Nature is rich in flora and fauna species of wholesome advantages and usefulness. Flora represents plants and fauna represent animal species including the man himself. While the animal population is perhaps easy to identify for use and consumption because of their mobility sometimes far away from their habitats, the same cannot be said of plants until they are transmitted or propagated either natural or artificially to leave their original positions. Thus, science has introduced ethnobotany, a branch of the parent subject which studies how human beings utilize plants. It has since been referred to as one of the richest areas of scientific studies given that plants are largely static, but the course aims to connect people more with plants to understand their names and uses. Recently, however, ethnobotany seems to have a new meaning, interpretation, and generalization to it on the internet as a code word for stoner websites that features basically plants that get human being high.
Stoner ethnobotany websites pulled a big surprise recently when they feature the lion’s tail, a large broadleaf evergreen shrub that belongs to the mint family of plants (Lamiaceae) and native to southern Africa. It was said that Leonotis leonurus as it is regarded scientifically as a big perennial where it is called the “Wild Dagga” and found predominantly along the eastern coast of Cape Province to Natal where many people have used it for aged old medicinal purposes.
Uses and potential uses of “Wild Dagga”
Traditionally and historically, Wild Dagga has been used in the treatment of maladies. It is said to have an amazing array of applications as well as a very strong connection with the South African people. Its roots are used in treating stings and bites from poisonous animals and insects like snakes and scorpions. They have also been found useful in the remedy of boils, itches and skin complain via cutaneous application of moistures containing them. Not just these, they have been smoked like marijuana and tobacco although it has a highly variable effect including “highness” that is common to them. Just recently, the plant has attracted more interest since science has discovered more potential uses and advantages. Below are a few
Treatment of chronic pains
A recent report from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have stressed that the best-supported medicinal use of the wild dagga plant is in the treatment of chronic pains. They have said that there are definitive pieces of evidence that the cannabis or cannabinoids found in the plant is effective in the treatment of pains and that makes it by far the reason people request medical marijuana.
Treatment of muscle spasms
The report mentioned earlier didn’t stop at the use of dagga for pain treatments, it went on to reveal that there are strong pieces of evidence to support how massively it can help with muscle spasms especially the ones that are related to multiple sclerosis. It further states that other muscle spasms respond to treatment from the plant too as diaphragm spasms which are untreatable by other means respond positively to prescribed dagga medications.
Doesn’t harm the lungs and may improve it
One could finally find a trace to why the South African government says that the use of dagga plant is no longer illegal. It has been revealed that smoking of the plant doesn’t affect the lungs except for smokers who smoke tobacco too. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has stressed that not only does the plant not damage or impair the lungs, it also possesses the ability to increase its capacity.
Possible use in treatment of glaucoma
It has been said wild dagga possibly contains extracts that could be used to make drugs for the treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma is known to increase pressure in the eyeball which causes damage to the optic nerve hence loss of vision but the dagga plant is said to contain components that lower pressure inside the eyes. This is according to the National Eye Institute. Still, medical consensus thinks that the plant only helps to lower IOP for only a few hours, which means that it’s probably not good enough evidence at the moment. The researcher, however, hoped that marijuana-based compounds be developed to help the treatment last longer.
Control of epileptic seizures
Again, cannabidiol contained in marijuana (wild dagga) seems to help people with treatment of resistant epilepsy. This has been tested and found effective as well as the only thing that helps control seizures in some children. There hasn’t been a gold-standard claim and double-blind studies on this topic. Researchers may need more data on how effective the plant is for this purpose.
Chemical found in dagga stops cancer cells from spreading
The above discovery has fuelled speculations on whether wild dagga would be useful in cancer treatments. According to researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center in Francisco, 2007, extracts from the plant prevent the spreading of cancer in a scientific culture. Previous studies also show similar occurrences on aggressive brain tumors and mice cell cultures, shrinking the tumor at the right dose. Although more investigations are needed, there are possibilities that this might be the way to go in cancer treatment.
Cannabis has been found to reduce anxiety levels in low doses. The researcher has revealed that a low dosage of cannabis could be useful for anyone to relax, but a high dosage results in anxiety. This claim is according to Emma Childs, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Helps to control inflammatory bowel diseases
It has been observed that patients that are suffering from certain inflammatory bowel conditions as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease could benefit from using the dagga plant. Professionals have found out that this is perhaps possible because cannabidiol interacts with body cells to play significant roles in the gut and in raising the immune system. This is according to a study that was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Reduces possible arthritis pains and discomfort
It is no longer a secret that marijuana alleviates pain by promoting sleep as well as reduces inflammations. That being said, a 2011 study has suggested that cannabis compounds and plants may relieve pains and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis condition.
Dagga probably fights obesity
Professionals have observed and said that cannabis smokers tend to be less obese, including that they have better responses to sugar consumption. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine has also suggested that pot smokers are usually skinnier than average individuals and that they possess healthier metabolism as well as a positive reaction to sugar consumption even though they tend to eat more calories than fewer smokers.
Looking further and beyond, there could more incredible uses and medical advantages of wild dagga. Researchers could only do more to ascertain these potentials and make the people become confident of the medicinal uses as much as the common traditional usage.