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Family: Sapotaceae

Scientific name: Englerophytum magalismontanum

Authority: (Sond.) T.D.Penn.

Synonyms: Bequaertiodendron magalismontanum (Sond.) Heine & J.H.Hemsl., Chrysophyllum magalismontanum Sond., Pachystela magalismontana (Sond.) Lecomte, Pouteria magalismontana (Sond.) A.Meeuse, Zeyherella magalismontana (Sond.) Aubrév. & Pellegr.

Zulu names: amanumbela, umnumbela, umnungumabele

Other names: stem-fruit, Transvaal milkplum (English) stamvrug (Afrikaans)

Plant description: E. magalismontanum is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree that grows to about 3 to 10 m in height. It has oblanceolate glossy dark green leaves with entire margins and a prominent midrib, small pungent brown with a touch of pink flowers, and edible berry fruits with a sticky milky latex. The tree grows in the riverine forest in Southern Africa.


  • The edible fruits are used to make alcoholic beverages such as the mampoer, a home-distilled brandy in the Afrikaans community. The fruits are also used to make jam and jelly.
  • The fruits and roots are used to make an infusion that is used to treat epilepsy.
  • The root and bark is used to treat abdominal pains and infertility.
  • The bark is used to treat inflammation, such as rheumatism.
  • The plant is used to treat asthma, bronchial problems, coughs, chronic coughs, colds, fever, and pleurisy.
  • The plant is used to treat diabetes mellitus.
  • The plant is used to treat skin disorders.
  • The plant is used as tooth sticks / chewing sticks, known as muthala, to improve hygiene and to prevent dental caries.

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: 

  • Adebayo, S.A. and Amoo, S.O., 2019. South African botanical resources: a gold mine of natural pro-inflammatory enzyme inhibitors?. South African Journal of Botany, 123, pp.214-227.
  • Coates-Palgrave, K., 2002. Trees of Southern Africa, 3 ed. Struik, Cape Town.
  • Hutchings, A., Scott, A.H., Lewis, G. and Cunningham, A.B., 1996. Zulu Medicinal Plants: An Inventory; University of Natal Press: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
  • Olaokun, O.O., Manonga, S.A., Zubair, M.S., Maulana, S. and Mkolo, N.M., 2022. Molecular Docking and Molecular Dynamics Studies of Antidiabetic Phenolic Compound Isolated from Leaf Extract of Englerophytum magalismontanum (Sond.) TD Penn. Molecules, 27(10), pp.3175.
  • Van der Merwe, D., Swan, G.E. and Botha, C.J., 2001. Use of ethnoveterinary medicinal plants in cattle by Setswana-speaking people in the Madikwe area of the North West Province of South Africa. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, 72(4), pp.189-196.
  • Van Wyk, B.E., Oudtshoorn, B.V. and Gericke, N., 1997. Medicinal Plants of South Africa. Briza Publications: Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Watt, J. M. and Breyer-Brandwijk, M. G. 1932. The medicinal and poisonous plants of southern Africa, 1st edn. Livingstone, London.

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