Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Gambia

Harnessing Nature’s Healing Power

Gambia, boasts a rich biodiversity and a long history of traditional medicine. The traditional healers, known as “marabouts,” have been harnessing the power of plants and herbs for centuries to treat various ailments. In this article, we will explore some of the fascinating medicinal plants and herbs found in Gambia.

Moringa (Moringa oleifera)

Moringa, also known as the “Miracle Tree,” is a native plant to Gambia and is highly regarded for its medicinal properties. Almost every part of the Moringa tree is used for healing purposes. The leaves are rich in essential nutrients and are commonly used to treat malnutrition. Moringa is also believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties, making it valuable in treating various ailments, including respiratory disorders and digestive issues.

Neem (Azadirachta indica)

Neem, a versatile tree with multiple medicinal properties, has been used in traditional medicine in Gambia for generations. The bark, leaves, seeds, and oil of the Neem tree are all employed for their therapeutic benefits. Neem is known for its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic properties. It is commonly used to treat skin conditions, such as eczema and acne, as well as to alleviate symptoms of malaria and fever.

African Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

African Ginger, also known as “Ata Ile” in the local language, is widely used in traditional medicine for its digestive and anti-inflammatory properties. It is commonly used to relieve stomachaches, indigestion, and nausea. African Ginger is also believed to have antioxidant effects and can be beneficial in boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation.

Kinkeliba (Combretum micranthum)

Kinkeliba, a plant native to Gambia, is widely consumed as an herbal tea for its numerous health benefits. It is believed to have liver-protective properties and is often used to support liver health and treat liver disorders. Kinkeliba tea is also a popular remedy for digestive issues, including bloating and constipation. Additionally, it is rich in antioxidants and can contribute to overall well-being.

Bitter Kola (Garcinia kola)

Bitter Kola is a fruit-bearing tree found in Gambia and is highly regarded for its medicinal properties. The seeds of Bitter Kola are often chewed to alleviate symptoms of cough and throat infections. It is also believed to have antimicrobial properties and is used in traditional medicine to combat bacterial and viral infections. Bitter Kola is rich in antioxidants and can contribute to improved immune function.


The traditional medicine practices of Gambia deeply rely on the abundant plant diversity that the country offers. From the Miracle Tree Moringa to the versatile Neem tree and the digestive aid African Ginger, these plants and herbs have long been cherished for their therapeutic benefits. The traditional healers of Gambia continue to pass down their knowledge and expertise in utilizing these natural remedies, offering an alternative approach to healthcare that respects and appreciates the power of nature.

NB. Our kitchen also serves these rejuvenating plants in our teas and cooking.

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