The Bulbinella Herb Plant and Its Medicinal Uses
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The Bulbinella Herb Plant and Its Medicinal Uses

The drought-resistant South African bulbinella herb has many medicinal uses. Bulbinella is particularly helpful as a treatment for mosquito bites.

Bulbinella is a herb that is indigenous to South Africa. The drought-resistant South African bulbinella herb has many medicinal uses, making it a useful plant indeed.

The leaves of the bulbinella are long and resemble chives or garlic chives. Although the leaves are long, they are also fairly thick and round and contain a natural healing sap. This sap contains glycoproteins, which have soothing and protective qualities.

The sap of a bulbinella leaf is clear and can be rubbed onto parts of the human body to ease the pain, irritation and itching of mosquito bites. Relief is almost immediate. If you have not taken measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in the first place, the bulbinella herb is a handy herb to have around. It is very easy to extract sap from a bulbinella leaf. Just crush or break the leaf, and rub the entire crushed or broken leaf back and forth over the affected or painful area. Why sit scratching mosquito bites when you have a soothing gel "growing" nearby? It’s like having a pharmacy in your garden.

Bulbinella not only helps treat mosquito bites, but is also excellent for treating any area of the body stung by a bee, wasp or hornet. It grows quickly and easily, and should be kept close to the house, or even indoors near a sunny and breezy window. Although bulbinella is an excellent plant to add to a dry area or rockery anywhere in your garden, growing it near the house means that you can quickly dash out and break off a leaf when you need it. There’s no reason not to have bulbinella growing in more than just one spot, of course.

Plant the herb quite deep to avoid it growing off to one side or flopping over when the leaves are fully grown. The flower stems grow quite a bit taller than the rest of the plant, and this could cause the plant to topple over. It needs a deep and strong foundation to help prevent this.

The next time a loved one takes a tumble, gets a minor cut or bruise, or gets bitten by mosquitoes, use bulbinella!

Bulbinella is also excellent for helping to:

  • Slow down bleeding
  • Dry up acne
  • Soothe cold sores, chapped lips and cracked heels
  • Soothe sunburn
  • Get relief from eczema symptoms

Many South Africans call the plant “South Africa’s own Aloe Vera.”

If you like using natural herbs and other home remedies to treat your family’s aches and pains or bumps and scratches, bulbinella is a herb your family should not be without. This herb can save you money otherwise spent at the pharmacy, and even has attractive yellow or orange flowers. It’s a plant that not only brightens up an area, but that brightens up how you’re feeling too.

What a pity it is that bulbinella won’t grow nicely in your bathroom medicine cabinet, as it’s a handy all-in-one first-aid kit!

Image source: author's own photograph: A young bulbinella herb plant next to a paving brick.  The plant was not planted very deep, causing it to lean over as it grew taller. 

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Comments (8)

Interesting article.


I'd never heard of this! Love to try it on sunburn....

how do you extract the bulbinella-sap?
It is particularly useful for treating minor burns, if applied quickly. It hardens the skin, takes away pain and avoids any blister being formed. For sore throat, simply chew a leaf. It is tasteless and works wonders!
I heard of this plant some days ago and the friend who told me will provide me with a small plant. I intend using it on psoriasis spots and will report back after some time. Trust it will help calming down the usual itching skin suffering from psoriasis.
If I want to use the sap/gel as barrier for daily treatment, do I use it over or under daycream?
Bulbinella is a miracle remedy for burns, I've used it on many occasions (got burnt with boiling fudge once, which usually causes bad blisters, but not when I used bulbinella). Cool the burn down first by placing in cold water, then squeeze the juice onto the burn or chop the leaves up finely and place on the burnt area, then cover with a bandage or plaster, depending on size of burnt area. This soothes the pain and when one removes this dressing the following day, there is not even a blister. But I do not believe this will work as well if not applied as soon as possible. We always have this plant in our garden.