Cyphostemma Hypoleucum Case Study

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1.1 Traditional Medicine
Humans owe their continued survival largely to the existence of plants for their general livelihood and most essentially medicinal use. Knowledge as to which plants are more useful than the other has been passed on from one generation to the next (Weiner and Weiner, 1994). According to Simpson and Orgorzaly (1995), applications of various plants in different parts of the world vary amongst cultural groups, as plants are distributed quite differently across countries. In South Africa, a number of plant species with medicinal properties are considered to be vital in the treatment of ailments which has been a common practice in rural areas (Masika et al., 2000).
Globally, numerous people depend on herbal medication as
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It is therefore vital to study the micromorphology of secretory structures and evaluate the potential of the plants they occur on for medicinal purposes. In Africa, many species belonging to the family Vitaceae are used for medicinal purposes. However, since not much work has been done on Cyphostemma hypoleucum (Harv.) Desc. ex Wild & R.B. Drumm., this study seeks to explore and document its…show more content…
It is characterised by stems that are either densely pubescent or tomentose with leaf tendrils. Its leaves are foliolate and grow in 3-5 blades on pubescent petiolules that measure up to 3-5 cm. in length. The leaflet-lamina usually spans up to 10 × 6 cm and are elliptic to obovate. The leaf is characterised by an obtuse or acute apex, and a crenate or serrate-crenate margin. The leaf base is generally lightly pubescent on the adaxial surface and has a grey-tomentose appearance on the abaxial surface (Foden and Potter, 2005). The petiolule of the central leaflet grows up to 1 cm long and the petiolules of the lateral leaflets range from 1 to 2.5 cm in length. The petiolules have densely pubescent stipules attached on them that measure up to 7 cm in length. The yellow flowers grow out and open during spring and also attract birds by producing bright orange to red berries. C. hypoleucum is largely distributed in southern Africa (shown in Figure 1.2). In South Africa, leaf extracts of C. hypoleucum have been used to treat diarrhoea and influenza. A decoction from this plant is administered as an enema for feverish conditions by the Zulu folklore (Hutchings et al., 1996). When treating diarrhoea, warm water or milk is said to be added to crushed stems and leaves (shoots), filtered and administered in enema doses of half a cup for children and one cup for adults (Mlambo, 2008).

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