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Useful Temperate Plants

Ballota africana

(L.) Benth.

Lamiaceae

+ Synonyms

Beringeria africana (L.) Neck.

Beringeria crispa (L.) G.Don

Marrubium africanum L.

Marrubium crispum L.

Marrubium laurifolium Steud.

Marrubium thouinii Schult. ex Weinm.

Pseudodictamnus emarginatus (L.) Moench

Stachys africana (L.) Kuntze

Common Name:

Ballota africana

General Information

Ballota africana is an erect to spreading, perennial plant with more or less woody stems; it can grow from 30 - 120cm tall[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for medicinal use. The plant, and products made from it, are traded.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Southern Africa - Namibia, western and southern S. Africa

Habitat

Along streams, in the shelter of rocks and bushes, and as a pioneer in disturbed places[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.75 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Ballota africana is found along the western side of southern Africa, but most commonly in the arid, winter-rainfall areas[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
It grows best in full sun to semi-shade and good drainage is essential[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
The squashed leaves release a pungent aroma[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
In the wild, small seedlings are commonly found around the mother plants[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Ballota africanat has a long history of medicinal use in S. Africa. The leaves have traditionally been used for relieving severe colic and as a snakebite remedy. In combination with Salvia species, they have been used to treat fevers and measles. The early Europeans also used the leaves for this purpose, plus they used them in the same way as the European Ballota nigra to treat coughs, colds, sore throats, influenza, asthma, bronchitis, colic, typhoid fever, hysteria, and over-excitement. Modern herbalists still use an infusion of the leaves for the treatment of coughs and chest conditions. A cough syrup is made by boiling brown sugar, cloves, lemon juice and water with a few sprigs of the plant[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

The traditional use of making a brandy tincture with the leaves is still popular in S. Africa today, especially for the treatment of haemorrhoids. A single tot taken in the evening is said to be a good treatment for colds and influenza, asthma, bronchitis, hoarseness, heart trouble, hysteria, insomnia, typhoid fever, headaches, liver problems, piles and as a foot bath for arthritis[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.
Cuttings of semi-ripe wood in the summer[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
]. Cuttings root within two to three weeks[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. The cuttings should not be kept too wet if they are placed in a mist unit[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-08-18. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Ballota+africana>

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