A Tradition of Healing - African Herbs

Exciting discoveries are still being made as to the benefits of African herbs and their effects on our well-being.

Herbs, which are entirely natural plant materials, have a physiological effect on our bodies and can be used to assist with a wide variety of conditions such as immune system and metabolic function regulation, organ support, emotional support, and parasite, viral and fungal elimination. Herbs are also used for detoxification.

Herbs are colourful with a variety of tastes, and the more concentrated they are, the more intense the effect they can have on our bodies. While herbs are a powerful natural treatment, it is important to understand how to use them correctly, as in inexperienced hands, their use can produce unwanted side effects.

African Herbs

While they still are being thoroughly researched, African herbs such as African Ginger, Warburgia, Buchu, Hoodia, Scelectium and Sutherlandia have already proven to be of significant medicinal value in trained hands.

African Ginger is a deciduous plant with large hairless leaves. It develops annually from a small distinctive cone-shaped rhizome or root, which is the part of the plant that is traditionally used in African medicine to treat conditions like arthritis, asthma, colds and flu, coughs, headaches, mood swings, PMS, sinus and thrush. It has also been studied for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, pain-relieving and anti-tumour properties, among other things. Side effects are rare if this herb is used as recommended by a knowledgeable practitioner.

Buchu is a protected plant and has a long history in the Cape region of South Africa and was used by the Khoisan who believed it to be an elixir of youth. There are three kinds of Buchu herbs, the most commonly used one being the short buchu, or Agathosma betulina. The magic comes from the oil glands in leaves of the plant which releases a strong aroma and has a blackcurrant flavour. The herb has potent anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties, which enables it to act as a natural antibiotic with no side effects. It also contains antioxidants and bioflavonoids.

Hoodia Gordonii, aka Bushman’s Hat, is a leafless spiny succulent plant which grows naturally in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. It is traditionally used by the Khoisan people who claim that chewing on the herb gives them extra energy for long journeys and satisfies their thirst and hunger. Hoodia is marketed commercially as an appetite suppressant and weight loss aid. As this herb should be taken with extreme caution, it would be wise to use it only under professional advisement.

Finding a holistic approach to healing is what Dr Alain Sanua does best. As a doctor of naturopathy and homoeopathy, Dr Sauna believes in a natural approach to medical problems. Talk to him about African herbs as a solution to improving your health.


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