What is African Potato?

Sparked by the name of one of our products, the African Potato Cream, we are asked by many; what is African Potato? Not everyone is aware of its history and uses. We give you some insight into why we use the plant extract in our products and why we believe it is a star ingredient.

The plant

The African Potato, known as Hypoxis hemerocallidea or Hypoxis rooperi, is widespread in the summer rainfall regions of South Africa, especially in Kwazulu Natal. The indigenous plant is about 10 to 50cm tall, has bright yellow star shaped flowers and strap like leaves which are hairy all over. It is a geophytic herb and forms a compressed underground stem that looks like a potato, called a corm. The African Potato extract comes from the corm of the plant.

What it is made up of

African Potato extract is rich in plant sterols, which are abundant in plants, but are highly concentrated in the African Potato. Researchers have found that plant sterols greatly enhance the functioning of T-cells, which control and regulate the immune system, and possess potent anti-inflammatory properties similar to cortisone, but without the side-effects.

Hypoxoside, an active compound found in the African Potato, when converted to Rooperol, has shown to be a potent antioxidant which scavenges free-radicals and has an anti-ageing effect.

The many uses

The African Potato has been used widely for centuries as a traditional medicine, or “muthi,” in the southern regions of Africa. It is known in KwaZulu Natal as “inkonfe” in isiZulu and is used for cardiac diseases, intestinal parasites, cancer, to boost the immune system, diabetes, testicular tumors, prostate hypertrophy, burns, ulcers and more.

The findings of studies show that the African Potato possesses antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic properties and this supports the anecdotal, traditional uses in the management of painful inflammatory conditions, as well as in the control of type-2 diabetes. Furthermore, there is evidence of anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

The Down to Earth African Potato Cream is a deep penetrating anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant-rich ointment that relieves:

● muscle & joint pain
● swelling & stiffness
● sunburn & minor burns
● eczema, acne, rashes & psoriasis

The African Potato extract is also used in our Revive Moisturiser to help soothe and calm the skin, eliminating redness and puffiness caused by inflammation.

4 thoughts on “What is African Potato?

    • Down to Earth says:

      Hi Beverly
      Glad to hear you would like to try the African Potato Cream for your acne. We hope it helps to clear it up quickly.
      Down to Earth products help for skin, muscle and joint related problems such as pain, inflammation, wounds, eczema, acne, etc. We are not specialists in the area of fertility, so we cannot help you unfortunately. We recommend you speak to your health practitioner.

    • Down to Earth says:

      Hi Jean

      African Potato Cream is not an elixir taken orally; it is a topical ointment which contains African Potato extract. There are no known side effects and the cream can be applied as often as needed. You should however consult a medical practitioner if you have any concerns or serious medical conditions.

      It is a natural skin healing and pain reducing cream. The main active ingredient, African Potato extract (Hypoxis Hemerocallidea), has high phytosterol content which possess powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Evening Primrose and Wheat Germ oil promote skin healing. Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, protects against environmental aggressors. Avocado oil nourishes and relieves itching. Camphor oil is a natural antispasmodic and provides relief from spasms and cramps, while cooling the skin. Aloe adds additional anti-inflammatory properties to soothe and heal. It also absorbs easily, drawing in the beneficial qualities of the restorative ingredients.

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