INDIGENOUS PLANTS AND THEIR USES

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There is a vast amount of indigenous South African plants that are used by many for health and healing. Here are three medicinal plants with incredible healing properties:

Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens DC) Devil’s claw is a herb which gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, which is covered with hooks so that it can stick onto animals's fur in order to spread the seeds. The roots and tubers of the plant are used to make medicine.

Devil’s claw is used for arthritis, muscle pain, back pain, gastrointestinal, fever, and migraine headache. It is also used for difficulties in childbirth, menstrual problems, and allergic reactions. It is accessible to most in the form of a supplement.

Elephant's Foot (Elephantopus scaber) Elephant's foot is a herb that grows wildly on roadsides and grassy fields. Its leaves are covered in white hair and it grows up to a height of 50 cm.

Its health benefits are amazing and it is used widely by traditional healers but there has been very little attempt to commercialize its product. A decoction or infusion of leaves or roots can be used to cure coughs and diarrhea. Abdominal pain can be soothed by applying an external poultice of the leaves. You can apply a paste from the leaves, water and honey to wounds caused by wild animal bites

African Ginger (Siphonochilus aethiopicus) This rare Southern African plant is an ancient traditional herb regarded as Africa’s best natural anti-inflammatory remedy. The root is the part used. It is also know to alleviate headaches, mild asthma, influenza, menstrual cramps, and sinusitis.

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