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Euphorbiaceae, Synadenium grantii, Fang’afa (Luo), African Milk Bush

October 2, 2009

Synadenium grantii is a small succulent shrub in the Euphorbiaceae family, native to central and east Africa. A tradition Luo plant medicine, S. grantii is used as follows:

Dried leaves are inserted into small incisions made in the back to relieve backache or swelling in the joints.

The ash of the leaves is licked by humans to relieve sore throat.

Like many members of the Euphorbiaceae family, the milky latex sap of S. grantii is corrosive and can cause contact dermatitis. However, the latex is traditionally applied to cattle in order to  soften skin and release puss.

This plant is highly toxic. ingestion will cause immediate or delayed severe irritation of the lips, tongue, mouth and throat, possibly leading to convulsions and/or death.

Synadenium grantii leaf

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    July 5, 2011 10:08:33 pm

    I like these, some call the plant the Death Tree. I have several growing here in Nottingham GB. I have to bring them in in winter. Rodney A Ballard, (Yelhsa) ,NG3 6FT.

  2. Ralf permalink
    April 16, 2012 10:08:38 am

    It is my favorite office plant since years…

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