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Medicinal, culinary and unusual botanicals from Australia and around the world

Kedrostis africana – Baboons Cucumber (plant)

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Kedrostis africana is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family native to Namibia and South Africa, it forms a large caudex with annual stems.

Kedrostis africana tuber is widely used in traditional medicine as an emetic, purgative, diuretic, anti-dropsy and to treat syphilis. Also, a decoction from the crushed fresh bulb is taken twice daily for the management of obesity. One study revealed that “K. africana had high fibre, calcium, iron, manganese, and magnesium contents. The anti-nutrients content were within acceptable limits and hence may not interfere with absorption of other nutrients. The level of these anti-nutrients can also be reduced or totally eliminated by preparation techniques such as soaking, blanching, steaming, boiling and cooking. K. africana is rich in many macro and micro nutrients and can therefore serve as a supplement to prevent many mineral deficiencies. K. africana should therefore be considered a plant with great potential in the food, nutritional and pharmaceutical industries.”  J. Unuofin et al. Nutritional evaluation of Kedrostis africana: An edible wild plant of South Africa. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine.Volume 7, Issue 5, May 2017, Pages 443-449.

Care and Cultivation of Kedrostis africana

Kedrostis africana is not too hard to keep, treat somewhat like a cactus or succulent bonsai. A well drained potting media with a good ratio of inorganic materials such as pumice and washed sand. Full sun to part shade. Keep dry over colder months.

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