A member of the Asteraceae family, the bitter leaf is a small shrub native to tropical Africa and is visibly named after its tartness. The leaves are consumed as macerated vegetables in soups or as extracts into tonics to treat various illnesses. Wild chimpanzees have long been observed to ingest the leaves when suffering from parasitic infections. Many herbalists and naturopathic doctors recommend aqueous extracts for their patients as treatment for the range of gastrointestinal tract problems, though supporting anecdotal reports and claims of such health benefits have only surfaced as recently as the last decade. 

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