Zanemvula Traditional Healing 
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Gomphocarpus fruticosus

Gomphocarpus fruticosus

Afrikaans:  Vleiklapper,  Tontelbos.

English :

IsiXhosa:


Description and diagnostic features   

   It is a milkweed that oozes milk when the plant is damaged.

   It is a soft herbaceous plant.  The fruits are like balloons filled with cotton like fine threads that are attached to the seed and can carry the seed on the wind.

  The toxic leaves are eaten by the Monarch butterfly larva to protect them from bird attacks.  The toxins are retained in the pupa from the larvae and even into the flying adult butterfly.    


Part used     

    Leaves are used as snuff.

    The freshly picked stems are pealed immediately and dried for later use.


Uses   

    The leaves are used as snuff.

     The dried white stems are used in a mix  to cure the pains of  venereal diseases. (Jan van der Westhuisen uit die Kalaharie)


Warning          

   It has milkweed  toxins in the leaves and stems.

   Using too much of the leaves as snuff can start nose bleeds.

   To be used carefully with Artemisia afra mixed in to protect the liver.  


Habitat             

     It grows all along the edges of roads and disturbed soils.


Propagation    

     It grows from seed.