Common names: black pelargonium, umckaloabo (Eng); ikubalo, iyeza lesikhali (Xhosa); kalwerbossie, rabassam (Afr).
Botanical name: Pelargonium sidoides
no known safety concerns
Widely distributed in eastern parts of the country. Dark maroon to black flowers and a large red-fleshed tuber rich in tannins, giving the astringent effect.
Likes full sun, water in summer. Propagate from seed, March to May.
Uses & Benefits
Traditionally root boiled in milk for extended period. As decoction for sore throats, congestion; digestive upsets – diarrhoea, dysentery, and to support recovery from protracted dysentery. German medicine umckaloabo for bronchitis.
Plant safety: No safety concerns
Herbal tradition(s): Cape Herbal Medicine
Plant parts: tuberous rhizome
Phytochemical constituents: tannins