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Family: Convolvulaceae

Scientific name: Ipomoea simplex 

Authority: Thunb.

Synonyms: Ipomoea plantaginea (Choisy) Hallier f., Convolvulus burmanni, Choisy., Convolvulus plantagineus, Choisy., Convolvulus simplex, Spreng.

Zulu names: amagontshi, igonsi

Other names: entire-leaved Ipomoea, dwarf white Ipomoea, simple stalked Ipomoea

Plant description: I. simplex is a perennial herb with long and tapering leaves, white flowers, and large and thick tuberous roots. It can be found in the Southern African grassland and savannas.


  • The leaves are used to make a paste that is topically to protect facial skin.
  • The leaf paste is applied on the scalp to treat hair loss.
  • The leaves are used to make a decoction that is administered as a bathing agent to clear skin.
  • The plant is cultivated as a garden ornamental and house plant.

Safety precaution:

Using traditional medicine responsibly can enhance your overall health and well-being. Misuse and abuse can lead to complications. You can inquire about the correct use of traditional medicine from a knowledgeable herbalist and practitioner. You can also visit or email: to learn more about traditional medicine

References and further reading: 

  • Afolayan, A.J., Grierson, D.S. and Mbeng, W.O., 2014. Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used in the management of skin disorders among the Xhosa communities of the Amathole District, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 153(1), pp.220-232.
  • Mtshali, C.S., 1994. An investigation of environmental knowledge among two rural Black communities in Natal (Doctoral dissertation, Rhodes University)

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