Drugs A - Z

African wild potato (Hypoxis hemerocallidea)

treats Benign prostate hyperplasia

Generic Name: African wild potato

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

African potato, Afrika patat, agglutinins, aglucones, bantu tulip, beta-sitosterin, beta-sitosterol, diglucuronide, disulfate, glucuronide-sulfate conjugates, glycosides, Hypoxis, Hypoxis colchicifolia, Hypoxis hemerocallidea, Hypoxis hemerocallidea corm, Hypoxis latifolia, Hypoxis rooperi, Hypoxis roperi, hypoxoside, lectin-like proteins, norlignans picea, phytosterols, pinus, rooperol analogues, sitoserin, South African star grass, star grass, sterretjie.

Background

The African wild potato is native to South Africa. It is a bitter plant used for a wide variety of conditions including diabetes mellitus, hemorrhage, and prostate problems.

Traditional healers have used the African wild potato boiled into tea for its medicinal properties. In southern Mozambique, it was widely used during the Civil War (1976-1992) by both soldiers and civilians who lost blood through injuries. The tea from the plant is said to quickly replace lost blood. The tea is used in conjunction with other plants to combat "bad blood" in patients with diabetes mellitus.

The Shangaan used African wild potato in a mixture with other plants for endometriosis and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The rootstock was one of the ingredients of an infusion taken as an "internal parasiticide" and purgative. The Manyika used the rootstock for medicinal and ceremonial purposes. The Karanga used the rootstock as a remedy for vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pains and fevers. It was also used to treat delirium.

African wild potato may boost immune function, based on indirect evidence that sterols and sterolins in Hypoxis root have the potential to enhance immunity. Some believe its nutrient values are 50,000 times greater than modern vegetables. Today, sterols and sterolins are still sought after and are preferred immune system boosters.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Benign prostate hyperplasia: African wild potato may be a potentially effective treatment option for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Additional study is needed to make a firm recommendation.
Grade: C

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Abdominal pain, arthritis, bladder disorders, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, convulsions, coronary disease, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), delirium, diabetes, endometriosis, epilepsy, fevers, hemorrhage, high cholesterol, HIV/AIDS, immune enhancement, inflammation, insecticide, loss of appetite, lung cancer, lung disease, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pesticide, prostate cancer, psoriasis (skin disease), rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, urinary disorders, viral infections, vomiting, wound healing.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

For benign prostatic hyperplasia, 60-130 milligrams of beta-sitosterol divided into 2-3 doses daily has been taken by mouth. For lung cancer, 1,200-3,200 milligrams of standardized Hypoxis plant extract (200-milligramcapsules) per day divided in three doses has been taken by mouth. African wild potato has also been taken as tumoricidal agent in a dose of 2,400 milligrams daily (12, 200-milligram capsules), although safety and effectiveness has not been proven.

Children (younger than 18 years)

There is no proven safe or effective dose of African wild potato, and use in children is not recommended.

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