One of our inspirations of farming and philosophy, Masanobu Fukuoka – renown for natural farming and re-greening of arid lands, looks at how we treat our bodies and the environment in a holistic approach: “Food and medicine are not two different things: they are the front and back of one body. Chemically grown vegetables may be eaten for food, but they cannot be used as medicine.” – Masanobu Fukuoka, The One Straw Revolution, 1975.
As we collectively face a health crisis, the size of which none of us have encountered, caring for the body should be treated with importance and awareness; and while carefully selecting what one consumes is a key component of staying healthy, there are times when some support is needed.
Although we definitely do not disregard the place of modern medicine and pharmaceuticals in healthcare at all, we believe that it should be used as a last resort of sorts – only once diet and lifestyle have been looked at, and herbal and natural remedies have been tried.
In Southern Africa, particularly in the Western Cape, we are literally surrounded by a plethora of medicinal plants, ranging from herbs, trees, and succulents to fynbos, each with powerful medicinal properties. We are very excited to start offering Add-ons of a small selection of these*, including Buchu (Agathosma Betulina), Kankerbos (Lessertia Frutescens) and African Wormwood AKA Wildeals and Umhlonyane (Artemisia Afra). These bundles come from two of our neighbours, Merle & Hisstar, of the Goedverwacht farming community; and Riette, of KSV Farm; and are grown organically and naturally.
Each of these have their own uses and applications, and should only be taken once properly researched. You will find more information about the recommended uses for each herb on our usual online order form*. A great place to find more information about each plant, its traditional uses, and health benefits is the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s online Indigenous Flora Library, PlantZAfrica: http://pza.sanbi.org.
*Please note that we are not trained medical professionals, and that you should consult with your healthcare provider before using.
Buchu – Agathosma Betulina
High in bioflavonoids, vitamins and antioxidants, Buchu aids in the body’s ability to function effectively. Traditional Uses:
Boosting the body’s biological responses to compounds like allergens, viruses, and carcinogens; general relief from general stomach problems and digestive disturbances; treatment of kidney and urinary tract diseases; relief from rheumatism; and as a diuretic. Preparation:
A teaspoon of dried leaves is added to a cup of almost boiling water, allowed to steep for 10 minutes, and then strained. Honey can be added to counteract the bitter flavour. This can be taken up to 3 times per day for up to 3 days for added relief, otherwise once per day for up to 3 days at a time.
Kankerbos – Lessertia Frutescens
One of the most respected African medicinal herbs, it has a reputation as strong immune booster. Traditional Uses:
Amongst many others, treatment for colds, flus, fever, poor appetite, indigestion, gastritis, peptic ulcer, dysentery, coughs, asthma, chronic bronchitis, kidney and liver conditions, rheumatism, urinary tract infections, stress and anxiety. Preparation:
A teaspoon of dried leaves is added to a cup of almost boiling water, allowed to steep for 5 minutes, and then strained. Honey can be added to counteract the bitter flavour. This can be taken once per day when needed. Please note that this herb can have blood-thinning effects, and anyone with blood conditions of any kind should consult with their healthcare provider before using.
African Wormwood AKA Wildeals or Umhlonyane – Artemisia Afra
This highly aromatic cousin of European Wormwood is a widely used an recognised herb across various cultures, revered for its various properties. Traditional Uses:
Amongst many others, mainly as treatment for coughs, colds, fever, loss of appetite, colic, headache and earache. Preparation:
A teaspoon of dried leaves is added to a cup of almost boiling water, allowed to steep for 10 minutes, and then strained. Honey can be added to counteract the bitter flavour. This can be taken up to once per day.
These herbs are available for order in limited quantities via our normal order form.