Eriosema rufum (Schumach. & Thonn.) Baill.
Eriosema glomeratum auct.
Eriosema glomeratum laurentii (De Wild.) Baker f.
Eriosema laurentii is a perennial plant with much-branched, more or less woody stems; it usually grows 15 - 45cm tall, occasionally to 2 - 3 metres[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine
Tropical Africa - Senegal to Nigeria, Central African Republic and Sudan, south to Angola, southern DR Congo, Uganda
Savannah in moist places; clearings; cultivated and waste grounds; fallow land; river sides; grassland sometimes swampy; bushland; sandy soil in sunny places; sandy shore, in grass behind high water mark; sometimes very common; 5 - 2,550 metres[
The plant is used for food[
]. We have no further information, but this report probably refers to the leaves being used as a cooked food, since we have a report for Eriosema glomeratum (often confused with this species) being used as a spinach[
The plant has a wide range of traditional uses in Africa, where it is considered to be generally healing and is used in the treatment of eye complaints, pulmonary troubles, naso-pharyngeal afflictions, skin problems including leprosy, venereal diseases etc. It is considered to be laxative[
The plant is a popular treatment for infertility and gynaecological or menstrual complaints in Cameroon[
A methanol extract of the leaves and stems has shown agonistic activities at the estrogen receptor α and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, and prevented menopause-related symptom[
The methanol extract of the aerial parts of Eriosema laurentii does not seem to have an undesirable influence on the endometrium, but might prevent vaginal dryness and bone mass loss and improve the lipid profile[
Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have ripened and dried the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[
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