White's ginger; Mondia whiteiMondia whitei is endemic to South, Central, East and West Africa. In South Africa the plant is restricted to the coast and midlands in KwaZulu-Natal and the Limpopo Province with some records from Swaziland. From here the distribution extends north to the southern parts of Sudan and west as far as Senegal.
Plants grow in dense bush in a variety of woodland and forest habitats. They have even been reported from shrubby swamp grassland. The species is frost intolerant and favours moist tropical and subtropical situations.
Mondia has for a long time been extensively and widely used in traditional medicine. It is used as an antacid and to treat indigestion; as a tonic; to stimulate appetite; and infusions of the root are used in Zimbabwe for treating anorexia and bilharzia. Fits in children and stress and tension in adults are apparently also treated with this plant. The roots are used as an aphrodisiac and for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and impotence.
Some tribes use the roots for making a tea that is used for the treatment of general pains and aches. The dried leaves are powdered and mixed with food and taken daily as a supplement.
Other sources indicate that the plant is further used as a symbol of peace; a sign of power; the treatment of hypertension, stroke, anemia, asthma, hangover, mastitis and allergies; it is also taken to improve sleep, enhance urination, ease birth pains, and as mouth freshener and toothbrush. The leaves serve as animal fodder and are consumed by humans as vegetables.