Latin Name: Jateorhiza Palmata
Other Common names: Jateorhiza, Cocculus Palmatus
It is a plant of from 4 to 9 feet in height, with a smooth, erect stem, bearing lanceolate leaves in whorls, and yellowish-white flowers in terminal panicles. The roots are triennial, horizontal, long, and yellow.
Jateorhiza palmata occurs naturally in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa (Kwazulu-Natal). It is cultivated in Mozambique, and cultivated and locally naturalized in many tropical countries, including Ghana, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion and also in India and Brazil.
The root has been used as an ingredient in bitters and has also been used to make medicine. The root is the source of the formerly popular medicine ‘radix calumbae’
- Calumba might help to relax the muscles in the intestinal tract.
- It might also increase the amount of acid released in the stomach. It was especially valued as a treatment for digestive problems for people with a weak stomach.
- It is widely used as a treatment against diarrhea and dysentery, gastric irritability, vomiting during pregnancy.
- Traditionally, it has been eaten as a treatment against snakebites, hernia and ruptures.
- Root scrapings are applied onto scarifications made in abscesses to mature them.