I came across another good article today on the power of African Herbs. You can read the original article here: http://www.arabella.co.za/2013/08/27/5-top-performing-african-medicinal-herbs/
I have copied some of the article below: Please note that African Ginger – “indungulo, isiphephetho”, is threatened and protected, as it is being over harvested. I had to replace the image, as the image they used in the original article is not African Ginger.
Tonnes of Medicinal Plant Derivatives Exported Each Year
It’s not only locals who are sold on the efficacy of Africa’s medicinal plants and herbs; literally thousands of tonnes of plant derivatives are exported across the globe each year. Despite commercialisation of a handful of botanicals such as buchu, rooibos, devil’s claw & pelargonium sidoides, the vast majority of species are informally harvested from wild stocks to meet demand.
Medicinal Herb Hit List
Five of the top performing medicinal plants are:
The buchu herb (Agathosma Betulina) is commercially cultivated in the Western Cape for its essential oils. It is a world renowned natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic used to treat high blood pressure, UTI infections, arthritis, gout and countless other ailments. A range of buchu health care products are available in South Africa under the BuchuLife label and include Sparkling Herbal Water, UTI Relief Capsules, Joint Health Capsules and First Aid Gel.
Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum) is endemic to the dry areas of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Its medicinal properties are confined to the large tuberous roots that are harvested and dried to form powders, tinctures and extracts. It is commonly used to treat pain, enhance mobility and provide relief from a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, diabetes, neuralgia, headaches and menstrual problems.
African potato (Hypoxis) is indigenous to the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Limpopo. It is well known for its immune boosting properties and is reputed to be effective in the battle against cancer, TB, asthma, HIV Aids and a host of other chronic conditions. The corm of the plant is dried and crushed into a powder and sold in the form of capsules and creams online and at wellness outlets countrywide.
South African Geranium
South African Geranium or Umckaloabo (Pelargonium sidoides) is similar to a geranium and is packed with natural healing properties. The medicinal part of the plant is the fleshy blood red rhizomes which are dried and formulated into powders, tinctures and infusions. Its potent antibacterial and antiviral properties are ideal in the treatment of chronic respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis, sore throat, sinusitis, colds and flu. It is manufactured under licence of Schwabe Germany and is available at health stores and pharmacies nationwide.