African Plants Used in Medicine

[pic] Pelargonium sidoides (Umckaloabo) Introduction: For hundreds of years the Zulu, Basuto, Xhosa and Mfengi cultures have used Pelargonium sidoides as a curative for coughs, upper respiratory tract irritations and gastrointestinal concerns. Today, with the advantages of modern science and clinical research, we are able to better understand what makes this traditional remedy work so effectively.
Pelargonium sidoides has been successfully used for the treatment of: |Respiratory infections like bronchitis, sinusitis, and pneumonia, tonsillitis and rhinopharyngitis | |It is often used as an alternative to antibiotics | |Acute and chronic ear, nose and throat infections | |Rapid improvement in the symptoms associated with colds and flu | |Analgesic (absence of pain) effects | Pelargonium sidoides is also rich in photochemical, vitamins, minerals and amino acids that enhance the body’s functioning and protects it against diseases.
Treatment with Pelargonium sidoides rapidly improves the typical symptoms associated with infections such as cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue and weakness. [pic] Hibiscus sp. Introduction: Recorded Medicinal uses: The Shangaan use the Hibiscus sp. leaves in the form of tea for the treatment of hypertension, profuse menstruation and PMS. In Guinea the plant is regarded as mucilaginous and tonic to heart and stomach. The seed is aromatic and has a musk-like odour used in perfumery under the name “Ambretta”. In South America and West Indies, the seed is a snakebite remedy. The leaf gives a very fair zone of inhibition, when tested for its antibacterial effect. The leaf of Hibiscus sp. s used by the Xhosa as a dressing for septic wounds and is said to contain Mucilage. In the East Indies and Senegal the seed has been used as a remedy for eye diseases and dysentery. The seed oil contains 55. 9% of stearic acid, 9. 1% of palmitic, 32. 6% of oleic and 2. 4% of linoleic. The flower yields a pigment canna hibiscetin. The Swati use a decoction of the root and flower in pneumonia. A hydrochloric acid extract of the leaf and stem has given positive alkaloid tests. A small piece of the root of Hibiscus malacospermus Harv. is chewed by the Europeans in Lydenburg (South Africa) to relieve heartburn. The Southern Sotho use the plant as a colic remedy.

The Southern Sotho, also use the Hibiscus malacospermus E. Mey ex Harv. as a remedy for headaches and other ailments. The root of Hibiscus pusillus Thumb. is used by the Zulu as an emetic in the treatment of “bad dreams” and by men as part of the preparation for courting. The Zulu use a lotion of the leaf and stem of Hibiscus surattensis L. for the treatment of penile irritation of any sort, including venereal sores and urethritis. It is sometimes applied as an ointment for the same purposes. An infusion is also used as an injection into the urethra and vagina for gonorrhoea and other inflammations. [pic] African Ginger Siphonochilus aethiopicus elite chemotype Introduction:
This rare southern African plant, is an ancient traditional herb regarded as Africa’s best natural anti-inflammatory remedy, and it has many other uses: |Headaches | |Influenza | |Mild asthma | |Sinusitis and throat infections | |PMS, Menstrual cramps | |Candida albicans, trush | |Mild sedative | |Mood swings and hysteria | |Colds, flu & coughs | Other beneficial uses: |Ginger is an excellent remedy for digestive complaints (indigestion, nausea, gas, colic and congestion) | |Ginger’s antiseptic qualities make it highly beneficial for gastro-intestinal infections | |Circulatory stimulant – stimulates the circulation making it an important remedy for chilblains and poor circulation.
By | |improving the circulation, ginger helps reducing high blood pressure | |Ginger also increases sweating and helps reduce body temperature in fevers | |Ginger helps to “thin” the blood as well as to lower cholesterol | |Ginger is useful as a supplement for heartburn & halitosis (bad breath) | |This herb is known to relieve vomiting and to sooth the stomach and spleen in the process | |Ginger is a warm vascular stimulant and body cleanser.
It encourages the removal of toxins through the skin, and through | |increased kidney filtration | |Ginger relieves motion sickness and morning sickness | General Information: This herb has a long history of use in African traditional medicine for a range of conditions including headaches, Influenza, mild asthma, sinusitis, throat infections, thrush, candida, premenstrual syndrome and menstrual cramps. The root or rhizome is the part used, and comes to market in jointed branches called races or hands. The smell of ginger is aromatic and penetrating, the taste spicy, pungent, hot and biting. African Ginger is a deciduous plant with large, hairless leaves, developing annually from a small, distinctive cone-shaped rhizome.
The spectacular flowers appear at ground level in early summer. Because of its medicinal uses it has been over-harvested and has a restricted distribution in Mpumalanga and the Northern Province and has become extinct in Kwa Zulu Natal. Ginger has a stimulating effect on the heart and circulation, creating a feeling of warmth and well-being and restoring vitality, especially for those feeling the cold in winter. Hot ginger tea promotes perspiration, brings down a fever and helps to clear catarrh. Ginger has a stimulating and expectorant action in the lungs, expelling phlegm and relieving catarrhal coughs and chest infections. Ginger is a wonderful aid to digestion.
It invigorates the stomach and intestines, stimulating the appetite and enhancing digestion by encouraging secretion of digestive enzymes. It moves stagnation of food and subsequent accumulation of toxins, which has a far-reaching effect throughout the body, increasing general health, vitality and enhancing immunity. ALOE VERA [pic] [pic] aloe was used topically to heal wounds and for various skin conditions, and orally as a laxative. Today, in addition to these uses, aloe is used as a folk or traditional remedy for a variety of conditions, including diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, and osteoarthritis. It is also used topically for osteoarthritis, burns, sunburns, and psoriasis.

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