Tecomaria capensis (Cape Honeysuckle, Kaapse Kanferfoelie, lungana) is used for fevers, pain, sleeplessness, chest ailments, diarrhoea, dysentery, and stomach pains. It also has magical uses and is a popular ornamental plant in eco-gardens.
Ethno Medicinal Uses of Tecomaria capensis
Administered to people: The Zulus take dried powdered bark infusions for fevers, pain, sleeplessness, chest ailments, diarrhoea, dysentery, and stomach pains. The Xhosa take bark infusions for influenza. Powdered bark is used for abdominal ailments, fevers and pneumonia by the Sotho in Limpopo. Leaf decoctions are used for diarrhoea and enteritis by the Swazi. It is reputed to relieve pain and induce sleep and is also rubbed into bleeding gums. (Hutchings et.al.)
Applied in a magical sense: Pieces of stem is sometimes worn on necklaces to encourage milk flow in nursing mothers by the Xhosa. (Hutchings et.al.)
Other Uses: It is browsed by stock and often planted for this purpose. (Hutchings et.al.)
Biological properties: Leaf extracts show antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. (Hutchings et.al.)
Cape honeysuckle is a fast-growing, scrambling, multi-stemmed shrub which may grow up to 2-3 m high and spread more than 2.5 m. It is an evergreen plant in warm regions but loses its leaves in colder ones. It has pinnately compound, glossy leaves that have oval leaflets with blunt teeth. Flowering time for this shrub is very erratic and it often flowers all year round. Flowers are tubular in showy many-flowered heads and vary in colour from red, deep orange, yellow to salmon. (PlantZAfrica)
Tecomaria capensis is an attractive plant and it is a popular garden shrub. It is often planted specifically to attract birds (especially sunbirds), bees, and butterflies to the garden. It is also commonly planted as a hedge, both formal (clipped) and informal. Farmers also plant it, or encourage its growth, along fences as additional grazing for stock. The leaves are browsed by game and stock animals. (PlantZAfrica)
This monograph contains details of Tecomaria capensis 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/tecomaria-capensis. Accessed on 2020/01/23