Botanical Name :Hagenia Abyssinica / Brayera anthelmintica
Species: H. abyssinica
Synonyms:Banksia abyssinica, Brayera anthelmintica, Hagenia abyssinica var. viridifolia and Hagenia anthelmintica.
Common Names :Banksia Abyssinica. Kooso. Kusso. Kosso. Cossoo. Cusso. African redwood, East African Rosewood, brayera, cusso, hagenia, or kousso, in Amharic as kosso, and in Swahili as mdobore or mlozilozi.
Parts Used: Herb, unripe fruit, and the dried panicles of the pistillate flowers.
Habitat: North-Eastern Africa, and cultivated in Abyssinia; official in United States of America.It is generally found from 2000-3000 m elevation, in areas receiving 1000-1500 mm of rainfall annually. It can be found growing in mixed afromontane forest with Podocarpus, Afrocarpus, and other trees, and in drier afromontane forests and woodlands where Hagenia is dominant, or in mixed stands of Hagenia and Juniperus procera. It is often found near the upper limit of forest growth.
It is a tree up to 20 m in height, with a short trunk, thick branches, and thick, peeling bark. The leaves are up to 40 cm long, compound with 7-13 leaflets, each leaflet about 10 cm long with a finely serrated margin, green above, silvery-haired below. The flowers are white to orange-buff or pinkish-red, produced in panicles 30-60 cm long.
Parts Used: Herb, unripe fruit, and the dried panicles of the pistillate flowers
Constituents: A volatile oil, a bitter acrid resin, tannic acid, and a bitter principle called A Kosin and B Kosin, which is found in Kousso, but thought to be decomposition products. The principle constituent of Kousso is Koso-toxin, a yellow amorphous body, possibly closely allied to filicia acid, and Rottlerin; other inactive colourless bodies are crystalline Protokosin and Kosidin.
Purgative and anthelmintic; the Abyssinians are greatly troubled with tapeworm, and Kousso is used by them to expel the worms. One dose is said to be effective in destroying both kinds of tapeworms, the taenia solium and bothriocephalus latus; but as it possesses little cathartic power the subsequent administration of a purgative is generally necessary to bring away the destroyed ectozoon. The dose of the flowers when powdered is from 4 to 5 1/2 drachms, macerated in 3 gills of lukewarm water for 15 minutes; the unstrained infusion is taken in two or three doses following each other, freely drinking lemon-juice or tamarind water before and after the doses. It is advisable to fast twenty-four or forty-eight hours before taking the drug. The operation is usually safe, effective, and quick, merely causing sometimes a slight nausea, but it has never failed to expel the worm. Occasionally emesis takes place or diuresis, and collapse follows, but cases of this sort are extremely rare. It is said in Abyssinia that honey gathered from beehives immediately the Kousso plants have flowered is very effective in teaspoonful doses as a taenicide, its effect being to poison the worms.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.