Heliotropium gibbosum Friedr.-Holzh.
Heliotropium pustulatum Kaplan
Heliotropium tuberculosum (Cham.) Gürke
Tournefortia tuberculosa Cham.
Heliotropium ciliatum is an erect, herbaceous perennial plant that can grow 20 - 80cm tall from a rhizomatous rootstock. The stems are usually branched from the base[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
No specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, but many members of this plant family (Boraginaceae) are known to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids. These alkaloids have a cumulative effect upon the body and, unless concentrations in a plant are high, occasional use is generally completely safe. They are derived from amino acids including ornithine. Many pyrrolizidine alkaloids have pronounced hepatic toxicity, but the lungs and other organs may be affected as well. Mutagenic and carcinogenic activities of pyrrolizidine alkaloids have also been reported[
Southern Africa - Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and S. Africa.
In riverbanks, savannahs with trees and shrubs and in dry woodlands, on sandy or rocky soils; at elevations up to 1,050 metres[
The leaves are boiled and the water is drunk to cure fever and stomach-ache by Kalahari bushmen[
A decoction of roots and leaves is drunk or applied as an enema to treat pain in the legs[
Oedema as a result of cardiac problems is treated by bathing with a decoction of the whole plant or as a steam bath[
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