African Plants Used in Medicine

Topics: South Africa, Digestion, Ginger Pages: 5 (960 words) Published: April 20, 2013

Pelargonium sidoides (Umckaloabo)
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.


Hibiscus sp.
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. is 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.


African Ginger 
Siphonochilus aethiopicus elite chemotype
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...
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