Traditional use of hottentot fig

  • Carpobrotus edulis has a good, balanced nutritional profile.
  • The succulent leaves are a strong antioxidant.
  • They can be pickled but can be astringent if harvested incorrectly.
  • The juice is antiseptic.
  • Hottentot fig has been shown to have anti-neuronflammatory properties, and may add to the improvement of cognitive functions.
  • The fruit has a sourish taste.
  • Eaten raw, preserved, dried and as a jam.
  • It also makes an extraordinary syrup.
  • In South Africa, where it is native, the dried fruits are sold in markets as food.
  • Fruits are best when they feel like they are going over.


  1. I South Africa they are known as “vytjie”
    “vye” being the afrikaans word for figs and if you add the suffix “tjie” to any word such as the word “potjie” it is diminutive as in small pot! or small fig. The juice as you call it is more of a gel really and works just as well as arnica if not better when applied to burns, sun burn, cuts and abrasions. simply snap off one of the fleshy leaves and apply straight onto wound if you are out in the wild in South Africa or funnily enough in St Michael’s where I found them while on holiday in Cornwall. I did not pick them as they were growing down a sea front wall. They like the sea air so you are most likely only going to find them growing well in coastal towns. Wish now that I had picked some. haven’t seen this growing anywhere in Northumberland but then again, hardly get out to the coast very much. ;-(

  2. Btw. small tip, I wouldn’t go around calling them “Hottentots fig” as the word Hott….. is considered racist or used as a derogatory term for a group of South African indigenous people called the Khoikhoi.
    That’s just my opinion on the matter, take it or leave it but thought it might be worth mentioning it. Peace

  3. Hello Michael.
    I am getting into weeds. I eat dandelion flowers every day.
    Just read your bit on Vytjies as I have them in abundance in my garden. “Fruits are best when they feel like they are going over”
    Would you please explain this sentence as I done understand. I think it may be ripen. I have never, ever heard of them as being called Hottentots fig and I live here in S.A.

    • Lol who said Hott is an offesive word?? I live in South Africa and they are called Hottentots….even they themselves (the remaining few call themselves that….in any case this plant is very good in throat infections as well…we commonly use it for tonsils and throat irritations/infections, simply chew on a few leaves (disgusting as they are) and swallow the “juice” it works like magic

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