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Family name: Fabaceae

Scientific name: Elephantorrhiza elephantina

Authority: (Burch.) Skeels

Synonym: Entada elephantina (Burch.) S.A.O’Donnell & G.P.Lewis

Zulu names: intolwane, intolwane enkulu, ugweje, ugweje obovu, umdabu

Other names: eland’s bean, eland’s wattle, elephant’s root (English) boswortel, eland’s-boontjie, leerbossie, looi ersboontjie, olifantswortel (Afrikaans) mupangara (Shona), mositsane (Sotho, Tswana)

Description: E. elephantina is a low-growing woody shrub. It has bipinnately compound leaves, yellowish flowers, and reddish-brown pods, containing dark brown seeds.

The Zulu name “intolwane” means to a reddish object.

The plants gets the name intolwane because it has an enormous red underground rhizome.

The rhizome (or root) is used to prepare umuthi obovu (red medicine). The roots are used to improve complexion. The root is used to make a tonic to cleanse the womb after an abortion and giving birth and to treat early age menstruation complications in children.

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