia abyssinica

Artemisia Abyssinica_BotanicaEethiopia2011

Artemisia Abyssinica

Artemisia abyssinica or Chikugn (Amharic) is a species of wormwood that is traditionally used for intestinal problems, for infectious diseases, and is anti-leishmanial (acts against Leishmania parasites).  The whole herb can be used to address tonsillitis, and an infusion is traditionally drunk as a remedy for colds, and sickness in children.

Tariku, Y., Hymete, A., Hailu, A., Rohloff, J., 2010. Essential-Oil Composition, Antileishmanial, and Toxicity Study of Artemisia abyssinica and Satureja punctata ssp. punctata from Ethiopia. Chemistry and Biodiversity 7.
Asfaw, N., Demissew, S., 2009. Aromatic plants of Ethiopia. Shama Books, Addis Ababa.



Ocimum lamifolium


Used to treat coughs and colds, the fresh leaves are squeezed and the juice sniffed. The juice can also be used as an eye rinse for eye infection.  Also used for mich, an infection of fever with headache and mouth blisters.


Zingibil (Amhar)/ Dendabil (Tig.)

Zingiber officinale – Ginger (family Zingiberaceae)

Zingibil or Ginger. Image: hortist.blogspot.com

The rhizome (root) of ginger is popularly used in Ethiopia for stomachache and respiratory problems. It is chewed or masticated with ‘feto’ (Lepidium sativum) for stomach disorders.

It is also popularly used for its carminative (relieves gas ) and anti-nausea activities.

Ginger is equally popular in western herbal medicine and there has been extensive investigation of the rhizome and its constituents.  Zingiber officinale has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects, as well as anti-platelet, antioxidant, antitumour, antirhinoviral and antihepatoxic activities (preventing damage to the liver) (Wohlmuth, 1999).

Gedif, T. and Hahn, H.J., 2003. The use of medicinal plants in self-care in rural central Ethiopia. Journal of  Ethnopharmacology 87, 155-161.
Getahun, A., 1976. Some common medicinal and poisonous plants used in Ethiopian folk medicine. Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Gall, A. and Shenkute, Z., 2009. Ethiopian traditional and herbal medications and their interactions with conventional drugs. 16th March 2010 http://ethnomed.org/clinical/pharmacy/ethiopian-herb-drug-interactions
Wohlmuth, H., 1999. Traditional and contemporary uses of ginger. . In: MediHerb Pty Ltd (Ed.), Herbal Medicine – Practice and Science International Conference ProceedingsWarwick, Queensland.
Mills, S. and Bone, K., 2000. Withania. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy, Churchill Livingstone, London, pp. 595-602.


Gisewa (Amhar) or Withania somnifera  

(family Solanaceae)

Gisewa or Withania Somnifera. Image: eco-planet.com

Known to be used for coughs and asthma, as a narcotic and an anti-epileptic in Ethiopia.  Research notes other traditional uses for headache (as a dressing), paludism (malaria), ague, fever, stomachache and as a diuretic.  The smoke of the burning root is commonly inhaled for ‘Satan beshita’ or ‘devil disease’ (Asres 2001).

Withania or Gisewa is also found to have antifertility properties and to be traditionally used as a vaginal douche (aqueous extract) for its uterotonic and anti-implantation activity on butanol fraction extract (Desta, 1994).

Western herbalists are familiar with Withania (Ashwaganda), and it is used as tonic. In Western herbal medicine, decoction or extract made from the root  is a popular remedy from the ayurvedic tradition, as an ‘adaptogen’ remedy and for the treatment of debility and nervous exhaustion, for convalescence and as a general tonic (Mills and Bone, 2000).

Asres, K., Bucar, F., Kartnig, T., Witvrouw, M., Pannecouque, C. and De Clercq, E., 2001. Antiviral activity against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and type 2 (HIV-2) of ethnobotanically selected ethiopian medicinal plants. Phytotherapy research 15, 62-69.
Getahun, A., 1976. Some common medicinal and poisonous plants used in Ethiopian folk medicine. Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Desta, B., 1994. Ethiopian traditional herbal drugs. Part III: Anti-fertility activity of 70 medicinal plants. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 44, 199-209.
Mills, S. and Bone, K., 2000. Withania. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy, Churchill Livingstone, London, pp. 595-602.


Kebercho (Amhar), Kerebicho (Or.)

Echinops kebericho (family Asteraceae)

Echinops Kebericho. Image: wikispecies

Echinops Kebericho. Image: wikispecies

Endemic to Ethiopia, Echinops kebericho, is used for fever and as a taenicidal herb (to expell tapeworm).

The smoke from burning the plant is inhaled to relieve headache and also as a cure for “evil eye” (possession by evil spirits in Ethiopian folk religion).

The root is burned for smoke to ward off mosquitoes and as a snake repellant in the house.  The smoke is inhaled to fight  typhus and fever, and is known to be used as a fumigant, mainly after childbirth. The root is also chewed to alleviate stomach ache.

Demissew, S., 1993. Description of some essential oil bearing plants in Ethiopia and their indigenous uses. Journal of Essential Oil Research 5, 465-479.
Desta, B., 1994. Ethiopian traditional herbal drugs. Part III: Anti-fertility activity of 70 medicinal plants. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 44, 199-209.
Karunamoorthi, K., Ilango, K. and Endale, A., 2009. Ethnobotanical survey of knowledge and usage custom of traditional insect/mosquito repellent plants among the Ethiopian Oromo ethnic group. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 125, 224-229.
Teklehaymanot, T., Giday, M., Medhin, G. and Mekonnen, Y., 2007. Knowledge and use of medicinal plants by people around Debre Libanos monastery in Ethiopia. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 111, 271-283.


Verbena officinalis or Atuch (Amharic)

(family Verbenaceae)

Verbena officinalis. Image: Leo Michels

In Ethiopian traditional practice, the roots of Verbena or Atuch, are soaked in water and drunk to expel roundworm, help with snake bite, and relieve stomach ache and diarhoea.

A ‘herb of all trades’, Verbena is found to have antimicrobial properties and is traditionally used for treating tropical ulcers.

Mixed with olive oil, the juice of the fruit is used as ear drops and a juice made by crushing the fresh leaves, filtering and mixing with honey, is also used to alleviate dry cough in Ethiopia.

Gedif, T. and Hahn, H.J., 2003. The use of medicinal plants in self-care in rural central Ethiopia. Journal of  Ethnopharmacology 87, 155-161.
Teklehaymanot, T., & Giday, M.. 2007. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by people in Zegie Peninsula, Northwestern Ethiopia. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 3(12)
Yineger, H., Kelbessa, E., Bekele, T. and Lulekal, E., 2008. Plants used in traditional management of human ailments at Bale Mountains National Park, Southeastern Ethiopia. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 2, 132-153.


Fennel or Ensilal (Amharic)

Foeniculum vulgare  (family Apiaceae)

Fennel. Image: naturalgreen.ca

In Ethiopia, the boiled or roasted roots of Ensilal or Fennel are traditionally used to treat gonorrohoea, digestive disorders and infant colic.

The juice of the fresh or dried leaves is used to stem nosebleeds and the plant is also known for its anti-fertility properties. Studies record the traditional use of an oral application of the fresh Fennel leaf as an antifertility remedy (Desta, 1995).

Western herbalists are familiar with the use of Fennel seed as a carminative and digestive; and evidence from randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trials suggest that Fennel is effective in reducing infantile colic (Natural Standard, 2010).  Clinical trials also support the use of Fennel in combination with other herbs for dyspeptic conditions of the upper GIT, including pain, nausea, belching and heartburn; chronic non-specific colitis, diarrhoea or constipation.

Getahun, A., 1976. Some common medicinal and poisonous plants used in Ethiopian folk medicine. Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Giday, M., Teklehaymanot, T., Animut, A. and Mekonnen, Y., 2007. Medicinal plants of the Shinasha, Agew-awi and Amhara peoples in northwest Ethiopia. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 110, 516-525.
Natural Standard Inc., 2010. Natural Standard. Retrieved  29th June 2010 from http://www.naturalstandard.com/
Mills, S. and Bone, K., 2000. Withania. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy, Churchill Livingstone, London, pp. 595-602.
Desta, B., 1995. Ethiopian traditional herbal drugs. Part I: Studies on the toxicity and therapeutic activity of local taenicidal medications. J Ethnopharmacol 45, 27-33.


Aloe vera (family Asphodelaceae)

Aloe vera, or Eret in Amharic, is known for its cooling and cathartic properties. It is used in Ethiopia for fever, spleen and liver troubles, as well as ‘knee troubles in old age’ and ‘eye treatment’.

The juice of the plant would  be used on the breast of nursing mothers to assist with weaning as its bitter taste would discourage the baby from suckling.  The juice of the leaf  is also known to be given to a mother  in childbirth to ease labour.

In western medicine, the fresh juice of the Aloe vera plant is used as a topical application to cool burns, and the juice is taken orally for digestive disturbance.

Getahun, A., 1976. Some common medicinal and poisonous plants used in Ethiopian folk medicine. Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Giday, M., Teklehaymanot, T., Animut, A. and Mekonnen, Y., 2007. Medicinal plants of the Shinasha, Agew-awi and Amhara peoples in northwest Ethiopia. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 110, 516-525.


Artemisia Afra

Artemisia Afra. Image: Metafro

Called Ariti in Ethiopia (Amhar), the juice of the crushed leaves of this plant is mixed with water or honey and administered orally to address stomach pain in Ethiopian traditional medicine practice.

The essential oil of Artemisia Afra has antimicrobial properties. In South Africa, it is one of the most popular and commonly used herbal medicines for treating various ailments; from coughs and colds to malaria and diabetes.

Getahun, A., 1976. Some common medicinal and poisonous plants used in Ethiopian folk medicine. Faculty of Science, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 63 pp.
Mangena, T. and Muyima, N. Y. O. (1999), Comparative evaluation of the antimicrobial activities of essential oils of Artemisia afra, Pteronia incana and Rosmarinus officinalis on selected bacteria and yeast strains. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 28: 291–296. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2672.1999.00525.x


144 Comments on “Herbs

  1. Great information,
    I am a pharmacist.
    I enjoyed reading the comments and replies.

  2. i found it very interesting and informative!!
    can any one give me some information about mosquito repellent traditional medicinal plants in which their essential oil is found to be effective.
    thank you!!

  3. Hi
    Can any one here help me in any harbal medicine available in Ethiopia to cure leshimenia.
    Thank you

  4. Hi, I am Rami from Ethiopia. Thank you for the information you posted. I am doing a research in making a herbal toothpaste in Ethiopia and I found the names I needed. Do you know the name of sage leaf and peppermint in amharic?

  5. Nice blog and interesting topic.My grandfather recently diagnosed with gangrene. When I was googling I found out about Marshmallow root/Althea officinalis/ and Buthers broom/ that they have a magnificent curing power for different disease including gangrene.so please is there any one who knows where to find them here in Ethiopia

  6. Hi can anyone tell me what dandelion is in amharic and where to find! Thanks

  7. Got it intetesting.So , could any one offer us the details about ‘Salehu Dires’ ,traditional antipain in the northern part of Ethiopia?Tnx.

  8. Nation rich in herbal medication and traditional healing.Lets keep and develop our flora.

  9. thank u so much
    these posts was very help full
    but i cant found አሽኩቲ and ናትራ from the list .if u know these words pls send me by my gmail yassinadem67@gmail.com.
    if you know አሽኩቲ and ናታራ pls send me with in english and scintifice names
    best regards

  10. What is the English name for Agam (Amharic) tree? It is common in the Northern part of Ethiopia and people eat its fruit.

  11. What is the English meaning of “Tena Adam”? Please….. Thank you.

  12. i need aloe vera juse in ethiopia wher did i get it from addis ababa

  13. Awsome, hi thanks for the information😊. I wanted to ask is sage what is called (koseret) in Amharic?

  14. What is the English or scientific name of the Astenagir (Amharic) plant ?

  15. Hi Lizzie:
    First of all, I would like to thank you for your commendable work on Etse Fews in Fiche. I live in Addis Ababa and have a baby boy born 7 month ago. My son was afflicted with a skin disease that started on his head when he was about a month old. The disease quickly spread and covered his face, neck, elbows, body,knee joints. It forms either a red or a white patch and a scale that falls off as the baby scratches. We took him to a doctor who specializes on skin diseases. She advised us to discontinue all the soap, baby oil and baby powder we were using as well as to bath him every three days instead of everyday, to give his natural body oil a chance to heal itself. Besides, she prescribed about four types of ointments: one for the head, two for the neck, a fourth one for the entire body. Despite our rigorous application and three visits to the doctors office, the symptoms around his body (torso and back) showed improvement. But he still scratches his head and face. Every morning my wife and I are horrified to find him with fresh scratches accompanied by blood stained T-Shirts and bed-sheets on top of healing scars.

    A couple of days ago, my sister showed up with a bunch of leaves from a plant called Astenagir in Amharic, which she was advised by another friend will relieve the itching on my son’s head that is causing him to scratch. We were told to topically apply the juice of the leaves on his entire skin twice a day (morning and evening) . Hesitantly, we juiced the leaves (dark green juice) and applied it on his skin in the evening. Next morning, for the first time in 6 months, we were gladly surprised to see our son awoke with no more fresh scratches on either his head or his face.

    I saw this Astenagir plant grow in the wild, not to mention that it also grows in my kitchen garden (where I grow herbs and vegetables) and were continually annoyed by and weeded it. Now, my hats off to Astenagir, and I will see to it that it enjoys its right place in my kitchen garden.

    To make a long story short, I came across your website when I was yahooying (googling) to learn the English and scientific name as well as more of this miracle plant. Just in case you have not heard of the name Astenagir, I can provide a picture of the plant so that you can help me identify its English and scientific name. I went through your list of herbs on your website and neither its name nor its picture is on the list.
    Thanks for your help in this matter. All the best!

    • Horray Shoangizaw !!
      So exciting to hear Ethiopians are open for Traditional Medicinal treatments. I am herbalist( about to become licensed Herbalist ) and get optimistic as more Ethiopians coming to this platform either looking for information or sharing their experiences.
      I know there is a knowledge gap between practitioners and patients in Ethiopia. Herbal Medicine is not yet in the mind of Ethiopians’ patients ( urban) as it is not quite known as a legitimate form of medicine.

      Feeback like yours would intrigue more and more people reaching out Herbal Medicine. I certainly would love to learn about Ethiopian Herbal Medicine and and incorporate in my practice.
      Thanks for sharing again.

    • HI Shoangizaw – first of all my apologies for missing this note from you all that time ago! this is a great story and thank you for sharing it. According to our work in Ethiopia, Astenagir is Datura stramonium and it has been noted for use topically for burns and fungal infections. It can be quite toxic if taken internally. It is mentioned in our publication: “d’Avigdor E, Wohlmuth H, Asfaw, Z and Awas, T. The current status of knowledge of herbal medicinal plants in Fiche, Ethiopia. J.Ehnobiol Ethnomed 2014; 10:38”

  16. please how I can get on some verbena Atuch from Ethiopia .

  17. does bacopa monniera has Amharic name if it exist in Ethiopia anyway?

  18. I heard people ask translation of the useful herb ashwaghandha and it’s name is ‘gizewa’ specially in northern Ethiopia

    • please can help me to get some verbena Atuch from Ethiopia

    • Hi Meselech
      i am not familiar with this one – perhaps the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute could help you? They have a list of endemic plants of Ethiopia on their website http://www.ebi.gov.et/

  19. hey can anyone tell the name in english of some of this indigenous plants….1.tikur enchet 2.Agam 3.birbira 4.ye habesha tsid 5.mota 6.besana 7.dokma

    • Hello Nebil; Tikur enchet (Prunus africana); Agam (Carissa spinarum); Birbira (Millettia ferruginea); Yehabesha Tsid (Juniperus procera); Mota (Dracaena steudneri); Bisana (Croton macrostachyus) and Dokma (Syzygium guineense)

  20. Nice blog and good writeup. I came across this blog while am looking the scientific name of ‘Dengetegna’ in Amharic. its a kind of root used to treat stomach upsets or blotting. any idea? thanks

    • Hi Gete
      Dingetegna is Taverniera abyssinica, and according to our research was used in Fiche for megana, or unexplained stomach ache

  21. Hi are you a researcher ? I’m one of ethiopian herbal medicinal practitioners I’m glad you bring it out this thank you

  22. I was looking for a herb called NEPTA CATARIA (catnip) which can be used as mosquito repellent .could you let me know it’s amharic name

  23. please, ‘kosoret’ scientific name
    On other hand, I used this part and I say thank you.

      • Hi Lizzi, That is the scientific name. What is it known as by the ordinary person like us?

  24. I am really amazed by the sites information exchange, please keep it up and people if you know others in the field please invite them, so that they will contribute their share. These way a large information base will be built that can help our people.

  25. Hi I want to know the amharic name for spearmint (mentha spicata) thank you.

  26. Dear Botanica Ethiopia Bloger
    My name is wondwosen student at UESTC, china, in bio-medical engineering discipline PhD program, I have found your blog very important for my research. specially, to find scientific name of some Ethiopian plant and the purpose of the plant, that is why I appreciate you to keep up. and if u can please find the scientific name of plant whose local name around Gondar is gorije ( ጎርጅ) and please let me know as soon as possible

    • Hi Wondwosen – I am not familiar with Gorije, but you the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity may be able to help you, or the Universities in Ethiopia such as Addis Ababa University

    • Hello wondwesen! I am Ethiopian Botanist and I will give you the name of your plant if you send me the photo of your plant

  27. Well done Lizz. A very informative blog. I thought these plants and/or plant products would be of interest to you, they are all in Amharic: Bessobila, Girawa, Temenahi, Andahula or Andawula, Misana or Bisana, Atsefaris, Weyira, Birbira, Gesho, Ariti, Tejesar, Nana, Nech Kimem, Tikur Kimem, Tikur Azmud

    • Thank you Fisseha, some of these names are familiar and were in use in Fiche

  28. Thank you for the information. I’m from Wondo Genet Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Research Center. If you can and you want, here is more information about Ethiopian Aromatic and Medicinal plants. Please come and visit us.

    • hey everyone!! im a 6th year architecture student and im graduating this semester and im planing on working ma thesis (graduation project) on Ethiopian endemic plants that need conservation and also some of the systems that we use but are starting to deteriorate because of not sufficient knowledge to be transferred to the next generation !! what do you think about this idea??

      • Yah. M/r Zelalem Temesgen we have a lot of written information, especially in Biodiversity. Also in woreda level their will be original info.
        So we have to collect these and other sources to transfer and research purposes.

      • I would fully encourage you to continue Zelalem, it is important work for the sustainability of these precious plants and the contribution to future generations

    • Thank you Yigermal! We really wanted to visit and hope to do so in future, the work you are doing there is great

  29. Hi Lizzie, some of my friend told me to put a very small pcs of kerbee in one letter water over night and to drink one coffee cup in the morning so that i can heal fast is zat a good idea? right now am not on medication. could you advise me what kind of herb to use to heal fast beside the diet. Thank you in advance for your help. 🙂

  30. Hi Nunu
    I’m sorry to hear you have had a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma. It would be important for you to receive advice on your treatments from your doctor and qualified health care practitioners who are familiar with the treatments involved and can support you throughout. Often it might be a case of surgery with support of good nutrition and possibly herbs, but you do need qualified advice which hopefully you can access where you are currently living. I’m afraid I am not familiar with the shiferaw and mustard treatment; I believe shiferaw is the Moringa Tree, which has many medicinal properties and some evidence of anti-cancer effects, but I would recommend that you seek advice on this by visiting a practitioner who understands the evidence for its use. All the best, Lizzie

    • Thank you Lizzie for your prompt reply and advise, I did my surgery last week on 27th of August removed the breast lump and a surrounding margin of normal tissue and the lymph nodes and this week my Dr. informed me a good news that the surrounding margin of normal tissue and lymph nodes both No contained cancer. Thanks GOD!! 🙂

  31. Hi i am 45 years old female, am an Ethiopian living abroad and my question is i recently noted that I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma breast cancer and i heard that shiferaw and mustard cure the cancer is that true? if it is am willing to come home and take herbal medicine instead of surgery please advise. Thanking you in advance 🙂

  32. I think Mekmako in Amharic and sientfic name is Rumex abyssinicus. I hope that will help.

  33. I did research on artemisia Abyssinica for my b.pharm degree, it was amazing result. I am interested on herbs please give me more info’s. Thanks

    • Hi Wulex – The Artemisia species generally are creating a lot of interest. I do not have further research from my own work in Ethiopia but there are ethnobotanical studies being produced by universities there with more information coming through all the time. It’s good to see!

  34. my name is Khaled Yusuf, I live in Toronto, Canada. Recently a friend of my gave me a herb form Ethiopia. I would like to know what it is before I use it. the name of herb called “Bal qutal” in Oromiffa or Affan Oromo or “fat Kotal” in Harari. If you are familiar with this name could be able to tell me what scientific name is to learn more about it.

    your help greatly appropriated.

    • HI Khaled – I’m afraid I don’t know this one – or am not familiar with the Oromo or Harari names.

  35. Hi am mekdes
    I read the articles they are interesting but they are also other folk medicines in Ethiopia try to find them I hope u will amazed

    • Hi sophonia
      I’m sorry for the late response! I am not sure – possibly Ariti Herbal, or you could contact Ecopia –

  36. botanical name ‘yohimbe’and also ‘entengo herb’what do call it in amharic?

    • I heard Moqumoquko is good for lowering blood pressure. I hope I spelled it right and if anyone know the scientific name for it I very much appreciate your help. my mother used often to lower her blood pressure and it works.

      • Given some dried rhizomes of Moqmoqo (mekmeko) today by an Ethiopian friend, and told to grind them to make a tea, I spent some of the evening trying to further identify the plant, and find the local spelling of the name. The two above spellings have been used in papers referencing its Latin name, Rumex abyssinicus, (Spinach rhubarb). Moqmoqo’s (Rumex abyssinicus) range is “N. Africa – Ethiopia.”

        Assefash and this community is the first place I found a mention and a try at the spelling, which greatly helped my search. There are many local Ethiopian studies that can be found under the Latin name.

        There is a good drawing of the plant and all its parts here: http://tropical.theferns.info/image.php?id=Rumex+abyssinicus

  37. There are more than what is mentioned above, please keep adding the likes of engudai,kereshashimbo , digita dign,anketa,koso ,kitikita among the few
    If a donkey eats engudai dies unless given kereshashimbo, and vice versa.
    digita is used to cure animals skin problem. Aniketa, dign with alchohol for stomach ,koso for tape worms and kitikita for malaria.

  38. Hi, I just wanted to add that I have also really enjoyed “tena adam” in my coffee, and Ethiopian friends all had it growing in their yards for general medicinal use. I belong to an organic CSA farm in CT and I just discovered it growing in our herb section! But now I see there is some contradiction between its scientific names– is it Ruta Chalapensis or Ruta Chalensis? I want to share this with my fellow gardeners! Thanks!

    • Hi Carol
      A belated response from me – apologies. It’s botanical name is Ruta chalepensis L. (Rutaceae)

  39. Hi,i want to know any Ethiopian traditional medicine used to treat epilepsy?

    • I would like to know the English name of Kosaret /kosarat which is used in making berbere powder in Ethiopia.

      • Hi Jyotsna
        You may have found the answer by now! But Koseret is Lippia adoensis

  40. Is it possible to find Echinops kebericho in any store in the US? If yes, where? Thank you in advance!


    • Hi, Kebericho is endemic medicinal herb to Ethiopia. I don’t think the root of this plant ii present in US.
      engida dessalegn

  41. Thank you for all the in-formations here though I am aware of all has been written and it is good seeing the info’s on public domain.

  42. Hi Sil
    Just to follow up on Chenabaria – that may be a local name for Artemisia afra.

  43. Hi Sil

    The Flora of Ethiopia lists Shinfai as Justicia schimperiana (Acanthaceae), which I believe is Sensel (Amhar), described by Giday et al 2007 as used for skin lesions. I have not come across Tena baria yet. All the best with your studies!

  44. Chenabaria I could already find back. But if somebody has any idea what ‘shinfai’ can be, you can always let me know. Thanks

  45. Hello everybody, i’m a cultural anthropology student and i read something on this website about medicinal plants used against evil eye or buda in Ethiopia. This is a herbal mix of which two different debteras in Tigray told me (i’m not quite sure of the orthography): (1) Tena baria, (2) Tena adam (Ruta chalensis), (3) Harie derho (which are the excrements of a hen), (4) Dama kese (Ocimum lamiifolium), (5) Shinfai, (6) the root part of Giraw (Acacia abyssinica). Is there anybody who is able to tell me the scientific name of tena baria and shinfai?? Thanks

    • “Shinfai” pronounced as ‘shinfa-e’ in Tigrigna Language; “feto” in Amharic Language, and a scientific name name “Lepidium Sativum”; and in English “garden cress”


    • Hi; my name is Gizachew Wondemu. Am an Ethiopian working as a farm manager in a flower farm located 20 km from Addis on Ambo road. We are at an altitude of 2600m ASL. If there is any one interested to multiply medicinal plants by our farm we are happy to work with. We do have a greenhouse built for this with most of agricultural inputs. Glad to surf by this web. Thanks

  46. is lepidum sativum ( feto) is used as insect repellent? if yes , w/c part is used as insect repellent? In addition method of application. i need the answer as soon as possible. thank U

    • Hi Teklu
      The householders at Fiche described the use of the seeds of Lepidium sativum, (feto) ground with lemon juice and mixed with water and taken orally, to treat megagne, or unexplained stomach ache, but no mention was made of its use as an insect repellent.
      There are however various mentions in the literature of topical applications of the ground seed for insect repellent activity, including within Ethiopia. It may be useful to direct your enquiry to the experts at the Faculty of Science at Addis Ababa University, or to the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation in Addis Ababa for up to date references and data regarding the use of Ledpidum sativum as an insect repellent in Ethiopia

  47. Is there anybody know if there is herbal Pharmacy in Ethiopia? Is it legal to prescribe Herb in Ethiopia?
    Thank You.

  48. I live in US and study Chinese Herb and Alternative Medicine but i am so interested to integrate Ethiopian Herb if it is prescribed to patients on individual ailement basis. will keep surf this website.

  49. Hi, I found the information on the herbs quite helpful. May I know the Amharic names of these plants; Gravel Root & Hydrangea? Are they available in Ethiopia? Tnx a lot!

  50. Hey I would like to know what “wegert” is called in english. Tnx

    • Hi MesayT
      I am not familiar with this one but looked it up: most references say that Wegert is Silene macroselen, a shrub of the caryophyllaceae family. It is used in beekeeping, and as a smoking material for milk containers. It is also mentioned for use against tapeworm

      • it is being applied for (mitchi besheta) skin inflammation specially around the lips & nose after flu or viral infection. make paste with water. My mom’s favorite.she used to say,lemanegnawem feto medanit new.translates for everything Feto is medicine.

  51. There are many types of herbal medicines in ethiopia .Your start is very good.My advice is to put a picture of the herb ,its use,etc. Ask old priests in
    Ethiopian old gedams ZEGE ,NARGA ,DEK ESTIFA, Around Bahrdar,Gondar,Zeway Island, & others.
    Thank you.

  52. Hi Yosef
    High blood pressure can have many causes, and it is best to speak to a health care practitioner who is qualified to help you. Are you in Ethiopia? A herbalist in Ethiopia would in most cases be more qualified than I am to discuss Ethiopian herbs helpful for managing the symptoms associated with high blood pressure. There is a shop called Ariti Herbals in Addis which might also be able to direct you to the right place, if you live in that area, and they have a range of herbal teas that would be helpful for nervous system support, and Ecopia. Both of these places have websites. From my research, herbs mentioned as having hypotensive properties include Digita (Calpurnia aurea), Abish (Fenugreek: Trigonellum foenum-graecum), Nech shinkurt (garlic: Allium sativum), Attuch/Telenj (Verbena officinalis). All are mentioned as being used as a tea, but a herbalist will tell you the right dosage and how to administer, and what is safe for you to use. I hope this is helpful for you.

  53. I am 42 years old and I have blood presure and need to use herbal medicin which one is the best please tell me

  54. Hi Constanz,

    I think you are looking for an herb called by the scientific name of Ruta chalepensis. In usa if you go to any spanish food stores you will find it. good luck


  55. Constanze, I Think you are talking about “Teana Adam” It means Adam’s Health. it is called RUE..it has yellow flower. small green leaves. some times you can find it at farmers market or Hispanic grocery. Good Luck

  56. I feel that is among the such a lot vital info for me. And i am glad reading your article. However want to commentary on few general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is actually nice : D. Just right activity, cheers

  57. I am desperately looking for the Ethiopian herb called: “Adam’s Head”; it is fuzzy & has a strong smell, while fresh or dried, but a very pleasant taste as a medicinal tea. Used by the Ethiopians for all kinds of ailments.
    Can anybody tell me the botanical name & if we can find it in either the US or Europe?

    • Hi Constanze
      I’m not familiar with this, and my research so far has failed to find reference to this herb by this name but I will ask at Addis Ababa University and the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation, and keep it in mind on my searches. Certainly if we can find a botanical name that would help. I will let you know as soon as I find out anything useful. How did you come across it?
      Kind regards, Lizzie

    • Hi again Constanze
      Abi and Mohammed have come up with the right answer I think. I wasn’t aware of the name “Adam’s Head” but “Tenadam” (Amharic) or Ruta Chalapensis is commonly found in Ethiopia and is as you describe. I saw it in many areas and is a popular herb and well known by many. It has a lovely smell and at one coffee shop in Addis it was placed on the saucer for me to add to the coffee. I will feature the herb soon on the blog, with more information.

      • You are quite right about its role in the coffee cermemony. Does it have any relationship to Ruta which we have in Italy? I tried it in my coffee the other day, but the effect was different and much less potent.


      • Hi Lizziedavigdor,
        I had a wonderful herb served with my coffee during the traditionnal coffee ceremony in Adis Ababa several years ago. I cannot forget this superb smell…
        Can the herb be found in UK or europe?
        Where can I get it? (I am.in London, Ethiopia is a bit far)

    • If it is ‘Tena Adam’ that you are looking for , the name Is Rue; and yes it can be found both in Italy and the U.S.

    • The plant you are looking for is ,in Amharic Tena Adam,in English Rue and in German Weintaute.

    • Yes. You can buy it in a Spanish store. I grew it when I lived in Maryland, US. the Spanish use it against evil eye.

  58. Hi Lina, Thanks. Yes, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Our Twitter handle is @botanicethiopia and you can access the Facebook page from the this blog 🙂

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