Gisekia congesta Moq.
Gisekia linearifolia Schumach. & Thonn.
Gisekia rubella Hochst. ex Moq.
Common Name: Gisekia
Gisekia is a slightly succulent, glabrous, annual green herb, often with a pinkish tinge[
]. The stems are trailing, decumbent or prostrate, up to 80 cm long, sometimes longer[
The plant is gathered from the wild for local use as a food and medicine.
The fruits are said to be poisonous[
Tropical Africa to Arabia. Also found in many other areas of the drier tropics and subtropics.
A weed found along roadsides, in grassland, bushland and woodland, mostly on sandy soils, from sea-level up to elevations of 1,700 metres[
Succeeds in the drier areas of tropical and subtropical climates.
Leaves - occasionally eaten as a vegetable[
]. It is more likely to be eaten as an emergency food[
]. In some areas it is used as a condiment[
The whole plant is eaten as a general strength restorative, e.g. after miscarriage[
]. The cooked green leaves are eaten to treat asthma[
The plant is considered to be a purgative in some areas, whilst in others it is taken to cure diarrhoea[
It is used as a taenicide, but the plant should be consumed with great caution[
The leaves are rubbed on swellings and the stem, pounded in butter, is placed on aching muscles[
The sap of the plant is used against warts[
The roots are made into a chest medicine[
The seeds probably possess anthelmintic properties[
Several phenolic acids have been identified in the vegetative parts, including p-OH-benzoic acid, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and vanillic acid[
]. Ferulic and sinapic acids were absent, although these are usually present in the Aizoaceae[
The tannin-like principles Î±- and Î²-gisekia have been found in the seed[
Tannins are present in the whole plant[
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