Use of Mzansi medicinal plants on the rise

The popularity of herbal medicine and other alternatives to conventional medicine has grown as more people believe it promotes healthier living. These herbs are available at many outlets across the country, or you can grow them at home.

According to Dr. Caren Hauptfleisch, President of the South African Association of Registered Herbalists (SAARP), the increase in the use of herbs can be seen all over the world.

“The introduction of modern health care as we know it has resulted in the disappearance and displacement of many indigenous health practices, but scientists around the world are now turning to plants and herbs to formulate new herbal agents ( herbal treatments) to prevent and treat disease,” she told Food For Mzansi’s sister publication, Health For Mzansi.

“South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape Floristic Region, is home to a wide variety of indigenous medicinal plants that have been used safely and effectively since time immemorial. Science and clinical use confirm their medicinal value.

According to Hauptfleisch, people around the world view herbal medicine as a safe way to maintain good health and treat and prevent disease, in light of the many negative effects of contemporary medications and the rise in antibiotic resistance.

She adds that local herbs that can be used to maintain health include rooibos, buchule, honey bush, aloe ferox and devil’s claw.

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Use the right plant for your disease

Hauptfleisch advises using the correct herb and dosage for the related disease when using herbal remedies. Before trying it at home, it is best to consult a professional if you are unsure.

“Herbs like devil’s claw, which have been used in the treatment of pain associated with arthritic diseases, liver and kidney problems, fever and malaria, have almost disappeared due to their export to the overseas market, which led to the commercial farming of the herb,” she adds.

“When herbal medicine is used correctly and in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, it is an effective and safe approach to healthcare. Humans and animals have used herbal medicine for centuries. Like our food, our body is designed to respond to herbal medicines.

To read the full article via Health For Mzansi, click here.

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Alvin J. Chase