ORIGIN : Africa
Multi stemmed perennial shrub up to two metres high. From seed sown in spring in well-drained soil. Can also be grown from soft-wood cuttings taken in spring when new shoots develop. Cold tolerant.
PARTS USED: Leaves
Infusions (tea) or decoctions of the fresh or dried leaves, with honey, are used to treat influenza (virus), coughs, pneumonia, colds and fever, while crushed leaves or steam from infusions are commonly inhaled for headaches and colds (Hutchings et al., 1996). As a classic bitter plant it stimulates appetite and is especially good as an alcohol tincture made with cane spirit or vodka. This bitter plant like many other bitter plants have antimicrobial properties and kills various pathogens including intestinal worms (hence its name), is used for treating Malaria and other parasites and viral infections. It has antiviral activities reported from the literature. It is useful as a tincture for sore throats and to steam with (futa-Zulu) for head colds, the essential oils helping here. The plant produces a lovely menthol like smelling essential oil. Other uses include chest complaints, malaria, antipyretic, headaches, and TB. Activities: Anti-microbial, anti-oxidant and narcotic activities are known (Van Wyk and Gericke, 2000).
The leaves are brewed as an infusion (my personal preparation: usually 1.5 tespoons per cup of hot water, I drink 3rd of a cup 3x a day in cases of infection). Period of use: not longer than 14 days, then break for 2 weeks. A tincture is made by adding the leaves and stems into vodka and letting it steep. It will be ready between 2-3 weeks sitting. Then use small amounts: a capful as a schnapps at a time to stimulate appetite and as a bitter tonic for boosting the liver function. A strong decoction of 3ml can be used on an empty stomach to get rid of worms (D.Millard pers comm). This is only a rough guideline and educational in nature, for specific instruction consultation is required to assess the individuals needs.
WARNING! Do not take excessive doses or for long periods of time (not for months at a time). Recommended to use for 14 days as a tea, then to break for 14 days, then can repeat again, as the chemical thujone in the plant has potentially toxic properties with long periods of use that can build up. Small amounts ad hoc (capful of tincture is fine 3-4 x a week). Rather use strong “teas” in times of infection only and for parasites detoxes. Don’t use if pregnant or breastfeeding. The use of the drug is contraindicated in inflammation of the kidneys.
Jean-Francois has this herb available for those who may want it. Please email him firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
To learn more about African Medicinal Plants, Jean-Francois is offering a Special Phytoalchemy Discount Promo on his Online Herbal & Shamanic Medicine Course: http://phytoalchemy.co.za/faq/
Disclaimer: This information is educational only and does not serve to replace a Doctors diagnosis. No claims of curing any condition are made here.