Medicine: Crude extracts have been shown to have antifungal activity. Reported to be expectorant, sedative and suppurative. Madre de cacao is a folk remedy for alopecia, boils, bruises, burns, colds, cough, debility, eruptions, erysipelas, fever, fractures, gangrene, headache, itch, prickly heat, rheumatism, skin tumours, ulcers, urticaria and wounds.
Food: Flowers can be fried and eaten.
Fodder: G. sepium leaves are rich in protein and highly digestible, and low in fibre and tannin. There is evidence of improved animal production (both milk and meat) in large and small ruminants when G. sepium is used as a supplement. Goats on G. sepium gained weight and maintained a positive N balance. However, non-ruminants fed on G. sepium have shown clear signs of poisoning. Perceptions of palatability vary greatly around the world. There are reports from India and Indonesia of limitations to its use because animals will not eat it. In some areas, such as Colombia and Sri Lanka, there is no palatability constraint and it is an important dry-season feed.
Apiculture: The flowers attract honeybees (Apis spp.), hence it is an important species for honey production.
Poison: The leaves, seeds or powdered bark are toxic to humans when mixed with cooked rice or maize and fermented. The mechanism of toxicity is not understood. G. sepium has found application as a rodenticide and general pesticide.