Pencil Cactus Benefits | 5 Things You Most Likely Didn’t Know About |

I am sure some of you might know about pencil cactus benefits. But who are searching, I have the perfect answer. Keep reading this article to find the amazing benefits of pencil cactus.  

Pencil Cactus benefits

Medicinal benefits

Pencil cactus is a special plant since it has so many medicinal benefits especially in terms of traditional medicine

For example, you could utilize root and twig pencil trees to heal stomach aches, rheumatism, bone pain, syphilis, hemorrhoids, ulcers of the nasal cavity etc.

On the other hand, you could use the stem wood of pencil cactus for the treatment of skin diseases. Leprosy. 

In addition to that, it could be useful to treat numbness in hands and in feet as well.  Moreover, it could be useful as an anti-bacterial antimicrobial substance as well.

It could be useful to control the parasite in the intestine and could even control asthma as well.  In addition to that, it could control coughs, rheumatism, cancer and even tumors in skin as well. 

Moreover, you could even use it as an anticancer agent simply because it could affect the immunity of a person and avoid it converting to a cancer.

There are so many medicinal benefits of pencil cactus. However, you need to be very careful when involving with the plants due to its toxicity towards the humans.

You have to be even more careful when you are using them to treat the kids due to its high level of lethal overdose.

You could utilize the young pencil cactus branches roast and chew them and that would help to cure a sore throat. 

Pencil Cactus benefits

In addition to that, you could use the ash which you get from the burnt branches to cure coughing. You could use burnt stems for this purpose as well.

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You could further use them to treat abscesses as well. Moreover, you could use pulped twigs to cure edema as well. 

Not only that but also, you could use poultices to cure broken bones as well. Not only that but also, you could use their roots and bud decoction as laxative and to heal coughs and even pectoral pain.  

Apart from that, you could use their root decoction along with other drug plants to cure schistosomiasis and gonorrhoeae

Further you may use their roots which are boiled to heal snake bites. Moreover, many people use it for the sterility of women as well.                                                                 

You may further use their root scrapings along with coconut oil to heal stomach ache. Make sure you heat the root scrapings before you use them though and apply them externally. 

In addition to that, you could utilize this to heal constipation, intestinal worms, headache, asthma, epilepsy and palpitations as well.

Many people use this for the breast enlargement process as well. In addition to that, you could use latex for the healing process of skin complaints, itches, insect bites, rheumatism, and toothache

Moreover, it would be beneficial to raise blisters on syphilitic nodes, and to remove warts, tumors, cancers, etc.

You could commonly spot many people using pencil cactus to treat cancer patients in Brazil.                                       

Pencil Cactus benefits


What is more special about this plant is that they are usually pests resistant due to the irritating sap they contain. As such it is very easy to care for these plants.  

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In addition to aforesaid benefits, you may use this as an insecticide as well. Moreover, you may use them to deteriorate the larvae of both dengue causing mosquitoes and Aedes Aegypti.


You could grow this in both sun tropical and tropical gardens above 2000 meters from sea level. Further it could survive well in semi-arid weather conditions.  

It’s prefered temperature range would be a range of 25- 37 degrees Celsius. Having said that, they could also thrive in 12-42 degrees Celsius temperature too.

They cannot withstand frost situations though. Moreover, they would also love to have rainfall from 250-4000 mm. 

Apart from that, they would prefer to have plenty of sunlight as well.

They do not bother a lot on their soil mix and would prefer to grow in any kind of soil mix as long as they are well draining, and which have a ph. of neutral to acidic figure.

If you usually grow them as a fuel crop, you could spot a density of 10,000 – 20,000 pencil cacti in each hectare. 

You could spot them blooming in late winter or in early spring or during late summer too. Those blooms would be pale or yellow in color. 

They would be great fits for xeriscaping. Apart from that you could grow them in containers as well.

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You could use pencil cactus as a great repellent as well. You could mainly use this for mosquitoes and for ants. 

Pencil cactus consist of a latex which has an emulsion of about 30 % which could tarpens in water.  

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Moreover, experts have revealed that South African have utilized it as an alternative for rubber.

However, they have failed with that due to the instability and due to the loss, they had to incurred whilst using it.

Other uses

When it comes to benefits apart from their medicinal values, , this would be helpful to use in reclamation programs as well.

Moreover, it could be useful for the photosynthesis process since it could withstand the drought weather conditions.  

Further during humid spells, they could absorb more CO2.  Apart from that, it is possible to gain crude oil from these plants as well. 

Their sap is well known for its fixative power as well. You could mix it with animal hair and utilize it to fasten knife blades.

You may use this as a mosquito repellant as well. Apart from that, you could make a form of rubber from the latex of pencil cactus too. You could use this in varnishes.

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As a Sand dune protector

They could be useful to safeguard sand dunes and bare soil in dry areas from any potential water erosion. Moreover

As hedge plant

Pencil cactus is a plant which many people in East Africa tend to grow as a hedge plant commonly.

You could mainly spot this in the remote areas in East Africa. further their dese growth and caustic toxic sap could act as a deterrent for small animals as well.

Moreover, latex could safeguard them from browsing animals. Having said that, chances are that sheep and goats could consume them in some areas. You could make hedges whilst using cuttings.

Credit to: Sunita Creations
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.