Bulbine frutescens, de gele bulbine, is een succulente plant van Afrikaanse origine, van de Asphodelaceae-familie. Het is een struik met dikke stengels en geen bolgewas zoals de naam doet vermoeden. Het wordt soms nog steeds ten onrechte geclassificeerd als geslacht bulbinella. Bulbine frutescens is een xerophytische plant: zijn dikke bladeren en dikke stelen dienen als een voorraad water. De plant is zeer resistent tegen droogte. De gele bol is de meest rustieke van het geslacht, hij wordt buitenshuis gekweekt in het mediterrane klimaat of in potten elders.
Bulbine frutescens (Asphodelaceae) is commonly used in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa for the treatment of burns, dysentry, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), urinary tract infections, cracked lips, herpes, ringworm, rashes and itches. However, the toxicology, traditional usage and claimed efficacy of this important medicinal plant have not been adequately documented. Thus, the need to furnish a comprehensive review on the phytochemistry, botany, traditional usage, pharmacology and toxicology of B. frutescens and to identify potential loopholes for future research. Material and methods: Scientific literature of B. frutescens was reviewed, with a focus on the traditional usage, claimed efficacy and toxicology of the plant in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Literature from 2000 - 2015 obtained from different scientific databases such as PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct, SciFinder and Scopus was considered for review. Searches were undertaken using the key word "Bulbine frutescens" as identified in the Plant List. Results: Several phytochemical studies on the aerial parts and roots of Bulbine frutescens revealed the presence of several compounds such as Biaryl anthraquinones, knipholone, isofuranonaphthoquinones, and others with great therapeutic potentials. Conclusion: Results revealed the therapeutic potential of B. frutescens on cutaneous wounds, fungi, bacteria and other microbes. This further validated the traditional use of Bulbine frutescens in the treatment of wounds in the Eastern Cape. However, the wealth of traditional knowledge was limited to traditional healers. Thus, collaborative research with indigenous healers on pharmacological and toxicological investigations on main active compounds are necessary so as to validate some biological activities displayed by B. frutescens, determine safe concentration of remedies and develop potential drugs for the management of various diseases.