Swaziland's Flora Database
Swaziland's Flora - siSwati Names and Uses

Compiled by Chris Long, © December 2005

SiSwati names and uses, arranged by alphabetically by botanical name:

Drimia
   altissima    (Tall White Squill)  kutula,  lukhovu,  mahlanganisa,  silulwane,  ukutula,  umhlabelo,  unshlabelo,
      Cultural: Used for magical-medicinal purposes.
      Insecticidal: Bulb is a molluscicide
      Household: Soap
      Medicinal: Bulbs for fractures & backaches. Leaves & roots for pregnancy oedema.
   delagoensis    (Itch-egg)  mahlanganisa,
      Cultural: Protective charm.
      Medicinal: Splints for bones. Bulbs are purgative.
   depressa   
      Cultural: Traditionally used as good luck charm or to harm enemies.
   elata    (Satin Squill)  gibizisila,  gibi'z'phoso,
      Cultural: Protective charm to treat bad luck. Panacea for evil spirits.
      Medicinal: Medicinal for pain reliief & colds.. Emetic. Poisonous qualities.
   sphaerocephala   
      Medicinal: Treat external tumours.
   uniflora   
      Medicinal: Bulbs for expectorants, emetics & diuretics
Dipcadi   umgcobane,  ncamjolo,
   ciliare   
      Food: Edible bulb
   gracillimum   
      Food: Edible bulb
   marlothii   
      Cultural: To induce good aim in hunters
      Medicinal: Medicinal for diseases of sexual organs
      Food: Edible bulb
   rigidifolium   
      Food: Edible bulb
   viride   
      Cultural: Protective charm against storms.
      Food: Edible bulb & leaves.
Drimiopsis
   maculata    (Large-leaved Drimiopsis)  injobo,  ucibicibane,
      Medicinal: Stomach trouble in children
Dracaena
   aletriformis    (Dracaena)  sikhonkhwane,
Dioscorea
   cotinifolia    (Wild Yam)  ingwevu,  lunyawo lwendlovu,  sikhundla,  umkhankha,  umkhanya,
      Medicinal: Bark is medicinal. Related to sources of fertility "pill".
      Food: Edible tubers.
   dregeana    (Wild Yam)  ndiyaza,
      Cultural: Lightening conductor
      Medicinal: Rhizomes are a sedative for hysteria & epilepsy. Poisonous.
      Food: Tubers need much preparation as a famine food only. Poisonous
   quartiniana    (Yam)  lunyawolwendlovu,  unyawo-lwendlovu,
      Food: Tubers need much preparation as a famine food only. Poisonous
   rupicola    (Yam)  lunyawolwendlovu,
      Food: Tubers need much preparation as a famine food only. Poisonous
   sylvatica    (Elephant's Foot)  ingwevu,  intsani,  lunyawolwendlovu,  sikhundla,
      Medicinal: Roots as blood purifiers & for chest conditions. Used in preparation of Cortisone.
          var. brevipes
          var. sylvatica
Dietes   phayimashimane,
   flavida   
      Cultural: Roots worn as a charm to safeguard and strengthen the wearer.
   iridioides   
      Cultural: Roots worn as a charm to safeguard and strengthen the wearer.
Dierama   litsembu,
   adelphicum   
   atrum   
   elatum   
      Household: Making ropes for huts.
   galpinii   
      Household: Making ropes for huts.
   igneum   
      Medicinal: Medicinal enema.
   insigne   
      Household: Making ropes for huts.
   medium   
      Household: Making ropes for huts.
   mobile   
   mossii   
      Household: Making ropes for huts.
   pictum   
      Household: Making ropes for huts.
   robustum   
   trichorhizum   
      Household: Making ropes for huts.
   tyrium   
      Household: Making ropes for huts.
Disa
   aconitoides subsp. aconitoides     ihlamvu,  umashushu,
      Medicinal: Roots to promote fertility in women
   polygonoides   
      Medicinal: Tubers to restore voice after Illness
   stachyoides     ihlamvu elimpofu lasenkangala,
      Cultural: Wards off evil spirits and storms
   versicolor    (Apple-blossom Orchid)  ihlamvu elibomvu ,
      Cultural: Infusion guards against evil
Dianthus
   mooiensis subsp. kirkii    (Frilly Dianthus)  tjanibezwe,
      Cultural: Used to make the Royal Soap for the King.
      Medicinal: Medicinal. Emetic.
Dichrostachys
   cinerea subsp. nyassana    (Large-leaved Sickle Bush)  umsilazembe,
   cinerea subsp. africana    (Sickle Bush)  lusekwane,
   cinerea    (Sickle Bush)  mzilazembe,  umtsetane,  umzilazemba,
      Timber: Used for durable fence posts.
      Cultural: Fencing at Incwala ceremonies. Has medicinal-magico properties.
      Fodder: Forage & fodder. Pods and leaves are nutritous.
      Firewood: Fuel wood
      Household: Inner bark makes strong rope.
      Medicinal: Roots for local anaesthesia and snakebite antidote. Many traditional medicinal uses, maybe antibiotic & pain relieving.
          subsp. africana var. africana
          subsp. africana var. pubescens
          subsp. nyassana
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