- In the past two decades, the links between bio-cultural diversity and the richness of plant species in South Africa have contributed to ongoing attempts to develop traditional medicines for use in the modern complementary and alternative medicines sector. Eventually this will aid in the discovery of new drug entities for pharmaceutical industries.
- African traditional medicines are divided into two streams. The first involves the informal trading of herbal remedies and medicinal plants sold by traditional healers or sangomas and bushdoctors. But there is also a more formal market in which medicinal plants like buchu and African potato extract are sold as over-the-counter drugs.
- It is estimated that 80% of the globe’s population relies on traditional medicines. In South Africa, studies show there is one traditional healer for every 700 to 1200 patients [however, find Essop, R. 2015 and Wilkinson, K. 2013 under “Websies & publications” on these statistics]. The primary health care system is inaccessible to many and this drives people’s reliance on medical plants.
- Geo-climatic regions produce plants that are popular as traditional medicines. In the Western Cape, where fynbos (fine bush) dominates, leaf material is used by traditional healers from the KhoiSan culture. Elsewhere, in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, barks, roots and bulbs are all harvested from the wild for medicinal use. KwaZulu-Natal is also home to one of the largest medicinal markets in Africa.
- Many of the medicinal plants are harvested in the wild, some becoming very rare and facing extinction.
- The trade in traditional medicines was estimated at around R2.9 billion annually (Mander, Ntuli, Diederichs & Mavundla, 2007).
- Because cultivating medicinal plants ensures their availability, protects the ones in the wild and creates job opportunities, the intervention of cultivation technologies is supported by government and other role players.
Source: “How changes in African traditional medicine research can benefit South Africa” which can be found at http://theconversation.com/how-changes-in-african-traditional-medicine-research-can-benefit-south-africa-46486
The first African Herbal Pharmacopoeia, completed with collaborators from all over Africa and Europe, can be found at www.aamps.org.
International business environment
- Find “Traditional and complementary medicine” under the “ Programmes” and “Essential medicines and health products” on the World Health Organisation(WHO) website, www.who.int/traditional-complementary-integrative-medicine/en/. The WHO’s Traditional and Complementary Medicine unit can be contacted at trm [at] who.int.
- Find the Medicinal Plants page on the International Trade Centre website at www.intracen.org/itc/market-insider/medicinal-plants/.
- The DALRRD-NAMC TradeProbe No. 60 (November 2015) looked at the trade in medicinal plants. Find the document at www.namc.co.za.
- Visit www.aamps.org, website of the Association of African Medicinal Plants Standards (AAMPS). This non-profit company has representatives from several African and European countries.
Farming medicinal plants
Increases in market prices for certain medicinal plants have been linked to localised species extinctions and declining supplies of these plants. The declining supplies are directly attributed to over-harvesting of certain popular target species for medicinal use. This has resulted in researchers calling for the cultivation of indigenous medicinal plants as an intervention to address biodiversity and market sustainability issues. There is, however, much debate around the pro’s and con’s of medicinal plant cultivation. Concerns are largely focused on: (i) The potential loss of cultural and indigenous values associated with wild harvesting of medicinal plants; (ii) Potentially reduced production of secondary metabolites (the active ingredients in most medicinal plants) in farmed plants compared to wild stocks; and (iii) Genetic contamination of local species populations through cultivation with plants from alternative genetic stocks.
Cultivation trials and pilot projects conducted to date have shown that medicinal plant cultivation has good economic potential for supplying commercial-scale volumes of medicinal plants. Fast-growing species can be supplied in sufficient quantities to meet market demand within a few years. However, slow-growing trees, particularly forest trees, are unlikely to supply the quantities of medicinal bark demanded in the short-term; nor does the production of bark from these trees present an economically viable production system. The production of alternative tree-based products (such as tree leaves) has thus been investigated.
However, little is known about the effects of farming (cultivation) on the medicinal properties of plants. Cultivation aims to increase plant yields by improving growing conditions through addition of agro-chemicals and controlling the growing climate. Many Traditional Healers believe that cultivated plants treated with agro-chemicals (including fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides) do not have the same medicinal strength as wild plants. The active medicinal compounds that make medicinal plants so useful are mostly ‘secondary metabolites’ that are produced by the plant to protect it from attack by pathogens, insects and browsers or grazers. These secondary metabolites may also play a role in protecting the plant from extreme climatic conditions (e.g. frost). Plants that are stressed by these attacks or extreme climatic conditions tend to produce greater concentrations of secondary metabolites as a survival mechanism. Plants cultivated using agro-chemicals under controlled climatic conditions experience minimal stress and consequently produce less secondary metabolites. Chemical testing of cultivated plants has shown that the beliefs of many Traditional Healers with regards to cultivated plants having less medicinal strength than wild plants may, in fact, be true for many species. This has created the challenge of finding cultivation techniques that increase plant growth rates, but do not decrease the medicinal properties of the plants.
In a survey undertaken in South Africa in which farmed stocks of raw and stabilised (freeze-dried) rare / scarce medicinal plants were introduced into a medicinal market through traders and Traditional Healers, there was a general acceptance of the farmed plant materials by most Traditional Healers and their clients. Where the strength of medicinal compounds had been reduced through the farming techniques or processing technologies used to stabilise the products, the Traditional Healers simply prescribed higher dosages of the plants and plant products. This acceptance of farmed plant material is most likely attributable to the growing scarcity and associated cost of certain popular medicinal plants.
There is simply no other way to meet market demand for certain remedies that use scarce plants than to accept the farmed plant material in these cases. For species where availability or scarcity is less of an issue, Traditional Healers would probably be less accepting of farmed plant material. However, for commercial-scale production and supply of medicinal plants and products, farming is a necessity to sustainably achieve the volumes of plant material required.
Therefore, it is likely that medicinal plant farms are the reality for the future provision of both scarce and commercially sought-after medicinal plant species in southern Africa.
Source: Myles Mander, Nicci Diederichs & Warren Spring
Dr Sonja Venter from the ARC-VOP (see “Role players” heading) has addressed audiences before on the opportunities that exist with medicinal plants for farmers.
National strategy and government contacts
- The National Development Plan (NDP) includes in its strategy collaborating with traditional healers (page 321).
- Access to South Africa’s biodiversity is legally controlled by the Biodiversity Act (No. 10 of 2004). The Government Gazette No. 8831 of 8 February 2008 also applies, carrying the Commencement of Bio-Prospecting, Access and Benefit-Sharing Regulations, 2008.
- In line with the National Health Act, government has also developed Regulations governing the implementation of the Traditional Health Practitioners Act, 2007 (Act No 22 of 2007).
- The trade in indigenous medicinal plants is unregulated and so side-effects are not known or catalogued. After calls to monitor this, the Medicines and Related Substances Act was amended in 2009. It now stipulates that phytopharmaceuticals must undergo tests to prove their safety.
- In 2014 the Traditional Health Practitioners Act was passed to standardise and regulate the affairs of all traditional healers. In 2015 additional regulations were published to give effect to the act. Find a discussion on these at http://ewn.co.za/2016/01/22/OPINON-SA-and-regulating-traditional-healers-its-not-easy.
- Read the discussion “Comments on the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill” at www.golegal.co.za/iks-bill-indigenous-knowledge-systems/. The bill follows the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, 2013.
The Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology established the National Indigenous Knowledge Systems Office (NIKSO) as one of its Programmes. The aim of NIKSO is to protect and promote African indigenous knowledge systems (IKS). NIKSO is also viewed as the growth engine for IKS knowledge development and knowledge management. Investment in the harvesting of IK through documentation from oral sources, systematisation and development holds the potential of contributing to the scientific and technological solutions for the future challenges of poverty and diseases in South Africa. IKS will also preserve and affirm local communities by incorporating these communities into the knowledge economy. Visit www.dst.gov.za.
The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) is the South African government authority responsible for the environment. Visit www.environment.gov.za. Bio-Products Advancement Network South Africa (BioPanza) is a DFFE initiative “to optimise development and enhance growth in the South African biotrade and bioprospecting sector”. Issues like sustainable bark harvesting are in the province of Forestry.
The Department of Health‘s support for African traditional medicines research has included a R6 million grant channelled through the Medical Research Council for research into the safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicines used as immune boosters by people living with HIV and AIDS. The department has a legislative framework to encourage the development of natural products for human health through the Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act 101of 1965). The Act seeks to regulate the use of complementary, alternative, African Traditional and other categories of medicines in South Africa to ensure quality, safety and efficacy. See www.health.gov.za.
Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) (i) Directorate: Plant Production Tel: 012 319 6079 DPP [at] dalrrd.gov.za (ii) Directorate: Plant Health Tel: 012 319 6529 DPH [at] dalrrd.gov.za The Directorate Plant Health is responsible for export regulations and standards as well as a special protocol for export to the USA.
Inspection for export is done by the Perishable Product Export Control Board (PPECB), appointed by DALRRD. Tel: 021 930 1134. www.ppecb.com
Find the cartoon “Medicinal plants under threat” commissioned by the Public Understanding of Biotechnology (PUB) on medicinal plants at www.pub.ac.za/cartoons/.
- Africa Land-use Training Tel: 078 228 0008 www.alut.co.za Amongst the many courses provided, training is also given in medicinal plants
- African National Healers Association www.africannationalhealersassociation.org
- Afriplex Tel: 021 872 4976 http://afriplex.co.za/
- The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) conducts research on various agricultural aspects of medicinal plants, especially those plants that are scarce and endangered or has commercial potential. The research involves the investigation of propagation, cultivation, bio-activity, plant pest and diseases, community development, nursery establishment, sustainable production and quality control. Contact Vegetables and Ornamental Plants at 012 808 8000. Find notes on medicinal plants on the VOP pages at www.arc.agric.za.
- Association for African Medicinal Plants Standards (AAMPS) www.aamps.org/en
- Biomox Pharmaceuticals Tel: 012 804 8068
- Cape Peninsular University of Technology (CPUT) Department Agriculture Tel: 021 864 5217 lewuf [at] cput.ac.za and www.cput.ac.za
- Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Prof Gerda Fouche Tel: 012 841 2911 gfouche [at] csir.co.za www.csir.co.za
- Druid’s Garden https://druids.garden Indigenous medicinal plants products
- Emingeni Herbals Tel: 011 420 1470 www.herbalafrica.co.za “The leaders in Natural Traditional African Medicines”
- eThekwini Municipality www.durban.gov.za In terms of market size, Durban is one of the largest regional markets for medicinal plants in South Africa. About 400 or more of the 700 medicinal plant species traded in South Africa can be found at Durban’s medicinal plant markets.
- eThekwini’s Silverglen Muthi Nursery Tel: 031 404 5628 Silverglen Muthi Nursery, which contains over 200 medicinal plant species, partners with the community to revitalise stocks of threatened plants. A primary focus is to share knowledge with medicinal plant harvesters, traders, and Inyangas and advise them that they can produce their own stocks of medicinal plants through growing their own seedlings and farming. At the Visitor’s Centre educational films, lectures and displays are presented.
- FutureWorks! Tel: 082 717 8702 www.futureworks.co.za FutureWorks! has previously done market research into the trade of indigenous medicines.
- Grassroots Group Tel: 021 020 0260 www.grassrootsgroup.co.za
- Indigenous Plant Use Forum (IPUF) www.facebook.com/IPUFs/ and www.ben-erikvanwyk.com/Webpage%20IPUF.html
- Institute of Natural Resources (INR) Tel: 033 346 0796 http://inr.org.za The INR has done research on the indigenous medicinal trade, compiling an analysis of the value chain in 2003, much of which is still relevant.
- Julmir Organics Tel: 082 343 1707 www.bulbaloe.co.za
- KARWIL Consultancy Willie Alberts – 072 929 7080
- Kraalbus Bio-Health Products Tel: 083 536 8844 jklaasen [at] uwc.ac.za
- KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) www.kzndard.gov.za A number of training Poster Modules are available in English and Zulu from the Training Resources Development (TRD). The figure in brackets indicates how many posters are in the module: (i) Medicinal Plants – Siphonochilus (11) (ii) Medicinal plants – Eucomis (16). For further information, contact 033 355 9304.
- Lowveld Botanical Gardens Tel: 013 752 5531 www.sanbi.org/lowveld The Lowveld Botanical Gardens is collecting the seeds of 120 plants most sought-after for muthi purposes.
- Medical Research Council (MRC) Tel: 021 938 0911 www.mrc.ac.za The MRC established the IKS Lead (Health) Programme to promote, develop and protect IK (indigenous knowledge), and IKS and its innovative systems of health through education, research and development.
- Moringa Development Association of South Africa (MDASA) Tel: 012 382 5720 www.mdasa.org
- Muthi Futhi Trust Tel: 031 267 1667 www.muthifuthi.co.za It specialises “in the cultivation and processing of African medicinal plants, and the production of traditional medicinal products”
- Naledi Village Farmer’s Co-operative soozi.v.d.linde [at] gmail.com Find the post “Rustler’s Valley (part VII): nurseries and a healing centre” on this website.
- National Research Foundation (NRF) Tel: 012 481 4000/1 www.nrf.ac.za The NRF manages the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Programme which includes the use of indigenous medicinal plants. Find the Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) Knowledge Fields Development Framework Document on the website. Included in the scope of research funding is IKS and Bioeconomy (which covers African traditional medicine).
- North-West University Indigenous Knowledge Systems Centre Prof Simeon Materechera Tel: 018 389 2294 albert.materechera [at] nwu.ac.za and www.nwu.ac.za. Find “NWU produces first Indigenous Knowledge Systems graduates in Africa” (2017) on the website news.
- Parceval Pharmaceuticals Tel: 021 873 3895 www.parceval.co.za
- Phola Indigenous Medicinal Garden c/o Scientific Roets Tel: 039 727 1515
- Phyto Alchemy Jean-Francois Sobiecki http://phytoalchemy.co.za/ and www.ethnobotany.co.za Healer, Wellness Coach & Ethnobotanist
- PhytoTrade Africa: The Southern African Natural Products Trade Association www.phytotradeafrica.com Included on the website are notes on various medicinal plants e.g. Devil’s Claw, Baobab Tree, Mobola Plaum etc
- ResourceAfrica Tel: 012 342 9242 www.resourceafrica.org
- Rhodes University Selmar Schonland Herbarium www.ru.ac.za/schonlandherbarium Find staff contact details on the website.
- Skimmelberg Tel: 021 482 1771 www.skimmelberg.co.za
- South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) Tel: 012 843 5000 www.sanbi.org SANBI is a public institution that aims to promote the utilisation and conservation of, and knowledge and services in connection with, the southern African flora; and to promote the economic use and potential of indigenous plants.
- Stellenbosch University (i) Department of Botany and Zoology Tel: 021 808 3236 (ii) Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology Tel: 021 808 3728/3304 www.sun.ac.za
- Swanpack Buchu Tel: 021 874 1020 www.grapenet.co.za
- Tlholego Kitchen & Herb Garden Workshop Tel: 072 118 7357 http://rucore.org.za
- Tshwane University of Technology Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Herbal Drugs Research Unit Prof Alvaro Viljoen Tel: 012 382 6360 www.alvaroviljoen.com
- Traditional Healers Organisation Tel: 047 531 1745 Tel: 011 337 6177 https://www.facebook.com/traditionalhealth/
- Umthathi Training Project Tel: 046 637 0012 www.umthathi.co.za
- University of Cape Town African Climate & Development Initiative (ACDI) Botany and Institute for Plant Conservation Tel: 021 650 2440 www.acdi.uct.ac.za Research deals with conservation issues pertaining to the Cape Flora (Flora Capensis – one of the 6 floral kingdoms of the world, and the smallest, but with high endemism of 8600 different plant species).
- University of the Free State Department of Pharmacology Tel: 051 401 7452 / 3739 www.ufs.ac.za
- University of Johannesburg Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology botany [at] uj.ac.za and www.uj.ac.za
- University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg) School of Life Sciences Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development Tel: 033 260 5130/1 rcpgd [at] ukzn.ac.za (ii) Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine Tel: 031 260 4238 (iii) DST-NRF Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems Tel: 031 260 7237 / 1794 http://aiks.ukzn.ac.za/ Research associates at the universities of KwaZulu-Natal, North-West University, Limpopo and Venda are listed on the website.
- University of Pretoria (UP) Department of Paraclinical Sciences Phytomedicine Programme Tel: 012 529 8525 www.up.ac.za/phyto This group focuses on the use of plants to enhance animal health and productivity.
- UP Department of Plant and Soil Sciences Prof Namrita Lall Tel: 012 420 2524 namrita.lall [at] up.ac.za
- UP Enterprises, Noz Mkhize Tel: 012 434 2606 www.enterprises.up.ac.za A Phytomedicine and Natural Products short course is offered
- University of the Western Cape (i) School of Natural Medicine (SoNM) Tel: 021 959 2279 www.uwc.ac.za/Faculties/CHS/SoNM/Pages/Default.aspx (ii) South African Herbal Science and Medicine Institute (SAHSMI) Tel: 021 959 3043 www.uwc.ac.za/Faculties/NS/SAHSMI/Pages/default.aspx (iii) Medical BioScience Programme Tel: 021 959 2332 www.uwc.ac.za/Faculties/NS/Medical_BioScience/Pages/default.aspx (iv) Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Tel: 021 959 2301 www.uwc.ac.za/Faculties/NS/Biodiversity_Conservation_Biology/Pages/default.aspx (v) Department of Chemistry Tel: 021 959 3056 www.uwc.ac.za/Faculties/NS/Chemistry/Pages/default.aspx
- Zanemvula Traditional Healing Tel: 082 555 4162 www.zanemvula.co.za A traditional healer
- The provincial nature agencies and departments of environmental affairs. Find details in the “Biodiversity and ecosystems services” chapter.
Websites and publications
Visit websites listed earlier on this page.
- Visit www.africanethnomedicines.net, website of African Networks on Ethnomedicines.
- Kejafa Knowledge Works has stocked books on medicinal plants, including Medicinal Plants of South Africa (Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Bosch Van Oudtshoorn, Nigel Gericke) and Medicinal Plants of the World (Michael Wink, Ben-Erik Van Wyk). Visit www.kejafa.com.
- Several publications are available from the Association for African Medicinal Plants Standards. These include the African Herbal Pharmacopoeia; Plants, People & Nature: Benefit Sharing in Practice; and Green Gold: Success Stories Using Southern African Plant Species. Visit www.aamps.org for more.
- Visit the website South African Ethnobotany, www.ethnobotany.co.za, run by Jean-Francois Sobiecki. In particular, find the “African medicinal plants” option under “Ethnobotany”.
- TEMPORARY NOTE: It appears that the shift from the previous www.dalrrd.gov.za to the new www.dalrrd.gov.za has been concluded without a facility which redirects visitors to the new URLs. This applies to what follows: Find the document Medicinal Plants of South Africa, “a guide to the most commonly utilised medicinal plants in South Africa”, among the brochures and production guidelines under “Resource Centre” at www.dalrrd.gov.za, website of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. Several other relevant documents exist here too e.g. Devil’s claw, Hoodia (Asclepiadaceae), Kooigoed, Kougoed, Pelargonium sidoides, Production guidelines: Fever tree, Production guideline Wild Ginger, Wild Ginger, Sour plum, Aloe Ferox, Buchu and Wild Rosemary. It is not indigenous, but there are also guidelines for the production of the medicinal plant parsnips.
- Titles like Zulu medicinal plants: an inventory (Ann Hutchings), Handbook of African medicinal plants (Maurice M. Iwu), Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange and Competition in South Africa, 1820 – 1948 (Karen E. Flint) and The Phytomedicines Industry in Southern Africa (Myles Mander) can be sourced at http://books.google.co.za.
- Find the annual A Profile of the South African Medicinal Plants Market Value Chain on the Directorate Marketing web pages at www.dalrrd.gov.za.
- Read about the research project “Validation of efficacy and mechanism of action of medicinal plants used in the Eastern Cape” at www.researchgate.net/project/Validation-of-efficacy-and-mechanism-of-action-of-medicinal-plants-used-in-the-Eastern-Cape
- Market Research on the organic and natural products and fynbos industry – with an emphasis on how to facilitate entry is compiled by Marianna Smith and can be obtained from of the Surplus People Project. Crops like Buchu, Devil’s Claw and Ghaap are included in the discussion. Visit https://spp.org.za.
- Find the numerous papers on the Human Sciences Research Council website www.hsrc.ac.za.
- Convention on Biological Diversity – www.cbd.int. Included here are the Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits Arising out of their Utilisation.
- www.fairwild.org – FairWild Foundation’s Standard for the trading of medicinal plants.
- Included on www.scidev.net are issues relating to traditional medicines. This is the website of Science and Development Network which features “news, views and information about science, technology and the developing world”.
- Find the presentation ‘Adding value to South Africa’s Indigenous Knowledge and Plant Biodiversity through Scientific Innovation’, given to parliament towards the end of 2014, at www.thedti.gov.za/parliament/2014/CSIR.pdf
- Maltitz, P. von. 2011. Your Medicinal Garden. Available at www.zanemvula.co.za/medplants.html
- Moffett, R. 2010. Sesotho Plant and Animal Names and Plants Used by the Basotho. Bloemfontein: Sun Press.
- Van Wyk B.-E., de Wet H. & Van Heerden FR. 2008. An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants in the southeastern Karoo, South Africa. Science Direct. Available at www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254629908002329
- Diederichs, N. (Ed). 2006. Commercialising Medicinal Plants: A Southern African Guide. Stellenbosch: SUN PRESS.
- Hanson, B.A. 2005. Understanding Medicinal Plants. New York: Routledge.
- Mander, M. 1998. Marketing of Indigenous Medicinal Plants in South Africa: A case study in Kwazulu-Natal. Rome: Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Available at http://www.fao.org/docrep/019/w9195e/w9195e.pdf
- Dwarka D. 2020, November 23. “South African researchers are looking at medicinal plants for possible COVID-19 treatments”. The Conversation. Available at https://theconversation.com/south-african-researchers-are-looking-at-medicinal-plants-for-possible-covid-19-treatments-147056
- Matiso S. 2020, September 22. “‘No foreign country can take plants without a permit,’ says expert”. 702. Available at www.702.co.za/articles/396874/no-foreign-country-can-take-plants-without-a-permit-says-expert
- Friedman B. 2020, September 20. “Traditional medicine ‘not just scientific-based, but also spiritually informed'”. CapeTalk. Available at www.capetalk.co.za/articles/396667/traditional-medicine-not-just-scientific-based-but-also-spiritually-informed
- Staff Writer. 2020, July 8. “South Africa to look at African medicines in fight against coronavirus: minister”. BusinessTech. Available at https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/414585/south-africa-to-look-at-african-medicines-in-fight-against-coronavirus-minister/
- Bhengu L. 2020, May 31. “Traditional healers warn WHO: ‘Hands off traditional medicine!'”. Times Live. Available at www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2020-05-31-traditional-healers-warn-who-hands-off-traditional-medicine/
- eNCA. 2020, May 7. “Coronavirus: Embracing alternative medicine”. Available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhgvOK791d8
- Beinart R. 2020, February 9. “The story of the pharma giant and the African yam”. Available at https://theconversation.com/the-story-of-the-pharma-giant-and-the-african-yam-129011
- Kriel G. 2020, January 8. “Time for SA farmers to cash in on the succulent boom”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-business/agribusinesses/time-for-sa-farmers-to-cash-in-on-the-succulent-boom/
- Felem A.F. 2019, May 7. “Concerns raised over stripping of Cape Town’s indigenous trees”. Eye Witness News. Available from https://ewn.co.za/2019/05/07/concerns-raised-over-stripping-of-ct-s-indigenous-trees
- Find the articles by Nontobeko Mncwangi and Alvaro Viljoen in the South African Pharmaceutical Journal at www.sapj.co.za. Two of these can be read online: about Cancer bush and Aloe ferox.
- Find relevant articles in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology at https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-ethnopharmacology . These include ones like the following: Ngarivhume T., van’t Klooster C., de Jong J. & van der Westhuizen J. 2015. “Medicinal plants used by traditional healers for the treatment of malaria in the Chipinge district in Zimbabwe”. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 159, 224-237.
- Find the Brand South Africa article on the indigenous knowledge systems degree offered at the North-West University at www.brandsouthafrica.com.
- Essop R. 2015. “Government can’t specify how many sangomas are practising in SA”. Eye Witness News. Available at http://ewn.co.za/2015/07/10/Govt-cant-specify-how-many-sangomas-are-practising-in-SA.
- Sobiecki J. 2014. “The intersection of culture and science in South African traditional medicine”. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 14(1). Available at www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1445-73772014000100006
- Find “From witchcraft to proven cure” at www.farmersweekly.co.za in which Dr Sue Taylor and Roelof Bezuidenhout discuss whether South Africa’s indigenous medicinal plants could be the farming crops of the future.
- Mahomoodally M.F. 2013. “Traditional Medicines in Africa: An Appraisal of Ten Potent African Medicinal Plants”. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Available at https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/617459/
- Anton. 2013, August 27. “5 Top Performing African Medicinal Herbs”. Arabella. Available at www.arabella.co.za/2013/08/27/5-top-performing-african-medicinal-herbs/
- Wilkinson K. 2013. “ Use of traditional healers vastly exaggerated”. Bhelisisa. Available at http://bhekisisa.org/article/2013-08-01-usage-of-traditional-healers-vastly-exaggerated
- Van Wyk B. 2011 “The potential of South African plants in the development of new medicinal products”. South African Journal of Botany 77(4), 812-829. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254629911001190
- Mander M., Ntuli L., Diederichs N. and Mavundla K. 2007. “Economics of the Traditional Medicine Trade in South Africa.” National Health Review. Available at www.researchgate.net/publication/284755794_Economics_of_the_traditional_medicine_trade_in_South_Africa
A number of brochures, grower guidelines and Info paks (booklets) on flora with medicinal properties indigenous to Africa can be found on the website of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, www.dalrrd.gov.za (under “Resource centre”). These include:
- Devil’s claw
- Hoodia (Asclepiadaceae)
- Medicinal plants of SA
- Pelargonium sidoides
- Production guidelines: Fever tree
- Production guideline Wild Ginger
- Sour plum
- Wild ginger
- Wild Rosemary
Guidelines exist too for plants which are not indigenous, like the Parsnips Production guidelines.
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