Apart from the beautiful flowers that bloom from this plant, it is also easy to grow and requires very little water and maintenance. Its’ Scientific name is Carpobrotus edulis but commonly known as sour fig or umgongozi (zulu)
Growing up I personally hated this plant because my mom would either make me chew on it when my tonsils were giving me problems or rub the juice on my skin when my eczema was flaring up. I never appreciated its beauty until I grew older and started understanding the world around me. I am particularly fascinated because I often find bees pollinating the flowers and cannot help but capture the moment.
I remember during our final year of varsity a friend of mine did a project on this plant and would tell us about the amazing benefits , it was only on our presentation day that I saw that she was talking about the plant I hated so much growing up. I then did some research and this plant has a number of medical uses such as :
Treating diarrhoea, and stomach cramps when the juice is mixed with water and swallowed
It relieves laryngitis , sore throats and mouth infections when the juice is mixed with water and gargled
The leaf juice can be applied as a soothing lotion for burns, bruises, scrapes, cuts, grazes and sunburn, ringworm, eczema, dermatitis, sunburn, herpes, nappy rash, thrush, cold sores, cracked lips, chafing, skin conditions and allergies.
A mixture of leaf juice, honey and olive oil in water is an old remedy for TB
The leaf juice also relieves the itch from mosquito, tick and spider bites
Source : http://pza.sanbi.org/carpobrotus-edulis
It can be grown from cuttings in the summer and does not require a lot of water or care. It is a great plant that can be used if you want to add colour and diversity to your garden and definitely one of my favorites.
Happy Planting !