Desmodium comes from the highland regions of Togo, one of the most fertile in the country. This creeping plant from the Fabaceae family grows in the underbrush protected from intense sunlight. Its harvesters are mostly village women like Ama, Adama, and Akoua, who collect “the peanut plant” that grows under cocoa and coffee plantations .The sale of this product represents a significant supplement to the revenues of the poorest rural families . This helps them financially to have access to basic needs such as hygiene, health and education.
Desmodium leaves are composed of three oval leaflets that are 15 mm to 55 mm long and 10 to 30 mm wide. The middle leaflet is more developed than the lateral ones. Their tips are rounded. There are 5 to 7 lateral veins. The upper surface is smooth and hairless while the lower surface is entirely covered with hair, which gives it a particularly light coloring in the underside of the leaf. The petioles are 15 to 20 mm long. The terminal petiolules measure 5 to 7 mm and the lateral one measure only 1 mm.
Desmodium is a creeping perennial plant with multiple branches that grow as high as 50 cm.
The alternate leaves are composed of three oval leaflets that are 15 mm to 55 mm long and 10 to 30 mm wide. Its flowers are light purple and its fruit is a long green pod that measures 10 to 25 cm in length and 3mm in width. The petiole is only 15 to 20 mm long.
In Africa, Desmodium adscendens is used to heal liver ailments, bronchial asthma, stomach ulcers or constipation.