Sunday, 16 April 2017

Blue Lily

Blue lily

Image result for blue lily plantA preparation of the roots is taken in the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. It is mildly laxative, a uterotonic, and may assist the functioning of the kidneys. Water in which the plant is growing is taken twice a day from the fifth month of pregnancy to ensure a healthy baby. A strong decoction of the rhizome is taken to induce labor, augment contractions, and to expel the placenta. An infusion of the root is used as an emetic for coughs and chest and heart conditions.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Coastal Golden-leaf

Coastal Golden-leaf

a tree in the Phyllanthaceae family and is native to tropical and southern Africa as well as to the Island of RĂ©union in the Indian Ocean

Bridelia micrantha has been used locally in folk medicine, variously as an anti-abortifacient, an antidote, a laxative or purgative; and to treat diverse conditions of the central nervous system (headache), eye (infections, conjunctivitis), the gastrointestinal system (abdominal pain, constipation, gastritis), respiratory system (common cold), and the skin (scabies); [10] and used hygienically as a mouthwash

wild grape (isinwazi)

a scrambling creeper plant with a huge red tuber. The tuber is made into a decoction taken as a uterotonic (tone the uterus) and to faciliate delivery. It appears to be rich in flavanoids which can explain its uses.

Forest fever-berry

Forest fever-berry; Croton sylvaticus

Croton sylvaticus grows in coastal and inland forests, in scrub, often along streams from Port St. Johns through KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland and Mpumalanga to Limpopo.

The wood of Croton sylvaticus is soft, very pale in colour, often with small dark streaks, and is easily worked. It burns like Ptaeroxylon obliquum (sneezewood) when it is green. It is noteworthy that the Venda name muima-vanda means 'stand in courtyard'. The Xhosa name, umFeze refers to the spittle-bug, an insect that often infests the tree. Leaves are made into a poultice to treat pleurisy. The bark is used to treat rheumatism and in Gazaland is utilized as a fish poison. Finely ground bark is used for the treatment of intestinal disorders, for healing bleeding gums and as a purgative. Powdered bark is used by the Swazi for gallsickness in cattle. It is an attractive, fast-growing decorative shade tree for warmer gardens. Particularly beautiful when covered with bunches of bright orange fruits, the forest fever-berry can be evergreen under favourable conditions.

Image result for Forest fever-berry


Saturday, 8 April 2017



In traditional African medicine, a tea made from the powdered bark of a tall evergreen tree (Pygeum africanum)is sipped to control urinary disorders in men. Today, pygeum is a popular herbal supplement in several parts of the world for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate gland that can cause urination problems. This harmless condition affects most men over age 50, commonly causing urinary problems.

Image result for pygeumPygeum has been approved for treating mild to moderate BPH in Europe since the early 1970s. The bark appears to work by reducing inflammation, promoting urination, and ridding the prostate of cholesterol deposits that can occur with BPH. Symptoms of prostate problems may ease as a result. Pygeum’s use in treating impotence and male infertility has also been explored.

In Western countries pygeum is typically taken in tablet or tincture form. Look for an extract of the plant standardized to contain 13% (total) sterols. Pygeum is commonly sold in combination with other herbs believed to benefit the prostate, such as saw palmetto and nettle.


Star flower

Star flower; Hypoxis hemerocallidea

Image result for Hypoxis hemerocallideaOne of the plants used traditionally in African medicine is Hypoxis hemerocallidea also known as star flower, African potato or Inkomfe in Zulu. It is native to southern Africa from South Africa as far north as Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It is a tuberous perennial with strap-like leaves and yellow star shaped leaves. The tuberous rootstock or corm is the part mostly used for it’s medicinal properties. It is dark brown to black on the outside and yellow on the inside when freshly cut.

Infusions of the corm are used traditionally as emetics (a compound which induces vomiting) to treat dizziness, bladder disorders and insanity (Pujol, J. 1990 and Hutchings, A. 1996). An infusion is prepared when the plant part is macerated (finely chopped up) and soaked in cold or boiling water to extract the active compounds. The water extract (infusion) is usually taken orally.

Decoctions have been given to weak children as a tonic. Decoctions are prepared by boiling plant parts in water and then drinking the extract. The stems and leaves are mixed with other ingredients to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (non-malignant enlargement of the prostate gland in men). Other traditional medicinal uses of this plant include the treatment of testicular tumours and urinary infection. Anti-cancer, anti-HIV and anti-inflammatory properties of this medicinal plant have shown promising results in clinical trials (Albrecht, C. F. 1996). The juice is reported to be applied to burns (Watt, J. M. & Breyer-Brandwijk, M.G. 1962).