Magic Guarri (Euclea divinorum)
Current name: Euclea divinorum
Embelia oleifera S. Moore
Euclea huillensis Gurke
Euclea katangensis De Wild.
Euclea keniensis R.E. Fries.
Euclea lanceolata sensu Hiern
English: Magic gwarra
Zulu : Umhlangula
Its Latin name relates to the fact the its branches are used to divine (i.e. locate) water.
In open woodland, often associated with termite mounds.
Altitude range: 840 - 1500 m
Flowering time: Aug - Jan
Worldwide distribution: From Ethiopia and the Sudan south to South Africa.
This is a deciduous shrub or small tree, found in thorn scrub, on hill sides, along river banks and in woodland. The bark is light grey in colour and smooth. It grows to heights of up to 6 meters. The leaves are dark blueish-green above and lighter below.
The flowers are very small and white to creamy yellow in colour.
The fruit is round in shape and fleshy, becoming purplish black when fully mature. The fruit is edible but not pleasant tasting.
The plant has remarkable coppicing and root suckering ability and if not checked, tends to weediness, dominating pasture to the detriment of wildlife and pastoralism.
The fruit can be used as a laxative and used as a cleansing agent. The fruits have also been used to make pink coloured ink. Fruit is also used in the fermentation of beer.
Roots of this shrub are dug out and pounded or crushed. Boiled powder with palm leaves is used to paint baskets dark brown.
The fibrous bark makes a very good toothbrush, especially since the sap is said to kill most oral bacteria. You can also rub guarri leaves on exposed limbs to repel insects - something that many animals take advantage of.
The root is used in the production of black floor mats. In Ovamboland a purple ink is made by boiling the fruit.
The Ovambo tribe hangs small branches in their huts as good luck charms.
They will not cut this tree down, as the wood is believed to have supernatural powers.
Digging up a piece of the root and carrying it home without speaking to anyone is helpful in making creditors forget the debt you owe them.
Against stomach disease bark is dried and ground; 1 pinch of the powder is mixed with 1 glassful of water; also, the whole root can be boiled and the resultant solution taken as a remedy for stomach disease. lt is taken only once, and it acts as a purgative. This medicine may not be taken by children.
This mixture is also given give to a man who sleeps with an adulteress who got pregnant by a man other than her husband. One teacup of water boiled with powdered roots is taken three times a day.
Women who fail to menstruate take one teacup of water boiled with powdered roots is three times a day.
Against constipation, two cups of water boiled with roots are taken twice a day.
In Kenya the root decoction is used as a purgative and the bark infusion as an appetizer. Decoctions of the root are used by the Zulu for toothache.
: The photos from our trip! Overhere! Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c