It was a drug produced in Nottingham in the United Kingdom that led us on a journey to South Africa to visit muthi markets, archives, herbariums and nature reserves. We spoke with traders, healers, scholars and conservationists to learn more about Dioscorea sylvatica.Dioscorea is a wild yam. Its name in different languages connects to its appearance – its rough skin resembles a tortoise shell. It’s known as ‘Elephant’s Foot’ in English, in isiZulu ‘ingwevu’, meaning grey/old or ‘ifudu’, meaning tortoise; in Sepedi the name is ‘Kgato’ – ‘to stamp’.
- Published in Agriculture