The plant is normally found along rivers and lakes, in forest margins, wood land and open grass land in the wild or cultivated. It grows very well under full sunlight and humid environmental conditions. The Vernonia amygdalina plant is a shrub that grows to a height of 1-3 m with petiole leafs of about 6 mm in diameter and about 20 cm long, and elliptic in shape. The leaves are dark green colored with a characteristic odour and have a bitter taste. The bark is grey or brown and has a rough texture that is flaked. Its flowers are white, small, tiny, and clustered with small fruits that are slightly hairy, with small nuts inside. Although the bitter leaf plant has been harvested in the wild for centuries, some communities have taken the initiative to grow it on farms. This is because herbal clinics are emerging that use it widely as an ingredient in the herbal formulations and also because of its demand as a vegetable in some communities.
Bitter Leaf ( Vernonia amygdalina ) is a medicinal herb native to tropical regions of Africa. The locals consume the leaves as vegetable. The leaves are used in soups, cooking, for tea, and applied topically on minor skin irritations. Locals use the juice of the Bitter Leaf to relieve fever, increase metabolism for weight loss, enhance breast milk production, stomach ailment, constipation, support and detoxify the liver, and support healthy blood sugar. This herb contains vitamin A, C, E, B1 and B2, as well as phyochemicals.