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Ikhambi lamehlo

Ikhambi lamehlo

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Family name: Lamiaceae

Scientific name: Plectranthus ciliatus

Authority: E.Mey. ex Benth.

Synonym: Plectranthus natalensis Gürke

Zulu names: ikhambi lamehlo, ithethe, uchwasha, umsuthuza

Other names: eyelash spur-flower, speckled spurflower, wild white sage (English) gespikkelde, muishondblaar, wimperspoorsalie (Afrikaans)

Description: P. ciliatus is a creeping evergreen perennial groundcover plant that grows on the forest floor. It has broad green leaves with serrated margins and a reddish underside, a reddish stem, small white to reddish-purple flowers, and brown nutlets.

The Zulu name “ikhambi lamehlo” means the remedy or cure for the eyes.

The plants gets the name ikhambi lamehlo because it is used to treat eye related complaints.

The leaves are used to make an infusion that is used to wash the affected and infected eyes. The leaves are also used to make a mouthwash to treat bleeding gums. The plant is used for personal hygiene and to wash clothes.

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