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Lesertia frutescens

Lesertia frutescens

Afrikaans: Kankerbossie, kalkoentjies

English :  Sutherlandia

IsiXhosa: Umwele


Description and diagnostic features   

   It is a beautiful biannual.  Its bright flowers make quite a show in winter.  Often to be seen next to the road in the Karoo in winter.


Part used     

    Leaves, seeds, and peeled roots are used.

Freshly dug roots are pealed and dried and a snuff is pounded from it.

Leaves are dried and can be used as a tea but they should not be older than a season.     


Uses      

The plant and its parts are used as a snuff or infusion to heat up the body.  At the initial stages of catching a cold when blankets don’t help to warm up this tea is called for.


Warning        

 Only works while fresh or extracted in a non-oxidised state. If it no longer creates heating up of the body then it is no good.           


Habitat             

 It grows well on west facing hills where there is a bit of extra runoff from rain.


Propagation    

Grows well from seed but they have to be planted very shallow and watered daily for ten days before they show.  Any break in the watering can cause them to dry out and die.