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Ikhambi lesihlungu

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Family name: Convolvulaceae

Scientific name: Ipomoea ficifolia

Authority: Lindl.

Synonym: Convolvulus ficifolius (Lindl.) Kuntze

Zulu names: ikhambi lesihlungu, umkhokha wehlathi

Short description: I. ficifolia is a tuberous geophyte with heart-shaped leaves, funnel-shaped flowers that are pinkish to reddish purple in colour, and globose capsules containing up to 4 seeds that are reddish to dark brown in colour.


The Zulu name “ikhambi lesihlungu” means “the herb of poison”.

The plant gets the name ikhambi lesihlungu because it is used to treat poisonous snakebites.

Related uses: The leaves are used to make poultice that is applied topically to treat stings and wounds. The leaves are also used to make an infusion that is taken to treat snakebites.

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