Buddleja saligna (false olive, iGqeba-elimhlope, witolien) is a popular cough and cold remedy. It is the perfect addition to small eco-gardens aiming for high biodiversity.
Ethno Medicinal Uses of Buddleja saligna
Administered to people: Unspecified parts are used by the Zulus to treat coughs and colds. Leaf decoctions are used by the Tswana and Kwena for coughs and colds. Root scrapings are used as purgatives and root wine decoctions for anasarca (general swelling of the whole body that can occur when the tissues of the body retain too much fluid. The condition is also known as extreme generalized oedema). (Hutching et.al.)
Caution: Root scrapings taken as purgatives sometimes cause vomiting. (Hutching et.al.)
Other uses: The wood is very fine-grained and was used to make small pieces of furniture. The straight branches were used to make fence posts. The false olive was used to make assegai handles. It also makes good fuelwood as it burns with intense heat. The large amounts of pollen and nectar it produces make it popular with bee farmers. (PlantZAfrica)
Buddleja saligna is a very hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, drought-resistant small tree or large shrub for a small indigenous garden in Gauteng – especially if you are aiming for creating a living landscape with high biodiversity. It grows up to 800 mm per year. (Wildflower Nursery)
In larger gardens, it is a quick screen plant, hedge or windbreak. It is useful as a pioneer tree for a new forest garden. It also makes a very good clipped hedge. It is evergreen, frost hardy and drought resistant and the masses of sweetly-honey-scented white flowers make a lovely spring and summer show. It will grow in most soils but added compost will improve performance. It may need cutting back after flowering to keep tidy. The false olive does not have an aggressive root system. (Wildflower Nursery)
This monograph contains details of Buddleja saligna as per the references cited below. If you can provide any additional information, photos or reliable use records, or spot any errors, please leave a comment below or in The Muthi Flora of southern Africa Facebook group.
Arnold. T.H., Prentice, C.A., Hawker, L.C., Snyman, E.E., Tomalin, M., Crouch, N.R. and Pottas-Bircher, C. (2002). Medicinal and magical plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 13. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
Hutchings, A., Scott, A.H., Lewis, G., Cunnigham, A.B., (1996). Zulu Medicinal Plants: an inventory. University of Natal
PlantZAfrica – http://pza.sanbi.org/buddleja-saligna. Accessed on 2020/01/18
Wildflower Nursery – https://wildflowernursery.co.za/indigenous-plant-database/buddleja-saligna/. Accessed on 2020/01/18