Acanthus montanus

Acanthus monathus
© Research Institute Senckenberg Frankfurt/Main, Botany Department 2008.

Acanthus montanus is a forest region robust erect plant occurring in humid places mostly on the stream banks.The plant, native to West Africa, has been introduced to the rest of the world for ornamental purpose. In Nigeria, it is commonly known as the Leopard’s tongue. It grows up to 1 or 1.5 meters high with variable pubescence in its upper parts. Leaves are very variable, deeply incised and irregularly tooth-like in the edge.

Acanthus montanus is used in different parts of the world for treatment of hypertension and cardiac dysfunction, cough, inflammations, dysmenorrhoea. High success rate has been recorded in treatment for boils in southern Nigeria, for its ability to inhibit vascular permeability and haemolysis of red blood cells. Aqueous extract of the root have been showed to cause an increase in total leukocyte and neutrophil count and a significant dose-related increase in macrophage population. Thus, leukocytes are mobilized to sites of infection with activation of phagocytic activity.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer