Dawidjies, noun

Davidjes, DavidjiesShow more Also Davidjes, Davidjies, Davitjes, Dawedjies.
Afrikaans, NamaShow more Afrikaans, etymology unknown; perhaps from the Biblical name David, or (less probably) related to Nama dawee tamarisk (see dabby), + diminutive suffix -ie + plural -s (but usually used with singular force).
Any of several shrubby climbing plants or (pl.) their roots, formerly used medicinally, the roots as an emetic and purgative, and the toxic leaves as a paste for boils and snake bites.
a. In full Dawidjieswortel /-ˌvɔ(r)təl/ [Afrikaans wortel root]: a. Zehneria scabra of the Cucurbitaceae; b. Kedrostis africana of the Cucurbitaceae; c. rare. Cissampelos capensis, C. torulosa, and C. mucronata of the Menispermaceae. Also occasionally Dawidsworteltjie /ˈdɑːvətsˌvɔrtəlki/ [see -ie].
1809 J. Mackrill Diary. 56Bryonia africana, Davitjes, Emetic & purge.
1868 L. Pappe Florae Capensis 2Cissampelos capensis...This shrub is found in almost every mountainous part of the Colony. The roots are used as an emetic and purgative by the Boers, and go by the name of Davidjes.
1868 L. Pappe Florae Capensis 13Pilogyne Ecklonii...Root tuberous; stem climbing...The porous resinous root of this old Hottentot remedy is nauseous in taste. In the form of decoction, it acts simultaneously as an emetic, cathartic, and diuretic. The natives call it Davidjes-wortel, and use it in cutaneous affections, dropsy, and syphilis...This plant, the Bryonia Africana of former botanists, grows upon the slopes of Table Mountain, amongst bushes.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 141Davidjes, Cissampelos capensis...A decoction of the roots of this plant is used by Kaffir herb-doctors and also by the Dutch as an emetic and purgative in cases of snake-bite, while a paste of the leaves is applied to the wound.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 141Davidjes wortel,..Zehneria scabra...The resinous root of this plant is an old Hottentot remedy for skin diseases, etc.
1917 R. Marloth Dict. of Common Names of Plants 22Davidjes, Antizoma capensis (Cissampelos capensis). The roots employed like sarsaparilla. The foliage poisonous.
1927 C.G. Botha Social Life in Cape Col. 103An old Hottentot remedy was the use of the Davidsworteltje which in the form of a decoction acted simultaneously as an emetic, cathartic and diuretic, and the tincture or infusion of the root in wine or brandy was a powerful emetic and purgative.
1932 Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk Medicinal & Poisonous Plants 54A dilute decoction of the root of Cissampelos capensis.., Dawidjies, is taken as a ‘blood purifier’ in boils and syphilis...The Zulus apply a poultice of the leaf of Cissampelos torulosa.., Dawidjies..to ‘scrofulous swellings’.
1932 Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk Medicinal & Poisonous Plants 178Melothria punctata...Dawidjieswortel, Dawidjies, is suspected of being poisonous.
1947 L.G. Green Tavern of Seas 199The roots of the plant called Dawidjies, forming a strong emetic and purgative, but entirely useless in snake-bite cases.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 197Dawedjies(wortel), Antizoma (Cissampelos) capensis...A shrubby dioecious climber...The root is used medicinally like sarsaparilla as an emetic and a purgative and as a blood purifier.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 198Dawidjieswortel, Melothria cordata...Thunberg..noted that, in infusions of wine or brandy, the root was used as an emetic and purgative. As far back as 1897, the species was regarded as poisonous...Kedrostis crassirostrata...The tuber used as in Melothria cordata.
c1969 E. Gledhill E. Cape Veld Flowers 170Melothria punctata..Dawetjieswortel...Climber with slightly rough stems and leaves...Very common on margins of forest and shrub and as a weed of hedges.
b. rare. The plant Cynanchum africanum of the Asclepiadaceae; also called klimop (sense 2), and monkey-rope.
1932 Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk Medicinal & Poisonous Plants 150Cynanchum africanum.., Excelsior, Klimop, Bobbejaanstou, Dawidjies, is also toxic, and causes loss of stock.
[1989 B. Courtenay Power of One 155Monkey rope strung from tall trees..was given names such as: traveller’s joy, lemon capers, climbing saffron, milk rope and David’s roots.]
The plant Cynanchum africanum of the Asclepiadaceae; also called klimop (sense 2), and monkey-rope.
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