Tulbaghia violacea

Wild Garlic - Tulbaghia violacea

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Plant Uses & Benefits: aromatic, bees, butterflies, culinary herb, flavouring, food, insect repellent, medicine, mole repellent, moths, pot plant, small garden, snake repellent, water-wise

Names

Common names: wild garlic, society garlic (English); utswelane, itswele lomlambo (Xhosa); isihaqa, incinsini (Zulu); wildeknoffel, wildeknoflok (Afrikaans). 
Botanical name: Tulbaghia violacea

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Botanical Name
Tulbaghia violaceae

• Previously –
• Etymology –
• Confusers –
• Other species in the genus
o Tulbaghia capensis
o Tulbaghia simmleri – sweet garlic
Family
Amaryllidaceae


Nature

Type: geophyte
Vegetation type:  
Flower colour: mauve, pink
Flowering season: Spring, Summer
Plant-animal interactions: bees, butterflies, moths
Red list status: Least Concern

Nature
• Indigenous to South Africa, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo
• Rocky slopes and cliffs near rivers.
• Fast-growing, bulbous plant, forming clumps up to 0.5m high.
• Leaves – strap-like, garlic-like fragrance
• Flowers – pink – in summer, mauve, tubular, clustered into umbels, fragrant at night
• Roots – fat tuberous roots
• Water-wise
• Pollinated by moths, also bees and butterflies
Conservation Ecology
• Widely cultivated
• Listed as ‘Least Concern’ in Redlist


Use as Medicine

Herbal traditions: 
Plant parts used: flowers, leaves, roots

Safety & Toxicity

Safety: no safety concerns

• No known safety concerns

Qualities & Phytochemistry

Plant qualities: cleansing, drying, pungent, warming
Phytochemical constituents: S-cysteine-4-oxide, flavonoids, gallotannins, marasmicin, tannins

Root
• Drying, warming, pungent
• Sulphur-containing compounds – S-cysteine-4-oxide broken down to marasmicin (like alliin to allicin in Allium sativum)
• Phenolics – tannins, gallotannins and flavonoids
• Saponins
• Terpenoids
• Glycosides
Leaves
• No information found
Flower
• Phenolic compounds196

Actions & Pharmacology

Plant actions: andrgenic, anthelmintic / vermifuge, anti-cancer, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antiplasmoidial, antiprotozoal, aphrodisiac, cardioprotective, hypoglycaemic / anti-diabetic, hypolipidemic / anti-atherosclerotic, hypotensive, insect repellent

Antibacterial
Antifungal
• In vitro study showing antifungal effects against Aspergillus flavus.197
Antiparasitic
• In vitro study showing activity against Trypanosoma and Leishmania.198
Hypotensive / Antihypertensive
• In vivo studies in rats demonstrated T. violacea methanol leaf extract reduces systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure, and heart rate dose-dependently due to effects on muscarinic receptors and changes in plasma aldosterone.199–201
• In vitro study in rats showed methanol extract addresses renal damage secondary to hypertension via angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition.202
Androgenic
• In vitro study showed extract increased testosterone production in testicular cells.203
Anthelmintic
Antioxidant
Antidiabetic
• In vivo studies in rats showed hypoglycaemic effects.204,205
Hypolipidemic / Anti-atherosclerotic
• In vivo study in rats showed extracts protect against elevated triglyceride, cholesterol, and related liver and kidney damage.206
Cardioprotective
In vivo study in rats showing methanol extract provides protection from myocardial necrosis.207
Anti-cancer
• In vitro study showed methanol and aqueous leaf extracts cause cell death in a number of cancer cell lines.208,209
Other
• Insect Repellent

Preparations

Plant preparations: compress, decoction, dried, enema, fresh, gargle, infusion - aqueous, infusion - vegetable oil, poultice, salt, salve, syrup, tincture, wash

Plant Parts Used
• leaves
• flowers
• roots
Preparations
• The fleshy leaves and flowers are edible and can be used in salads, flavouring stews, and other dishes (substitute for garlic)
• Roots thinly sliced and roasted apparently taste like truffles
• Zulus use the leaves and flowers as spinach and as a hot, peppery seasoning with meat and potatoes
• Syrup

First-Aid Indications

First-aid use: asthma, colds & 'flu, cough, diarrhoea, fever, headache, indigestion, intestinal worms, sinusitis, wounds 

• Skin
• Respiratory
o sinus headaches (crushed leaves)
o cough
o colds and ‘flu
o fever
o asthma
• Digestion
o Digestive upsets
o intestinal worms
• Urogenital
o aphrodisiac (roots)

Medical Indications

Medical use:  

• Asthma
• Tuberculosis
• HIV/AIDS
• Oesophageal cancer (leaves)

Veterinary Indications

Medical use:  

• T. violacea significantly reduced heart rate and blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats.199
• T. violacea improved renal function and morphology in rats,202 and it has antihypertensive effects.200
• T. violacea has a hypoglycaemic, antioxidant, hepatoprotective and hypolipidemic effect in diabetic rats.130,204
• Extracts of T. violacea have acaricidal activity on the tick Rhipicephalus appendiculatus.210
• T. violacea has shown potential as an anticoccidial agent in broiler chickens.211

Dosage

Research


Other Uses

Uses & Benefits: aromatic, bees, butterflies, culinary herb, flavouring, food, insect repellent, medicine, mole repellent, moths, pot plant, small garden, snake repellent, water-wise

Plant Parts Used
• leaves
• flowers
• roots
Preparations
• The fleshy leaves and flowers are edible and can be used in salads, flavouring stews, and other dishes (substitute for garlic)
• Roots thinly sliced and roasted apparently taste like truffles
• Zulus use the leaves and flowers as spinach and as a hot, peppery seasoning with meat and potatoes
• Syrup

• Snake repellent – Zulus plant it around their homes
• Insect repellent – crushed leaves rubbed on skin to repel mosquitoes, ticks, fleas
• Mole repellent


Cultivation & Harvest

Light-level: afternoon sun, full sun, morning sun, semi-shade
Soil type: loamy, sandy, well-composted, well-drained
Soil pH: Acidic, Alkaline, Neutral
Propagation: division, seed

• Easy to grow
• Soil – all soil types, well-drained, compost rich. Acid, Alkaline, Neutral.
• Light – full sull, semi-shade
• Water – drought tolerant, but respond well to watering
Study comparing phytochemistry of cultivated versus wild harvested.212
Propagation
• Seed – hard black seeds are best sown in spring in deep seed trays and can be planted out during their second year
• Division – by dividing larger clumps, after planting leave undisturbed for as long as possible
• First flowering can generally be expected in the second or third year
Harvest
Pests
• Slugs & snails
• Discourage moles from the garden (by their strong smell)


Resources

Websites