Blue Squill; Scilla natalensisIt is apparently toxic to man when raw, even the sap is reported to burn the skin, and for any preparations taken internally the plant must first be heated. This plant should be treated with extreme caution, as taking any part of it internally is potentially fatal. The bulb is used medicinally in South Africa and is one of the most popularly traded muthi (meaning traditional medicine and pronounced moo-tea) items in KwaZulu-Natal. Warmed fresh bulb scales, slightly burned bulb scales and decoctions of the bulb are used externally as ointments for wound-healing, to treat sprains, fractures, boils and sores and to draw abscesses. The ash from a burnt plant, and the bulb in powdered form, is rubbed into cuts and scratches, and over sprains and fractures. Decoctions are taken as enemas for female infertility and to enhance male potency and libido. It is also known to be used as a purgative, a laxative and for internal tumours, and is used in conjunction with other ingredients in infusions taken during pregnancy to facilitate delivery and in treatments for chest pain and kidney troubles. It is also an ingredient in a medicinal preparation for cattle suffering from lung sickness. It has magical properties for the Tswana who rub the powdered bulb into the back, joints and other body parts to increase their strength and resistance to witchcraft. The plant appears to have significant analgesic and antimicrobial activity, and phytochemical studies have found that it contains compounds known to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-mutagenic properties which would support its use for the treatment of strains, sprains and cancers. Although its effect on sheep appears similar to that caused by cardiac glycoside poisoning, whether or not it contains the same heart glycosides found in the closely related genera of Drimia and Urginea remains to be determined.