Zulu medicinal plants

John Bryan johnbryan@worldnet.att.net
Tue, 24 Dec 2002 11:02:09 PST
Dear Mary Sue:

In the book Zulu Medicinal Plants, An Inventory, Anne Hutchings goes
into great detail of the uses of numerous plants. This book, published
by the University of Natal press in association with the university of
Zululand KwaDiangezwa and National Botanical Instotute, Cape Town, is
fascinating and a great one to have in one's library. The cost is some
$40.00, it would be worth ones time to see if it is still available. My
copy is one of a limited edition, being number 237 of 300 copies.
regarding S. natalensis, which by the way is a lovely plant, often
reaching over 6 feet in height, it states: Bulb decoctions are used as
enemas in children and adults and administered internally to cattle.
They are also used as purgatives and as ingredients in infusions taken
during pregnancy to facilitate delivery. Dried ground leaves are given
to a child who is late in walking. Used for sprains and fractures, and
in enemas administered for internal tumors by the Sotho. Dogs treated
for fistulae and eczema with aqueous solutions are reported to be healed
in five days. The plant contains saponins. Eucomis autumnalis subsp
autumnalis, is used in much the same way, but in addition ; milk or
water decoctions of bulb shavings and roots, taken for colic, flatulance
and abdominal distensions. Bulb decoctions are also used for hangovers,
abd for admonial problems, syphilis and as protective chatms for
diseases of domestic stock. Both Scilla and Eucomis cause death in
sheep. For those interested, Eucomis contain punctatin, autumnalin,
eucomin. Other compounds isolated include; di-benzo-ocpyrones,
autumnariol and autumnarinol the spitocyclic nortriterpene, choladienoic
acid. The book of 450 pages, 8 1/2 by 11, contains all types of
information including plants used for love charms etc.. Could the many
uses of bulbs be one of the reasons some of us love them so? Happy
Holidays to all, and use your Eucomis bulbs and others wisely! For my
part I think growing them and seeing them flower works wonders for the
spirit. Cheers, John E. Bryan

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