Tarchonanthus camphoratus L.
Common names: camphor bush (E), moologa (V), mofahlana (S.Sotho), igqeba emlimhlophe (Z), wildekanferbos (A), mofathla (T)
- The flowers attract a vast number of honeybees, insects and butterflies.
- The insects in turn will lure insectivorous bird species.
- Although the leaves are occasionally browsed by animals such as giraffe, wildebeest and various small and large antelope, and more typically during times of scarcity and drought.
- The fluffy seeds are often used by birds to line their nests.
- The leaves and twigs of this plant are the most used plants in respect of their medicinal value.
- The leaves are smoked (slightly narcotic), chewed or taken as a snuff, and have shown antispasmodic, diaphoretic and decongestant effects.
- A volatile oil can be extracted from the leaves which has shown antibacterial and antifungal activity.
- This essential oil has shown promise as an additive in cosmetic products due to its soothing, anti-irritant properties, making it ideal to use for treating sensitive skins, bedsores, insect bites, sunburn and dermatitis.
- The fumes from crushed leaves can be inhaled, as well as the smoke from burning fresh leaves, and this is said to help clear blocked sinus’, relieve headaches, asthma and rheumatism.
- Infusions and tinctures made from the leaves and twigs (typically by boiling them in water), are used to treat coughs, bronchitis, stomach complaints and pains, heartburn, over-anxiety, headache and toothache.
- A hot poultice is also made from the leaves, and this is usually put on the chest to give relief from headaches, lung complaints and inflammation.
- A topical ointment is made to treat stiffness, sore and tired muscles and bodily aches.
- The leaves can assist preservation in skin lotions.
- The aromatic leaves are used in fragrant body products and hair washes.
- Problems such as blocked sinuses and headache can be healed by inhaling the smoke from the burning green leaves.
- Drinking a boiled mixture of leaves and water can help to treat coughing, toothache, abdominal pain and bronchitis.
- The wood is rich in aromatic oils) and known to be termite-proof.
- The wood is also used for musical instruments and smaller, general utensils and in cabinetwork.
- The poles are popular in the construction of boats and to make durable fencing posts.
- Camphor is a known insect and mosquito repellent.
- Can be used as firewood.
- The cotton wool-like heads were used to stuff cushions.
- The leaves can be used in a range of ointments.