Eriosema- uQonsi

Family: Fabaceae


Eriosema kraussianum is usually found amongst rocky areas of grassland, throughout eastern South Africa and Swaziland. It is a fairly small (approximately 15cm), erect perennial herb that grows in clumps on rocky areas of grasslands throughout eastern South Africa and Swaziland. The herb has unbranched stems covered in characteristic, silvery silky hairs. Its leaves are shortly stalked. Leaflets are evergreen, about 30 × 7 mm and veined. Inflorescences are about 35 mm tall forming a terminal raceme. Flowers are pale yellow/ creamy white and about 7 mm long and appear from September to November. Its fruit is a flattish pod, about 15 × 8 mm and hairy.

Herb uses

The roots of this species have a long history of use in traditional medicine as a sexual tonic with aphrodisiac qualities for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) and male impotence. Its active chemical components are two closely-related pyranoisoflavones, Kraussianone and Kraussianone. They are reported to boost blood flow to the genital area, taking effect within one hour of consumption and lasting up to 6 hours. The root is infused into hot milk or water, or pounded and boiled root devotions are made and taken in small doses, both in the morning and at night.

Common Names: Pale yellow eriosema (English); uQonsi (isiZulu)