Why Ogilishi Plant Is Spiritual And Dynamic In Nature

Aja-Ani: The Importance of Knowing One's Mother-Earth
Dibịa Nwangwu Uchendu
Ogilishi is a spiritual tree with the botanical name: newbouldia laevis. Newbouldia laevis (ogilishi) is a tropical plant belonging to the family of Bignoniaceae. A most useful plant in Africa and grows up to 10m in height within a cauliflorous habitat. The plant has shiny dark green leaves and bears large showy terminal purple flowers. It is a familiar live-fence and boundary tree throughout its distribution so often grown as an ornamental plant and is easily cultivated. Ogilishi has a dynamic nature with various spiritual solutions and benefits to man. 
In Ọdịnanị Igbo spirituality it serves as altar of the Gods, a holy and sacred tree. Usually used in boundary demarcation while spiritual anywhere the ground is hot the presence of Fertility tree cools it and bears witness on earth. One can say Ogilishi tree has male and female species. Wherever it is found, pay attention to note what purpose its serving, either as Altar (ọma), Boundary (Oke ani), Grave (ini), Alusi (Mmụọ) Agwụ Altar (Okwu agwụ), Ancestral Altar (Okwu Ndi ichie) among others. The Fertility trees lives up to 500 years always evergreen as many generations ago, our ancestors had it planted in their compounds then presently this generation witnessed the longevity of Ogilishi trees in their families.
Health Benefits Of Fertility Plant:
1. Fertility plant also called ‘tree of life’ is taken as a decoction, the leaf is a natural tea taken by women to treat fertility problems.
2. However, a higher dosage of the leaf decoction has a uterine contraction effect and traditional healers in Nigeria use it to facilitate labour.
3. The young leaf can be cooked with red oil and taken as a drink during labour to facilitate easy delivery.
4. To treat dental caries a decoction of the leaf is used to gargle in the mouth for 4-5 minutes continuously.
5. The bark is stomachic and analgesic.
6. A decoction of Ogilishi leaves is used in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea, epilepsy, cough and convulsion.
7. The bark is made into a decoction then sieved and taken in form of an enema to treat piles and constipation.
8. The dried,powdered form of the bark combined with alligator pepper (Aframomum melegueta) is sniffed as snuff to treat migraine and sinusitis. It cures headache too.
9. The bark applied externally, is used to cure wounds, ulcers and abscesses.
10. A decoction or ethanol extract of the root is used for the treatment of syphilis and intestinal problems such as worms.
11. Ogilishi root is used as a laxative and in treating constipation, convulsions, headache, apsma.
12. The maceration of the root is effective for the treatment of arthritis and rheumatic pains.
13. The powdered root combine with chili pepper (Capsicum frutescens) are put into a carious tooth to treat toothache.
14. The powdered dry root combined with root of Lopharia sp are infused in form of ointment and used to massage oedema arriving through dietary deficiency.
15. A decoction of the root and leaves are remedies for scrotal elephantiasis, fever and as an aphrodisiac.
16. Ogilishi cures pile (inyu ọkpụ) and infections and poison.
17. It is used to cure venomous stings, bites, scratches or injuries.
18. Ogilishi cures Agbụ aka, Enyi Ule, Fibroid, stops vomiting, Uma afọ, Hiccups, Ọkụ afọ etc.
Spiritual Benefits Of Ogilishi.
1. The leaves when cut are used for various spiritual rituals for instance: feeding one’s Chi, Ndị Ichie, Arobunagu etc while the sticks can be cut to represent Chi na Ikenga in absence of the main okposi.
2. Ogilishi is used for purification, cleansing the body, house, car, office, compound to remove uchu, orakwu, also from a person who attended any burial ceremony an unwittingly contracted negative energy.
3. It is used to stop spiritual miscarriages caused by the evil ones during pregnancy.
4. It is used especially by the Igbos for burying the dead, always planted at the head of the grave as a potent and highly spiritual plant.
5. Ogilishi is used as a powerful incense. Either the leaves are dried or grinded into powder form. Then when used as incense it generates positive aura and wards off evil and negative energies.
6. Ogilishi is used for igbapụ àjà.
7. One can use Ogilishi as ọfọ in absence of real ọfọ.
8. Some people venerate Ogilishi same way Ngwụ, Akpu, Orji, Nneochie spiritual trees are venerated.
9. Ogilishi leaves is used to cleanse altars : Ọma mmụọ, Ọma Alusi, Oku Agwụ, among others before igo mmụọ ụtụtụ with kolanut or make any sacrifice to spiritual guides.
10. Ogilishi is used to make images of Gods and spirits for instance Ịtụ Alusi, Ịtụ Chi, Ịtụ Okposi, Ikenga Agwụ etc
11. To remember one’s dream put some leaves of Ogilishi underneath the pillow or boil it, inhale the vapour and sip from it before sleeping. Likely, one will have a good dream and willl remember in the morning.
12. If a dead Nwa Ada is haunting and disturbing the family, ogilishi and other items are used to plead and pacify her.
13. It is used to ward off evil spirits. During our forefathers era, they used to carry corpse on the head, then Ogilishi is used as head gear to carry that (Ogilishi ka eji ebu ozu).
14. After touching dead body during funerals or one helped to carry the corpse/burying the dead, get Ogilishi leaves and cleanse the hands and body immediately else it results to loss of memory or forgetfulness.
15. Ogilishi bears witness between man, ancestors, grave, spirits, and neighbors, it also demarcates between the living and dead.
16. The tree or branch of Ogilishi serve as grave markers in Igbo land.
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