Common Name: Kousso. Hagenia abyssinica. Drawing of the leaves, flowers, fruits and seed. Photograph by: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen. This study provides insight into the medicinal importance of Hagenia abyssinica as well as the degree of threat on its population. Throughout history, Hagenia abyssinica has been used as an anthelmintic in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa. Almost every Ethiopian used to.

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Animals New Zealand’s Marine mammals.

The head of the tapeworm scolex is seldom expelled, so the worm can regrow, hence the need to repeat the treatment every 1—3 months. Kossokousso or cusso is a drug which consists of the panicles of the pistillate flowers of Hagenia. Fungi, Mushrooms, Moulds, Slimes.

Some believe that side-effects are more severe when male flowers are used, and that male flowers have greater emetic activity. Almost every Ethiopian used to drink an extraction of dried flowers once every months to expel tapeworm, which was, and to some extent still is, a common parasite in Ethiopia where raw meat, a source of infection, is a delicacy and a very popular item in the diet.

Collection of inflorescences for medicinal purposes does not greatly affect the plants.

Hagenia abyssinica

Highly valued by locals for its uses, Hagenia abyssinica is often left standing when forest is cleared. Nail-holding power is high. Flora du Rwanda 1: Timber is also collected for fuelwood. Female flowers rather viscid, more red, up to 1.


It is a very rare plant in New Zealand and is seldom found growing. Specimens of Hagenia abyssinica flowers, stem, bark and wood are held in Kew’s Economic Botany Collection in the Sir Joseph Banks Building, where they are available to researchers by appointment. Mature Hagenia abyssinica trees are tolerant of fire, and heavy fires create ideal germination conditions for the small wind-dispersed seeds.

Roots of Hagenia are cooked with meat to produce a soup that is consumed as a treatment for general illness and malaria. Ecological importance of Muehlenbeckia australis. Johnswort Idesia polycarpa Wonder Tree.

Hagenia abyssinica – Useful Tropical Plants

The flowers do not have petals, and the colour is mostly due to the bracts modified leaves. Hakea decurrens Bushy Needlewood.

For more on the ethnomedicinal uses of Hagenia abyssinica visit: The heartwood is very resistant to impregnation. Hagenia abyssinica Bruce J. At these altitudes forest fires are rare, but occasional severe fires can occur during drought.

Views Read Edit View history. Hagenia abyssinica occurs in montane rain forest and evergreen bushland, at altitudes of — — — m where annual rainfall hageniz between mm. Science for Conservation and Management. In Ethiopia, kosso is often taken with other plants to render its action more agreeable, e. It is effective against most types of tapeworm in the gut, but not against cysts outside the gut. With the advent of chemical anthelmintics with reliable dosage and action, the international use of kosso as tapeworm expellent disappeared.

Hagenia has been used as a remedy for intestinal parasites. In mice, doses up to 16 times the lethal dose by the intraperitoneal route produced no observable toxicity by the oral route; high doses affected peripheral vision in chicken.


Besides being a source of medicine, Hagenia has been utilized for various other purposes such as construction, furniture, fuel wood, and soil fertility management. Aybssinica is difficult to predict the medicinal future of Hagenia abyssinica.

In the long term, the crude drug will disappear from use as a result of restrictions on use. Richard Pankhurst cites numerous examples of this practice, noting that “the two-monthly event virtually constituted a holiday for the patient, who withdrew from all normal activity, the statement ‘the master has taken his kosso ,’ being synonymous with ‘he cannot receive you absysinica. A abyasinica fee is required for a licence to exploit it. Hagenia abyssinica Bruce J. Although it haegnia often stated that abyssiniac flowers should be used, most tests reveal no difference in effect between male and female flowers.

Strong doses of kosso can cause fainting, visual disorders or even death. Birds Shore and Seabirds Listed by binomial names and photos.

Kew Backbone Distributions Hedberg, I. New Zealand Herpetological Society 9: Ethnomedicinal uses of Hagenia abyssinica Hageenia J. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa Introduction. Hagenia abyssinica has been used in Ethiopia for centuries.

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