For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fever Berry (Croton megalobotrys)

Family Euphorbiaceae
In researching this tree, I came across this article and it leads me to wonder why nothing was done?
“The wood, which is light coloured, is said to be a useful timber and a clear golden-yellow oil can be obtained from the seeds.
In 1899, the medical journal, The Lancet, published and account by a Dr. Maberley of an old prospector who claimed his life had been saved when, stricken with malaria, he had taken ‘some beans’ and bark given to him by an African doctor. Later the old man had given the ‘beans’ to Dr. Maberley who used them to make a preparation with which he successfully treated his own bouts of fever as well as those of his patients. It was some 20 years before he was able to identify the tree as Croton megalobotrys, the bark and seeds which were used as a purgative and were well-known among Africans and early pioneers in malarial areas not only as a cure for the fever but also as a prophylactic. It appears however, that no further research into the medicinal properties of this species has been carried out.”