Vernonia amygdalina

Scientific name

Vernonia amygdalina

Common name

Ewuro (Ibdan, Nigeria)

Etidot (Cross River State of Nigeria)

Bitter leaf

Origin

Nigeria

Botany

Vernonia amygdalina is a shrub or small tree of 2 – 5 m with petiolate leaf of about 6 mm diameter and elliptic shape. The leaves are green with a characteristic odour and a bitter taste

(Anonymous, 1999). No seeds are produced and the tree has therefore to be distributed through cutting (Anonymous, 2000).

Ecology

Grows under a range of ecological zones in Africa and produces large mass of forage and is drought tolerant (Hutchioson and Dalziel, 1963 cited by Bonsi et al., 1995a). There are about 200 species of Vernonia

Major uses and functions

The leaves are used for human consumption and washed before eating to get rid of the bitter taste. They are used as vegetable and stimulate the digestive system, as well as they reduce fever. Furthermore, are they used as local medicine against leech, which are transmitting bilharziose. Free living chimpanzees eat the leaves, if they have attacked by parasites. Vernonia amygdalina is also used, instead of hops to make beer in Nigeria (Anonymous, 2000). Furthermore, is Vernonina amygdalina found in homes in villages as fence post and pot-herb (Anonymous, 1999).

Feeding value

Vernonia amygdalina has been observed to be eaten by goats in Central Zone of Delta State, Nigeria. However, in general has there been found, that Vernonia amygdalina have an astringent taste, which affects its intake (Bonsi et al., 1995a). The bitter taste is due to anti-nutritional factors such as alkaloids, saponins, tannins and glycosides (Buttler and Bailey, 1973; Ologunde et al., 1992 cited by Bonsi et al. 1995a; Anonymous, 1999). It has been tried to mix Vernonia with molasses to make it more palatable, but 6.6 % of DM intake had to be added to improve the intake of Vernonia. During the dry periode Dairy farmers from Southern Ethiopia feed boiled Vernonia, since the boiling decreases the content of secondary plant compounds and makes the feed more palatable.

Vernonia amygdalina has also been fed to broilers, where it was able to replace 300 g kg-1 of maize-based diet without affecting feed intake, body weight gain and feed efficiency (Teguia et al., 1993 cited by Bonsi et al., 1995a).

Table 1. Chemical composition of Vernonia amygdalina collected form different reference.

Reference Bonsi et al. (1995b)

Bonsi et al. (1995b)

Bonsi et al. (1995a)

Aregheore et al.

(1998)

Aregheore et al. (1998)

Sample

dry leaves

fresh leaves

boiled in water and then sun-dried

leaves without stalks, harvest in dry season, dried in a forced air oven at 50 C for 24 h, Location: Effrum

leaves without stalks, harvest in dry season, dried in a forced air oven at 50 C for 24 h, Location: Eku

DM, g kg-1

926

219

880

-

 

OM, g kg-1 DM

884

877

893

832

914

N, g kg-1 DM

23.7

34.1

42.4

45.1

44.2

NDF, g kg-1 DM

312

237

502

372

409

ADF, g kg-1 DM

277

139

395

263

295

Hemicellulose

35

98

-

109

115

Cellulose

-

-

-

288

281

ADL, g kg-1 DM

61

-

-

148

184

NDIN, g kg-1 DM

6.5

1.7

2.2

-

-

ADIN, g kg-1 DM

2.5

-

-

-

-

Extractable total phenol, %

-

-

-

0.8

0.8

Total tannins, %

-

-

-

0.2

0.1

Condensed tannins, %

-

-

-

0.1

0.1

NDF bound CT, %

-

-

-

0.2

0.3

ADF bound CT, %

-

-

-

0.3

0.3

Soluble tannins, 500 nm g-1 NDF

138

-

-

-

-

Condensed tannins, 500 nm g-1 NDF

47

-

-

-

-

Minerals:

-

-

-

-

-

K

21.1

-

-

-

-

Ca

11.7

-

-

-

-

P

0.7

-

-

-

-

S

2.20

-

-

-

-

Minerals:

         

Na

247

-

-

-

-

Fe

416

-

-

-

-

Mn

75

-

-

-

-

Cu

20

-

-

-

-

Zn

31

-

-

-

-

 

List of Reference used in the text above

Anonymous, (1999). http://bkb-china.com/fidelity/bitter.htm

Anonymous, (2000).

http://www.chemie.uni-bonn.de/oc/ak_br/ANALYTIC/nigeria/vernonia/vern_inf.html

Argheore, E. M., Makkar, H. P. S., Becker, K. (1998). Feed value of some browse plants from the central zone of Delta State Nigeria. Tropical Science 38(2), pp. 97 – 104.

 

 

Bonsi, M. L. K., Osuji, P. O., Tuah, A. K. , Umunna, N. N. (1995a). Vernonia amygdalina as a supplement to teff straw (Eragrostis tef.) fed to Ethiopian Menz sheep. Agroforestry Systems 31(3), pp. 229 – 241.

Bonsi, M. L. K., Osuji, P. O., Tuah, A.K. (1995b). Effect of supplementing teff straw with different levels of leucaena or sesbania leaves on the degradabilities of teff straw, sesbania, leucaena, tagasaste and vernonia and on certain rumen and blood metabolites in Ethiopia Menz sheep, Animal Feed Science and Technology 52, pp. 101 – 129.

Buttler, G. W. and Bailey, R. W. (1973). Chemistry and Biochemistry of Herbage, Vol.1 Academic Press, London and New York.

 

Other references which are including Vernonia amygdalina

Ologunde, M. O., Ayorinde, F. O., Shepard, R. K., Afolabi, O. A. and Oke, O. L. 91992). Sterols of seed oils of iVernonia galanesis, Amaranthus cruentus, Amaranthus caudatus, Amaranthus hybrids and Amaranthus hypochondriacus growth in the humid tropics. J. of Food Agri.58, pp. 221 – 225.

Tolera, A. (1990). Animal production and the feed resource constraints in Welayata Sodo and the suppelmentary value of Desmodium intortum, Stylosanthes guianensis and macrotyloma axillare when fed to growing sheep feeding on a basal diet of maize stover. MSc Thesis. Agricultural University of Norway.

Teguia, A., Tchoumboue, J., Mayaka, B. T. and Tnakou C. M. (1993). The growth of broiler chickens as affected by the replacement of graded levels of maize by sweet potato leaves (Ipomoea batatas) or Ndole (Vernonia spp.) in the finisher diet. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 40,pp. 233 – 237.

Akinpelu D. A. (1999). Antimicrobial activity of Vernonia amygdalina leaves. Fitoterapia – The Journal for the Study of Medical Plants Vol. 70 (4). pp. 432.

Osuji, P. O., Fernandez,-Rivera, S., Odenyo, A. (1995). Improving fibre utilisation and protein supply in animlas fed poor quality roughages: ILRI nutrition research and plans. In: Wallace, R. J. and Lahlou-kassi, A. (eds). Rumen ecology research planning. Proceedings of a workshop, Nairobi (Kenya), pp. 1 – 22.

El Hassan, S. M., Lahlou-Kassi, A. Newbold, C. J. and Wallace, R. J. (1995). Title ??? In: Wallace, R. J. and Lahlou-kassi, A. (eds). Rumen ecology research planning. Proceedings of a workshop, Nairobi (Kenya), pp. 43 – 54.

Ohigashi, H., M. Jisaka, T. Takagaki, H. Nozaki, T. Tada, M.A. Huffman, T. Nishida, M. Kaji, and K. Koshimizu. 1991. A bitter principle and a related steroid glucoside of Vernonia amygdalina, a possible medicinal plant for wild chimpanzees. Agricultural and Biological Chemistry. 55(4): 1201-1203.

Igile G.O., Fafunso M., Fasanmade A., Burda S., Jurzysta M., and Oleszek W.: Toxicity of Vernonia amygdalina leaves, extracts and purified saponins in mice. Proc. Eurp. Food Tox. "Bioactive substances in food of plant origin.", 22-24 September, pp. 394-399,

Olsztyn (1994). Igile G.O., Oleszek W., Jurzysta M., Burda S., Fafunso M., and Fasanmade A. A.: Flavonoids from Vernonia amygdalina and their antioxidant activities. J. Agric. Food Chem. 42: 2445-2448 (1994).

Igile G. O., Oleszek W., Burda S., and Jurzysta M. (1995). Nutritional assessment of Vernonia amygdalina leaves in growing mice. J. Agric. Food Chem. 43: 2162-2166

Aregheore, E. M., Makkar, H. P. S., becker, K. (1997). Chemical composition and tannins in leaves of some browse plants from Delta Central Nigeria eaten by ruminants. Proceedings of the Society of Nutrition Physiology, Frankfurt, Germany, pp. 112.

Igile, G. O., Olezek, W., Jurzysata, M., Burda, S. Fafunso, M., Fasanmade, A.A. (1994). Flavonoids from Vernonia amygdalina and their antioxidant activities. Journal of agricultrual and foodchemistry (USA) 42 (11), pp. 2445 –2448.

May contain something about Vernonia amygdalina:

Wilson (1977). The digestibility and voluntary intake of the leaves of trees and shrubs by sheep and goats. Australian Jouranal of Agricultural Research 28, pp. 501 – 508.

Mecha, I. and Adegbola, T. A. (1980). Chemical composition of some southern Nigeria forage eaten by goats. In: Browse in Africa: the current state of knowledge. In: Le Houerou, H. N. (eds.) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA). pp. 303 – 306.

Onwuka, C. F. I. Akinsoyinu, A. O. and Tewe, O.O. (1989). Feed value of some Nigerian browse plants: chemical composition and in vitro digestibility. East African Agriculture and Forestry Journal 54, pp. 157 – 163.