Lion’s Tail Usage
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Don Hurren
Posted on: October 26, 2005

I purchased a small plant called Lions Tail. This plant is now in full bloom. What to do with this strange looking plant? Will it winter outdoors? How to harvest?

Lion’s tail (Leonotis leonurus) is a beautiful flower from southern Africa. Stunning masses of orange flowers appear in autumn. The plant is only hardy in zones 9-10 which means it is not hardy in southern Ontario and must be brought indoors over winter. Give it plenty of light and transplant it in a larger pot as grows and becomes root bound.

In Africa, the plant is a traditional remedy for colds and flu, diabetes, epilepsy, headache, hypertension, worms, constipation, boils, skin rash, and snakebite. For most of these purposes leaves and flowering tops are made into decoctions (boiled in water) and either applied to the affected area or taken internally depending on the condition being treated.

The plant also has mild euphoric properties claimed to be similar to marijuana. Typically, the leaves and flowering tops are dried and smoked. The smoke is quite acrid, so users prefer to use a water pipe. In Africa, the leaves are prepared into cakes which are chewed or eaten for the euphoric effect.

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