Rhus natalensis

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Rhus natalensis (KwaZulu Natal rhus) is a plant in the sumac family that is cultivated for food in Africa. It is found from Guinea to Arabia and from Somalia south to South Africa.[1]

Cultivation in Kenya

Rhus natalensis is widespread in Kenya in thickets, bushland, dry forest margins, riverine thickets and wooded grassland up to 3000 meters in altitude.

"Uses: Food: Fruits have a sweet-sour taste. Eaten mainly by children. Bark made into tea (Maasai, Kipsigis). Roots are used in soup (Kikuyu). Tender shoots and young leaves are chewed (Maasai).
"Medicinal: Leaves used for heartburn, roots for influenza and abdominal pains, leaves for cough and stomach-ache (Kamba). A decoction of the roots is taken as a remedy for diarrhoea (Digo). Branches are boiled for stomach problems (Maasai, Samburu).
"Other: Fuelwood. Charcoal. Goat, camel and cattle fodder. Toothbrushes. Root bark source of dye."[1]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 [Patrick M. Maundu, Grace W. Ngugi, and Christine H.S. Kabuye, Traditional Food Plants of Kenya, Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, 1999, p. 194.

External Resources

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