African potato, Star-grass, Star lily, Yellow stars, Yellow star-grass
Hypoxis hemerocallidea (previous name H. rooperii)
Hypoxis hemerocallidea is the best known variety of the genus. Plants will grow to about 100 to 500 mm tall. Leaves clearly 3-ranked, distinctly arching in the shape of a sickle and are hairy throughout.
The name Hypoxis is coined from the Greek words hypo meaning below and oxy referring towards the pointed lower ovary or fruit.
Being geophytic herbs, Hypoxis plants overcome winter conditions in the form of an underground rootstock called the corm. Corms are hard, fleshy, mucilaginous and white or yellow-orange within. Sliced corms, when exposed to the atmosphere, turn black with oxidation.
In spring, a brand new set of leaves grows from the apex from the corm. In most species, leaves are arranged one above another in three rows that radiate outwards. In some species, leaf bases are enclosed in a sheath, forming a false stem.
Leaves range from linear to broadly lance-shaped and die back over the wintertime months. Flowering stems appear with the leaves after the first rains in spring. They're unbranched, with 2-12 flowers per stalk. Flowers are symmetrical with 6 tepals, rarely 4 or 8, are bright yellow, giving the genus its common name "yellow stars".
The fruit is a capsule that splits across its diameter to expose the small black seeds.
Widespread in the summertime rainfall region of South Africa, from the coast to the interior, extending nothwards into Botswana but with less frequency. Used for centuries in African traditional medicine and recently recognized in the alternative medicine trade because of its immune-boosting properties.
A South East African plant from the Hypoxidaceae species, the plant tuber has been used by traditional healers for it's medicinal properties for centuries and has been affectionately dubbed the "African Potato".
The African Potato Tuber reportedly balances and regulates the immune system.
Arthritis is an auto-immune disease. The painful joints come from the malfunctioning of the defense mechanisms. The sterols and sterolins are the active ingredients inside a remedy originally developed from the African potato which boosts the defense mechanisms and helps fight Aids, cancer, TB, psoriasis and arthritis.
Currently the cause is treated with plant sterols and sterolins which regulate the defense mechanisms. The greatest advantage of treating rheumatoid arthritis symptoms with sterols and sterolins is that these plant fats are natural, non-toxic and don't have any side effects.
Plant sterol and sterolins occur in all plants. In their natural state they're associated with plant fibres, making it difficult to allow them to be absorbed through the body during digestion. This is especially the situation with seniors, whose digestive systems dwindle efficient.
Research teams have proved that sterols and sterolins boost the functioning of T-cells which control and regulate the immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the malfunctioning from the sufferer's defense mechanisms. Instead of attacking only bacteria, viruses and parasites in your body, the synoval membranes, which facilitate the movements of joints, will also be attacked. Eventually the cartilage is destroyed and the bones eroded.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms is more common one of the aged whose natural defenses aren't that efficient. When it happens in younger people it is almost always a result of stress or trauma.
Osteoarthritis sufferers can also enjoy the utilization of sterols and sterolins, but it may take longer to see the results. Sterols and sterolins cannot remedy the damage already caused towards the joints and bones by arthritis. They can, however, prevent further damage and relieve this, but must be used for a long time.
No hypoxis should be taken whilst on anti-coagulants such as heparin and warfarin.
Hypoxis species are attractive for development as garden ornamentals. Species suited to garden beds are those with small corms and soft leaves like H. angustifolia and H. membranacea which spread quickly through multiplication from the rootstock to form a mass of plants.
Hardy species with large corms and strong leaves like H. hemerocallidea, H. colchicifolia, H. obtusa and H. acuminata are fairly easy to upkeep once established in a garden. Seeds of Hypoxis germinate better if sown right after maturity. Being a veldt plant subject to the vagaries of weather, the African potato is easy to develop and will see regular watering and feeding as a bonus to growth potential.