Gloriosa superba, the flame lily, is one of Africa’s most beautiful flowers. With a rich history of medicinal use, and wide range of applications, it is also one of the most useful. But beware, it contains colchicine, a potent treatment for gout, but also a noticeably toxic compound in higher doses. Join Gus, the African Plant Hunter, as he shares a few of the secrets of this extraordinary plant.

For more on the medicinal properties of the Flame Lily, check out the following:

  1. Jana, S. and Shekhawat, G.S., 2011. Critical review on medicinally potent plant species: Gloriosa superba. Fitoterapia, 82(3), pp.293-301.
  2. Kala, C.P., Farooquee, N.A. and Dhar, U., 2004. Prioritization of medicinal plants on the basis of available knowledge, existing practices and use value status in Uttaranchal, India. Biodiversity & Conservation, 13(2), pp.453-469.
  3. Hassan, A.K.M.S. and Roy, S.K., 2005. Micropropagation of Gloriosa superba L. through high frequency shoot proliferation. Plant Tissue Cult, 15(1), pp.67-74.
  4. Khan, H., Ali Khan, M. and Hussan, I., 2007. Enzyme inhibition activities of the extracts from rhizomes of Gloriosa superba Linn (Colchicaceae). Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry, 22(6), pp.722-725.
  5. Kamuhabwa, A., Nshimo, C. and de Witte, P., 2000. Cytotoxicity of some medicinal plant extracts used in Tanzanian traditional medicine. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 70(2), pp.143-149.
  6. Rajendran, K., Balaji, P. and Basu, M.J., 2008. Medicinal plants and their utilization by villagers in southern districts of Tamil Nadu.
  7. Hemaiswarya, S., Raja, R., Anbazhagan, C.H.I.N.N.A.T.H.A.M.B.I. and Thiagarajan, V.E.N.K.A.T.E.S.A.N., 2009. Antimicrobial and mutagenic properties of the root tubers of Gloriosa superba Linn.(Kalihari). Botany, 41(1), pp.293-299.
  8. Yadav, K., Aggarwal, A. and Singh, N., 2012. Actions for ex situ conservation of Gloriosa superba L.-an endangered ornamental cum medicinal plant. Journal of Crop Science and Biotechnology, 15(4), pp.297-303.
  9. Arumugam, A. and Gopinath, K., 2012. In vitro micropropagation using corm bud explants: an endangered medicinal plant of Gloriosa superba L. Asian J. Biotechnol, 4(3), pp.120-128.
  10. Ayyanar, M. and Ignacimuthu, S., 2005. Medicinal plants used by the tribals of Tirunelveli hills, Tamil Nadu to treat poisonous bites and skin diseases.
  11. John, J.C., Fernandes, J., Nandgude, T., Niphade, S.R., Savla, A. and Deshmukh, P.T., 2009. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of the hydroalcoholic extract from Gloriosa superba Linn. International Journal of Green Pharmacy (IJGP), 3(3).
  12. Ade, R. and Rai, M.K., 2009. Current Advances in Gloriosa superba L. Biodiversitas Journal of Biological Diversity, 10(4).
  13. Mathur, A., Verma, S.K., Singh, S.K., Mathur, D., Prasad, G.B.K.S. and Dua, V.K., 2011. Investigation of anti-inflammatory properties of Swertia chirayta and Gloriosa superba. Recent Research in Science and technology, 3(3).
  14. Budhiraja, A., Nepali, K., Sapra, S., Gupta, S., Kumar, S. and Dhar, K.L., 2013. Bioactive metabolites from an endophytic fungus of Aspergillus species isolated from seeds of Gloriosa superba Linn. Medicinal Chemistry Research, 22(1), pp.323-329.
  15. Gupta, L.M. and Raina, R., 1998. Side effects of some medicinal plants. Current Science, 75(9), pp.897-900.
  16. Pattanaik, C., Reddy, C.S. and Murthy, M.S.R., 2008. An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used by the Didayi tribe of Malkangiri district of Orissa, India. Fitoterapia, 79(1), pp.67-71.